It's quite a drive to go up to Paihia, Waitangi and further north, but you'll have lots of opportunity for very scenic and curious sightseeing breaks.
The top 10 things to see in Northland, according to my guidebook, included something I had to read twice to believe it: the Hundertwasser toilets in Kawakawa.
Yep, public toilets as a tourist attraction. BUT, constructed by a star architect. I had no idea what to expect due to the lack of pictures in my book, so curiosity had us stop in Kawakawa.
In hindsight I have to say it was the most enjoyable, colourful and stylish loo break I have ever had. The only structure ever built by the artist in the Southern hemisphere, the Hundertwasser toilets even feature on New Zealand’s AA list of 101 Kiwi must-sees!
An equally water-rich and picturesque experience can be had nearby at Whangarei Falls.
They’re located just 5 km from Whangarei city centre and are easily accessible. From the parking lot, take a walk down the path leading to the foot of the falls to fully appreciate their splendour.
It’s like a scene from a film, that’s how beautiful it is. So peaceful. There are many waterfalls on both South and North islands, but these are my absolute favourite.
There are no toilets to be found around though, so if the noise of water gives you the urge to “go somewhere”, you know where to head!
And last but not least, if you’re cruising through Northland and need to stretch your legs for a while, stop in Puketi forest or Waipoua forest.
There are plenty of tracks, walks and boardwalks leading through stands of gigantic kauri trees. Depending on where you stop, you’ll have the option of 15 minute boardwalks, hour-long walks or tracks that take a few days to complete.
For more information see The Passport Philatelist.