On our way back from Hokianga Harbour to Auckland along SH 12 we made a detour to take a look at the Kai Iwi Lakes. Take the sign posted turn off near Kaihu, about 25 km's north of Dargaville and drive another 10 km's to the lakes.
The water of Kai Iwi Lakes (in a matter of fact there are three lakes: Waikare, Taharoa and Kai Iwi) is so crystal clear and has a wonderful turquoise colour. The lakes are surrounded by white beaches and pine forests. Kai Iwi Lakes are excellent for swimming, water skiing, sailing, kayaking & trout fishing. Surrounding Taharoa Domain has walking and mountain bike tracks. There is also a walkable access to the Tasman Sea.
Kai Iwi Lakes has two basic camping grounds and the area offers some accommodation.
Before getting to Mitimiti you have to drive a windy and hilly gravel road from Panguru. Here you can have a coffee or a lunch before entering a more or less deserted piece of the country.
Mitimiti is a small Maori community with about 30 families and is situated at the wild west coast of the Tasman Sea.
Just enjoy the wildness and quietness of this very remote spot. From Mitimiti you can visit the Warawara Forest and the sand hills at Hokianga Harbour. There are also some beaches.
The village of Mitimiti has a nice meeting house called Matihetihe, build around 1920.
Take the ferry in Rawene to Kohukohu and from there the road to Panguru, further to the west to Mitimiti.