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Trip Report Auckland Northland Tourist Route

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We did this upper North Island trip in New Zealand at the beginning of the year and was a great getaway. We organised the trip through the NZOnline Travel Itinerary system http://www.nzonline.org.nz/nzo/itinerary/31 where you can plan your trip by making multiple enquiries to each accommodation provider and they email back their rates. It's so easy and you just choose the best price / best quality places and your set.

Doing this trip in the Summer months Dec-Mar is the best.

Matakana is a fantastic place with many vineyards you can visit and also do a wine tour. The matakana coast line is awesome with great sandy beaches and plenty to see and do. Just up the road is Goat Island (Leigh). This is a marine reserve and is great for going snorkeling to see some amazing fish life along with dolphins. Matakana is about 1 hr away from Auckland.

Our next stop was the Bay of Islands. There is so much to do here including sailing, diving, fishing, dolphin & whale watching & scenic cruises. There is also the famous whole in the rock that you can go through via one of the cruises.

We visited Waitangi which is the birthplace of the nation and is significant to Maori. After there we played golf at the Waitangi Golf course which was cool. Some of the holes where right on the clif face with awesome views of the Bay of Islands.

After the Bay of Islands we went right up to the top of the North Island, Cape Reinga. This place is unreal where you can see the Tasman Sea and Pacific ocean meet and it's really defined. We then did the 90 mile beach bus tour where you drive on the beach all the way down to Kaitaia. Quite different to the east coast beaches of the Bay of Islands and Matakana. This coast has black sand. It can get damn hot in summer so have some footwear handy.

From Kaitaia we continued south to Whangarei. We stayed at Whangarei heads which is right out on the coast. Beautiful beaches and even caught a few waves on the surfboard. We also went fishing out of Whangarei harbour which was awesome for catching snapper.

We finally made our way back to Auckland City. We stayed right in the city and checked out the Auckland viaduct. the Auckland museum & we went up the sky tower.

Really great trip if you don't have a lot of time but want to see most of the upper north island. Our trip took 8days.

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