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Far north Thumbnail

About

The Far North district is the northernmost district of the North Island of New Zealand, located in the Northland region. It covers an area of 6,900 square kilometers and has a population of around 70,000 people, with the largest town being Kaitaia. The Far North district is a place of rugged beauty, with stunning landscapes that include sandy beaches, rocky coastlines, and dense forests. Visitors can explore the region's many natural wonders, such as the majestic Cape Reinga, the beautiful Ninety Mile Beach, and the towering sand dunes of Te Paki. The Far North is also rich in Maori culture, with many historic sites and marae (meeting grounds) to visit. The Waitangi Treaty Grounds, where the Treaty of Waitangi was signed between Maori chiefs and the British Crown in 1840, is a must-see destination for anyone interested in New Zealand's history. In addition, the Far North is home to a thriving arts and crafts scene, with many galleries and studios showcasing the work of local artists and artisans. Visitors can also enjoy delicious local cuisine, including fresh seafood and produce grown in the region's rich soils. Overall, the Far North district is a unique and captivating destination that offers something for everyone, from nature lovers and history buffs to foodies and art enthusiasts.
Far north
Northland
Explore the wonders of the Far North
Haruru Falls

Haruru Falls

Far north
Attractions

Haruru Falls are located in the beautiful Bay Of Islands in New Zealand's Northland region the water fall is easily reachable and only a few minutes walk from the Haruru Falls carpark, the waterfall is a block type waterfall which is around 5meters high but has a wide drop area.

This waterfall is at the very end of the Waitangi River and drops into a tidal estuary during the warm summer months the flow is moderate but visit this waterfall during the heavy rain in winter and there is a huge amount of water flowing over the drop.

The Haruru Falls are close to the Historic Waitangi Treaty Grounds in the Bay Of Islands, from the falls track there is a walkway that follows the tidal estuary all the way to the Waitangi Treaty grounds this walk is easy and suitable for all the family the walk takes around 1.5 hours return or have someone pick you up at the other end.

Below the Haruru Falls there is a camping ground and resort accommodation and there are many activities available here, kayaks can be hired here and you can enjoy a great trip down the estuary to Waitangi or you can take an organized tour of Pahia and the Bay Of Islands.

Haruru Falls have some history attached, in the early days of New Zealand the large tidal basin that formed below the Haruru Falls were one of New Zealand's first river ports and a major trading place for Maori the canoes and trading boats would enter the esturay on the incoming tide as the falls are around three kms from the ocean.

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Pou Herenga Tai - Twin Coast Cycle Trail

Pou Herenga Tai - Twin Coast Cycle Trail

Far north
Attractions

Duration – 2 days, Grade – 1 – 3, Distance – 87km, Highest point – 320m – Kaikohe Hill

 

Pou Herenga Tai – Twin Coast Cycle Trail travels from the famously beautiful Bay of Islands to the remote and picturesque Hokianga Harbour, or vice versa. Due to its sub-tropical climate – it can be ridden all year round – hence the name “winterless north”.

The trail is 87 km and is divided into four sections and can be ridden in either direction. The central point is Kaikoke and from there the trail descends to the East and the West coasts. This trail goes through diverse and stunning scenery with spectacular views, but it also takes you on a fascinating journey through some of New Zealand’s earliest Maori and European settlements. Story boards along the way bring to life the history and stories of the local people. Visit the Far North to discover the birthplace of the nation.

Cyclists have the choice of staying in Kaikohe or Okaihau as central points and cycle to each coast. From each end a return shuttle can be organised. Others prefer to cycle the full length of the trail starting from Opua and finishing in Horeke. Some cycle both ways. There are those that spread the sections over a few days whilst on holiday in the north.

The bike ride is suitable for most riders as it is generally flat with gentle climbs – most of it being grade 1 and 2, with the Okaihau to Horeke section a grade 2-3. The surface is fairly good and can be ridden all year round, the surface may be a bit rougher if there has been a flooding event. Please report these via the website so contractors can be engaged to maintain the cycle trail. You will find most of the trail is off road, and you can cycle two abreast. There is some on road cycling but these are quiet country roads.

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Rainbow Falls

Rainbow Falls

Far north
Walks Attractions

This short, easy walk suitable for buggies, leads to the stunning Rainbow Falls on the Kerikeri River.

This short walk, starting at the Rainbow Falls carpark, is accessible by wheelchair.

Three stunning viewing platforms are at the top of the Rainbow Falls.

The Te Araroa Trail joins the Kerikeri River Track at this point and carries on down the hill towards the Kerikeri Basin.

You can stroll along the riverbank to the spectacular Rainbow Falls, where the water tumbles into a popular swimming hole surrounded by native bush. The falls are also a popular destination for kayakers to explore.

There are parking and picnicking areas at the end of Rainbow Falls Road.

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Russell

Russell

Far north
Attractions

Russell, known as Kororareka, in the early 19th century, was the first permanent European settlement and seaport in New Zealand. Before the arrival of the Europeans, Russell was inhabited by Māori because of its salubrious climate and the abundance of food, fish and fertile soil. 

When European and American ships began visiting New Zealand in the early 1800s, the indigenous Maori quickly recognised there were great advantages in trading with these strangers, whom they called tauiwi.The Bay of Islands offered a safe anchorage and had a large Māori population. To attract ships, Māori began to supply food and timber. What the Māori population wanted was respect, plus firearms, alcohol, and other goods of European manufacture.

There are an abundance of things to do and see here. The Christ Church is top on the list as this is the oldest church in the north, and still has bullet holes fromthe early settlement days. 

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Saint Paul's Anglican Church

Saint Paul's Anglican Church

Far north
Attractions

Built some time in the 1880's, this church boast magnificent gothic architecture, as well as stunning stained glass windows and interesting stories surrounding the graves in the graveyard nearby. 

With Sunday mass held every Sunday at 5:30pm, you are more than welcome to join. Some of the original families that settled here are still attending this church, and tell stories handed down from generation to generation. 

With stands providing information about the area, who is buried here and what happened around the church, you will not be dissapointed. 

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Wharepuke Falls

Wharepuke Falls

Far north
Attractions

Exquisite waterfall, Wharepoke Falls, also known as Wharepuke Falls, is found on the Kerikeri River. Sadly, it’s quite often overlooked due to an extremely popular neighbor – Rainbow Falls. Really worth to visit!

 In Kerikeri cross the Kerikeri River via Heritage Bypass and turn right into Waipapa Rd. On the first round-about turn right into Landing Rd (follow signs ‘Historic Stone Store’) and follow it for 600m until you reach a huge car park, which has toilets and fantastic picnic area with the view of the Kerikeri River.

From the parking follow an easy Kerikeri Walkway for 20 minutes until you see the waterfall. You won’t miss it. Superb spots for taking beautiful photos are available here.

Return via the same track, or follow 3-hours’ return Kerikeri River Track (Kerikeri Walkway is a part of this track) which brings you to the Rainbow Falls.

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Kororipo Pā Historic Walk

Kororipo Pā Historic Walk

Far north
Walks

   Walk in the footsteps of chief Hongi Hika and early missionaries to Kororipo Pā – this short, easy walk is suitable for children.

Walk through the Waharoa (carved red entrance way) up a gentle grass slope featuring gum trees and regenerating native forest. Wayfinding markers will guide you to Kororipo Pā (fortified Maori settlement) where there is a viewing platform with amazing views.

The return walk is 5-minute stroll down a gentle slope. Keep right to join the historic route to the Stone Store. The track winds through regenerating native forest, crosses a small bridge and finishes on Kerikeri Road opposite the historic Stone Store.

The walk is 4 km from Kerikeri. Follow Kerikeri Road, turn left into Heritage Bypass, right into Waipapa Road, then right into Landing Road. Kororipo Heritage Park is at the end of the road, next to to the Kerikeri River.

Park in the northern carpark off Landing Road. Start with a leisurely stroll across the pedestrian river bridge and turn right up the service lane onto Kerikeri Road. For disabled access, drive to 246 Kerikeri Road in front of the Stone Store. There are two parks available for people with wheelchairs.

Kororipo Heritage Park has toilets, a café, restaurant, picnic tables and a BBQ area.

Combine your walk with a visit to the Stone Store – New Zealand’s oldest stone building, a guided tour of the former mission house. Or visit Te Ahurea, a replica pre-European Māori fishing (kainga) village named after Ngāpuhi chief Rewa.

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Cape Reinga/Te Rerenga Wairua Lighthouse Walk

Cape Reinga/Te Rerenga Wairua Lighthouse Walk

Far north
Attractions

At the Cape, the Tasman Sea meets the Pacific Ocean in a spectacular swirl of currents. At the northernmost tip of the Cape is a gnarled pohutukawa tree, believed to be over 800 years old. According to Maori oral history, the spirits of deceased Maori leap from this tree into the ocean to return to their ancestral homeland of Hawaiki.

While it’s not quite the most northern point of New Zealand (North Cape is further north, but it’s a scientific reserve and not open to the public), Cape Reinga is definitely the end of the road.

From Kaitaia, the drive to Cape Reinga takes about 1.5 hours each way. Guided coach tours depart from Kaitaia and Paihia (Bay of Islands) daily. As well as taking you up to the Cape, these trips travel along popular 90 Mile Beach, bringing Maori and early European history to life on the way. 

For those short on time, scenic flights depart from the Bay of Islands, flying to the Cape and along both coasts of New Zealand. 

Being a sacred site, eating is not permitted at Cape Reinga. However if you're looking for a good picnic spot, take the turn off to beautiful Tapotupotu Bay, 5km before the Cape.

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Ninety Mile beach

Ninety Mile beach

Far north
Beaches

Ninety-Mile Beach is the fabled strip of sand that stretches from Ahipara to Scott Point, five kilometres south of Cape Maria van Diemen. Truth be told, it is actually 88 kilometres long.

This beach is officially a highway, but is really only suitable for 4WD vehicles and is safe to drive only at specific times of the tides. Rental companies won’t allow their cars on the sand, mostly for safety reasons. The easy way to drive along the beach is to catch a coach tour from Kaitaia. If you are short of time in Northland and staying in the Bay of Islands, coach tours and scenic flights up to Cape Reinga depart from Paihia daily. Beach activities range from surfcasting and swimming to bodyboarding down the sand dunes. A special treat is digging for tuatua (a native shellfish) in the sand at low tide. Flanking the beach is the Aupouri Forest, which provides a green escape from the hot sun.

Once a year in late February or early March, 90 Mile Beach hosts a five day fishing competition. Hundreds of anglers surf cast from the beach hoping to catch the biggest snapper, a delicious white-flesh fish found in New Zealand waters. 

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Karikari Peninsula

Karikari Peninsula

Far north
Beaches

Karikari Peninsula is renowned for its amazing white sandy beaches and bays such as popular Maitai Bay. Other attractions include historical Puwheke Beach, Karikari Beach and picturesque Waikato Bay.

The Karikari Peninsula was a favoured area for seasonal hunting and gathering activities by pre-European Māori. Numerous midden are located in the adjacent fore dunes, showing a heavy reliance on marine resources for a long period of time with a focus on seasonal camping.

At Lake Ohia, the former lake bed offers snapshots of the recent past and ancient history showing visible effects of gum-digging and featuring ancient remains of a once thriving kauri forest.

Karikari is the traditional homeland for the Ngati Kahu tribe. In Maori mythology, the waka (canoe) Waipapa, captained by Kaiwhetu and Wairere, made its first landing in New Zealand at Karikari.

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Doubtless Bay

Doubtless Bay

Far north
Beaches

Doubtless Bay, Northland New Zealand. Beaches of luxurious caramel and white sands invite you to swim, snorkel, fish and sail.

In 1769 Captain James Cook looked in on this expanse of water and declared it was "doubtless a bay". He then continued his circumnavigation of New Zealand. Within days another explorer, Jean-François-Marie de Surville, anchored on the western side of the bay for a number of weeks. He named the bay 'La Baie de Lauriston', in honour of Lauriston, Governor of French India.


Captain Cook's rather haphazard naming of the bay stuck. Today, Doubtless Bay is without doubt a magnificent place for a holiday. Beach after beach of luxurious caramel and white sands invite you to swim, snorkel, fish and sail.

There are several small settlements within the bay, stretching in a horseshoe from Coopers Beach at the south end to Whatuwhiwhi in the north. You can also drive over the Karikari Peninsula to Maitai Bay and Rangiputa. Mangonui is the main town for this area - it has some wonderful historic buildings that you can discover by walking the heritage trail.

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Whangaroa

Whangaroa

Far north
Attractions
From mangroves to a Maori pa site, Whangaroa in the Bay of Islands offers visitors a number of interesting places to visit. Motukawanui Island is accessed from here. A stunning area to explore by boat, there are also a number of walks and tramps available. Visit some of the area’s archaeological sites and the memorial for the Rainbow Warrior at Matauri Bay.
 
Typical of rich coastal areas, a wide variety of defended and undefended pa, archaic middens, terraces, gardening systems, urupa, wahi tapu and other archaeological features are present.

Kauri milling and ship building are long established industries and one of the last kauri sawmills and shipyards, operated by Lanes & Sons for over a century, can be seen at Totara North.

The ‘Rainbow Warrior’ lies at rest off Matauri Bay with a memorial on a nearby pa.

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Taupo Bay, Northland

Taupo Bay, Northland

Far north
Beaches

Taupo Bay lies just north of the entrance to the Whangaroa Harbour.

To reach this idyllic beach by road, one must travel 11km to the north of Whangaroa Harbour and then turn eastwards for a similar distance, but the journey is well worth it. This picturesque white sandy beach is the ideal surfing and family holiday destination. Taupo Bay offers quality beach front accommodation, and there is also a camping ground near the beach. Small old-style baches and newer holiday homes line the beachfront. The beach provides an easy launching ramp for trailer boats. Taupo Bay is in a spectacularly scenic setting, surrounded by native bush

Taupo Bay is one of Northland's best beaches. The beach is extremely wide and slopes gradually into the sea and curves in a gentle arc for a length of almost one and a half kilometres. Taupo Bay is renowned for its surf. The Isobar Surf School is found here and teaches the sport to all comers.

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Pukenui Forest tracks

Pukenui Forest tracks

Far north
Walks

The 1700 hectare Pukenui/Western Hills Forest is located on the doorstep of Whangarei City. Numerous tracks link Whangarei District Council and Department of Conservation administered land which includes the Coronation Scenic Reserve, Pukenui Conservation Park, Whau Valley Water Supply Reserve and Whangarei Quarry Gardens Recreation Reserve. Walks range from 30 minutes return (Rust Track) to 8 hours (Amalin Drive to Russell Road) showcasing a beautiful array of native vegetation with some impressive mature trees, picturesque streams and a variety of forest birds.

The forest complex is steeped in history with Maori pa sites and storage pits, a deserted goldmine and remnants of former logging operations to be seen. Several places worth visiting, found at the start of the tracks, are the Quarry Craft Centre (off Selwyn Avenue) and the Whangarei Quarry Gardens (off Russell Road).

Please keep to the tracks marked with orange triangle markers and respect private property. No dogs, camping, fires or bikes are permitted and remember to take only photos and leave only footprints.

 

Pukenui Forest Loop Track

The first section of this track is an easy walk, suitable for all ages. To complete the full loop, a moderate level of fitness is recommended.

Time: 3 - 4 hrs (from car park)
Distance: 8.2 km (from car park)

From the car park, access to the forest is through open farmland displaying some attractive dry stone walls dating back to World War II. Once over the stile, this walk takes you along the edge of the forest past regenerating native vegetation. Tomtits are often sighted here and the delightful song of the tui can be heard as the track enters the forest. An old forestry bullock track leads you down to the beautiful Mangere Stream where there are some good picnic spots. There are some steep hills to climb which return you to the bullock track and along the fence line to the stile. Large kauri and totara, native orchids, and a range of forest types feature on this track.

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Harrison’s Bush Scenic Reserve

Harrison’s Bush Scenic Reserve

Far north
Lookouts Walks

This walk is through some of the best native forest in the Bay of Islands. It takes you from Broadview Road, Opua down through a pretty valley to join the Paihia to Opua walkway. The forest here has never been milled or burned.

A feature of the walk is the number of large, old native puriri trees to be seen (vitex lucens). This tree can grow to about 20m in height and has a stout trunk and a spreading canopy of glossy green leaves. It is related to the teak and its very hard, dark red-brown timber was popular with early settlers for railway sleepers, fence posts, house piles and bridges.

It is said to be New Zealand’s strongest wood and was so hard to split that timber workers often resorted to dynamite. Its timber can be spoiled by the puriri moth, a large green moth whose larvae drive holes into the growing wood.

Maori have used infusions of puriri leaves to bathe muscular aches and sprains and as a remedy for sore throats and ulcers.

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Flagstaff Hill Track

Flagstaff Hill Track

Far north
Lookouts Walks

The Flagstaff Hill Loop Track takes you through regenerating kanuka/manuka scrub down into the Waipara/Watering Bay stream and wetland then back up to one of New Zealand’s most iconic historic sites - Te Maiki/Flagstaff Hill.

On this walk you may very well come across the endangered North Island weka, which has been successfully reintroduced to the Russell Peninsula by the Russell Landcare Trust.

A section of this track crosses private land – walkers are welcome. Respect the signage in place for no dogs, even on a lead, and keep to the formed track.

At low tide

Walk north from the northern end of The Strand, Kororareka Bay along the beaches to Watering Bay. Turn inland along the Flagstaff Hill Loop Track. Take the left-hand fork in the track and climb through regenerating coastal forest to reach Titore Way. Turn right onto the road, walk 300 metres along this road to a sign marking the final leg of the Flagstaff Hill Loop Track. This leg takes you up through regenerating coastal scrub to the famous flagstaff, 360-degree views of the Bay of Islands and the Flagstaff Hill summit (Te Maiki).

Once at the summit, take the path down to the carpark. At the carpark, there are two options: cross the carpark and take the short track up to the sundial for more stunning views of the Bay of Islands and Russell township or turn right to continue the Flagstaff Hill Loop Track down to the top of Wellington Street and from there to Russell township.

At high tide

The Flagstaff Hill Loop Track starts at the intersection of Wellington and Kent Streets, near the boatramp on The Strand in Russell. Walk approximately 300 metres up Wellington Street - look out for a sign on your left. This high tide alternative track takes you down into the Kororareka Reserve. At the intersection of the tracks in the valley turn right and follow the Flagstaff Hill Loop Track to Titore Way. See the low tide description for further route directions from here.

Note: Wellington Street is very narrow. If you are walking, watch out for vehicles; if you are driving look out for pedestrians.

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Whangamumu Harbour Walk

Whangamumu Harbour Walk

Far north
Beaches Walks

Come for a walk along a path that whalers used to take in the early 20th century to one of New Zealand’s last remaining shore-based whaling stations. 

This track is a comfortable walk starting at the Tangatapu wetlands through regenerating coastal forest up and over a ridge to the sandy beach at the head of the Whangamumu Harbour. Interpretation signs explain the historic features of the area. The track is not suitable for mountain biking.

Once at Whangamumu Harbour turn left along the beach and take the short 10-minute track to the historic Whangamumu Whaling Station. This track can be walked up 1-2 hours either side of high tide; at other tide times this short section of beach track is closed to walkers.

Access to the Whangamumu Track is from Rawhiti Road, 1.1 km from the Manawaora Road and Rawhiti Road intersection.

From Russell, take the Russell-Whakapara Road for 13.8 km and turning off at Kempthorne Road. Follow the road through Parekura Bay, continuing on to Manawaora Road. At the top of the road, turn left onto Rawhiti Road.

From Whangarei travel north turning off SH1 at Whakapara. Follow the Russell Road until you get to Rawhiti Road. The harbour was where one of New Zealand’s last shore-based whaling stations existed: the historic Whangamumu Whaling Station.

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Oneroa Bay

Oneroa Bay

Far north
Beaches

Just a 2 minute drive or short walk from the main town is one of the most amazing beaches in all of the Bay of Islands! Oneroa Bay in Russell takes you from an English Colonial town to a tropical ocean setting.

This is where you can pull up a beach chair and spend the whole afternoon. Unlike the town beach where the water is calm, Oneroa Bay in Russell has the perfect waves for swimming and boogie boarding. Try and spend plenty of time here on your trip to Russell!

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Te Paki Sand Dunes

Te Paki Sand Dunes

Far north
Attractions

Just a short drive off the main road north to Cape Rēinga, they are a small detour that delivers a big reward.

Te Paki Sand Dunes, also called the Giant Sand Dunes, are a collection of sand dunes located on the Northland Peninsula of New Zealand. The dunes abut the Ninety Mile Beach and are a popular spot for sandboarding.

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Urupukapuka Island

Urupukapuka Island

Far north
Attractions

If the weather is kind, take a ferry from Paihia or Russell to Urupukapuka Island, a pest-free paradise for our feathered friends. A five-hour walk takes in the whole island and there are kayaks for hire if you fancy a paddle. The café at Ōtehei Bay is open all year (though just weekends in winter) for a well-deserved refuel

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Maitai Bay Beach

Maitai Bay Beach

Far north
Beaches

The Maitai Bay is lined with a crescent shaped sandy beach lined by pohutukawa trees overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Popular activities include swimming, boating diving, fishing, exploring the walking trails and camping. Facilities at the Maitai Bay campground include tap water, toilets and cold showers. Fires, fire works and domestic animals are not permitted on the beach or campground

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Rawawa Beach

Rawawa Beach

Far north
Beaches

Rarawa Beach is a popular summer location and the majority of patrons will stay in the Department of Conservation camping ground that is located at the southern end. Four wheel drives can be driven onto the sand from the central access point and this allows users easy access to the entire beach. Rarawa is good for swimming during the warmer months and is surfed and fished year round. Anyone that is entering the water should check the beach conditions carefully as powerful waves and strong rips are common. Rarawa Beach is safer around the high tide.

 
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Coopers Beach

Coopers Beach

Far north
Beaches

Coopers Beach is a 2.5km long beach crescent-shaped beach stretches along Doubtless Bay. Pohutukawa trees line the beach, providing shade and a bit of colour when in bloom. Pohutukawa trees are also known as New Zealand Christmas trees because of their crimson red flowers that bloom around the holidays.

The Taumarumaru Scenic Reserve is a couple of minutes west and many urban conveniences like shopping centers, medical buildings and children's playgrounds are right next to the beach.

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Opua Forest Lookout Track

Opua Forest Lookout Track

Far north
Lookouts Walks

This is a short but delightful stroll, partly on the boardwalk through groves of kauri to an elevated lookout platform and bench seat. Once at the lookout you will be surrounded by kauri trees of different ages – from young rickers up to 25 years old to more mature trees of about 400 years in age.

If you want to walk for a further two hours, return to Oromahoe Road, turn right towards SH11 for 800 m and take the Oromahoe Traverse. This track will take you eventually to School Road in Paihia. Along the way, the Oromahoe Traverse joins the Paihia School Road Track.

Once at the Paihia School Road Track you will have stunning views of Waitangi, across Motumairie (one of the islands off Paihia) to Russell then over the Russell Peninsula to Cape Brett and Ipipiri, the eastern Bay of Islands. 

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Tapeka Point Track

Tapeka Point Track

Far north
Walks

A narrow grassy track, steep in places, starts from Du Fresne Place and leads you across a number of what were once defensive ditches to the end of Tapeka Peninsula and the top-most part of Tapeka Pa itself.

You can get stunning views all along the track over the whole of the Bay of Islands, from Cape Wiwiki in the north to Rakaumangamanga in the south-east.

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Tapeka Point Beach

Tapeka Point Beach

Far north
Beaches

Tapeka Point is a sheltered bay right at the end of the Russell Peninsula. For boaties, there is a boat ramp at the end. This is a great little beach for the young ones with lots of flat sand. There are no waves so very safe. There is a platform they can swim out to for the older kids.

There is a coastal walk and a 360-degree lookout 10 minutes walk from the beach. You can anchor your boat in the Bay, and there are several Tapeka Point Accommodation options too, right on the beachfront.

 

 

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Tapotupotu Beach

Tapotupotu Beach

Far north
Beaches

Tapotupotu Bay is one of New Zealands northern most beaches, located just a few kilometres from Cape Reinga. Tapotupotu Bay has a Department of Conservation camping ground located at its eastern end along side the stream mouth and tidal inlet. Here you will also find the public amenities. If entering the water while at the beach you should stay clear of the headland rocks and also the stream mouth. There is no Lifeguarding Service and the area is hard to access.

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Kaitaia Walkway

Kaitaia Walkway

Far north
Walks

This is an easy bush walk through broadleaf and podocarp forest along an old formed roadway. In summer, the lush forest canopy provides cooling shade.

After about 30 minute you come to a junction: A 20-minute return walk up a steep narrow track takes you to a stunning kauri grove. Strewn on the forest floor underneath the kauri are pieces of kauri bark and you can take a moment to study their amazing shapes and patterns. A 15-minute return track takes you to a lookout point over the forest.

You can find the walkway entrance by travelling south from Kaitaia on SH 1 for about 3 km. Turn right onto Larmer Road and follow it to its end. The track is signposted. The exit of the walkway is at Veza Road, off Diggers Valley Road.

The Kaitaia Walkway is a tribute to local ancestors. Dug by hand during the early part of the 20th century, it was originally planned as a road in from Kaitaia to Diggers Valley. The gentle grade, even over the saddle is a tribute to the ability of the early surveyors.

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90 Mile Beach

90 Mile Beach

Far north
Beaches

Renowned for spectacular sunsets and boasting one of the best left hand surf breaks in the world, Ninety Mile Beach is an almost never-ending paradise. Ninety-Mile Beach is the fabled strip of sand that stretches from Ahipara to Scott Point, five kilometres south of Cape Maria van Diemen. Truth be told, it is actually 88 kilometres long.

This beach is officially a highway, but is really only suitable for 4WD vehicles and is safe to drive only at specific times of the tides. Rental companies won’t allow their cars on the sand, mostly for safety reasons. The easy way to drive along the beach is to catch a coach tour from Kaitaia If you are short of time in Northland and staying in the Bay of Islands, coach tours and scenic flights up to Cape Reinga depart from Paihia daily.

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Shipwreck Bay

Shipwreck Bay

Far north
Beaches Attractions

Shipwreck Bay is one of those spots known by NZ surfers, even if they’ve never ridden there before. Shipwreck Bay’s name is because of the shipwrecks still visible at low tide. Take a short walk from the carpark out to the beach. A great spot for surfers, keen explorers of shipwrecks or just for a picnic and surfer-watching.

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Twilight - Te Werahi Loop Track

Twilight - Te Werahi Loop Track

Far north
Beaches Walks

The round-trip walk is 16 km in length and takes between 4 hours 30 minutes to 5 hours to complete. The track crosses farmlands and dunes.

This loop track covers a range of landscapes and terrain. You first walk across paddocks for about 15 minutes. Once you step over a stile, you walk through manuka scrub and over sand dunes.

The track provides spectacular views of dunes, headlands and West Coast beaches.

To Werahi Beach

Time: 30 min one way
Distance: 2.5 km

To Twilight Beach

Time: 1 hr 15 min one way
Distance: 4 km

Twilight - Te Werahi Loop Track links up with the Twilight Beach to Te Paki Stream track heading south, the Te Werahi Beach to Twilight Beach track, and the Cape Reinga to Te Werahi Beach track, all of which form part of the Te Paki Coastal Track.

Follow State Highway 1 north. From Te Paki onwards, follow Cape Reinga Road. Cape Reinga Road gets very busy over the summer months. Drive slowly and take extra caution. You can access this track from the Te Werahi Gate car park on SH 1, signposted about 4.5 km south of Cape Reinga. 

From the gate, there is a well-graded walk to the coast, which connects with the Te Paki Coastal Track as part of the loop. A dry-weather access across the farm leads to the signpost marking the beginning of the track.

Te Werahi is a large freshwater wetland system, which has three raupō swamps linked by narrow sandy streams. It can be seen from the road to or from Cape Reinga. Te Werahi is an important site for wetland birds such as Australasian bitterns/matuku, grey ducks, grey teals/tētē, New Zealand shovelers/kuruwhengi, pied stilts/poaka, pied shags and little shags.

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Tapotupotu Beach

Tapotupotu Beach

Far north
Beaches

This is a scenic beach with a nearby lagoon suitable for swimming and kayaking. Visit Cape Reinga/Te Rerenga Wairua only 5 minutes drive away or 3 hours via the walking track. Stay at New Zealand’s most northern campsite and experience the scenic wonders of Tapotupotu, from lush forest to breaking surf and breath-taking views. Camp with the beach at your doorstep, and awaken to the sweet sound of white water breaking on the sand. Tapotupotu is the perfect place to relax, enjoy and explore the great Far North.

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Te Paki Stream Giant Sand Dunes

Te Paki Stream Giant Sand Dunes

Far north
Walks Attractions

There are 7 sq km of giant sand dunes on either side of the mouth of Te Paki Stream. For those wishing to clamber up and toboggan back down, you can rent sandboards from local outfits signposted en route or from a caravan at the car park (during summer only). A large chunk of the land around Cape Reinga is part of the Te Paki Recreation Reserves managed by DOC. It’s public land with free access; leave the gates as you found them and don’t disturb the animals.

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Spirits Bay

Spirits Bay

Far north
Beaches

Kapowairua (Spirits Bay) is a place to relax, enjoy and explore the great outdoors. There is a scenic DOC campsite nearby to stay at, with lush forests and sandy beaches in close range. There’s a 3 hour walk along beautiful Spirits Bay that takes you to Pandora where you can stop to observe shore birds or camp for the night.

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Rarawa Beach

Rarawa Beach

Far north
Beaches

A stunning white sandy beach right on your doorstep. Rarawa is your own slice of Far North paradise, so come relax and enjoy. At high tide enjoy swimming in the lagoon, or go for a dip in the ocean. Other popular activities include, fishing, kayaking and all types of water activities.

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Henderson Bay