Whether you have just arrived in New Zealand or you live here and are looking for a few days away, you should probably start at the very top in the north of the North Island. It would be easy then to work your way down from there, but you may never want to leave! Northland offers so much in the way of ‘must do’s’ but you should probably start with the ‘top of the North’ famous for 90 Mile Beach and the lighthouse at Cape Reinga and so much more. You should visit Kari Kari Peninsular and Doubtless Bay, stunning locations for a first time visitor or an avid local fan of the North.
Only half an hour north east of Whangarei you simply cannot miss out on the Tutukaka Coast and the town of Tutukaka, the gateway to the Poor Knights Islands Marine Reserve. Twenty five kilometres off shore, the Poor Knights Islands have been rated as one of the top ten dive spots in the world. This is a renowned divers’ paradise with more than 50 dive spots around the island, underwater arches and tunnels and the largest sea cave in the world, a record claim lodged in the Guinness Book of records. However it is equally appealing to snorkelers and kayakers and the waters around Tutukaka are renowned for their clarity and abundance of sea life.
Just driving around the Tutukaka Coast, taking in some of the beaches and scenery to be found anywhere is well worth doing. This is a picturesque drive taking you to the seaside village of Ngunguru and on to the famous deep sea fishing and diving base of Tutukaka. The road continues on to Matapouri and Whale Bay, two of the finest beaches in the North. From there you continue on to Sandy Bay, a popular surfing venue and five minute walk to serene Whale Bay presents you with the perfect picnic spot.
Tutukaka itself is a bustling nautical town, fast gaining a reputation as a holiday resort with an abundance of accommodation for all budgets and tastes, including a hotel and apartment complex, motels, cafes and shops. Kayaking, fishing, cruising and river cruises are all alternative water activities. Another alternative to all the above aquatic adventures you can drive over to the Adventure Forest at Glenvevie, only four kilometres from the famed Whangarei Falls. Or you can visit the alpacas at Rocky Bay where you can actually stay in their farm guest accommodation to provide the potential alpaca farmer with the opportunity to experience the tranquillity of working and living with alpacas! So, as you can see, there is just so much to see and do in glorious Northland.