Northland – Also Known as the “Winterless North”
Looking for a place to kick back and enjoy miles of beautiful beaches, gorgeous sunsets, and a warm subtropical oceanic climate with plenty of fun activities at hand? Look no further than the Northland region, also known as “The Winterless North.”
The northernmost region of spectacular New Zealand is well known for its warm humid summers and mild wet winters – it’s no wonder beach lovers and sun worshippers love to flock to this eco-paradise instead of other holiday destinations, year after year to enjoy it’s mostly empty beaches and tropical-like temperatures. Northland, here we come!
Which Way To The Beach?
Northland is no slouch when it comes to fantastic beaches – in fact, the region is renowned for its Ninety Mile Beach: Unforgettable golden sunsets, never ending beach paths and one of the best left hand surf breaks in the whole world! Come see Ninety Mile Beach for yourself.
Ninety-Mile Beach is the superb stretch of sandy beach that reaches from Ahipara all the way to Scott Point, five
kilometres south of Cape Maria van Diemen. For what it’s worth, the beach itself is actually eighty eight kilometres or only about fifty five miles long, but shhh – don’t tell! This Northland beach has another surprise – it doubles as an official New Zealand highway, but is honestly only suitable for 4WD vehicles so don’t attempt it unless you know what you’re doing. It’s really only safe to drive at specific times of the tides, and car rental companies won’t even allow their cars on the sand, mostly for safety reasons, so if you’ve hired a vehicle the question is out. It’s better off this way, as there’s no quicker reason to bring your beach holiday to a screeching halt than having to have your car towed out of the sand! The right way to catch a ride along the beach is to hop aboard coach tour from the town of Kaitaia.
Sand Safaris Cape Reinga 90 Mile Beach Tours
Office Hours: 9.00am to 9.00pm
Tel: +64 9 408 1778
Departing from Ahipara, with Mangonui/Doubtless Bay pickups are available on request, you’ll travel into Kaitaia with the last pick up being The Kauri Kingdom. The Sand Safari 90 Mile Beach Tour features a bus trip along the length of Ninety-Mile Beach including frequent stops along the Northland beach, with a fully packed lunch, sand-tobogganing and a visit to an ancient buried kauri forest. This tour spends a good portion of its time at The Cape!
Experience the wilderness, the beauty and the magnificence of New Zealand’s Northland as you ride along Ninety Mile Beach in a comfortable air-conditioned coach, and enjoy the personal feel of the tour operation. Frequent stops are made throughout this “Far North” full-day Aupouri Peninsula safari tour, as the area is one of many contrasts and highlights such as the sands of the beach itself, the craggy cliff faces, the pure white sands of Great Exhibition Bay, the panoramic vista of stunning Cape Reinga and the rolling grassy farmlands of the peninsula’s interior. Price range: $50.00 per adult and $30.00 per child, call ahead to book and confirm up to date prices and times.
Petricevich Buses / Dune Rider Kaitaia Tours / Commuter Tours Ltd
Address: 36 Wireless Rd, RD2 Kaitaia 0482, Northland New Zealand
Office Hours: Mon-Fri 6.00am-7.00pm
Tel: 09 408 2411
Have you ever gone boogie-boarding down a sand dune? As crazy as it might seem, you can do just that in Northland when you climb on board Petricevich Cape Tours coach with a group of eager Northland adventurers and set off for a day of sun, sand, and surf.. er, surfing the sand, that is. The tour picks you up from your accommodation in Kaitaia, Ahipara or Mangonui upon your request, and brings you out on a day of fun and 90 Mile Beach adventure. Come see the 1941 Cape Reinga Lighthouse, the last manned lighthouse to be build in all of New Zealand. See the place where the Tasman Sea meets the Pacific Ocean, and take in the one-of-a-kind views. Climb the incredible northern sand dunes and then boogie-board your way back down for an incredible ride and an equally incredible photo opportunity!
You’ll have free admission to the historical Gumdiggers Park, where you can experience life as it was for the early New Zealand settlers who prospected kauri gum at the turn of the century, and then recharge your batteries with lunch at Waitiki Landing, included in the price of your tour. If you take the Low Tide Route, a short stop will be made at the Ancient Kauri Kingdom in Awanui, then follow along 90 Mile beach to stop at Te Paki Stream giant sand dunes. After lunch a stop at Cape Reinga, followed by the historical Gumdiggers Park before returning to your starting point. The High Tide Route will include a short stop at the Ancient Kauri Kingdom in Awanui, a trip to Gumdiggers Park followed by lunch, a visit to Cape Reinga, the Te Paki Stream giant sand dunes, then a drive along 90 Mile Beach before return to your starting point. No matter which way you do it, it’s a day filled with fun, history, and excitement!
Ninety Mile Beach Premiere Holiday Park
Address: 6 Matai Street, RD 1, Awanui, New Zealand
Reservations: 0800 367 719
Tel: (09) 406 7298
After a day of fun and adventure you’ll need a place to rest your head – among the many accommodation options is Ninety Mile Beach Premiere Holiday Park. This Northland New Zealand family park is located alongside the famous 90 Mile Beach, situated at Waipapakauri Ramp. The Park is 18 kilometres north of the town of Kaitaia, and conveniently this site is a pick up point for many excursions such as Cape Reinga Bus Tours. Camper van and tent sites are an option for those who want to enjoy the 90 Mile Beach experience on the wilder side – even though you’ll still have access to internet from the internet kiosk, the showers, playground, modern kitchen amenities, laundry facilities, indoor dining area, café, games room, TV room… what were we saying about “roughing it,” again? Oh yes – don’t forget the fishing opportunities the site has to offer, not to mention the surfing, sandy beach exploration, boating, mountain biking, numerous 90 Mile Beach Tours that will pick you up and drop you off right from the park and bring you along on exceptional day trips often with meals included. Suites are available for those who aren’t camping in tents or camper vans, and are offered as self contained units, ensuite family units and standard units. It’s a getaway the whole family can enjoy, and a great accommodation if you’re aiming to head out on different tours of this Northland region attraction!
Come Sail Away
Is there anything more romantic or adventurous than sailing the beautiful blue waters on a majestic tall ship? Come sail away in the Bay of Islands on Northland’s iconic tall ship and become part of the ship’s crew as you help sail the R. Tucker Thompson – or relax and enjoy the ride, it’s your call! The tour is operated by a charitable trust with profits supporting youth sail training programmes, Come sailing on Northland’s own iconic tall ship the R. Tucker Thompson! Considered to be one of the very best holiday activities in the Northland, this sailing adventure never fails to be a unique and fantastic experience.
You’ll have the opportunity to get your hands dirty sailing the ship yourself, helping set the sails, riding on the bowsprit, climbing up the rigging and getting a real feel for tall ship sailing. Alternatively, if taking the ship into your own hands seems a bit overwhelming, you are completely welcome to sit back and enjoy the tall ship adventure while the crew does the dirty work! The ship is comfortable and spacious, and the friendly crew makes it a memorable and personal tour. Indulge in the complimentary morning cream tea and delicious BBQ lunch. When the winds are behind her, the “Tucker” is one of the Bay’s most eco-friendly vessels so can rest assured that your carbon footprint has been kept to a minimum on this day’s adventure, which is definitely a plus! Find them at Maritime Building, Marsden Road, Paihia, Northland.
The Kiwi – Native to New Zealand
You’ve heard of the Kiwi bird, and you can see them up close at Kiwi North! Kiwi North is a Northland site situated
on 25 hectares of volcanic farmland, New Zealand forest lands and bush, featuring views overlooking Whangarei and the Whangarei Heads. Kiwi North is comprised of a museum, a nocturnal kiwi house and gift store, as well as a series of interesting Victorian heritage buildings. If it’s a fun filled day you seek, come to Kiwi North to explore this incredible Northland attraction. Whangarei Museum hosts many interesting collections. In addition to the museum’s permanent displays, there are special exhibitions on display each year – contact the museum to find out which ones are on, and when. The museum also organizes special family orientated Event Days throughout the year, including fun activities. Heritage Park club members open their doors to the public during these events, so if you’re interested in seeing a little bit of Northland heritage and having some family fun, head over to the Whangarei Museum, and be sure to call ahead to know when the special events are taking place.
Kiwi North is also home to the Kiwi House. Immerse yourself into the “night” inside Kiwi North’s Kiwi house. In here you will be able to see the Kiwi bird scurrying about foraging for food as they do in the New Zealand wilderness. Since the Kiwi is a nocturnal animal, the Kiwi House is kept dark during the day to allow visitors to see the bird as it would appear in its natural environment. This Northland attraction aims to protect and promote the endangered native species of New Zealand in partnership with the Department of Conservation, Matakohe/Limestone Island and other conservation groups. They are also home to New Zealand’s most famous reptile, the Tuatara.
Tuatara is a Maori term that translates to “spiny back” in English. The tuatara habitat is coastal forest land or scrub, and like other reptiles, tuatara are cold blooded meaning that their temperatures change with the air temperature around them. Tuatara are nocturnal like the Kiwi, and prefer cool weather – but they do take some time to bask a little in the sun to warm their bodies. Geckos also live in the Kiwi House, and Kiwi North features several endemic species – species that are native only to this region of the globe. The gecko uses its incredible colouring as camouflage, and it can be tough to detect where they are in their enclosures! Don’t miss out on the heritage and interesting animal opportunities this part of Northland has in store, make a trip to Kiwi North.
Address: Gate 1, 500 State Highway 14, Maunu, Whangarei, Northland New Zealand
Tel: 64 9 438 9630
Visit the New Zealand destinations category to learn more about other places to visit in New Zealand!