Turn right for
an excursion to picturesque Pakiri beach - allow time for a horse trek, swim
or walk on the beach.
Back on the main
highway, follow the Twin Coast Discovery Highway out to Mangawhai. Discover
stunning beaches and take a break at one of the many stylish cafes.
heritage trail on foot or by car - or follow the coast road south to Waipu
Cove, a popular surf beach.
Return to SH1 via
Waipu and continue on to another stunning surf beach at Ruakaka. Take a break
from driving and check out New Zealand's only oil refinery at Marsden Point.
Back on SH1 continue
on to Northland's only city, Whangarei - the Town Basin is the place to go
for eating and entertainment.
Explore the many
walkways at Whangarei Falls, just 5km from the city centre.
71km - 1hr
Leaving Whangarei turn right at Kamo and head for the coast. There are some
stunning beaches and towns at Ngunguru, Tutukaka and Matapouri.
Continue in the same direction past more beautiful coastline, and turn right
towards the inlet coastal town of Whananaki.
The more adventurous might want to head back onto SH1 briefly, before taking
the next right past Whakapara and down to the coastal town of Whangaruru .
If you continue on SH1, you can visit the caves and glow worms at Waiomio
then enjoy a comfort stop at Kawakawa's famous Hundertwasser toilets - well
worth every penny spent, so to speak.
From the seaside town of Paihia you can catch a cruise, go game fishing, swim
with dolphins or paddle a sea kayak. A good overnight side-trip is to do the
Cape Brett Walkway, a good 7½ hour hike for experienced hikers.
Catch a ferry to the historic town of Russell - New Zealand's first capital
Paihia to Cape Reinga
223km - 3hrs 10mins
Take a ferry from
Paihia or travel by road to visit the Treaty House at Waitangi, one of New
Zealand's most significant historic sites.
From SH10 the historic
town of Kerikeri is a great place to have lunch and do some shopping with
superb cafés, art shops and fruit stalls. The Stone Store is worth
a visit and there are many other historic sites to explore.
Drive north on
SH10 to Whangaroa - a forgotten harbour with spectacular rock formations.
It's also a launching point for diving and fishing adventures.
Continue on to
the seaside settlements of Mangonui, Cooper's Beach and Cable Bay - a great
place to rest and discover the glorious beaches of Doubtless Bay.
At Awanui turn
right onto SH1 and drive to Te Kao. From here you can head to Ninety Mile
Beach - a great place to take in the power of the West Coast.
Back on SH1, continue
to our land's end - Cape Reinga. From the lighthouse you can watch the Tasman
Sea and Pacific Ocean collide in a distinct line stretching north
169km - 2hrs 25mins
Follow SH1 to Ohaeawai.
From here get on to SH12 and head to Ngawha Hot Springs for a therapeutic
soak in the mercurial waters.
Continue on to
Kaikohe and stop for some shopping or a bite to eat
Continue on to
Kohukohu where you can catch the car ferry across the Hokianga Harbour to
Drive along SH12
to Opononi and hit the sand hills for some dune-surfing.
For some fabulous
bush walks and the site of magnificent kauri trees, stop off at Waipoua Forest
- home to Tane Mahuta; or Trounson Kauri Park - a 450ha reserve that includes
a camping ground and guided night walks.
From SH12 take
an excursion to the freshwater dune lakes of Kai Iwi - a fantastic spot for
camping and swimming.
After a refreshing
break head to Dargaville - New Zealand's Kumara Capital and home to a rich
heritage of kauri logging, gumdigging, shipbuilding and shipwrecks.
is recommended that you have detailed road maps before departing on your trip