Journey deeper into the region by exploring via the Twin Coast Discovery Highway or the many cycle trails and walking tracks.
The Northland region starts one hour north of Auckland and extends through to Cape Reinga at the top of New Zealand’s North Island and has a number of significant New Zealand attractions such as the Bay of Islands, Cape Reinga, 90 Mile Beach, Tane Mahuta Kauri Tree and Waitangi ‘Birthplace of the Nation’.
DAY 1: Auckland - Opononi
- Travel across the river plain to Matakohe’s Kauri Museum and explore antique and craft shops in the villages of Maungaturoto and Paparoa
- Continue on to Dargaville and enjoy a rail car journey, visit NZ's longest drivable beach (Ripiro Beach), and stop off at the stunning Kai Iwi Lakes
- Discover the Waipoua Forest, home to Tane Mahuta, the Lord of the Forest
- Continue on to the Hokianga Harbour, where Maori first arrived in New Zealand, and look out for the giant sand dune
DAY 2: Opononi - Ahipara
- Make your way north through the fishing village of Rawene; stop off at the art galleries and enjoy a coffee at the Boatshed Café
- Take the car ferry to Kohukohu and journey through yester-year taking in rural New Zealand country-side on your way north to Ahipara.
Shipwreck Bay has many wrecks visible at low tide
- Close by is the Ahipara Gumfields Historic reserve and the remnants of ancient kauri forests. Ahipara is a popular camping spot
DAY 3: Kaitaia - Cape Reinga - Doubtless Bay
- Kaitaia is the main centre for the 'subtropical' north. From here you can arrange a coach tour to Cape Reinga or catch a bus trip along Ninety Mile Beach
- Make the trip to the Cape Reinga lighthouse (1.5 hours' drive from Awanui). The Cape is of great spiritual importance to Maori, who believe it is the jumping off point for the souls of their departed loved ones making their way back to their mythical homeland of Hawaiki.
- Head to the stunning Doubtless Bay and enjoy dinner at the Mangonui Fish Shop
DAY 4: Doubtless Bay - Kerikeri
- The road leading into Kerikeri is bordered by orchards – roadside stalls offer the chance to buy seasonal fruit
- Look for signs showing the way to artists’ studios – resident potters and painters have given this district a creative personality
- Explore Kerikeri's many galleries, cafes and vineyards, gourmet food shops, several golf courses and historic sites such as the Stone Store and the Mission House
- There are superb bush walks in the area – Rainbow Falls is a perfect picnic spot
DAY 5: Bay of Islands
- The resort towns of Paihia and Russell make an excellent base for exploring the Bay of Islands
- Catch a cruise to the outer islands, go on a dolphin swimming safari, or take a ferry between Paihia and Russell
- The historic Treaty House at Waitangi marks the beginning of New Zealand as a nation and features Te Kōngahu Museum of Waitangi, the Treaty House, the carved Meeting House and the world’s largest ceremonial war canoe
DAY 6: Bay of Islands - Whangarei
- Explore Northland’s largest city, Whangarei
- The Whangarei Heads scenic drive winds through pohutukawa fringed bays to where the road ends at the wild and beautiful Ocean Beach
- Mount Manaia towers 460m above the harbour entrance and its dramatic rock peaks are steeped in Maori legend
- Check out the Mermaid Pools in near Matapouri Beach or walk to picturesque Whale Bay and take a boat trip to the Poor Knights Islands – rated as one of the top ten dive sites in the world
DAY 7: Whangarei - Auckland
- Head back to Auckland via the coastal road. You will come across beach after beach along the Ruakaka, Waipu, Bream Bay and Mangawhai coastal environment.