With its warm climate and rich kauri forests, the Hokianga attracted some of New Zealand’s first European settlers. The historic town of Rawene has a legacy of heritage buildings from this time. Look for Clendon House, built in the 1860s; the Masonic Hotel, from 1875; the Methodist Church, 1876; and the courthouse, which was built in 1875. Rawene is also a place to enjoy the comforts of modern life, such as excellent espresso, gourmet pizza and art. Take a stroll on the mangrove walkway, which offers an interesting view of a wetland habitat. A ferry service runs between Rawene and Kohukohu, making it possible to explore the northern side of the Hokianga Harbour. Functional facts: Approx. population 440, fuel, cafés, basic shopping.