Northland, at the top of the North Island in New Zealand, is blessed with spectacular coastal scenery, stunning beaches and forests and a rich history. Northland makes for a fantastic holiday destination for Kiwis or visitors from abroad. Northland is New Zealand’s warmest and only subtropical region - with warm summers and mild winters, this is the place to visit!
The East Coast of Northland has many charming aspects and attractions. The pristine beaches are white-sanded and tranquil, places of relaxation. Activities include arts & crafts, food & wine, walking trails, golf, swimming, sailing and diving.
To best experience all of Northland’s attractions drive the Twin Coast Highway, a comprehensive touring route along the Tasman and Pacific coasts.
The majority of Northland’s stunning coastline remains unspoilt. Whereas the East Coast is relatively sophisticated with white sandy beaches, a number of built-up areas with cafes, shops and amenities, the West Coast is rugged and mostly undeveloped.
East Coast - Tutukaka Coast, Whangarei Heads & Whangarei City
Stunning Tutukaka Coast is renowned for it's pristine beaches, game-fishing and as the gateway to The Poor Knights Islands - a marine reserve described by Jacques Cousteau as one of the "Top 10 diving locations in the world". With an array of white sandy beaches, stunning scenery, famous surf beaches, fantastic walks and some great cafes and restaurants, the Tutukaka Coast has something to offer everyone.Tutukaka is located around 20 minutes from SH1 and Whangarei city and is home to the well-renowned destinations of: Whale Bay, Ngunguru, Tutukaka Harbour, Matapouri Bay, Sandy Bay and Whangaumu.
The Poor Knights Islands are a protected marine and nature reserve which means plenty of fish for keen snorkelers and scuba divers to observe. Sightseeing tours are also available which offer a fascinating insight into the Maori history of the Islands and the opportunity to visit the magnificent Riko Riko cave, the World’s largest sea cave, sing a song and listen to the amazing acoustics. Dive trips and cruises depart on a daily basis from the Tutukaka Marina or you can bring your own boat. The Poor Knights Islands are located just over 25km from the Tutukaka Coast.
The city of Whangarei has plenty to do and is an excellent place to enjoy the Northland lifestyle. Sit at a quayside café and watch the yachts or visit New Zealand’s first Farmers’ Market on a Saturday morning and stock up on the freshest local food. Attractive walkways, local galleries, great restaurants and sub-tropical gardens are some of the highlights of Whangarei city. You can also see Kiwis at the Kiwi House and Museum, catch a movie or visit the famous Whangarei Falls whilst you are in town.
The Whangarei Heads are located on a peninsular east of Whangarei City. Attractive beaches, walkways and magestic Mt Manaia are some of the highlights of the area.
East Coast - Bream Bay
Bream Bay is a long white sandy stretch of coastline framed by dramatic headlands and the Hen and Chicken Islands and is a 30 minute drive South of Whangarei in Northland. Bream Bay offers a wonderful selection of beaches making it great for surfing and fishing. Ruakaka Beach, Historical Waipu, Marsden Cove and Marsden Point are some of the highlights of the Bream Bay area.
East Coast - Bay of Islands
In the beautiful Bay of Islands you can take a cruise, swim with dolphins, visit a local winery, soak up the sun or immerse yourself in Maori culture at the picturesque Waitangi Treaty Grounds. Paihia and Russell are waterfront villages with beaches and boat trips that depart regularly from their wharfs. Russell, New Zealand's first capital, has a strong heritage and quaint charm with historic buildings in an idyllic setting.
Kerikeri is only 20 minutes drive North of Paihia and is an attractive village surrounded by farrmland, wineries, orchards and artisans. Kerikeri is also home to historic Kerikeri Mission Station, the Stone Store, Rewa's Maori Village, Rainbow Falls and Puketi Forest. The village has a wide range of cafes and shops to keep you entertained as well as a cinema and theatre. The popular Bay of Islamds Farmers Market operates in the centre of Kerikeri every Sunday morning.
Far North - Doubtless Bay
Doubtless Bay is an attractive coastal region 1 hour north of the Bay of Islands. An ideal place to stay for a day trip to Cape Reinga and 90 Mile Beach. Attractive scenery, stunning beaches, the historic inner-harbour village of Mangonui and Karikari Peninsula (Carrington Golf Course and Karikari Estate Winery) and some of the reasons visitors love to stay in Doubtless Bay.
The Far North boasts some of New Zealand's most stunning coastal scenery. Doubtless Bay, Houhora, Cape Reinga, 90 Mile Beach and Whangaroa Harbour are some of the main locations to visit. For the adverturous, try fishing, horse-riding, blo-karts, bush walks, surfing and sand-boarding. For a more relaxed holiday enjoy walks along beaches, games or golf or wine tasting at a local winery.
West Coast - Waipoua Forest & Hokianga Harbour
If you drive north along the west coast, you’ll come across the magnificent Tane Mahuta, the tallest kauri tree in an area that was once covered in kauri. Exit the forest and you come to the Hokianga Harbour with its huge white sand dunes and quiet beach communities. Head to the northernmost tip, Cape Reinga, and watch the seas of the Pacific Ocean and Tasman Sea collide.