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Top 5 Things To Do In Northland

Russell
Hokianga
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Top 5 Things To Do In Northland

story by: Tom Ricketts

Northland stretches pretty much from the northern extent of Auckland’s urban sprawl, all the way up to Cape Reinga and North Cape. This long thin stretch of land is home to beautiful coastal scenery, small rural towns and a very long history. There’s regular flights to Whangarei, Kerikeri and Kaitaia (until May) on Air New Zealand. What’s to do when you’re there? Here’s out top five...

Russell and the Bay of Islands
The jewel in Northland’s crown is undoubtedly the Bay of Islands. The Bay of Islands is a large harbour with a long winding coastline home to several towns, namely Kerikeri, Paihia and Russell. Some of our earliest European and Maori history is concentrated here, particularly in Russell, our first capital city, and of course the Waitangi Treaty Grounds. There’s many historic buildings and sites to explore, not to mention immense coastal beauty with a multitude of islands, inlets and beaches to see.

Cape Reinga
Although not actually the northernmost tip of mainland New Zealand, Cape Reinga is the spiritual end of New Zealand. Known as the ‘leaping off place of spirits’ by Maori, it’s also a very sacred place and its lighthouse sure makes it a picturesque spot.

Hokianga
Although only located an hour west of the Bay of Islands, Hokianga couldn’t be more different. You won’t find the glitzy hotels, pumping bars and restaurants, or busloads of tourists here. Instead you have a small sleepy Kiwi town quietly sitting on the shores of a beautiful harbour. Throw in an awesome Kiwi pub and huge sand dunes for sandboarding, you’ve got yourself a perfect weekend away destination.

Waipoua Forest
Just south of Hokianga the road winds and weaves it way through the mighty Waipoua Forest, home to Tane Mahuta. ‘The Lord of the Forest’ is the largest kauri tree known to exist and thought to be up to 2,500 years old. Many other giant kauri live in the forest and are easily accessible via short walks.

Poor Knights Islands
Located just 23 kilometres off the coast near Whangarei lay the Poor Knights Islands. The islands are home to some rare birds and tuatara, but it’s what’s underneath the water that people come to see. Often voted amongst the top diving sites in the world, the Poor Knight Islands Marine Reserve is home to some of the most unique species of coral, fish and other sea life not found anywhere else in the world. 
 
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