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The subtropical region of Northland continues north from Auckland to the very top of the North Island, capped off by Cape Reinga. With an abundance of islands and secluded beaches, ancient kauri forest, lush native bush and an incredibly rich history, every beach, bay, shore, and forest in Northland have a story to tell, which has to be seen to be believed.
The classic road trip to New Zealand’s northern extremity is best made up one coast and down the other, making sure you get a glimpse of all the magical seaside scenery on the way. Explore the rugged west coast and the relaxed east coast. In the beautiful Bay of Islands, take a boat cruise, view dolphins, explore under the sea or, relax and embrace the winterless weather.
Auckland to Paihia is an easy 3-hour drive on State Highway 1, with plenty of highlights along the way, stopping off at popular spots and giving the family a chance to stretch their legs.
- Incredible coastal scenery
- Towering Kauri forests
- Bay of Islands cruises
- Marine life encounters
- Landmark historic sites
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Northland Must Do's
Northland Campervan Road Trips
Northland Travel Tips & Inspiration
Things To Do In Northland
The Poor Knights Islands offer some of the best sub-tropical diving in the world. Dive deep below or float atop the surface at the Poor Knights Islands and discover a sub-tropical paradise. Marvel at the abundance of marine life ranging from sponge gardens, shellfish, colourful fish, urchins, and anemones. The fish found here are known for their friendliness and make for an incredibly memorable experience.
The islands famous arches are incredible to explore, with endless animals living on the walls. Many of the fish living in the marine reserve can’t be found anywhere else in New Zealand, offering an incredibly rare experience. Diving and snorkelling are the best ways to explore underwater at these islands, so book a tour and it's sure to be one of the highlights of your Northland road trip experience.
Whether you're a local or an international traveller, a visit to the Waitangi Treaty Grounds will welcome you on a journey of discovery through the most important historic site in New Zealand. Experience an informative, inspiring, and interactive full-day tour through the two contemporary museums in Waitangi.
This guided tour will take you through the Grounds where you can admire Maori cultural performances, admire the giant waka and take in sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean before enjoying a hearty meal cooked in a hangi.
Northland stretches all the way to the most northern part of the North Island, where the Tasman sea meets the Pacific Ocean at the tip of New Zealand, Cape Reinga. Offering the ultimate northern New Zealand experience, witness the two oceans collide and discover the place where Maori spirits begin their final journey.
Near the tip of Cape Reinga you will find the largest sand dunes in the Southern Hemisphere, the Te Paki Sand Dunes. Climbing to the top of the dunes will require some serious effort, but it’ll all be worth it when you rush down them via a boogie board.
While you’re near the top of the North Island, be sure to visit Ninety Mile Beach for a spectacular sunset.
Situated just north of Dargaville is New Zealand’s most famous kauri forest, Waipoua Forest. A short five minute walk from the road side will transport you to an ancient world of towering trees with a green canopy full of rare birds. Within this forest you will find Tane Mahuta, the largest kauri tree in the country. Approximately 2,000 years old and still growing, this tree stands at nearly 18 metres to the first branch and 4.4 metres in diameter. Before you go, make sure you respect displayed kauri protection guidelines and read about the threat of kauri dieback.
One of the best ways to explore the mid North, the Twin Coast Cycle trail will take you through iconic New Zealand scenery with magnificent views and an incredible adventure through New Zealand's earliest Māori and European settlements. If you’re up for an adventure, complete the full 87 km ride from the east coast of the Bay of Islands to the Hokianga Harbour. If you’ve got the kids in tow or just want to complete a shorter trail, this track is split into four sections so you can find something suited to your abilities.
A trip to Northland wouldn’t be complete without a boat trip across the sparkling waters of the Bay of Islands. Embark on a boat trip and get up close to the cliffs of Cape Brett, travel through the iconic Hole in the Rock and stop in at some spectacular bays and islands for a spot of sunshine and swimming. There is an incredible collection of activities to explore the Bay of Islands from scenic flights, boat cruises, walking tracks, kayaks, paddle boarding and sailing. So what are you waiting for? Start planning your Northland adventure now!
Britz Campervan Branches
Pick up your campervan from our Auckland branch and explore the wealth of wild places to visit, such as ruggest west coast beaches and the island of Rangitoto. Head North for a classic New Zealand road trip that's full of seaside scenery as you head to highlights like the Bay of Islands in Northland. Or if you're looking for an adventure packed holiday, head south to explore the central North Island.
The drive from the upper North Island to Christchurch offers a few different paths. Follow the Pacific Coast Highway from Auckland, stopping in at highlights of the Coromandel, Bay of Plenty and Taupo before heading to the capital of Wellington and jumping on the Interislander across the Cook Strait to the South Island. Our Christchurch branch is then a 4 and a half hour drive down the east coast. The perfect road trip if you're looking to see as much of New Zealand as you can in one trip.
New Zealand's renowned adventure playground, Queenstown is an exhilarating, year-round alpine resort. With somany activities and natural delights to choose from, no campervan trip is complete without a visit to this hot spot. Although a long drive from the upper North Island, taking some extra time to explore all the pockets and highlights along the way, you're bound to discover more of New Zealand than ever before.
Helpful Tips for Visiting Northland
Climate and seasons in Northland
Because of its northern location, low elevation and close proximity to the sea, Northland is characterised by its tropical climate. The region enjoys a mild, humid climate. Summers are warm and tend to be humid, while winters are mild with many parts of the region only having a few light frosts each year. If you’re looking to enjoy an endless summer or escape the winter chills of other parts of New Zealand, Northland is the perfect place for you to explore by campervan.
Nearby attractions and day trips from Northland
A visit to Waipu Caves will really have you going off the beaten track. Experience the raw beauty of these untouched caves as you explore the stalactites and a galaxy of glowworms. Located on Waipu Caves road, 25 minutes south of Whangarei, explore these incredible caves and take the nearby walking track through farmland and limestone formations to admire the sweeping views of the Whangarei Harbour.
Home to some of the best beaches in Northland, the white sand beaches of Whale Bay and Matapouri are bucket list locations when travelling New Zealand by campervan.
Another gem in the Northland region, Matauri Bay is a popular surfing destination during an easterly swell. Otherwise it’s calm pristine waters and golden sands which make it the perfect spot for snorkelling.
What to pack
Northland enjoys a mild climate year round, but it’s important to make sure you have all bases covered when you are packing. In summer you will most likely be dressed in shorts and a shirt or light clothing most of the time, but make sure you bring some warm layers and a waterproof jacket in case it gets cooler in the evenings or there’s an odd shower. If you’re in Northland between May and September, it will most likely still be pretty mild so heavy layers aren’t necessary but be sure to pack some warmer options.