Road & Water Journeys

Explore by land and sea

An enjoyable half to full day of exploration awaits with each 50-150 kilometre journey. Plan your route around Northland by downloading free Journey maps before you arrive.

Northland, New Zealand is not just a place – it’s a ‘feeling’; one that honours history while savouring the moment and safeguarding the future. When you experience any or all of the ten road and one water-based Northland Journeys you’ll travel the paths of our ancestors, enthral in the beauty of a natural world and delight in a contemporary and thriving yet unspoiled region.

Spectacular yet diverse coastlines, marine reserves, kauri forests and two oceans that collide make Northland an unmissable and unforgettable destination with iconic attractions that are known around the world. But the Northland Journeys beckon you off the beaten track and on to roads less travelled and a journey of discovery. This unique set of superb and stunning touring routes tells the stories of our region and people, while revealing more of our favourite places and hidden gems.

Not to be hurried, each 50-150 kilometre journey will deliver an enjoyable half to full day or more of exploration depending on your pace. Traverse the untamed and dramatic Ancient Kauri Trail and travel the paths of the past when Wandering with Ancestors. Discover the majesty of Where Giants Gather; the towns and coastal routes of Into the Wide Blue Yonder and the history and contrasting coastlines of Te Ara Coast to Coast. Meander the Secret Coast Route; and revel in the magnificent beauty of All About Islands. Explore Te Hiku o te Ika-a-Māui, uncover Headlands and Hidden Harbours, and wander through The Welcoming Coast. Plan your route around Northland by downloading free Journey maps before you arrive.

Whether you live in Northland, have visited before or never been – ‘haere mai’, welcome. We know you find something special in the people, manaakitanga (hospitality), places and stories that live within the Northland Journeys.

The Twin Coast Discovery Highway is an 800km circular touring route which starts and finishes in Auckland and is ideal for self-drive visitors.

Auckland - Northland - Auckland

Twin Coast Discovery Highway

Journey deeper into the region by exploring via the Twin Coast Discovery Highway. Along the route are a number of iconic New Zealand attractions such as the Bay of Islands, Cape Reinga, Ninety Mile Beach, Tane Mahuta Kauri Tree and Waitangi ‘Birthplace of the Nation’.

About the Twin Coast Discovery Download map

Northland Journeys & Destinations

Discover the region

← Select 'Journeys' on the map to highlight each 50-150 km journey that will deliver an enjoyable half to full day of exploration. Plan your trip by downloading free Journey maps before you arrive.

← Select 'Destinations' on the map to highlight Northland's four subregions where every area - steeped in history and culture - has a story to tell.

Maungaturoto to Omapere

Ancient Kauri Trail

The seafaring history of Northland’s West Coast tells the stories of more than 150 ships, tossed from the unforgiving Tasman Sea and wrecked against the dunes and sandbars ...

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Hokianga - Kaikohe - Bay of islands

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 ...

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Russell - Helena Bay

The 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 ...

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Whangārei Falls - Tutukaka - Hikurangi

Into the Wide Blue Yonder

Start at Hikurangi and wind away from the rural township towards an expanse of turquoise waters, or leave from Whangarei, passing by picturesque orchards, native bush and historic drystone walls. This special journey follows a circular route with all roads leading to the Pacific Ocean ...

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Whangarei Town Basin - Whangarei Heads

Where Giants Gather

The peak of Mt Parihaka offers panoramic views of Whangarei, Northland’s largest city. Far below, the bustling, vibrant Town Basin Marina hugs the mouth of the Hatea River. A drive through Onerahi and out to Whangarei Heads will take you through a grand landscape of the giants of geology ...

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Bay of Islands

All About Islands

This Northland Journey celebrates the world-famous Bay of Islands (Ipipiri), with more than 140 islands to choose from ...

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Hokianga Harbour

Wandering with Ancestors

Step back in time to wander in the footsteps of our ancestors and discover the stories of the people that call this region home.

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Kerikeri - Doubtless Bay - Karikari

Headlands & Hidden Harbours

The Headlands and Hidden Harbours journey is the trail of hidden treasures, beautiful beaches and rocky outcrops, small coastal settlements and heritage towns.

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Ahiparapara - Kaitaia - Te Rerenga Wairua

Te Hiku o te Ika-a-Māui

A land of many names; The Far North, Top of the North, Muriwhenua, Te Hiku-o-te Ika-a-Māui is the furthest north you can go in Aotearoa New Zealand.

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Kaiwaka - Mangawhai - Waipū - Ruakākā

The Welcoming Coast

This journey is famous for its spectacular coastal views including protected islands, wide open beaches, stunning sunrises and friendly locals.

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Top of the North

With icons like Ninety Mile Beach and Cape Reinga, the very top of New Zealand offers breath-taking scenery and memorable experiences.

The sheer beauty of the top of New Zealand will astound you. Rangiputa is a tropical paradise with white sands and palm trees. Discover the pure quartz sand...

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Bay of Islands

As one of New Zealand’s most popular summer destinations, the breathtaking natural beauty and 144 islands makes for an idyllic aquatic playground.

From the picturesque towns of Paihia, Russell and Kerikeri, you can access almost all the Bay has to offer. Whilst boating, fishing and swimming...

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Kauri Coast & Hokianga

The west coast of Northland is home to ancient kauri forests, wild windswept harbours, giant sand dunes, historic country towns and an impressive 153 shipwreck sites.

This is a hauntingly beautiful area that stretches from Brynderwyn in the south to Hokianga in the north...

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Whangārei & Tutukaka Coast

A place of adventure, culture and natural beauty, Whangārei is known for its passionate people, stunning scenery and opportunities to connect with the land, sea and forest.

Whangārei is a thriving city with a vibrant arts community; quayside in the heart of the city is a popular haven for cruisin

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