Be amazed by the dramatic beauty and diversity of an adventure through Northland. Be sure to allow plenty of time to get the most out of your trip through Northland. Mighway recommends you allow a minimum of 7 days to do this part of the country justice. Start by taking a road trip from Auckland to Kerikeri - the first European colony in New Zealand. The route is 242 breathtaking kilometres of Highway 1 all the way to the Bay of Islands. There are some amazing views to be seen on the drive, before you even get out of your vehicle. Don't miss out some of the great stops along the way, like glow-worm caves and local towns, and be sure to check out our top ten tips for exploring the region. And of course, make your way to the northern tip of the country to visit Cape Reinga. For a full Northland experience, try out the Twin Coast Discovery Highway. Head up along the Kauri Coast, up to Cape Reinga, back towards the Bay of Islands, and then back along the coast to Auckland.
Shelly Beach, Auckland
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The Treaty Grounds features Te Kōngahu Museum of Waitangi, the Treaty House, the carved Meeting House and the world’s largest ceremonial war canoe. Enjoy strolling through one of New Zealand’s great beauty spots with its panoramic views of the Bay of Islands. Visitors to the Waitangi Treaty Grounds purchase a Day Pass that includes a guided tour of the grounds and a cultural performance in the carved Meeting House. Hāngi & Concert evenings are scheduled from 1 December to the 30th March.<br><br> The new award winning Museum of Waitangi opened in February 2016 and tells the story of Maori and European contact and the ongoing development of New Zealand as a nation through a mix of traditional museum displays and interactive technology; including digital labels and large-scale audio-visual displays.
Otuihau Whangarei Falls is a picturesque waterfall, falling for 26 metres over basalt cliffs, surrounded by park, native New Zealand bush and walkways. You can view the waterfall from a choice of 3 platforms above the falls or by walking down a well-maintained gravel track to the bottom. The pool at the base of the falls is also a popular swimming spot. Traditionally this area was a good eeling spot for the local Māori.
This short walk, starting at the Rainbow Falls carpark, is accessible by wheelchair.<br><br> Three stunning viewing platforms are at the top of the Rainbow Falls.<br><br> The Te Araroa Trail joins the Kerikeri River Track at this point and carries on down the hill towards the Kerikeri Basin.<br><br> 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.<br><br> There are parking and picnicking areas at the end of Rainbow Falls Road.<br><br> 10,000 Steps Northland: This track equates to about 533 steps.<br><br> Getting there<br><br> From Kerikeri township, head north-east to the Heritage Bypass, then turn left into Waipapa Road. Rainbow Falls Road is on the left off Waipapa Road. Access to the Rainbow Falls is from the parking area at the end of Rainbow Falls Road or from the Kerikeri River Track itself.<br><br> Nature and conservation<br><br> You may hear tui call, and see fantails flitting about while you walk.<br><br> Puriri, totara, karaka, and manuka shelter the path to the viewing platforms.<br><br> History and culture<br><br> The third platform is at the head of an historic weir that supplied the first electrical power to the early Kerikeri township. Remnants of the Kerikeri hydro-electric station and weir are still visible and an information panel is situated at the rest area.
The award winning Kauri Museum tells the story of our pioneering settlers through the lens of the Kauri Industry. The museum specializes in the legacy of our Kauri Forests; specifically the strong durable timber and the highly prized Kauri Gum.<br><br> Experience the adventures of our pioneering settlers and appreciate the legacy of our kauri forests.<br><br> - Explore our interactive hands-on displays.<br><br> - Venture into our historic buildings and escape into the pages of our history books.<br><br> - Get to know the people behind the mannequins and the stories they have to share.<br><br> The Kauri Museum offers something for all ages. It is also a centre of excellence for kauri research with an extensive collections archive. <br><br> The Kauri Museum recounts the history and the legacy left behind by our ancient Kauri Forests (second in size only to the American redwood tree). In addition to preserving our past, the Museum has a role to play in conserving their future, collaborating to “Save our Forests”.
The Waipu Caves are completely undeveloped, unguided and absolutely free. Entry is at your own risk. The Cave System is considered regionally important for geomorphology, because it includes the largest cave passage in Northland. Bones of bats, birds, amphibians and reptiles may be found along with the remains of fossil invertebrates. Entry to the cave is wide and the ground can be muddy. Stalactites hang from the ceiling and just to the left of the entrance is an enormous stalagmite. Even with torches, it is recommended that you pause inside the cave’s entrance for a few minutes to allow your eyes to adjust. <br><br> Continuing in, there are no tracks or paths in the cave and wading through water and clambering over mud banks may be necessary. There is a cold shower outside the cave that you can use to clean up afterwards. In places, it will be narrow and tight. The cave is in three sections with the third chamber being the best for viewing the ‘galaxy’ of glow-worms. This area also features limestone /karst rocks and boulders that have weathered into beautiful, surreal shapes. These rocks provide habitats for plant that grow on calcerous soils.Visit Waipu Caves
A beautiful island connected to the mainland by a causeway. Walk by day around the island enjoying views of Kerikeri inlet and lots of wildlife. There is the option to also stay overnight as it is a functional campsite with great facilities and the chance to spot kiwi birds at night.Visit Aroha Island Eco Centre
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