Kaitaia is a town in the far north of New Zealand, at the base of the Aupouri Peninsula which is about 300 km north of Auckland. It is the last major town on the main road north to the capes and bays on the peninsula. Ahipara Bay, the southernmost part of Ninety Mile Beach, is five kilometres west of the town. The town has a population of circa 5,000. Kataia has a museum that gives a good insight into early days of the town and growth.
There was a time NZ was connected to the outside world via a cable from Cable Bay, a short distance from Kaitaia.
At the Kaitaia Museum you will discover the French explorer, de Surville’s mighty anchor, the earliest European relic left in New Zealand. Also, pioneer aviator, Charles Kingsford Smith’s epic landing on Ninety Mile Beach, plus the details of the construction of the early wireless station and the laying of the intercontinental cable to Doubtless Bay. Missionary settlers, their journals and letters. The museum also has displays about the extinct moa.
Kaitaia Hotel, est. late 1890’s is continuous running licensed establishment and is one of the oldest in New Zealand. The hotel still features photos of its history that depicts an earlier accommodation and travel era.
The unique fact about the Kaitaia War Memorial is that it was very first war memorial erected to commemorate the dead of the First World War and was unveiled at Kaitaia on 24 March, 1916, less than year after the landing at Gallipoli and with the torments of the western front still to come. A Maori, L.T.Busby of Pukepoto in the far north, had been the moving spirit behind the memorial and beneath the typical cemetery the words are written in both Maori and English.
Doubtless Bay has over 70 kilometres of unspoiled coastline and an abundance of safe and uncrowded beaches. These range from Pohutukawa-fringed, tranquil white sands to rugged rocky coves. A truly pretty spot that awaits discovery.