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Whangaumu (Wellingtons Bay)

Guide to Staying in Wellington’s Bay (Whangaumu)

Wellington’s Bay – known to locals as Whangaumu Bay – is one of the Tutukaka Coast’s beach jewels: fine white sand, turquoise waters, plenty of trees for shade and just enough swell for your kids to enjoy a fun day on their boogie boards. As one of our most popular holiday home destinations, we’ve put together an insider’s guide to staying in Wellington’s Bay, so that you’ll know what to expect when you sit back and relax in one of our many Wellington’s Bay beach houses!

Secret beaches at Wellington’s Bay: avoiding the crowds!

If you love the idea of getting away from the crowds, then Wellington’s Bay is the beach for you. While the main stretch of white sand can become busy in the height of summer, there are always places to escape to: in fact, this is one of the reasons so many families love coming to Wellington’s Bay! If you have young ones to think of, then head over to the northern end of the beach. You’ll find a rocky island, which provides endless fascination for kids, with tidal rock pools and swimming holes. You’ll also notice lovely gentle paddling areas between the rocks, with sandy bottoms and gently sloping walls. This is an ideal location for your littlies to squiggle their toes in the sand and splash about in the shallow, protected water, while you sit and soak up the views. 

Do you have slightly more adventurous kids; or are you interested in getting a bit more privacy? Keep walking north along the beach, over the rocks between the island and the mainland. You’ll come to what looks like a small rock wall – climb over this and you’re in for a very pleasant surprise. This beach (called a variety of names by locals, including ‘secret beach’ and ‘pebbly beach’) is a tucked-away piece of paradise with absolutely outstanding rock pools at low tide, and beautiful swimming waters at high tide. The beach is a smooth-pebble beach, which makes it an ideal spot for your picnic lunch – no sand, no worries! Keep walking north past pebbly bay, over the rocks again, and you’ll come to yet another secluded beach: this one even more likely to be private. This bay offers a lovely secluded outlook, and has some truly spectacular rock pools for your excited kids to fossick in. 

Getting active at Whangaumu Bay

Don’t be confused by the locals – some will refer to Whangaumu Bay, while others will use the moniker Wellington’s Bay. Whatever you call it though, this bay offers some of the best active pursuits around! The beach offers easy launching for light boats, with direct beach access for 4WD vehicles down to the waterline. Kayakers are often seen enjoying the pristine waters, while kayak fishing has become a hugely popular sport of the coast here – with some monster fish being caught just off the beach!

Wellington’s Bay is a very popular spot for surfcasting, and in the height of summer you’ll find all manner of beach toys whizzing past; from water skis and jet skis through to sailboats and catamarans: if it floats, the easy launching pad at Wellington’s makes this bay a first choice. Into geocaching? You’ll find a host of fun geocaches nestled away in local spots; take the kids or go on your own treasure hunt – what a great way to see the local highlights! You can even get your kids (or yourselves) into surfing: the local Tutukaka surf school is hugely popular throughout the year, and provides a great option for families and kids of all ages.

Eat, drink and relax at Wellington’s Bay

Of course, being on holiday means you’ll want to have a night or two off cooking duties – here’s another reason why Wellington’s Bay is such a popular holiday spot. A 5-minute drive will take you over the hill and into Tutukaka Marina, where you’ll find no less than four restaurants waiting to take your order. Order anything from fresh seafood and prime steak through to authentic pizzas and good old-fashioned fish & chips: a restaurant and ambience to suit every mood and every taste awaits you at the beautiful Tutukaka Marina.

Why not stroll through the delightful art gallery, clothing and curio shops, and surfwear shop while you’re there? If you can’t find what you’re looking for at Tutukaka Marina, you can always head back over the hill into Ngunguru for a cheerful meal at the sports club restaurant, or easy fish & chips from the local takeaways. You’ve also got two options for groceries in the area: the Ngunguru food mart, and the Tutukaka garage store – this is where you’ll find fresh market produce on a Saturday morning, too. Tutukaka is the only spot for petrol however, so be sure to fill up there before you venture further afield.


Thinking of staying in Wellington’s Bay this summer? Take a look at our gorgeous Whangaumu Bay holiday homes, or call our friendly team to discuss your needs!