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A subtropical wonderland of islands, marine life, kauri forests and Maori myths and legends, Northland is an incredible place to visit.
1 | Explore the Waitangi Treaty Grounds.
Walk through the historic Waitangi Treaty Grounds where you can be challenged by Maori warriors, admire the giant waka (Maori war canoe) and expansive views over the Pacific Ocean before enjoying a hearty meal cooked in a hangi (earth oven). Discover fascinating exhibitions and state-of-the-art learning spaces at Te Kōngahu - Museum of Waitangi.
2 | Discover the Poor Knights Islands.
Just offshore from Tutukaka lies the Poor Knights Islands – a mecca of diverse fish life, colourful underwater plants and rocky volcanic outcrops. Go snorkeling or diving with Dive! Tutukaka, or explore via stand up paddle-board.
3 | Surf down the Te Paki Sand Dunes.
Near the tip of Northland’s Cape Reinga are the Te Paki Sand Dunes, the largest of their kind in the Southern Hemisphere. While the climb to the top is a challenge, it’s made all worth it with the adrenaline rush of surfing down them via boogie board.
4 | Enjoy a drink at the Duke of Marlborough in Russell.
A short ferry ride from Paihia, Russell a charming seaside town steeped in early New Zealand history. The country’s first capital, Russell is home to the Duke of Marlborough pub & restaurant — which holds New Zealand’s first liquor license. Enjoy a glass of New Zealand wine while overlooking views of the bay.
5 | See dolphins in the wild.
The Bay of Islands is a haven for marine life. Home to 144 unique islands as well as dolphins, whales and an abundance of fish life, it’s the perfect place to view playful marine mammals in their natural habitat via a dolphin cruise.
6 | Step into the domain of the Kauri giants.
Stroll through the lush Waipoua Forest to stand face to face with Tane Mahuta — the ‘Lord of the Forest’ and the world’s largest Kauri tree. The forest is dotted with these ancient trees; embark on a tour with Footprints Waipoua and hear fascinating stories and chants handed down through generations.
7 | Explore the sights of Cape Reinga.
The Tasman Sea meets the mighty Pacific Ocean at Cape Reinga, the northernmost tip of New Zealand. Steeped in Maori legend with mighty views, it's a must-see when in New Zealand. Tours are operated by a number of companies, including Fullers GreatSights.
8 | Take on the Twin Coast Cycle Trail.
Soak up the sun by peddle power as you explore old historic settlements, coastal views, lush forests and fascinating cultural sights on the Twin Coast Cycle Trail, stretching from the Bay of Islands' east coast to the Hokianga Harbour in the west.
9 | Speed along Ninety Mile Beach.
Ninety Mile Beach is a seemingly never-ending stretch of sand stretching along the western tip of the North Island. Officially a highway, the best way to explore the beach is by guided coach tour from Kaitaia or Paihia.
This destination is one of our favourites for active holidays here in New Zealand. To see more, check out our active holidays here.
Experience more of the Bay of Islands & Northland.
Top experiences in Southland.
Top experiences in Fiordland.