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๐Ÿš— self-drive itinerary

๐Ÿ›๏ธ minimum 2 night stay recommended

๐Ÿฝ๏ธ dining suggestions offered

๐Ÿ“… visit any time of year


The Kauri Coast and Hokianga are abundant in history and natural beauty. Discover the first place Maori set foot in New Zealand and the world's largest kauri trees. Drive for miles on beach, swim at freshwater lakes and see kiwi in the wild. You'll be rewarded for getting off the typical tourist map when you visit this region of New Zealand.


Highlights can include:

  • enjoy stunning 360-degree views from the top of Tokatoka Peak, a distinctive landmark ๐Ÿ‘Ÿ๐Ÿคณ
  • celebrate the life of Opo The Dolphin when you visit the new bronze sculpture of the friendly dolphin that died more than 50 years ago that enchanted local residents ๐Ÿฌ
  • be humbled when you walk into the presence of Tane Mahuta Lord of the Forest - New Zealandโ€™s famous giant kauri tree ๐ŸŒฒ๐Ÿ˜ฎ
  • walk the fascinating walking trails through the amazing Wairere Boulders environment and explore the unique rock formations inside this private nature reserve ๐Ÿ‘Ÿ
  • The Kauri Museum tells the stories of New Zealand's settlers through the lens of the Kauri Industry - the mighty kauri tree, its fascinating gum and pioneering past ๐Ÿ”
  • idyllic Kai Iwi Lakes in the Taharoa Domain are the largest dune lakes in New Zealand, offering spectacular scenery and great for camping, swimming, fishing, hiking and relaxing ๐Ÿ•๏ธ๐ŸŠ๐Ÿฝ๐ŸŽฃ๐Ÿ‘Ÿ
  • experience the affinity that Maori have with the forest and the deep spiritual respect they have for the largest known kauri trees in the world with Footprints Waipoua twilight encounter tour ๐ŸŒ…๐ŸŒฒ๐Ÿ˜ฎ
  • aside from magnificent views overlooking the region, Dargaville Museum features stories from the districts heritage, and quirks like a collection of over 200 piano accordions ๐Ÿ”Ž
  • unique Hokianga Harbour is rich in both Maori and European history and culture, with stunning 150 metre high sand dunes framing the north side of the entrance to the harbour - relax on the sandy beaches, fish from the wharfs or catch the ferry between quaint Rawene and Kohukohu ๐Ÿš



๐Ÿ“ # of Visitors 2.5

๐Ÿš Beaches 4.5

๐ŸŒฆ๏ธ Chance of Rain 4.0

๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐Ÿ‘ฆโ€๐Ÿ‘ฆ Family Fun 2.5

๐Ÿ›’ Shopping 3.5

๐Ÿฝ๏ธ Food + Wine 3.0

๐Ÿณ๏ธโ€๐ŸŒˆ LGBTQI+ friendly ๐Ÿ‘

Note: the highest possible score is an 8.0


๐ŸŽฅvideo courtesy of National Geographic Travel on Facebook



Length of stay
  • Sit back and relax. We've planned it all for you. 


    Day 1 : Arrive in the Kauri Coast + Hokianga

    The only way to arrive into this region is by private car, unless you are aboard one of the sporadic coach tours that pass through the region. Upon arrival you'll check in to your accommodation, settle in and get acquainted with your surroundings for the next 2 nights.


    On your way to the region, The Kauri Museum provides an interesting insight into days gone by, and the industry that made this region prosper. The souvenirs on display are impressive too, especially the interesting Kauri gum, but check the hefty price tag before you get too excited!


    Dargaville can be a good spot to top up on supplies (food + fuel) before venturing further north, otherwise make sure you detour to the short but taxing walk up Tokatoka Peak for an overview of the region as far as the eye can see in every direction. Or stop by Baylys Beach for views along a beautiful black sand beach that stretches both north and south as far as your eye can see.


    Day 2 : relax with the locals before meeting the Lord of the Forest

    You can't help but instantly relax in this peaceful region, no matter where you've ended up spending your time. Kai Iwi Lakes offer plenty of options to explore and keep yourself entertained, or simply just enjoy the scenery from the beach of these unique dune lakes. Or spend time on Hokianga Harbour and hop from one small settlement to the next while enjoying local quirks and quicky become envious of the lifestyle of the locals


    At twilight we'll get you aboard a Footprints Waipoua to encounter and meet the Lord of the Forest - Tane Mahuta. Gain insight and understanding as to why these trees are so important to Maori, and meet some trees that were already giants before the birth of Christ.


    Tonight we've arranged for you to delight in dinner and celebrate your last night in this region at one of our favourite restaurants in the area.


    Day 3 : Depart the Kauri Coast + Hokianga

    On your way out of the region, jump between giant rock formations at Wairere Boulders. We'll let you know the best way to get from this region to the next part of your New Zealand trip, wherever you want that to be.