Northlands Best Summer Getaways
Northland New Zealand is a wonderful area for getting away from Whangarei for awhile and enjoying other locations within the country. Regardless of where you travel in Northland, you are always 40 kilometres from the coast where you find stunning beaches, secluded coves and amazing sights filled with exciting and fun activities.
Bay of Islands
Relax in the sun on the beach, charter a yacht or consider paddling a kayak and explore the islands in the bay. You might have the chance to see a pod of dolphins playing in local waters. Venture to Otehei Bay on Urupukapuka Island and visit the historic Maori Pa locations. Embark on the archaeological tour. A mere 10-minute climb brings guests face-to-face with spectacular 360-degree views of the many landforms found throughout the bay.
Enjoy the scenic surroundings while catching a quick meal at the local bar and cafe. Motuarohia or Roberton Island is accessible from Paihia or Russell. The location remains one of the most photographed destinations in the Bay area. Explore the island and all it has to offer on the Motuarohia Island track.
Considered one of the country’s most historic destinations, Wiatangi was the site of the 1840 treaty signing. On the Treaty Grounds, guests are welcome to tour the Maori Meeting House and the Treaty House. See the massive Maori waka war canoe and browse the exhibits in the gallery. Guided tours of the location area available. Take the time to enjoy a cultural Maori performance or attend a concert of traditional music.
Golf enthusiasts might journey to the nearby Waitangi Course to play a few rounds amidst the amazing landscape that features oceanfront views. Indulge in a leisurely walk to Haruru Falls and become mesmerised by the power of the cascading water.
The destination is the ideal getaway for anyone who loves history and nature. Kerikeri is the place to visit when in the mood to browse through art galleries, visit quaint vineyards and sample unique foods. Local history evolves around Maori chief Hongi Hika who was feared by many tribes throughout the region during the beginning of the 1800s. On the other hand, the complex leader extended a warm welcome to Samuel Marsden who established a mission here. Learn about local history by touring the Kerikeri Mission House, which was constructed by John Butler in 1821. The Mission Store dates back to 1832.
Have lunch at one of the outdoor cafes, enjoy handmade chocolate or learn more about the skincare items made with all natural, locally sourced ingredients. Play golf, tennis or go yachting. Fans of nature should make a point of visiting Rainbow Falls. Stroll along the boardwalk path in the Puketi Forest and enjoy the sights that include the unusual kauri trees.
Paihia lies just three hours north of Auckland and is considered the gem of the Bay. From the wharf, guests have the opportunity to go on dolphin or whale-watching safaris. Explore the paradise and history of Urupukapuka and see the Bay’s famous “hole in the rock” at Cape Brett. Northland New Zealand guests might also opt to join a boat trip to visit some of the more than 100 islands off the coast. As you take in the views, experienced guides provide fascinating information about the area, which includes local tales and captivating stories of days gone by.
Travel to the cape where the Pacific Ocean and the Tasman Sea meet. The convergence creates an awe-inspiring swirl of ocean currents. According to Maori legend, this is the spot where the spirits take their final journey into the afterlife. Along the northern tip stands the majestic pohutukawa tree, which is believed to be more than 800 years old. It is here where the deceased are thought to leap into the sea and make their way home to Hawaiki.
Many also enjoy trekking the paved walkway to the Cape Reinga lighthouse. Escape the heat by journeying through the Aupouri Forest and perhaps encounter the native, wild horses. Tours leave Paihia daily toward the cape where Maori history comes to life.
The now elegant community was called the “hell hole of the Pacific” thanks to the infamous history of sailors, traders and whalers who established the town. Today, Russell is renowned for being a game fishing port. Broad bill, kingfish, marlin, sharks and tuna are some of the many species often caught on deep sea fishing excursions. Here, anglers find a vast fleet of charter boats commandeered by capable captains and crews.
Take a tour of Christ Church, the oldest house of worship in New Zealand and witness the scars made by musket balls during the 1845 skirmish. Stop in at the earthen Pompallier mission, which was built from local soil. See the hand-printed Maori bibles. Enjoy an evening meal at one of the waterfront cafes and restaurants while gazing at the setting sun. Unwind by having an ale at the country’s oldest pub.