Road Journeys

Northland Journeys provide visitors with a unique set of touring routes telling stories of our region and revealing some of our favourite places.

Not for people in a hurry, Northland Journeys are for people wanting to get to know our special places better. Each journey, of between 50km in length, provides visitors with an authentic and enjoyable half to full day exploration of Northland's hidden gems as well as our icons. Happy travels!

The 'Ancient Kauri Trail' 

From the wild, untamed West Coast, to the peaceful shelter of the kauri forests, prepare to be awed by a journey of dramatic contrasts. 

Follow the road through the Kumara Capital, and feel the sea spray on your skin as you reach the ruggedly beautiful West Coast beaches. Further north, the ancient living forests wrap their deep green embrace around you. These mighty trees have supported lives and livelihoods for centuries. But despite their immense size and strength, these giants are also fragile. Humans have harvested their precious timber and gum over the centuries, and have now come to protect these great guardians of the forest...

Download: Ancient Kauri Trail Map – from Maungaturoto to Omapere

'Where Giants Gather' 

Journey through a grand landscape where giants surround you. Giants of geology, nature and history are gathered here, like the majestic creatures that inspired the name: Whangarei-te-rerenga-paraoa (the gathering place of whales). 

Take the meandering road from Northland’s largest city, all the way to the coast and the boundless Pacific Ocean beyond. Follow the great mass of water that ebbs and flows through the towering Whangarei Heads. Walk in the footsteps of those who carved history out of this colossal landscape, and create lasting memories of your own as you journey Where Giants Gather...

Download: Where Giants Gather Map – from Whangarei Town Basin to Whangarei Heads

'Into the Wide Blue Yonder'

The Wide Blue Yonder awaits you on this circular route along the beautiful Tutukaka Coast. Start from either Whangarei or Hikurangi, and feel the lure of the ocean as you travel towards the coast. 

Catch your breath as you round a corner to reveal a glimpse of turquoise. Gradually the ocean unveils herself, inviting you to look, swim, paddle and dive headfirst into a limitless expanse of blue...

Download: Into the Wide Blue Yonder Map – from Whangarei Falls to Tutukaka and on to Hikurangi

'Secret Coast Route'

Can you keep a secret? Follow these seemingly forgotten roads as they wind through Northland’s coastal landscapes. Take your time and uncover the many hidden treasures along the way.

Rich in history, if this coastal route could talk it would tell tales of early Māori settlements, colonial settlers, whalers and missionaries. It could also let slip tales of happy fishermen and kiwi holiday makers that frequent this coast in modern times. But you must discover and experience this journey for yourself, it is not for us to give away one of Northland’s best kept secrets. Just be sure to have fun, we won’t tell anyone.

Download: Secret Coast Route – Russell - Helena Bay

'Te Ara Coast to Coast'

Te Ara, the pathway, from the Pacific Ocean to the Tasman Sea has arguably seen more early human history recorded than any other journey in the land. 

From the time of Kupe’s naming of the Hokianga Harbour (Kaitaki o Te Wahapu o Hokianga Nui a Kupe) over 800 years ago, through to the largest signings of the Treaty of Waitangi at either end of this journey, this well used pathway, portage and set of roads has provided a dependable connection between two very different coastlines.

Magnificent sunrises in the east are matched by superb sunsets in the west - only 88 km away - but the tides are different, the coastlines are different and the relaxed towns of the Hokianga are a contrast to the busier towns of Paihia and Russell on the edge of the Bay of Islands.

Download: Te Ara Coast to Coast - from Hokianga - Kaikohe - Bay of islands