Pohutukawa Coast

  • Spectacular scenery and sea views
  • Beaches
  • Regional Parks

The Pohutukawa Coast is East Auckland’s playground. Swimming, kayaking, sailing, cycling, mountain biking in the forest, golf and a wonderful coastal walk/cycleway make it a popular weekend destination. It’s also the first stop for tourists on the Pacific Coast Highway that traverses the east coast of the North Island.

Introducing the Pohutukawa Coast

The Pohutukawa Coast is 20 minutes east of Howick, starting at the small village of Whitford and taking in the twin townships of Beachlands and Maraetai, before concluding at Umupuia (Duders Beach) where the road takes a sharp turn and heads inland to Clevedon.

The coast is named for the gnarly native pohutukawa trees that are spread along the clifftops and foreshores of the coastline. The trees produce a magnificent red flower for about three weeks over the Christmas period.


Whitford is a small, busy village that acts as gateway to the Coast. The village is a service centre for the surrounding farms and life-style properties. It includes excellent cafes, restaurant and bar, and gift/antique shops and a golf course.

Rural Whitford has seen many changes since the first European settlers arrived in 1843 but it still retains a rustic charm. This is horse country with a very active pony club, stables and stud farms gracing the landscape.


Beachlands is a seaside township undergoing rapidly development as it is now being “discovered” by young families and lifestylers. It has two good swimming beaches, although only each side of the high tide. A new shopping centre means plenty of choice when it comes to cafes and eateries. Neighbouring Formosa Golf Course is an international standard golf course and also offers top class accommodation in stand-alone chalets, a restaurant and fitness centre.

Between Beachlands and Maraetai is Te Puru Park with playing fields, tennis and netball courts, and the sports complex with its sprung sport floor. The centre offers a busy schedule of sporting and recreational activities.

Pine Harbour is adjacent to Beachlands and home to a marina, multi storey apartment living, a small business area with cafe and restaurant, and  – perhaps most important of all – the SeaLink passenger ferries that can rush you to or from the middle of Auckland city in under half an hour.


Maraetai is all about the beach. Maraetai Beach vies with Eastern Beach for the title of “best beach in east Auckland”. It is possible to swim at all tides, although high tide is best. There’s a wharf that makes for a popular diving platform and there’s plenty of parking along the foreshore. Take your pick from several cafes or restaurants and dine al fresco while watching all the beach activity. Maraetai Park on the beachfront is a big grass area perfect for big family picnics and a game of volleyball.

At high tide on a perfect summer’s day, the short drive from Maraetai around the winding Coast road to Umupuia would surely rate as one of the most spectacular anywhere on Earth. Umupuia is home to Ngai Tai ki Tamaki’s marae and is an important cultural centre for the Ngai Tai tribe who have occupied the area since the earliest days of Maori settlement in Aotearoa (New Zealand).   

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East Auckland Tourism

Official visitor information site for the East of Auckland area, promoting our fantastic destination to local visitors and tourists.  






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