Twin Coast Discovery
New Zealand’s coastal region has plenty to see and do, including beaches and discovering the marine life.
From Auckland’s Hauraki Gulf, the city of sails, you’ll make your way up north toward Whangarei, where surfing is huge and towns are filled with unique character. Whangarei is filled with amazing restaurants that are located on the waterfront where you can stop and eat before you tackle the Bay of Islands.
From dolphin sighting, boat rides, and historical sites, you will be preoccupied until you make your way to Kaitaia, which is the main base of the tours that go to Cape Reinga and Ninety Mile Beach. Take time to discover the kauri forest, local attractions and coastal lakes as you make your way back to Auckland. Make sure you’re careful when driving in this area. You should familiarize yourself with the roads because they can be winding in some areas.
Plan your trip with a motorhome from Mighway, and let the journey unfold!
Day 1: Auckland - Whangarei
Start by enjoying marine life, wine trails, and exploring the volcanoes in Auckland. Forty minutes north, you’ll come across many beaches as well as hot springs in a small village called Waiwera.
As you continue driving north in your motorhome, you’ll cover Wellsford and Kaiwaka, both with relaxing settings of beaches and nature. You may want to stop and check out the best beaches around — Mangawhai Heads, Langs Beach and Waipu Cove.
With a gorgeous harbour, Whangarei is a subtropical city with quaint cafes, art galleries, and shops, two hours north of Auckland. Don’t forget to visit Whangarei falls while you’re there!
Day 2: Whangarei - Paihia - Kerikeri
Be careful when driving in your motorhome because roads get twisty in the Bay of Islands, but the view is worth it. One hour from Whangarei, the town of Paihia is a great place for dolphin swimming, cruises, and viewing the scenery on a local ferry where you can explore the Bay of Islands. Visit the Treaty House in Waitangi to learn about important New Zealand history.
As you make your way past Paihia, you will run into Haruru Falls. There is a walking track that goes along the falls so you can be right in the middle of it. Stopping at Kerikeri, you can purchase some of the best seasonal fruit around and also explore museums in the area as well. If you’re in the mood for a picnic, Rainbow Falls is a great spot.
Day 3: Kerikeri - Kaitaia
Drive for another hour North to reach Kaitaia. Kaitaia is both the oldest and the farthest northern town in New Zealand. Check out the Te Ahu Heritage museum, to learn about the rich history of the area.
If there's one activity you won't want to miss on this trip, it's taking a trip to the Cape Reinga lighthouse, the very tip of the North Island. To Maori, the Cape has spiritual importance as it is known as a leaping off point, where souls leave to begin their final journey. You can arrange a full day tour of Cape Reinga and interesting places on the way in Kaitaia.
Day 4: Kaitaia - Dargaville
Take the backroad to Dargaville through Herekino Forest, and you can go sand dune surfing in Opononi. After surfing, your new adventure will be through Waipoua Forest, which holds the largest Kauri trees in New Zealand, and the famous Tane Mahuta.
Sand dune lakes in Kai lwi lake is perfect for fishing, swimming, and camping. The total drive time with the forest detours is at least three hours.
Dargaville offers fishing, bird watching, and quad biking as you explore the Kaipara Harbour, as well as a classic small town museum!
Day 5: Dargaville - Auckland
Take some breaks during two and a half hour drive by stopping in the unique small towns.
Antique and craft stores can be found in Maungaturoto village where you can also take in some history. Pick up some dutch cheese in Kaiwaka and enjoy a rural setting of Kaipara Harbour.
When you get in the wine district, Kumeu will lead you toward Waitakere for a scenic drive back into Auckland, and the opportunity to check out some great beaches.