If you're looking for an experience that's well off the beaten track, yet not too far from civilisation, Tapora is perfect. It sits to the west of Wellsford on a peninsula that sprawls out into the Kaipara Harbour and is unspoiled and incredibly beautiful.
It's home to one of the Wellsford area's most stunning parks, Atiu Creek Regional Park, which covers over 800 hectares and has a series of excellent walking and mountain biking tracks that are open to the public.
Getting to Tapora
From State Highway One in Wellsford, head west on Port Albert Road, then follow the signs on Port Albert / Wharehine Road for 6kms and turn into Run Road. The regional park is on your right, on Run Road.
On the way
There are a couple of detours that are well worth making, as you head towards the regional park. The first is Port Albert, where it's widely accepted that the best fish and chips in the world can be found at the general store.
The next is the Minniesdale Chapel in Wharehine, which is one of the most picturesque little chapels you'll ever find. It's perched overlooking the Hargreaves Basin inlet of the Kaipara and a picnic table just a short walk up the hill is a top spot for lunch.
See our Wellsford map and zoom in to Tapora to get your bearings and remember, you'll be driving on unsealed roads, so please keep your speed down and stay well to the left.
You have a choice of 15 walking tracks within the regional park, ranging from a 15 minute stroll to a 3 hour hike. All tracks are used by walkers, horse riders and mountain bikers.
At Tapora's tip is Manukapua Island, more commonly called Sand Island as it's made up entirely of sand dunes. While it's offshore, you can walk to it even at high tide, when the water's about knee deep. You can walk around the entire island but please be careful to respect the sand dunes.
Tapora's 9 hole golf course has fantastic views over the harbour and very reasonable green fees so if you're a keen golfer, it's highly recommended.
Camping and bach accommodation is available in the regional park and must be prebooked. See our regional park section for more information. You'll also find some baches available to rent towards the end of the Tapora peninsula.
You won't find stores or places to eat in Tapora, so stock up on your groceries in Wellsford and make the most of an incredible getaway.