SUMMER SPECIAL: Northland is one of New Zealand's true sweet spots
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What better way to spend a Kiwi summer than in the Winterless North? From New Zealand’s longest beach (which isn’t actually Ninety Mile Beach) to our biggest Kauri tree, there’s an abundance of outdoor activities waiting.
Just under two hours from Auckland, the Kauri Coast is accessed on SH1 and SH12 via the Twin Coast Discovery Highway. Known for its ginormous Kauri trees, stunning beaches and rich Maori history, Hokianga’s Kauri Coast is a must-do for any nature-lover looking to experience one of our best drives.
Just a few minutes west of Dargaville, you can enjoy Ripiro Beach, NZ’s longest stretch of sand at 107km. Ideal in a four-wheel drive vehicle, Ripiro can be driven on, and contains many of the 153 shipwrecks that the Kaipara Coast has seen over the years. On top of this, there’s great fishing, surfing, and site-seeing to be done on this epic stretch of rugged sand.
Heading a few kilometres north of Baylys beach are the beautiful Kai Iwi lakes, where pure white sand meets the dark blue hue of the fresh water lakes. Here, shallow areas are ideal for swimming while the deeper parts can produce rainbow trout if you’re handy with a rod. There are two camping areas near the lake, but if you’re looking for a little more comfort, there are also lodges and a resort in the area.
A short distance north of Kai Iwi lakes is Trounson Kauri Park and a Top 10 Holiday Park. Here, campers get the chance to see a kiwi in the wild by taking a guided night tour across the boardwalk through the native forest.
South of Dargaville, you can visit the Pouto Lighthouse. Horse riding and beach activities are on offer by arrangement.
If you’re looking for more vegetable-based activities in the Dargaville area, The Kumara Box is a must-do. Take a tour of NZ’s largest kumara farm on the tractor-powered kumara train, before visiting our smallest church – it’s got it all!
Don't miss the Kauri Museum at Matakohe, and Dargaville Museum.