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A weekend away in Northland: 11 exciting things to do

A weekend away in Northland: 11 exciting things to do

The winterless North landscape with its rolling hills, dense forests and spectacular coastline offers plenty for stressed-out city dwellers and that much-needed long weekend away.

A weekend away in Northland: 11 exciting things to do

11 things to do in Northland in a long-weekend

1. Dive into crystal-clear waters. You can kayak, sail or paddleboard one of the many beaches around the north or if its diving and fishing you want, head tot he Poor Knights or the Bay of Islands.

2. Marvel at ancient forests. For nature lovers, a visit to the Waipoua Forest with the largest kauri tree, Tāne Mahuta at 1,250 years old and 51 metres tall, is a must.

3. Surf the sand dunes. Another one of the best things to do in Northland? Sandboarding down the 150 metre high sand dunes at Hokianga Harbour that lead straight into cool waters – you will not be disappointed.

4. Explore Aotearoa’s history. For history buffs head to the Waitangi treaty grounds where you will see the world’s largest carved waka (war canoe) at 35 metres long.

Marvel at the ancient Tane Mahuta kauri (left) or surf the giant sand dunes on the West coast

5. Cruise to the top. For a road trip you won’t forget head to the very top of the country and Cape Reinga to see where the Tasman Sea and Pacific Ocean come together.

6. See world-class art. Very soon you will be able to visit the Hundertwasser Art Centre with Wairau Māori Art gallery in Whangarei, and of course there is the renowned Hundertwasser Toilets in Kawakawa that are grass-roofed and covered with mosaics, there is even a living tree.

7. Taste fresh cuisine. Enjoy dinner at Charlotte’s Kitchen in Paihia on the wharf or catch the ferry over to Russell and The Duke of Marlborough Hotel both good local establishments.

8. Browse local markets. For a great farmers market, head to Kerikeri or one of Northland’s neighbouring wineries for one of the more laid-back things to do in Northland.

9. Get up close with dolphins. The Bay of Islands is home to beautiful marine wildlife, including dolphins and whales. With 144 islands to explore, hop onto a dolphin cruise to see these playful animals up close.

10. Bike around. One of the best ways to experience Northland is by bike on the Twin Coast Cycle Trail. Taking you from the east coast in the Bay of Islands to the west in the Hokianga Harbour, the bike trail explores historic settlements, stunning coastal sights, lush forests and more.

11. Drive up Ninety Mile Beach. A trip to Northland isn’t complete without taking a drive up the iconic Ninety Mile Beach. Join a guided tour and cruise along this beach highway or gaze at the spectacular stretch of sand from up high on a scenic flight.

Looking for more weekend getaway ideas? 

Experience the thrill and adventure of The Abel Tasman

Nelson: The perfect weekend escape all year round

A long weekend in Rotorua

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