Welcome to tropical New Zealand!
You’ll be heading North from Auckland, going over the bridge and through the Northshore destined for Cape Reinga. In between Auckland an Paihia you’ll see a huge change in the environment and lifestyles. After driving North for about an hour you find yourself in a different land, a holiday land, a vast difference from Auckland’s hustle and bustle.
♦ Waitangi Treaty Grounds. When you visit Pahia you must visit the Waitangi Treaty Grounds. This is a hugely significant place to New Zealand and, as such, should be treated with the upmost of respect. The treaty is an agreement between the British Crown and Maori and was signed on 6th Febuary 1840 when New Zealand was colonised. To this day, the treaty often is the topic of contention. Whilst here you’ll be able to visit the new museum and Marae with a tour guide, walk through the native bush area, photograph a huge ‘Waka’ (traditional Maori war canoe) and stand on the same beach that the British first arrived on.
♦ Paihia Harbour. This a fantastic place to relax, its simply beautiful. There are 3 different beaches with the southern end offering decks around the trees to lie in the shade if the sun gets too hot. There’s plenty of activity happening around you with helicopters and boats often going to and from. If you have the time you can jump on the commuter ferry and head over to the less developed Russell.
♦ Rainbow falls, Kerikeri. You’ll be taken into the forest to walk down a long windy gravel track. On your way you’ll be able to sneak a peek through the trees at your destination, Rainbow Falls. Take your swimming gear and go for a swim in the waterfall. If your feeling nimble footed, you can even walk under the falls.
♦ 90 Mile Beach. The 90 mile beach is on the western coast of the far north, the long thin peninsular you’ll see at the top of a map of New Zealand. If you have a 4×4 you can drive on the beach or get a bus tour. The other way to see is to climb up the sand dunes and take in the view from there.
♦ Surf the sand dunes. A great activity whilst heading to Cape Reinga would be surfing the giant sand dunes along the 90 mile beach. Prior to going get a boogie board if these are too costly, you’ll need to get your hands on a large piece of cardboard to sit on, fashion it into a sledge and there you have it, surfing down the dunes.
Now you’ll be close to Cape Reinga. Head over to our post all about the Cape and enjoy!