The Kauri Coast is a dramatic stretch of kauri forest and picturesque beaches on the western side of the upper North Island.
The Kauri Coast runs from the town of Brynderwyn up to the Hokianga Harbour. Famed for its giant kauri trees, stunning beaches and significant Maori and pioneer history, the Kauri Coast is steeped in spectacular natural wonders and fascinating cultural experiences.
History and scenery
To inform your visit to the Kauri Coast, visit the captivating Kauri Museum in Matakohe. Here you can learn about the mighty kauri tree and experience the stories of pioneering settlers in New Zealand.
Carry on north from Dargaville and you'll find the Kai iwi Lakes. These crystal clear, freshwater lakes are perfect for swimming, kayaking, fishing and sailing.
Giant Kauri Forests
The Kauri Coast is named after the huge kauri trees which thrive here, and no trip to the Coast is complete without venturing into these majestic ancient forests. Trounson Kauri Park is one of the few places where you can see our national icon, the nocturnal kiwi bird, in the wild.
Further north is the Waipoua Forest, home of New Zealand's largest kauri tree, Tane Mahuta. Local Maori guides can take you through the forest at twilight and explain the Maori legends of the forest - a unique and often spiritual experience.
Soon after you exit the forest, the Hokianga Harbour will appear dramatically before you.
Hokianga is short for Hokianga-Nui-A-Kupe, which means 'the place of Kupe's great return'. Many iwi (Maori tribes) trace their ancestry back to the legendary Polynesian explorer Kupe who, with his crew, voyaged deep into the southern ocean to find New Zealand.
It is said that Kupe made his first landfall on the shores of the Hokianga Harbour.
On the southern side of the harbour you'll find the twin beach towns of Omapere and Opononi; while on the northern side you'll see huge white sand dunes which are a popular spot for sandboarding.
Near the settlement of Horeke is a natural phenomenon known as the Wairere Boulders. Amassed along a valley floor, this stream of huge rocks and boulders is 1.5 kilometres long.
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