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The North of the North

Kaitaia and Cape Rianga

Spirits Bay

Known as the Aupouri Peninsula, this is one of the most remote districts of New Zealand. Kaitaia, the only town is near the base of the peninsula and about 160 km northwest of Whangarei. The main industries are agriculture, forestry and tourism. The population is 4,887 (2013 census), which makes it second largest town in the Far North District, after Kerikeri.

You can get there by air or bus from Auckland or Whangarei, and when you get there, there are many small tourist operators who will take you out to see the sights but the best way is self driving. But when you drive north of Kaitaia, you need to make sure you

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Whangarei

The gateway to the Far North

Jacaranda flowers

Whangarei is the regional centre of a land almost forgotten by time, slow-paced, idyllic with magnificent scenic attractions and wide ranging activities. It has more the feel of a large country town than a fast-paced city, a good rainfall, few frosts in winter allowing the lush green semi-tropical flora with bananas, pawpaw and other exotic fruits grown locally. It is also the most northern city of New Zealand with a dsitrict population of 80,800.

Once you make it to Whangarei, head for the Town Basin, a multi-million dollar marina re-development, a chic, sophisticated gathering place for international boaties and locals who sit under the sun umbrellas at Riva’s, or one of

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Northland

The subtropical north

Waitangi Falls

Giant bamboo, frangipani, banana & jacaranda trees, custard apples, guava’s, warmth and & humidity.

Seeped in history, with plenty of exciting recreational activities, the blue-green world of the Bay of Islands is a lifestyle that can be experienced all year round. There is so much to see and do that you could never be bored. Walk on unsullied sands, along deserted beaches, trek through magnificent ancient Kauri forests or body surf in the Tasman Sea or the Pacific Ocean.

The clear waters of Northland’s beaches are sought after by aquatic lovers of all ages. Whether it is diving, sailing, boating, swimming with dolphins, taking a scenic cruise, harvesting the sea’s bounty in some of

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Russell

Northland’s historic village

Russell’s beautifully preserved colonial architecture, pristine environment and lush subtropical blooms makes the town a perfect setting for honeymoons, weddings and romantic sojourns and is a haven for wanderers in ocean-going yachts, sport fishing, artists and travellers seeking something unique.

Russell is a quick passenger ferry ride across the water from Paihia or can be reached by road by vehicle ferry from Opua. The township of Russell has over 150 businesses including the fascinating Russell Museum, a general store, two supermarkets, the historic Duke of Marlborough Hotel, cafes, restaurants and some amazing colonial homes.

History In the early nineteenth century Russell was known by it Maori name of Kororareka. It offered fresh food, water and the safest

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Paihia

The main service town for Russell and the Bay of Islands

Paihia Waterfront near the Copthrorne Hotel

New Zealand’s Paihia is a place of friendly locals, over 250 businesses with cafes, restaurants, arts and crafts shops, a supermarket, internet cafes and a petrol station, many tourist operators and a wide range of accommodation.

From here you can take the frequent ferries to Russell or a cruise out onto the sparkling blue waters of the Bay of Islands, to see or swim with dolphins, see the hole in the rock, or try your hand at fishing. See our reviews of Sailnz’s sailing catamaran and Kings hole in the rock and dolphin watch tours below.

There are also flights and tours

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Kerikeri

Northland’s tropical fruit capital

Kerikeri is one of the fastest growing urban centres in New Zealand. This is an area overflowing with orchards and galleries, and the main road into Kerikeri is an art and craft trail bordered with cafés, confectionery manufacturers and wineries.

Located on the north-eastern shores on the Bay of Islands, Kerikeri is surrounded by the Far North’s fertile, sub-tropical fruit-producing region, with orchards producing fruit such as feijoas and tamarillos. As such there is plenty of seasonal work available throughout the year for those on a working holiday. Though Kerikeri is a fairly small town, it is important in New Zealand history. Many of the early missionaries based themselves out of area, and it was one

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Cape Reinga

The Most Northern Point of New Zealand.

Cape Rianga Lighthouse

Well, not quite! The real top is Kerr Point, near North Cape, but in the eyes of New Zealand, Cape Reinga is the northern-most tip of our beautiful country. The top is a special place for us kiwis, with the old lighthouse, that creates a delightful photo opportunity.

This place holds much spiritual and cultural significance. The story, which goes with Cape Reinga, is… The Pohutukawa tree is the Reinga, “The place of Leaping”, where the spirits of the dead jump off the edge and climb down the roots of the old tree, and descend into the underworld to return to their original home land of Hawaiki.

This is

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Waipoua Forest

The last remains of the ancient subtropical rain forest that once grew on the northland peninsula, Waipoua forest contains the largest remaining stand of New Zealand’s ancient kauri trees and represents a major conservation effort by the community. Not only the last of the ancient kauri trees being preserved, all wildlife within the park is in the process of recovery with much of the work being done by the Waipoua Forest Trust.

Within the forest, there are a number of walking and tramping tracks, including a wheel-chair access to Tane Mahuta which may be up to 3000 years old is the world’s largest rainforest tree and an icon of New Zealand’s unique natural heritage. Tane Mahuta is the tree’s Maori

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