The region north of Auckland has more history, Maori and European, than most of New Zealand. The important Treaty of Waitangi was signed here in 1840.
A generally warm, almost sub-tropical climate, sandy beaches and sheltered waters encourage recreational activities, including deep-sea fishing, scuba
diving and sailing. The ill-fated "Rainbow Warrior" is one of numerous wrecks that draw divers to Northland. Inland are the country's remaining kauri
forest areas and a noted hot spring. Whangarei is the main regional centre, about 170 km north of Auckland. Its rejuvenated waterfront area is worth
visiting, particularly for the fascinating Clapham's Clock Museum.
Our pick of 'not-to-be-missed' activities:
- Matakohe Kauri Museum - superb!
- Short walks to see kauri forest giants - Tane Mahuta and, further south, Te Matua Ngahere.
- Hokianga Harbour and small, unassuming, 'undiscovered' settlements around it.
- A commercial tour from Kaitaia to Cape Reinga via Ninety Mile Beach.
- DOC camping ground at Matai bay on the Karikari Peninsula - go to the upper level for outstanding views from your campervan or tent.
- Meeting House at Waitangi - magnificent carvings and tukutuku panels from the Maori tribes of New Zealand.
- A free visit to Marsden Point Refinery - a good activity for a rainy day