Fun things to do in Northland

  • The Bay's Yellow Submarine!
    The Bay's Yellow Submarine!
    by dustmon
  • Our tour
    Our tour
    by balhannah
  • Stone store, St. James church & Mission House
    Stone store, St. James church & Mission...
    by balhannah

Most Viewed Things to Do in Northland

  • vtveen's Profile Photo

    more than a lighthouse and a signpost

    by vtveen Updated May 23, 2006

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    (not really) New Zealand’s most northerly point with a lighthouse and the famous signpost with the distances to a couple of cities far away.

    Wonderful view over both Tasman Sea and the Pacific Ocean and Columbia bank where both waters meet each other. And far far away The Three Kings Islands.

    If you are travelling by car, try to be here before all the tour buses are arriving and the quietness is disturbed by lots of tourist, making noise and pictures. We arrived at 11.00 am and we counted exactly five cars on the car park !!

    Cape Reinga is signposted in Kaitaia and you have to drive 110km through a very scenic road with great views both right and left. Waitiki Landing is the last place for a coffee for yourself and petrol for your car. The last 21 km's to Cape Reinga is a gravel road, so you will have more time to look around and enjoy the impressive scenery.

    Cape Reinga
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  • vtveen's Profile Photo

    a Dutch cape............

    by vtveen Updated Feb 27, 2006

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    Lovely view on Te Werahi Beach, Cape Maria van Diemen and Motuopao Island. Near the parking lot is a trail that goes off to the West, about two miles long down to this large mostly empty beach. The beach itself is amazing.

    Cape Maria van Diemen is called after the wife of Governor-General Antonio van Diemen of the Dutch Indies. It was Abel Tasman, a Dutchman, who discovered New Zealand in 1642.

    Cape Maria van Diemen
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    Walking to ninety mile beach

    by vtveen Updated Jan 2, 2007

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    On your way back from Cape Reinga turn right at Te Paki and drive about 4 or 5 km's till a car park. Here ends the road for rental cars, because they are not allowed on 'the beach'. Just opposite the car park you will find some huge sand dunes.

    Do you want to see the famous beach, you will have to walk, as we did. A very impressive walk through the Te Paki Stream: to your right the yellow dunes for miles and miles, to your left green native bush, the sun on your face and under your feet the nice cold water of the stream. Perhaps you will see people sand boarding on the huge steep dunes.

    It is for sure: the only 'things' you will meet are buses and on the beach a lot of birds. A very great experience !!
    ( It will take about 2 hours for the return walk.)

    walking through Te Paki Stream Te Paki: native bush and sand dunes Te Paki dunes made for sand boarding Ninety mile beach near Te Paki Stream
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    Hourora Heads

    by stevezero Written Mar 8, 2005

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    Houhora Heads is situated near Far North Road which links Cape Reinga and Kaitaia. It is home to a local museum and golf-course, with bus tours from the Bay of Plenty to Cape Reinga using it as a halfway stop. Game-fishing is popular all-year-round, with access to Houhora Harbour.

    Hourora Heads
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    The Stone Store, Kerikeri

    by stevezero Written Mar 8, 2005

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    The Stone Store, Kerikeri, was the earliest stone building constructed by Europeans when it was built in 1832.
    Designed by Wesleyan missionary John Hobbs and built by an ex-convict stonemason from New South Wales, the Store was meant to house New Zealand mission supplies and large quantities of wheat from the mission farm at Te Waimate. When the wheat failed the building was mainly leased as a kauri gum trading store. It then passed into Kemp family ownership, and from 1929 onwards was used mainly as a general store.
    It is now in the hands of the new Zealand historic trust.

    The Stone Store, Kerikeri
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  • vtveen's Profile Photo

    Hokianga - Golden Dunes

    by vtveen Updated Feb 22, 2006

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    Opononi and Omapere:
    Just two little towns at the beautiful Hokianga Harbour. Opononi is famous for 'Opo', a dolphin who lived in the harbour in 1955. It is also starting point for a visit to the huge sand dunes on the other side of the harbour.

    Great views on these 'golden dunes' from a look-out called: Arai-Te-Uru. Accesible from a car park at the end of the Signal Station Road near Omapere.

    Golden Dunes, seen from Opononi Sand Dunes at Hokianga Harbour, seen from Omapere Hokianga Harbour near Koutu beach Omapere Near Kouto Beach
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  • vtveen's Profile Photo

    driving on ninety mile beach

    by vtveen Updated Mar 25, 2006

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    Driving with a rental car it is not allowed on ninety mile beach. But we could not resist the challenge.
    We went on the beach near Waipapakauri and went off in Ahipara (we just had some trouble to find the onramp). So we made our 17 kilometers on a ninety mile 'beach high way'.

    Although we didn't have any difficulties driving the beach it CAN be very dangerous.
    Before driving Ninety Mile Beach please read the transportation tips of VT-member 'kotitihaere' on her Ninety Mile Beach page.

    ready for take off
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  • stevezero's Profile Photo

    Kemp House

    by stevezero Written Mar 8, 2005

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    Kemp House is the oldest standing European house in New Zealand. it is situated in the small town of Kerikeri.
    Built to house the Rev. John Butler in 1821-22, this simple but elegant wooden house was occupied by the Clarke family from 1824-31, and then by James and Charlotte Kemp and their descendants until 1974, when the house and most of its contents were presented to the Historic Places Trust. The garden, first dug in 1820 and cultivated ever since, recalls this mission period.

    Kemp House, Kerikeri
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    Rewa's Village

    by stevezero Written Mar 8, 2005

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    Of course the Maoris were in the Kerikeri area long before the Europeans ever were.
    Rewa's village is a full size replica of an ancient maori settlement, which stands on the hill overlooking Kerikeri.
    Maori setllements were long built on hillside locations for protection from attack.

    Rewa's Village, Kerikeri
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  • vtveen's Profile Photo

    Kerikeri - historic sites

    by vtveen Updated Mar 24, 2006

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    Kerikeri has a subtropical climate as you will notice on the kind of fruit you can buy everywhere along the road.

    It is a rather quiet town without the hustle and bustle of Paihia. But it has some nice old buildings, all situated around Kerikeri Basin. There you will find:
    - Kerikeri Mission House (Kemp House): the oldest wooden building in New Zealand. It was the second European mission and was build in 1819.
    - Stone Store: one of the oldest brick buildings in New Zealand. First it was part of Kemp House, but later on became a shop, where you now can buy 'off the beaten path' souvenirs.
    - St. James Church on a hill overlooking the basin with a lot of kauri wood inside.

    Over the bridge is Rewa's Village, a reconstructed Maori village.

    Not far away from Kerikeri lies Rainbow Falls. Through a scenic drive you will get to Opito Bay; take the track to an old 'pa site' and your reward is a great view over the Bay of Islands.

    Kerikeri is a must if you like chocolate and you have to visit the local chocolate factory.

    Stone Store: before entering the little museum The Basin St. James Church
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  • stevezero's Profile Photo

    Bay of Islands

    by stevezero Written Mar 8, 2005

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    The Bay of Islands is now a centre for big game fishing, having been made famous by American writer Zane Grey who fished here.
    It is now also a centre for cruises of the area, which is the site of some of the earliest Europen settlements. There is also a lot of Maori history in the area.

    Bay of Islands, Northland
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    Waitangi Treaty House

    by stevezero Written Mar 9, 2005

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    The house where the Waitangi Treaty was signed still remains and can be visited. The Treaty of Waitangi, first signed here in 1840 between Maori Chiefs and the British Crown became the basis for life in New Zealand as we know it today.

    Waitangi Treaty House
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  • stevezero's Profile Photo

    Sheepworld

    by stevezero Written Mar 9, 2005

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    Heading back south to Auckland we visited Sheepworld.Here you can experience everything to with, well, sheep.
    There are demonstrations of shearing, dog handling, etc, Best of all you can get in close and feed the sheep themselves.

    Sheepworld
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  • kiwiwahine's Profile Photo

    Ahipara - Ninety Mile Beach

    by kiwiwahine Written Jun 4, 2003

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    At the bottom of Ninety Mile Beach, a sleepy little seaside town just west of Kaitaia. A great place to spend summer days, fishing, swimming, digging pipis or gathering paua. Take a walk inland, swimming in the rivers and water falls and gather blackberries. You can do a sand dune safari on one of the four wheel drive buses based in Kaitaia or take a day trip up to the Cape. Alternately travel overland on winding roads through fertile farm land to Mongonui stopping to have a look at the glow worm caves on the way.

    Ninety Mile Beach

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  • Kakapo2's Profile Photo

    On the Twin Coast Discovery Highway, Part 1

    by Kakapo2 Updated Dec 18, 2010

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    You can see nearly everything and miss a lot when you travel in Northland, depending on how much time you can spend at this narrow stretch of rugged land north of Auckland.

    The best way to see as much as possible is to travel on the Twin Coast Discovery Highway which in fact is three highways, with many possible detours to no-exit locations which cost time but are always worth the trip because you get to places of extraordinary beauty.

    It does not matter which way round you travel. You are individual enough to work out your own way. I have once done a whole Northland trip without, of course, seeing everything. On another trip we drove to the gannet colony at Muriwai Beach and to South Head, on the Kaipara Harbour, which is north-west of Auckland. And on a third trip we were based in the Bay of Islands, went into detail along the coast north of Paihia and back to Waipoua Forest - and found out that you do not miss a thing if you do not travel on the inland road from Whangarei to Kaikohe. We had thought the name Twin Bridges sounded promising and drove for hours on gravel roads through the Marlborough Forest - but it was just nothing.

    A suggested route:

    North on SH1 along Whangaparaoa Bay and Mahurangi Harbour - Waiwera (Hot Springs) - Warkworth - a day or two to explore this area with lots of bays and capes. We had a fabulous stay at the end of a road in Algies Bay, made a trip on the mail boat to Kawau Island, drove to the wine country around Matakana and Cape Rodney. (Also check out the separate tip about Matakana and its spectacular public toilets.) From Leigh you can walk around the rocks and in low tide to Goat Island. - Further up to Wellsford.

    We then chose to travel west on SH 12 because there are some Kauri Museums, so we would learn about the north before visiting all those interesting places: Matakohe Kauri Museum, then along the Wairoa Habour to Dargaville (Northern Wairoa Maori, Maritime and Pioneer Museum, Kauri in all its facets, Rainbow Warrior propeller etc.). - Detour to Baylys Beach.

    --- continues with Part 2, next tip, or just click... ----

    (Sorry for splitting this tip up - this is from the times when the maximum for a VT tip was 2000 characters.)

    Related to:
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    • Historical Travel

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Northland Hotels

See all 170 Hotels in Northland

Top Northland Hotels

Whangarei Hotels
66 Reviews - 86 Photos
Paihia Hotels
121 Reviews - 279 Photos
Bay of Islands Hotels
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Waipapakauri Hotels
4 Reviews - 5 Photos
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Tutukaka Hotels
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Russell Hotels
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Omapere Hotels
22 Reviews - 76 Photos
Matauri Bay Hotels
5 Reviews - 15 Photos
Mangonui Hotels
3 Reviews - 3 Photos
Kerikeri Hotels
9 Reviews - 50 Photos
Kaiwaka Hotels
1 Review - 1 Photo
Houhora Hotels
9 Reviews - 14 Photos
Dargaville Hotels
4 Reviews - 10 Photos
Cape Reinga Hotels
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Northland Things to Do

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