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Matapouri Bay

Matapouri Bay is an attractive beach location and it has a solid residential base that provides a good number of beach users during the summer. The bay is safe for the most part however care needs to be taken during large easterly swells that come directly into the bay. Matapouri Bay has no Lifeguarding Service.

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Family friendly

A good beach for families however limited facilities and can be dangerous in poor conditions.


Matapouri Bay slopes steeply into the ocean but this levels out into a terrace just offshore and swimmers can get some distance from the shore without getting out of their depth at low tide. The keyhole shape of the beach means that swell struggles to make its way into the beach unless it is coming directly from the east. Swimmers should stay around the centre of the bay avoiding the rocky headlands and also the inlet at the southern end which forms an outgoing current.


Surfing at Matapouri Bay is not that common due to lack of swell.


Surfcasting from the beach can be productive especially around the rocky headlands at each end of the bay. Offshore fishing is good but only small dinghies can be launched over the beach face. Diving in the bay is good but currents around the headlands can be strong.

Activities and facilities


  • Canoeing/kayaking
  • Dog walking
  • Horse riding
  • Snorkelling
  • Wind/kite surfing


  • Car parking
  • Food and beverage kiosk
  • Public toilets


The beach is our favourite playground, but it can also be a dangerous place. Learn about the hazards at Matapouri Bay and be prepared so you and your family can enjoy the sun, sea and sand safely this summer.



Unpatrolled Beach
Unpatrolled beach.
Never swim or surf alone.

Forecast provided by SwellMap.com

Showers with clear spells
Max Temp.
Water Temp.

Water Conditions

For boating and surfing
Poor. 1/10
Poor. 1/10



Safety at Matapouri Bay

We want you to have a great time whilst visiting Matapouri Bay. But take a moment to learn more about being safe on New Zealand Beaches. More ►

Unpatrolled Beach

Unpatrolled Beach
Unpatrolled beach.
Never swim or surf alone.


Click a safety symbol for more information on the risk

4 simple rules to keep you safe

We want you to have a great time whilst visiting Matapouri Bay. But take a moment to learn more about being safe on New Zealand beaches and looking out for each other. More ►

The Water Safety Code:

  • Be prepared
  • Watch out for yourself and others
  • Be aware of the dangers
  • Know your limits
DIAL 111 in the event of an emergency


Matapouri Bay is located 36 kilometres from Whangarei, 2 kilometres south of Woolleys Bay. The bay is striking in appearance. Its 700 metre golden sand beach is bound at each end by large rocky headlands that form a keyhole to the South Pacific Ocean. There are rocks and reefs scattered around both headlands although there is a much greater concentration around the southern. At the base of the southern headland there is an inlet that separates it from the sand, while there are two small sandy areas on the northern headland that are isolated by rocky outcrops. The entire beach area is backed by a vegetation covered sand dune and reserve, while behind this there are numerous residential houses. There is a toilet at the beach while other facilities are only a short walk of 200 metres.

Public Transport

Sorry, we have no public transport information available for this beach.


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Beach Water Quality

The Overall Recreation Risk is a guide to give a general picture of water quality at a site. Updated annually, it is calculated from bacteria (enterococci) data collected over the last three years. The Overall Recreation Risk indicator is a precautionary approach to managing health risk and is not designed to represent health risk on a particular day. As such, a site can have an Overall Recreation Risk of ‘Caution’ but still be suitable for swimming some of the time.

Overall recreation risk

The long term risk status based on three years of data

Moderate Risk

Between 5 and 10% risk of illness

Many councils also provide the results of their weekly monitoring. This lets people know what the most recent bacteria levels were. Remember, even sites with low risk can be unsuitable to swim at from time to time and we recommend that you avoid swimming for 48 hours after heavy rainfall.

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