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New Zealand Trade Manual has been designed with travel industry professionals in mind.
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Image: Tourism New Zealand, photo by Kim Westerkov

Discover the roots of New Zealand’s human history in a region blessed with spectacular coastal scenery and bathed in subtropical warmth. The Poor Knights Islands marine reserve is considered one of the world’s top dive sites.

From ancient forests to a coastline etched with quiet coves and white-sand beaches, Northland is a place of contrasts. It’s tranquil and unhurried – a place where you can spend days sailing amidst unpopulated islands and then dine at a marina restaurant. In a region dense with history, the line between past and present thins in forests that have stood for millennia and on harbours where New Zealand’s settlers first dipped oars many centuries ago.

Download the Northland section from New Zealand Trade Manual 2013

Northland (from New Zealand Trade Manual 2013) (1410)


Poor Knights Islands This extraordinary marine reserve features the largest underwater cave in the world and spectacular reefs. Explorer Jacques Cousteau regarded it as one of the world’s top dive locations. Cape Reinga and 90 Mile Beach The northernmost point of mainland New Zealand is a place of deep spiritual significance to Maori. Hokianga Harbour Surrounded by historic villages, this is believed to be the place where Maori voyagers made landfall 1,000 years ago. Waitangi Treaty Grounds The historic Treaty House nestles in beautiful gardens, along with a huge waka (canoe) and carved Maori Meeting House, in this sacred place. Kauri forests The largest remaining forests of New Zealand’s giant ancient Kauri trees exist on Northland’s west coast. Tane Mahuta in Waipoua Forest is thought to be at least 1,500 years old. Subtropical beaches An abundance of golden beaches: bathe in subtropical warmth – Bream Bay, the Tutukaka Coast, Whangaroa Harbour and Doubtless Bay offer some of the best.


Mangawhai White-sand beaches. Waipu Village with a Scottish flavour. Whangarei NZ’s northernmost city. Tutukaka Gateway to the Poor Knights Islands. Kawakawa Famous for its Hundertwasser toilets. Paihia Base for exploring the Bay of Islands. Opua Bay of Islands marina. Waitangi Home to the Waitangi Treaty Grounds. Kerikeri History and craft galleries. Whangaroa Tranquil harbour and spectacular beaches. Kaitaia Last town before Cape Reinga. Ahipara Southern end of 90 Mile Beach. Rawene Craft galleries and heritage. Omapere & Opononi Popular for beach holidays. Dargaville Main west coast town. Matakohe Visit the famous Kauri Museum.

Getting There and Around

Air Whangarei, Kerikeri and Kaitaia airports all offer domestic flights to New Zealand destinations only. Road Access from Auckland is via State Highway 1 on the east coast and State Highway 12 on the west – together they form the Twin Coast Discovery Highway. The Northern Gateway Toll Road costs NZ$2 for cars, but shortens the journey to Northland by about 15 minutes. Coaches operate between the main centres in the region. Whangarei to Dargaville [71 km; 1 hr] Whangarei to Kaitaia [155 km; 2 hr, 15 min] Whangarei to Paihia [165 km; 2 hr, 20 min] Auckland to Whangarei [165 km; 2 hr, 20 min] Auckland to Dargaville [180 km; 2 hr, 35 min] Auckland to Cape Reinga [436 km; 6 hr, 15 min]. Ferry Vehicle ferries operate regularly across the Hokianga Harbour between Rawene and Kohukohu, and across the Bay of Islands between Opua (near Paihia) and Okiato (near Russell). Passenger-only services operate between Paihia and Russell.

Making the Sale

  • Northland is the seat of New Zealand’s human history. A visit to the Waitangi Treaty Grounds is a fascinating must- see for any visitor.
  • A subtropical climate makes Northland the perfect region for beach holidays and boating adventures.
  • The oldest known Kauri trees are on Northland’s west coast.
  • Northland offers some very high-end accommodation options in the form of luxury lodges and golf resorts.
  • Whangarei is Northland’s only city and, with its range of accommodation and amenities, it makes a good base.

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