Hokianga Harbour

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Hokianga Harbour

© Northland Inc

More than 1000 years ago Kupe and his people were the first to arrive in NZ landing on the shores of Hokianga Harbour.

No mean feat, as the taniwha (sea monsters) who guard the entrance to the harbour still, to this day, stir up the waters with their lashing tails.

The area was also one of the first points of Maori and European contact. In 1838 Bishop Pompallier held the first Catholic service near Motuti and the second largest gathering to sign the Treaty of Waitangi was at the Mangungu Wesleyan Mission.

The stunning views over the harbour have changed little since those days. No gaudy houses line the shores; waka still traverse the waters, joined by game fishing enthusiasts, historical harbour cruises and a water taxi, ferrying the adventurous over for a thrilling sand toboggan ride down the giant 180m golden sand dunes.

Life takes on a slower, more laid back pace in the Hokianga – helped along by the warmth and hospitality of the locals.

The landscape slowly transposes into another era along the road from Bay of Islands to Hokianga. Dotted with little white churches (which are characteristic of the north), and picturesque old buildings tenanted only by the horses grazing in the quiet countryside. Driving past young local kids, sometimes three a horse and riding bareback.