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Northland

Haere Mai/Welcome to Northland, one of the main regions in New Zealand that positively yells ROAD TRIP. This sub-tropical region, stretching from north of Auckland all the way to the New Zealand’s most northern tip, is one of New Zealand’s wildest and most beautiful. The brooding west coast contrasts magnificently with the peace and beauty of the east coast’s white-sanded beaches. Through mighty forests of kauri, through the birthplace of a nation, through chic little towns, Northland has it all!

Sightseeing:

  • Of course, your road trip must take in the dramatic tip of New Zealand: Cape Reinga – where two oceans collide. And New Zealand’s biggest and oldest tree, Tane Mahuta. Historic Waitangi – the birthplace of a nation – and the aquatic wonderland that is the Poor Knights Islands – world famous above and below the water.
  • Here’s the thing about Northland – beaches, beaches, and yet more beautiful beaches! They are everywhere, so pack your sunscreen and your beach towel, get into your Pegasus rental car, and get exploring!
  • Spirits Bay is breath taking. Drive down from Cape Reinga, have a swim, and stroll the magical coastline. Then (just to mention a few) there’s Whale Bay, Oakura Bay, Smugglers Cove. White sand, black sand, (the sand at Lang’s Beach has a pink hue!), massive breakers, or sheltered, postcard-beautiful bays. Northland’s beaches are truly some of the most amazing on earth.
  • A short drive from Waitangi and you’re in Keri Keri. Boutique vineyards, excellent restaurants, an amazing chocolate factory… not to mention stunning waterfalls, friendly townsfolk, and Parrot Place – home to three hundred colourful, noisy parrots from all over the world!

Activities:

  • There’s body-surfing, snorkelling or fishing at Matapouri: white sand and emerald green water forty-five minutes drive from Whangarei. Walk the coastal track to Whale Bay, or just buy an ice cream, sink your toes into the sand and chill out at, yes, another immaculate Northland beach!
  • Northland has some of New Zealand’s best walks. Thirty minutes drive from Whangarei and you’re at the base of Mt Manaia – see kaka, tui, kereru, and many more of New Zealand’s famous native birds. It’s a steep climb, but the views are more than worth it!
  • Peach Cove – just on from Mt Manaia is another remarkable bush walk. At three hours return you’ll need a bit of fitness to enjoy breath-taking sea-views, an abundance of native birds, and a romantic little cove thick with flowering pohutukawa.
  • Take the ferry from Paihia to Russell, get a seat on the deck of the Duke of Edinburgh, Russell’s famous beachside pub, and settle back to watch the sunset with your favourite tipple.

Eating and drinking:

  • TopSail – right on the edge of the Whangarei Harbour, TopSail combines fine-dining with down-to-earth, friendly service. Book well ahead and be sure to arrive hungry!
  • Mangonui fish and chips – one of New Zealand’s very best fish and chip shops in the most idyllic setting you can imagine. Choose from a wide-range of line-caught fresh-as fish – get a glass of wine or beer and savour a Kiwi classic.
  • Speaking of wine, Northland is home to some great vineyards and some great vineyard restaurants. Carrington Winery – five minutes from Matai Bay, another stunning beach – combines sumptuous food with brilliant New Zealand wines, and Marsden Estate in Keri Keri – home of the delicious Black Rocks chardonnay – are two of the best. The highest standard of food, wine and service, against Northland’s beautiful landscape. What’s not to love?!