Northland is a stunning holiday destination located in the North Island of New Zealand. Northland is brimming with islands, coastal escapes, stunning forestry and wonders of nature everywhere.
Sandwiched between the Tasman Sea and the Pacific Ocean, Northland is known for its idyllic coastal landscapes. You'll also find ancient rainforests, waterfalls and fascinating historic architecture.
Cape Reinga is the northernmost point of New Zealand. Walk up to the lighthouse and take in expansive panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean and the Tasman Sea as they merge. From this unique vantage point you can also sight the famous pohutukawa tree where, it is said, Maori spirits depart on their journey to their final resting place.
A trip to the Cape would not be complete without making the journey up or back along spectacular Ninety Mile Beach, regarded by many to be one of the best surfcasting beaches in the world.
If you take a coach tour you will enter or exit the beach at Te Paki Stream, where many visitors stop to sand-surf the giant sand dunes that signal access to the beach. You might be lucky enough to sight some of the many wild horses that live in the area. You should also try to see the Aupouri Forest and feel the delicious silicone sands of Rarawa Beach between your toes.
The Poor Knights Islands, lying just 24 kilometres off the coast of Tutukaka, are often referred to as one of the world's top dive locations. Spectacular water clarity and warm subtropical currents provide a rich, varied and abundant sea life. Underwater caves, tunnels and archways are home to an extraordinary variety of seaweeds and friendly, colourful fish.
Dive trips depart Tutukaka daily. If you'd prefer a wreck dive, check out the sunken ex-frigates 'Tui' and 'Waikato' located just offshore from Tutukaka.
Head for the summit of Mount Parahaki, the highest point in the city. It was once the site of the largest Maori Pa (fortified village) in New Zealand. The excavations are still visible and interpretation of the area is provided at the site, which can be accessed by a pleasant walk through native forest from the summit.
Quayside at the Town Basin is a sophisticated, yet leisurely centre for eating and entertainment. Modern landscaping blends perfectly with colonial architecture to create a gathering place for locals, visiting travellers and yachties from all over the world. As well as stylish cafes and restaurants, there are museums, art galleries and specialty shops.
At Whangarei Falls, you can see the waterfall that's often called the 'most photogenic waterfall in New Zealand'. Drive further to Whangarei Heads and the Bream Head Scenic Reserve for outstanding walks and panoramic coastal and harbour views.
Of all Northland's kauri forests, none is more famous than the Waipoua Forest—the home of the Lord of the Forest—Tane Mahuta, 1,250 years old and still growing.
Other forests to visit include Trounson Kauri Park, Omahuta, Kaihu, Waima, Warawara, Herekino, Tangihua, and Puketi. They all have Department of Conservation maintained walking tracks of varying difficulties and lengths, and each has its own spectacular attractions that truly get you into the heart of New Zealand flora and fauna.
There are also a number of fantastic coastal walking tracks in Northland. Free-walk or take a guide.
Drive to the charming historical township of Waipu, bursting with Scottish heritage. The local Museum is full to the brim with immigrant treasures that came with the early settlers.
Follow the coast to Waipu Cove, Langs Beach and Mangawhai Heads. All the way you'll enjoy stunning views of the Hen and Chickens Islands and an endless parade of perfect waves breaking on clean white sand.