Starting from Auckland to Bay of Islands and Hokianga
Total driving time: 10 h 15 min
Discover The Twin Coast
6 Day Trip
- Bay of Islands beaches
- Giant kauri trees
- Dolphin spotting
Day 1: Auckland to Hokianga via Dargaville
Discover Waipoua Forest – home to the majestic Tane Mahuta, the Lord of the Forest and largest Kauri tree in the world.
Continue on to the Hokianga Harbour, where Maori first arrived in Aotearoa, New Zealand. Look out to the stunning sand dunes which after a short ferry ride you could be sandboarding down.
Ancient Kauri Trail Map available here.
Day 4: Spend the day in Bay of Islands
Day 2: Hokianga to Kaitaia
Journey through yester-year taking in rural New Zealand country-side on your way north to Kaitaia, the main centre for the ‘subtropical’ north.
From here you can arrange a coach tour to Cape Reinga and Ninety Mile Beach.
Or visit Shipwreck Bay, aptly named for its many shipwrecks some of which are still visible at low tide. It has also become a famous surfing destination with left-hand breaks and long rides.
Day 5: Paihia to Whangarei
The Tutukaka Coast, near Whangarei was named one of the top coastal destinations in the world by National Geographic Traveller.
Tutukaka is also the gateway to the Poor Knights Islands, a protected marine reserve known for the clarity of its water and abundant sea life. Jacques Cousteau called the Poor Knights Islands one of the top ten dive sites. Click here for a journey map for this area.
Day 3: Kaitaia to Paihia via Doubtless Bay
Continue on to the stunning Doubtless Bay, where you can enjoy lunch at the Mangonui Fish Shop.
The road leading into Kerikeri is bordered by orchards, roadside stalls offer the chance to buy seasonal fruit. Look out for signs showing the way to artists’ studios, which give this district its creative personality.
In Kerikeri you’ll find galleries, cafes, vineyards and fascinating historic sites such as the Stone Store and the Mission House. There are also superb bush walks in the area – Rainbow Falls is a perfect picnic spot.
Day 6: Whangarei to Auckland
Slowly make your way back to Auckland via the coastal road.
You will come across beach after beach along the Ruakaka, Waipu, Bream Bay and Mangawhai coastal environment.
At Matakana take a detour to check out the Saturday markets or stop for lunch a local winery.
Back in Auckland, finish your journey with a sunset kayak to Rangitoto or watch the city’s glittering lights from the summit of Mount Eden.