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Planing your holiday?
Look no further than Northland's KAURI COAST
Naturally Historic - Unspoiled - Rugged
Nestled in the picturesque west coast village of Matakohe, Northland, The Kauri Museum is one of New Zealand’s most amazing theme museums. Approximately 90,000 people visit our internationally acclaimed Northland heritage museum every year. Open 9.00am to 5.00pm daily (closed Christmas Day).
Tane Mahuta ('Lord of the Forest') is New Zealand’s largest known living kauri tree. It is thought this tree was discovered and identified in the 1920s when contracted surveyors surveyed the present State Highway 12 through the forest. In 1928, Nicholas Yakas and other bushmen, who were building the road, also identified the big tree Tane Mahuta.
Naturally Historic - Unspoiled - Rugged
The Kauri Coast & Hokianga are abundant in history and natural beauty. Discover the first place Maori set foot in Aotearoa and the world’s largest kauri trees. Drive for miles on the beach, swim at freshwater lakes & see kiwi in the wild.
Paparoa and Maungaturoto
Turn left at Brynderwyn and you’ll reach the ‘real’ New Zealand towns of Maungaturoto and then Paparoa, with restored historic buildings and character guest houses. Closer to the coast is the village of Pahi, famous for
its Moreton Bay Fig tree, which sits on the edge of the magnificent Kaipara Harbour.
Discover the history of the ancient kauri tree and its impact on New Zealand at the deservedly famous kauri museum in Matakohe. Admire – or climb, for the more energetic! – the amazing Toka Toka Peak before you drive through the kumara (sweet potato) fields at Ruawai, on your way to Dargaville.
Nestled beside the Northern Wairoa River, Dargaville has a rich heritage of kauri logging, gum digging and shipbuilding, brought to life at the local museum. Local galleries specialise in kauri timber and swamp kauri products, and you can enjoy exploring the local river walks, gardens and delightful cafes.
Baylys to Ripiro
Baylys Beach is the gateway to Ripiro Ocean Beach, New Zealand’s longest drivable beach. This 100 kilometre long beach, backed by high, golden sand dunes is the site of many shipwrecks, but these days is more famous for fishing, paragliding, kite boarding, horse riding and windsurfing
Kai Iwi Lakes
These white sand freshwater dune lakes are both rare and exquisite. Kai Iwi is the perfect spot for swimming, sailing, windsurfing, boating and kayaking. Walk around the lake or cast a fly and try to catch a trout.
Trounson Kauri Park
This predator-free mainland ‘island’ of kauri forest and native wildlife is a window into the ancient and pristine kauri forests of New Zealand. Guided night-time walks are a chance to encounter thriving native species, including kiwi, in their natural habitat.
Driving the highway through the Waipoua Forest is a truly memorable experience, with stunning natural gateways created by huge kauri trees. Stop to pay your respects to Tane Mahuta, the ‘Lord of the Forest’. At over 2000 years old, this jaw-dropping giant is the largest living kauri in New Zealand.
Omapere & Opononi
As you approach the seaside settlements of Omapere and Opononi (made famous in 1955-56 by Opo the dolphin) you’ll be met by the immense sand dunes of Niua. Take a boat across the harbour to the giant dunes and try dune surfing or take a walk on the beach between Koutu and Kauwhare (southern shore of the Hokianga Harbour) to discover the Koutu Boulders, one of the Hokianga’s better kept secrets.
Hokianga is the spiritual birthplace of Maori culture in New Zealand, where Kupe and his people first landed more than 1000 years ago. Life takes on a slower, more relaxed pace in the Hokianga, where you will enjoy the creativity, hospitality and warmth of the locals.
With its houses built on piles, the first pub ever built in New Zealand (Horeke Tavern), and the legend of Cannibal Jack (Hokianga’s first settler), Horeke offers fascinating history to uncover.
Nelson's Kaihu Kauri gallery situated at Kaihu 30 kms North of Dargaville, on State Highway 12.
The 750 square metre octagonal gallery is supported by a 30-ton Ancient Kauri log centrepiece. Nelson's Kaihu Kauri Gallery features:
A large range of wood art
And a wide range of New Zealand-made gifts and souvenirs.