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Whangaroa Area Guide

Matauri Bay; Cavalli Islands beyond - ©
Sandwiched between Doubtless Bay and the Bay of Islands on the east Northland coast, the Whangaroa district is synonymous with game fishing, with a world-class reputation for such denizens of the deep as marlin, tuna and sharks.

Much of the area's tourist infrastructure mirrors this focus, with various fishing charter services available for visiting anglers. Local accommodation alternatives often offer their own support, through such delights as bait freezers and fish cleaning facilities.

Whangaroa is not limited to fishing, though. A remarkable coastline holds a variety of bays (Matauri, Taupo, Tauranga, Takou and Te Ngaere being among the more famous) and beaches, as well as other areas of landscape interest, such as the Cavalli Islands.

Accommodation is plentiful, with many bays featuring their own holiday parks. At the other end of the scale, Whangaroa offers high-class accommodation in the form of the island-based Kingfish Lodge (with space for your helicopter pilot) and the Kauri Cliffs estate at Matauri Bay.

The latter is also host to what may be New Zealand's premiere golf course, the golfing home of the 2005 US Open winner. Matauri Bay's other claim on fame is the wreck of the Rainbow Warrior, which attracts numerous divers eager to explore this manmade fish sanctuary and victim of sabotage by the French Secret Service.

There are no big towns in the area, with the largest settlements being Kaeo (slightly inland) and the fishing village of Whangaroa with its modern marina.