Kaitaia is the most northerly town in New Zealand with a population of some 5,000. Kaitaia is located about 110km south of Cape Reinga and 300km north of Auckland. Ninety Mile Beach is just 10km west and Doubtless Bay, on the east coast, is just 20 km east.
Known in the past - when it was isolated by bad roads, or no roads, and the Mangamuka Ranges - as a friendly, do it yourself, community, Kaitaia continues its reputation today for being affable and welcoming. Its Maori and European history is long and rich.
A service town, Kaitaia supports arable, sheep, beef and dairy farming, vineyards and fruit growing - especially avocados - as well as logging, milling, quarrying and an extensive range of service industries. Kaitaia is enriched with many old established families and businesses.
Te Ahu, Kaitaia's magnificent multi-functional civic centre for the northern region of the Far North district, designed by a local architectural practice, is a venue for concerts, plays and other cultural events as well as conferences, seminars and meetings. It houses a fine public library, FNDC service centre. It was formally opened by Governor-General Sir Jerry Mateparae on Saturday, 28 April 2012.
Te Ahu Heritage (Far North Regional Museum), in Te Ahu, has moa, kiwi and gum-digging displays alongside flax snails, textiles and early transport and communication history. The important Northwood Photographic Collection displays the work of Arthur Northwood and his brothers from early in the 20th century.
Kaitaia Hospital is a crucial cog of the community. The centre of a bitter row when it was shifted from Mangonui to its present site in 1934, it cheerfully services a wide-ranging region, both rural and urban.
Kaitaia has a strong and energetic Dalmatian connection stemming from the days of the gum digging boom, a time when gum gathered from fallen kauri trees fetched high prices. A vigorous Dalmatian cultural club makes its presence felt.
Kaitaia is home to many Christian churches. They stem from the time when, in 1832, Rev Joseph Matthews, searching for a suitable site on which to build a new mission station, arrived with a Maori guide from the Waimate mission station.
Kaitaia offers all forms of holiday accommodation; from ‘handy to town’ backpacker hostels, YHA, camping grounds, motels and hotels, to the domestic comfort of bed & breakfast, home stays and farm stays. Sailing, surfing, surf-casting at the breathtaking Ninety Mile Beach, kite-surfing, diving and fishing (including the discipline of deep-sea fishing) are all popular attractions. Regardless of the weather, there is always a coast with good fishing and sea bathing and this region possesses one of the most notable left-hand surf breaks in the world.
Kaitaia is the most northerly town in New Zealand and is located on State Highway 1 - 300 km north of Auckland. It is a further 110 km to Cape Reinga at the northern tip of the narrow Aupouri Peninsula
Driving direct by State Highway 1 and State Highway 10, the journey time from Auckland is about four hours without stops. Travelling the Twin Coast Discovery Highway - a world-class touring route leaving from, and returning to, Auckland - requires at least two days in each direction to visit the many interesting and beautiful attractions along the way. There are also transport connections to and from Auckland and the rest of New Zealand by air and bus.