One of the most magical places I've ever visited in New Zealand is Ahipara, at the southern end of Ninety Mile Beach.
A seaside village and surfing paradise, it feels like you are at the end of the earth, in a paradise dotted with architecturally designed houses and salty old baches, both holding on for dear life in the wind.
If you're up for a surf head to the aptly named Shipwreck Bay, a place where wrecks out at low tide and the views are unforgettable. Flanking the beach is a rugged headland of enormous sand dunes that just beg you to let rip on a quad bike, and specialised quad biking tours also explore the Ahipara Gumfields Scenic Reserve, a remote area where you'll see the last of ancient kauri forests, old gumdigger's huts and 250 hectares of trenches, dams, and aqueducts.
If you're in the area for a few days I recommend a stay at The Bach, situated at 21 Tasman Heights. The large home has sweeping views of the Tasman Sea, Ninety Mile beach and out to Tauroa Point, and is just a five minute walk away from beach. The Bach has three bedrooms, an open plan kitchen, dining and lounge area and huge deck area just built for barbeques. Or, if you're feeling social and on a budget, Ahipara Holiday Park has a great range of accommodation options from tent sites and power sites for campervans and caravans, to cabins and a self-contained lodge.
Editorial by Helene Ravlich