Explore New Zealand's warmest regions touring both coastlines
Tour both coastlines of New Zealand’s warmest region and discover picturesque beaches and marine adventures of every description.
Explore the many cycle trails and walking tracks. Visit locations of local and cultural significance, including Tāne Mahuta - the famous kauri Tree, Te-Oneroa-a-Tōhē/Ninety Mile Beach, and Waitangi - the ‘Birthplace of our Nation’.
A place of history, long beaches and the world's largest living Kauri tree
Depart Auckland and start your adventure north towards Opononi. On the way explore antique and craft stores in Maungaturoto and Paparoa, or visit the Matakohe Kauri Museum(opens in new window).
Discover Waipoua Forest - home to the majestic Tāne Mahuta "God of the Forest", it is named for the Māori God of forests and of birds. It is the largest living kauri tree known to stand today.
Continue on to the Hokianga Harbour, where Māori first arrived in Aotearoa, New Zealand. Look out to the stunning sand dunes which after a short ferry ride you could be sandboarding down.
Ancient Kauri Trail Map(opens in new window) available here.
Enjoy picturesque beaches and rural country-side
Make your way through the fishing village of Rawene, visit the local art galleries and enjoy a coffee at the Boatshed Café before you board the car ferry to Kohukohu.
Journey through yester-year taking in rural New Zealand country-side on your way north to Kaitaia, the main centre for the 'subtropical' north.
From here you can arrange a coach tour to Cape Reinga/Te Rerenga Wairua and Ninety Mile Beach/Te-Oneroa-a-Tōhē.
Or visit Te Kōhanga/Shipwreck Bay, aptly named for its many shipwrecks some of which are still visible at low tide. It has also become a famous surfing destination with left-hand breaks and long rides.
Stunning views and great food
Continue on to the stunning Doubtless Bay, where you can enjoy lunch at the Mangonui Fish Shop.
The road leading into Kerikeri is bordered by orchards, and roadside stalls selling seasonal fruit. Look for signs that lead the way to artists’ studios, which give this district its creative personality.
In Kerikeri you’ll find galleries, cafes, vineyards and fascinating historic sites such as the Stone Store and the Mission House(opens in new window). There are also superb bush walks in the area – Rainbow Falls is a perfect picnic spot.
Spend the evening at Paihia at the heart of the Bay of Islands.
Check out the Te Ara Coast to Coast Map(opens in new window) for hidden gems between the Bay of Islands and Hokianga.
Known for its stunning beauty and history
The resort town of Paihia makes an excellent base for exploring the Bay of Islands.
Catch a cruise to the outer islands, go on a dolphin(opens in new window) swimming safari, or take a ferry to the charming township of Russell/Kororareka.
The historic Treaty House at Waitangi marks the beginning of New Zealand as a nation and is great place to experience some Māori culture.
Top coastal destinations
The Tutukaka Coast, near Whangārei was named one of the top coastal destinations in the world by National Geographic Traveller.
Tutukaka is also the gateway to the Poor Knights Islands, a protected marine reserve known for the clarity of its water and abundant sea life. Jacques Cousteau called the Poor Knights Islands one of the top ten dive sites. Click here for a journey map(opens in new window) for this area.
Travel the Whangārei Heads scenic drive as it winds through pohutakawa fringed bays with stunning views to the wild and beautiful beaches. View recommended journey map(opens in new window) for this region.
Vibrant city style and spectacular landscapes
Slowly make your way back to Auckland via the coastal road.
Admire beach after beach along the Ruakaka, Waipu, Bream Bay and Mangawhai coastal road.
At Matakana take a detour to check out the Saturday markets or stop for lunch a local winery.
Back in Auckland, finish your journey with a sunset kayak to Rangitoto or watch the city's glittering lights from the summit of Mount Eden.