Northland and the Bay of Islands: Places to Explore

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  • Hokianga and the Kauri Coast

    A peaceful harbor moves inland into the Hokianga region. It's a quiet area with small towns, unspoiled scenery, and proximity to the giant kauri trees on the Kauri Coast, a 20-minute drive south...

  • Kerikeri

    Kerikeri is often referred to as the cradle of the nation because so much of New Zealand's earliest history, especially interactions between Māori and Europeans, took place here. The main town is...

  • Paihia and Waitangi

    As the main vacation base for the Bay of Islands, Paihia is an unremarkable stretch of motels at odds with the quiet beauty of the island-studded seascape. With its handful of hostels, plus the...

  • Russell

    Russell is regarded as the "second" town in the Bay of Islands, but it's far more interesting, and pleasant, than Paihia. Hard as it is to believe these days, sleepy little Russell was once dubbed...

  • Warkworth

    A sleepy town on the banks of the Mahurangi River, Warkworth was established in 1853. With lime mined from the local river, it became the first cement-manufacturing site in the southern...

  • Whangarei

    The main center in Northland is the Whangarei (fahng-ar-ay) District; Whangarei Harbour was traditionally a meeting place for Māori tribes traveling south by waka (canoe). The full Māori name of the...

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