When most people think to visit subtropical Bay of Islands in Northland, they imagine sun, sand and surf, but there is so much more to the region than a beach!
Venture on a wonderful ride on one of NZ’s newer cycle trails – the Twin Coast Cycle Trail which takes in the sights of the picturesque central Bay of Islands areas from Kaikohe to Okaihau. What a pleasant surprise it is to cycle through this fertile green land full of history and featuring stunning views, native bush and a quality trail in great condition. Taking around two and a half hours, it is an easy jaunt made even better by Top Trails comfortable bikes for hire. They also help with vehicle logistics making it a seamless exercise.(Update Aug 2014 - Trail now extended from Horeke through to Kaikohe!)
At the end of the ride make your way to Puketi Forest (15 mins), and check into the lovely BnB – Puketi Heights. After a recent refurbishment, the quality accommodation is modern, fresh and very comfortable, the farm and nearby Puketi Kauri Forest make it a wonderfully peaceful location. The ‘kiwi’ hosts Ian and Barbara Candy are warm and inviting, and soon get you settled in and chatting about the surrounds. Born and breed in Northland, the owners love to share their passion – Northland and the nearby Puketi Forest. Having lived next to the forest for the past 40 years, Ian has trekked, hunted, protected, and observed the forest and its flora and fauna, making him well qualified for the role as Chief Tour Guide for their walking business Adventure Puketi.
Venturing into the Puketi Forest at dusk presents a unique opportunity to see this vibrant habitat not only in the afternoon light but to engage with the transition from day to night. As the day birds in the giant Kauri Trees get rowdy and then settle for the evening, new forest inhabitants make themselves known – new birdlife, insects and water creatures come alive after the sun goes down and it’s this experience few get to enjoy. It is a very sensory experience being in this environment at night, the sense of smell and hearing become acute and the forest takes on a whole new persona - being there with a guide brings the whole experience to life even for the most experienced bushman!
After two hours in the beautiful Puketi Forest, a hot spa and sumptuous bed beckons at the end of a great Bay of Islands day – and not a grain of sand to be seen!
Adventure Puketi operates Oct to May and takes bookings for the Bike, Hike and Stay Package.