Northland Travel Guide
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Northland is blessed with splendid weather, long, white-sanded beaches, a couple of NZ’s most incredibly impressive kauri trees and much more. The region is sometimes called the Far North of the North Island, and has the Tasman Sea to its west and Pacific Ocean to its east.
Whangarei, a city by the sea, is the biggest urban area in the least urbanised region in all of New Zealand. Quayside is Whangarei’s dining and entertainment hub, and the local produce can be sampled at the Whangarei Growers Market, held every Saturday at 6:30 - 10:30 am at Water Street.
Maybe the best-loved of all of Northland’s beaches is Ninety Mile Beach, on the west coast. The stretch of pristine golden sand and clean water is actually 88 kilometres long, but its misnomer doesn’t make it any less enjoyable. The northern dunes are very popular with tourists and bodyboarders, for whom the declines will do just nicely if there’s no swell.
Also on the west coast, and north of Dargaville, the Waipoua Forest is the largest of the remaining kauri forests in New Zealand. Most notable is the Tane Mahuta (Lord of The Forest) which stands 51.5 metres tall (and is still growing), possesses a diameter of 4.4 metres, and is about 2,000 years old. Another mighty tree, Te Matua Ngahere (Father of The Forest) is believed to date back to the bronze age.
Another natural wonder is the Wairere Boulders collection, in a nature park created on a private property in the Wairere Valley. There are hundreds of basalt boulders, some up to 30 metres in height, in an area of boulders 1800 metres long and 250 metres wild. These can be visited year-round, and aren’t comparable to anything else in the world.
The Northland region enjoys a sub-tropical oceanic climate. The average maximum and minimum temperatures for Whangarei are 24.4 and 15.4 degrees Celsius in January, and 15.1 and 7.2 in July.
The nearest major airport is Auckland. Flights are available from Air New Zealand (from many locations, including from Wellington, Christchurch and Rotorua) and Jetstar (from Christchurch, Wellington, Queenstown and Dunedin).