The waterfront Boatshed Café in Rawene is a great spot to kick off a day of exploring the historic Hokianga. Many iwi (Māori tribes) trace their ancestry back to the legendary Polynesian explorer Kupe who, with his people, voyaged across the southern ocean to find New Zealand, and is said to have first landed his waka on the shores of the Hokianga Harbour. You can learn more about this with a Manea Footprints of Kupe experience. After exploring the twin settlements of Omapere/Opononi, head south through the Waipoua Forest, home to mighty Tane Mahuta, an ancient kauri tree. Seeing the forest at twilight is an unforgettable experience and Footprints Waipoua offer guided tours. Just 45 minutes south are the beautiful Kai Iwi Lakes, which have several camping spots to choose from for the night.