The Hokianga town of Rawene is full of historic charm. Walk around the heritage buildings, then relax in a café before catching the ferry to Kohukohu.

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With its warm climate and rich kauri forests, the Hokianga attracted some of New Zealand’s first European settlers. The historic town of Rawene has a legacy of heritage buildings from this time, and is New Zealand's third oldest European settlement. Look for Clendon House, built in the 1860s; the Masonic Hotel, from 1875; the Methodist Church, 1876; and the courthouse, which was built in 1875.

Rawene is also a place to enjoy excellent espresso, gourmet pizza and fascinating arts & crafts shops. Take a stroll on the mangrove walkway, which offers an interesting view of a wetland habitat. A ferry service runs between Rawene and Kohukohu - which also has a buzzing arts scene - making it possible to explore the more isolated northern side of the Hokianga Harbour.

Functional facts: Approx. population 440, fuel, cafés, basic shopping.