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Guest Post by my buddy and baby daddy Tom Wilson

Discover Untouched Natural Beauty at Spirits Bay

fishing at spirits bay
Excitement from finally arriving at our destination

Spirits Bay is as magical as the wild horses that roam there.

This beautiful 12km half moon bay is tucked away at one of the farthest reaches of New Zealand.

Far from crowds, noisy cars, shopping malls and the hum of electricity.

Shaye and I recently experienced Spirits Bay on a New Years eve camping holiday with our friends.

Our verdict?

We LOVED it!

If you enjoy catching fish for dinner, snoozing to the sound of the ocean lullaby and exploring gorgeous sandy beaches, then Spirits Bay could be your new BFF.

 

Chow Down on Your Freshly Caught Fish Daily

fishing at spirits bay
Catching Kahawai from the beach

Spirits bay is the perfect place for a fishing vacation. The ocean there is teeming with fish! By the end of our stay, I was sick of fish. All I wanted was chicken!

Every day we went out fishing and every day we came back with fish.

We caught Kahawai straight from the beach. Butterfish with our hawaiian slings. Trevally off the wharf and Snapper from the rocks.

We even saw a guy land a whopping kingfish!

But by far the most fun way to catch them was by net...

We met a friendly guy who said if we helped him use his net, we could take home half the catch.

Sounded like a great deal to us. We used our little blow up boat to make sweeps across the beach with the net. It was chaos...

Tom gracefully exiting the boat
Tom gracefully exiting the boat to check out the catch

  • Catching the net on rocks
  • Trapping fish in the net and then having them escape again
  • Falling out of the boat

At one stage we even had some Kingfish in our net - but they got away (This is no fisherman's tale!)

Despite the turmoil, by the time we had finished there was a bin full of fresh Mullet.

They were tender, juicy and delicious. We cooked them over our little gas burners in tin foil, with butter, lemon, herbs, onions and garlic. Yum!

 

Escape the crowds and relax

Located at the far northern end of New Zealand, Spirits Bay is a wild place. You'll know when you see it, that this place hasn't changed much in a long time.

There are no major city centers close-by which means there's barely any people around. Even though we were there at the busiest time of year, the beach was still as empty as a ghost town.

The campground did fill up, but the beach is enormous. So finding your own private space is as simple as taking a walk down the beach.

panoramic of spirits bay
You can get the beach almost to yourself

Keep in mind that because of it's isolated location, you'll need to take supplies with you... Alternatively, you can survive on fresh fish ;) The closest store is about 30 minutes away via gravel road - not something you want to drive everyday.

 

Stay in the Campground and Listen to the Surf at Night

Spirits bay has only got 1 place to stay. The campground.

The campground is set in a gorgeous valley and it's about 3 minutes walk to the beach...

It's just close enough that you can hear the sound of waves at night. What a peaceful song!

 

Explore the Area via Walking Tracks

There are some beautiful scenic walks around Spirits Bay. If you walk about 4 hours West, you'll reach a gorgeous beach called Pandora. It's a nice little secluded spot with no-one else on it.

We went to discover Pandora's secret on New Years day. We packed some supplies, threw our fishing gear over our shoulders and set off our our journey.

We discovered that Pandora is Spirits bay's gorgeous little cousin. If spear fishing and eating fresh mussels off the rocks is your thing, then you'll love Pandora too.

Warning: Going to Pandora? Don't make these mistakes that we made...

  1. Running out of water. 4 hours there, 4 hours back is quite a hike. You'll need LOTS of water.
  2. Getting stuck on the rocks at high tide and having to climb a cliff to get out. If the tide is incoming, take the inland route, it's much safer.

 

Marvel in the Natural Beauty of The Wild North Coast

panoramic of spirits bay
The jutting green headland you should climb

The whole region looks beautiful from the campsite. You can see dunes of pinkish sand, a river that winds out to sea and a glowing green headland that juts out into the ocean.

But if you really want to see something stunning, then we recommend you climb that green headland. Take your camera and do some sightseeing. You'll get a stunning 360 degree panoramic from there. That's where you'll see the true untouched beauty of spirits bay.

And if you're lucky, you might meet some wild horses.