New Zealand’s Northland is synonyms to family fun in the sun, pohutukawa in bloom and dolphins frolicking in flat bays. It is just rustic beaches without a scrap of development or throngs. It is known for its spectacular remnants of the ancient kauri forests that once covered the top of the country. And it’s a place where history is witnessed and the site of the earliest settlements of both Māori and Europeans. It is undoubtedly the birthplace of the nation.
Here’s five of the popular sights and activities.
1. End of the road at Cape Reinga
Where the waters of the Tasman Sea and the Pacific Ocean meet at Cape Reinga, waves break up to 10m high in stormy weather. This dramatic headland is the end of the road both literally and figuratively: It’s where State Hwy 1 terminates but it’s also where, in Māori tradition, the spirits of the dead depart the world – making it the most sacred site in all of Aotearoa (the Māori name for New Zealand).
2. History at the Bay of Islands
The Bay of Islands is one of New Zealand’s top summertime hubs, and its turquoise waters and several rusty and unexploited islands are huge tourist spots. Big-game fishing, yachting, kayaking, cruising and diving around in the company of whales and dolphins are the primary attraction. It is also a center of enormous historical significance.
3. Surf at Ninety Mile Beach
You must not miss out visiting the west coast of the Aupouri Peninsula, a giant diving board, Ninety Mile Beach, which is located as a continuous stretch lined with high sand dunes. The amazing beach town of Ahipara is the edge of the beach, where everything is real, rubbing shoulders with visiting travelers, sand boarders, and quad-bike riders.
4. Ecological Significance at Waipoua Forest
This is a great forest sanctuary and is the largest remnant of the nation’s once-extensive kauri forests. A kauri, which can stretch up to 60m in height and have a trunk more than 5m in diameter, us an awe-inspiring sight and one of the nation’s treasures. Te Roroa, the local iwi (tribe), manages the forest as part of the Treaty of Waitangi, and also operates the visitor centre, café, and campground.
5. Race Relations at Waitangi Treaty Grounds
Waitangi Treaty Grounds is located on the Bay of Islands, wherein 1840 the first 43 Māori chiefs signed a contested sovereignty pact with the British Crown. These grounds are a warts-and-all memorial to both colonial and Māori culture and history. You can visit here through a guided tour, a cultural performance, and entry to the Museum of Waitangi, the Whare Rūnanga including the Treaty House.
6. Enjoy the waves at Mangawhai Heads
The surf beach at the northern head of Mangawhai’s large estuary is a great place and the large beach-side car park fills up fast in surfing season. The village is a laid-back and undeveloped New Zealand beach town. It is the best place for a natural excursion, where you’ll find a seabird sanctuary and a short kayak across the estuary. Make sure to avoid dotterels and fairy terns nesting here.
So, if you are planning to pay a visit to New Zealand in your next vacation, do not miss out to visit above top New Zealand’s Northland destinations.