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Northland Attractions

Whangarei's Mount Parahaki, once the site of New Zealand's largest Maori pa (fort), has sign-posted walks and panoramic views of the city and harbour.

Only a 15-minute drive from Whangarei's city centre, A H Reed Memorial Kauri Park is a magnificent remnant of the original kauri forests that once covered much of Northland. A canopy walkway provides you with a bird’s-eye view of the forest.

Don't forget your camera when you visit Whangarei Falls, 5km northeast of Whangarei. The falls are regarded as the most photogenic in New Zealand.

An eastern detour heading north from Whangarei leads to the Tutukaka Coast where you will discover Matapouri, Whale Bay and Sandy Bay; some of the finest beaches to be found anywhere. Tutukaka is a base for diving trips to the world-renowned Poor Knights Island Marine Reserve.

From Paihia wharf cruise the Bay of Islands – Northland’s Maritime Park, hop aboard a dolphin-encounter cruise, or catch a passenger ferry to Russell, New Zealand’s first capital.

Location of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi between Maori Chiefs and the British Crown in 1840, the Waitangi Treaty Grounds are one of New Zealand’s most historic sites. An ornate Maori meeting house and waka (war canoe) are highlights.

Haruru Falls is a popular attraction for sightseers, swimmers and kayakers alike. The water falls in a horseshoe shape, which is not only rare, but quite spectacular. You can walk to the falls through the Waitangi National Reserve (3 hours return) or drive.

Kerikeri has two of New Zealand’s oldest standing European buildings – the Kerikeri Mission Station – Kemp House, an elegant wooden house built 1821-22 and the Stone Store built 1832-36.
Matauri Bay is a beautiful beach known as the final resting place of the Greenpeace ship, Rainbow Warrior. The ship is just offshore near Motukawaiti Island. At Matauri Bay climb to the top of the historic pa (fort) site of Ngati Kura and look out to the Cavalli Islands.

Whangaroa Harbour is an area of unspoilt beauty with amazing rock formations and regenerating bush. Its beauty is best appreciated from the water or walk to the summit of St Pauls rock for a fantastic view.

Coopers Beach, Cable Bay and the other beaches in the Doubtless Bay area are known for their golden sand beaches, shady pohutukawa trees and great fishing.

Travel along Ninety Mile Beach (New Zealand’s longest beach) to the lighthouse and watch the Tasman Sea and the Pacific Ocean collide at Cape Reinga. (A tour from Kaitaia is recommended.)
Follow the trail of historic buildings and sites in Rawene, Kohukohu and Horeke, NZ’s second-oldest European settlement. The trail may be followed by car or boat.

The twisting and beautiful Hokianga Harbour faces giant sand dunes and includes the beach resorts of Omapere and Opononi. Opononi is famous as the home of Opo (1955-56), the friendly dolphin who used to let children ride on her back. She is commemorated with a statue.

Three quarters of the remaining kauri trees in New Zealand are in Waipoua Forest. New Zealand’s largest kauri, and tallest tree at 51m, is Tane Mahuta (Lord of the Forest) which can be seen just a few minutes’ walk from the road.

Established as a mainland island with an extensive pest control programme, Trounson Kauri Park has guided night walks that take you through the forest where there are kiwi, weta, glow-worms and more.

Pristine white sands, pine forest and rolling green countryside surround the crystal waters of the three freshwater lakes known as the Kai Iwi Lakes. They are popular for anyone who likes water sports.

Just south of Dargaville, Tokatoka Peak and Maungaraho Rock give amazing expansive views and take 20 and 30 minutes to climb respectively.

Explore a forever-changing landscape at Kaipara Harbour, New Zealand’s largest harbour. Difficult to sail into, the harbour is guarded by a treacherous bar and an enormous wall of sand on each side of the entrance.