Around 30 minutes’ drive from the campground, Waipu Caves is one of Northland’s best kept secrets. Impressive limestone formations, an underground lake and a galaxy of glow worms are just a short walk from the parking area. The main cave is 175 metres long and encloses one of the longest stalagmites in New Zealand (eight feet high and six feet in diameter!). Take a torch, wear good walking shoes/sandals or gumboots and be prepared to get your feet wet – especially in winter.
For experienced cavers only, there are hundreds more metres of sacred underground passageways to explore, but please take adequate safety precautions and be aware of the weather, as flash flooding can occur during heavy rain.
Northland is legendary for its fishing, and Ruakaka Beach Holiday Park is the ideal place to use as a base for your fishing or diving trips. And, at the end of the day, our free gas BBQ’s are the perfect way to cook your catch.
If you’re fishing on the beach, there is 22kms of lovely white sand to fish from – surf casting, long lining and kite fishing off the sand are all popular ways to score your catch of the day.
Alternatively, take a small boat or kayak to the foul about 800m offshore. Bream Bay was named by Captain Cook for its abundance of Bream – or, as we call it in New Zealand, Snapper; but Gurnard and Kahawai are also plentiful in the area. If shellfish are more to your taste, you can dig up fresh tuatua right on the beach at low tide – then just stroll ‘home’ to camp, pop them in a pan and enjoy!
For those who want to head further out, boats can be launched on the beach at Princes Road, or from the public ramp at Marsden Cove Marina; and there are also a number of professional charter operators in the area – ask at the office for details.
The Hen and Chicken Islands, 22 kilometres offshore, are one of Northland’s best fishing and diving attractions, renowned for their abundance of fish, crayfish and scallops. With visibility in excess of 20 metres, this is a truly magical diving destination; and the surrounding waters also offer first-class light-tackle sport fishing.
Dive or dredge for handfuls of mouth-watering scallops. Please make sure you’re up to date on local fishing rules. Ask at the office for a brochure or download the free app by texting ‘APP’ to 9889.