The Aupouri Peninsula is a tombolo at the northern tip of the North Island of New Zealand. It projects between the Tasman Sea to the west and the Pacific Ocean to the east. It constitutes the northern part of the Far North District, incorporating North Cape, Houhora and the northern half of Awanui.
It is a peninsula on a peninsula, being part of the massive North Auckland Peninsula which makes up nearly one twelfth of New Zealand's land area. Close to the northern town of Kaitaia, the North Auckland Peninsula suddenly narrows from a width of 60 kilometres to a mere 10 kilometres, a width which it maintains approximately for the last 100 kilometres of its thrust to the north.
At the base of the Aupouri to the east is the natural inlet of the Rangaunu Harbour. Beyond this lies a further short peninsula and the broad sweep of Doubtless Bay. The east coast of the Aupouri Peninsula is dominated by Rangaunu Bay in the south and Great Exhibition Bay in the north. Towards its northern tip is the natural inlet of Parengarenga Harbour, beyond which lies North Cape.
The Aupouri Peninsula's best known feature lies on the other coast. Almost the entire length of the west coast is accounted for by the erroneously named 88 kilometre stretch of Ninety Mile Beach.
At its northern end, the peninsula widens to 30 kilometres. Here are located the several capes which vie for the honour of the northernmost point on New Zealand's main islands: Cape Maria van Diemen, North Cape, Cape Reinga and the Surville Cliffs. The latter of these claims the title by a margin of only a few hundred metres. The Surville Cliffs lie at a latitude of 34° 23' 47" South. Only a handful of islands in the Three Kings and Kermadec chains lie further north in New Zealand.
Although there are a number of settlements with over 100 people, including Te Hapua, Te Kao, Pukenui and Kaimaumau, the Peninsula is sparsely inhabited, with a total population of approximately 1600. For this reason, the area's roading is largely unsealed[clarification needed]. The main road (State Highway 1) is now completely sealed, the final seal having been laid in April 2010. Ninety Mile Beach is also a designated highway (however, most rental contracts include this in "prohibited roads"). The nearest town to the capes at the tip of the peninsula is Kaitaia, 100 kilometres to the south.
- Black, Philippa and Gregory, Murray (2002). Field trip 9: Geological gems of the Far North, in Smith, V. and Grenfell, H.R. (editors) (2002): Fieldtrip Guides, Geological Society of New Zealand Annual Conference “Northland 2002”, Geological Society of NZ Miscellaneous Publication 112B, 116 pp. ISBN 0-908678-90-8. Accessed 2010-05-23.
- "Final few metres of SH1 sealed". New Zealand Herald. 22 April 2010. Retrieved 21 September 2010.
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