About and hour and a half south of Auckland is the beachside settlement of Port Waikato. This is where the Waikato, New Zealand's largest river, ends its journey from Lake Taupo and meets the Tasman Sea.
Drive along the southern motorway from Auckland and pass through the small settlement of Tuakau. Just south of the town a bridge crosses the Waikato River. Turn right just after the bridge and it is a further 25 kilometers to the port.
What to See and Do
Port Waikato is a popular summer holiday spot for New Zealanders, although most people camp or stay in a 'bach'.
Fishing and walking are both popular although most people really come here for the beaches. The large sand bar at the river mouth creates a unique contour; on the one side is a quiet and sandy lagoon, ideal for family swimming. On the other side is the ocean; here the black sand and big swells of the Tasman Sea make it very popular for surfers and it is one of the best spots in the North Island.
There are very few facilities at Port Waikato. There is a single general store (dairy), motor mechanic and a fish and chips takeaway. There is also just the one camping ground for tents and motorhomes. There are no hotels or motels, although there is a small backpackers near the Waikato Heads and a couple of bed and breakfasts.
A further 28 kilometers from Port Waikato is the spectacular Nikau Cave and Cafe, which is well worth a visit.