10 Things to Do in Ruakaka That You Shouldn't Miss

January 14, 2018 Marianna Hollaway

Ruakaka (Maori: "Ruakākā") is a small township in the north of New Zealand approximately 30 kilometres south of Whangarei in the Bream Bay area. Originally a small beachside community, Ruakaka has seen development due to its proximity to the expansion of the country's only oil refinery at Marsden Point during the 1980s. A recently established timber processing plant at Marsden Point has further stimulated growth.
Restaurants in Ruakaka

1. Port Marsden Oil Refinery Visitor Center

Port Marsden Highway, Ruakaka, New Zealand +64 9-432 8194
Excellent
43%
Good
51%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 32 reviews

Port Marsden Oil Refinery Visitor Center

Reviewed By GrannyG45 - Palmerston North, New Zealand

A fascinating place to visit - we were on tour in two coaches - there was plenty of space for everyone and we could have stayed longer. The detailed model with its accompanying video explained the development and workings of the refinery very well.
Entry is free.

2. Waipu Museum

36 The Centre, Waipu 0510, New Zealand +64 9-432 0746
Excellent
74%
Good
24%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 85 reviews

Waipu Museum

Reviewed By Babsdranny - Ingleton, United Kingdom

We visited the museum as a result of seeing all the information boards around Waipu about residents who had lost their lives in the Great War. The museum tells a fantastic story about the original Scottish settlers and their hardships. A small admission cost well spent and the staff inside were helpful and informative.

3. Ocean Beach

Ocean Beach Road, Whangarei Heads 0192, New Zealand
Excellent
73%
Good
24%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 111 reviews

Ocean Beach

On the pacific coastal side the Whangarei Heads you will find the magnificent 5km long Ocean Beach. The Beach is surf patrolled through out the summer months and is a well known beach for boogie boarding and Surfing. The water is crystal clear during the summer months and there a fantastic views from the sand dunes at either end of the beach. There are some great rock pool exploring to be had at low tide at either end of the beach. This has to be one of the most spectacular Beaches in NZ. It will take you approx 35 minutes to drive out to this beach from Whangarei and aprox 15 mins from Parua Bay. Highly recommended!!

Reviewed By nnmercman - Camberley, United Kingdom

Drove along the mainly inland route across Mt Tiger Rd which is hilly and scenic and returned along the Whangarei Heads Rd. The Beach is approx 35km from Whangarei and at the end of the road there's a sign to Beach Access where there's a large car park and restrooms. We started to stroll along the beach path but looking back could see another area where's there's a viewing platform and as we'd yet to actually get to the beach as it's fenced along the path, decided to drive round to the other spot. There's very little parking but you get good views over the bay and the surfers who park and cross the dunes to reach the water. This is a better spot than the "beach access" area (just drive straight on instead of turning right). At the platform there's a memorial to those crew who lost their lives in WW2 when their minesweeper hit a mine - the only naval loss during the war in NZ waters. There's walks around Bream Head but if you're not a hiker then not sure the trip is worth the effort when there's so much more to see around the Whangarei area.

4. Mangapai Horse Treks

137 McDonnell Road, Mangapai 0178, New Zealand
Excellent
67%
Good
33%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
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Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 3 reviews

Mangapai Horse Treks

Ride through beautiful bush tracks and cattle ranch.Sea views wild life and amazing rock formations.Excellent guides and horses to suit all your needs.Complete beginners to experienced riders catered for.See you here for an unforgetable experience.

Reviewed By Gita W - Warragul, Australia

This location is well suited for riding and gives great rewarding views all the way back to Whangeri Heads and Bay. Paul was a great guide and his horses are well treated and look fantastic. A really enjoyable afternoon in stunning country, seeing many Hawks, Turkeys and bird life in the Mountains. Price was high, but certainly worth while.

5. Bream Head Coast Walks

395 Ody Road, Whangarei 0174, New Zealand +64 9-434 0571
Excellent
91%
Good
9%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
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Overall Ratings

5 based on 182 reviews

Bream Head Coast Walks

We are Northland's first three-day private unguided walk. Situated at Whangarei Heads our boutique walk encompasses private farmland, stunning ocean and harbour Beaches, rural roads, recreational reserves and public walkways. Start each day from our immaculately presented lodge and walk through an amazing variety of landscapes. At the end of the day return for a delicious dinner prepared by us and cooked by you. This outstanding natural experience will leave you with lasting memories.

Reviewed By shimmintoddy

i would highly recommend spending the day with Family/Whanau or Solo make sure you have taken a packed lunch and plenty of drinking wter

6. Waipu Cave

Waipu Caves Road, Waipu, New Zealand
Excellent
56%
Good
36%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 83 reviews

Waipu Cave

Reviewed By Jessisaw

Waipu Caves are not only free to visit but they really are amazing. Beautiful rock formations, set out in the countryside and with no restrictions on taking photos, it’s the perfect place to spot glow worms.
Be prepared to get wet and muddy and take a torch. I’m 158cm tall and the water was at mid-thigh-depth in January. Still it was worth wading through for the photos. Be careful on the rocks as they are slippy. I found it better to actually walk straight through the creek. I wore jandals as I didn’t want to get wet trainers and it was too slippy being barefoot.
Have fun!

7. Spa Serenity

Paradise point place, Ruakaka 0118, New Zealand +64 21 832 932
Spa Serenity

Located in the beautiful Bream Bay, One tree point, you will find our 'home-based' spa in a quiet residential area, metres from the beach. You can find our beautiful Day Spa full of luxurious treatments. Our treatments will leave you stress-free & fully rejuvenated. We look forward to relaxing you soon.

8. Jump Off A Cliff

Timperley Rd | Parua Bay, Whangarei Heads 0174, New Zealand
Excellent
93%
Good
7%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
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Overall Ratings

5 based on 28 reviews

Jump Off A Cliff

Abseiling, or rappelling, is an adventure activity suitable for all skill levels. Get a thrill jumping off a cliff, while taking in the majestic native scenery. Located in the awesome landscapes of the Whangarei Heads, with unique views consisting of Mt Manaia, Whangarei and Ocean Beaches off the Northland East Coast, abseiling in New Zealand provides for an enjoyable and memorable experience. Bookings And Enquiries Course Information Open to the public Saturday 12:30-4:00pm and Sundays and school holidays from 9am till 4pm. All other times by bookings and appointments only. Abseil gear is provided (just bring some appropriate footwear). The abseil cycle takes about 2.5 hours and includes three cliffs, 'Jumpstart' which trains the novice on technique. 'Avatar', a 30m cliff desenting through a native forest and 'Devils Chin' which is a 40m overhang through a native forest canopy. Costs $80.00 per person - discounts for group bookings of 6 or more people. An Instructor will help you safely learn to abseil with 3 main cliffs to choose from. Jumpstart - a practice cliff (as many descents until you feel confident). Avatar - A 30m cliff and overhang (upto 2 descents). Devils Chin - A 60m cliff and overhang (1 descent). Cash only. There is presently no EFT-POS available on site.Some reasonable level of fitness is required. Contact Information: Conrad Newbold Phone: 09 436 0536 Mobile:0211626585 [email protected] Course Outline: The abseil cycle takes about 2.5 hours and includes three cliffs, 'Jumpstart' which trains the novice on technique. 'Avatar', a 30m cliff desenting through a native forest and 'Devils Chin' which is a 40m overhang through a native forest canopy. Open Hours: Open to the public Saturday 12:30-4:00pm, Sundays and school holidays from 9am till 4pm. All other times by bookings and appointments only. Abseiling is a unique and exciting way to interact with the local landscape. The great thing about abseiling, is that it's not hard to learn. After a just a few lessons, you'll be jumping off cliffs with confidence. Jump Off A Cliff NZ caters for all levels of experience with gentle slopes for novices and those that are new to abseiling. Also a range of larger challenges for the intermediate to advanced levels of skill and confidence. Fun for everyone. Abseiling adventures would be ideal for: Schools - Students doing adventure tourism and business classes. Work - Team Building exercises or Christmas functions. Tourists - Fun way to experience the beauty of the New Zealand outdoors. Search & Rescue Trainees - Build and practice skills they may already have. All required equipment, rope, harness and helmit is provided if neccersary. With a certified trainer, and safety conscious staff and values, you too can enjoy the excitement and beauty of New Zealand rappelling in confidence. Jump Off A Cliff, Whangarei Heads, New Zealand At Jump Off A Cliff NZ we aim to provide an experience of rappelling to those that would like to experience abseiling in an environment that is scenic, enjoyable and safe. At the present stage the basis of 3 abseiling levels, have been anchored and ready to use. Beginning level - training Intermediate level - 30 metres, Advanced level - 60 metres

Reviewed By Ciara N

Despite the inital nerves, we had a great time abseiling here! Conrad was witty, informative and put us at ease. We felt safe at all times and had a blast. worth it even for the amazing views from the top of the cliffs. Definitely recommend, great value for money!

9. Mount Manaia Track

2129 Whangarei Heads Road, Whangarei 0174, New Zealand
Excellent
82%
Good
17%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 158 reviews

Mount Manaia Track

Always check the New Zealand Department of Conservation (DOC) website for changes that might affect your trip.

Reviewed By Mirelle M - Fremantle

This track is a step climb style hike which isn't the most enjoyable hike due to being mostly steps and limited views ascending and descending due to bush. The view from the top though is gorgeous and most definetly a must for tourists and locals alike. Be careful coming down during or after rainfall as track can get slippery.

10. Uretiti Beach

State Highway 1, Waipu, New Zealand
Excellent
63%
Good
32%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 40 reviews

Uretiti Beach

Reviewed By Peter G - Havelock

Despite being winter this beach is still nice to visit and take long walks or just experience the long white sands. Seems popular with local fishermen. It's my favourite for kite fishing. Can be exposed when winds are off shore, but magic when sunny and no wind.

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