Reviewed on 8 Aug. 2021
Reviewed on 8 Sep. 2021
Reviewed on 8 Jul. 2021
Encompassing two different coastlines, several offshore islands and huge swaths of forest, Northland offers a multitude of exciting outdoor adventures. This region is also the site of the earliest contact between the local Māori population and European settlers. Discover historic colonial-era towns and harbors shrouded in Māori legend.
Visit New Zealand's most important historical site, Waitangi, where a treaty was signed in the 19th century to form the country into a British colony. The Waitangi Treaty Grounds have a replica of a Māori meeting house and war canoe, and host regular live traditional dance performances.
Outdoor opportunities abound in New Zealand’s Northland. Surf at the beautiful beaches of Mangawhai and try horse trekking on the sands of Pakiri. The calm waters of Whangaroa Harbour and Matauri Bay are popular spots for fishing and diving.
Drive to the Bay of Islands, a collection of 144 islands offering secluded beaches and a whole host of water-based activities. Go swimming with dolphins, fishing or kayaking. Walk to the horseshoe-shaped Haruru Falls, or explore the charming port town of Russell, home to New Zealand’s first capital.
Tour the country’s oldest European buildings, the Stone Store and Mission House in Kerikeri. Head to the Aroha Island Eco Park to see kiwi birds in their natural habitat.
Take a coach tour along Ninety-Mile Beach up to the northernmost point of the country. Here, find Cape Reinga Lighthouse overlooking the point where the Tasman Sea and Atlantic Ocean meet. Surf down the sand dunes of Opononi on a bodyboard or hike through the Waipoua Forest to see one of the largest kauri trees in the world, said to be around 2,000 years old.
Fly into Auckland Airport and then take a connecting flight to Whangarei or Kerikeri. Alternatively, rent a car and drive from Auckland the journey takes around 3 hours. Self-drive around Northland to see the region’s best sites, but be aware that some highways charge toll fees.
Northland’s subtropical landscape is the setting for history, dramatic scenery and amazing wildlife.