Kerikeri

Kerikeri, the largest town in Northland New Zealand, is a popular tourist destination about three hours drive north of Auckland, and 80 km north of the northern region’s largest city, Whangarei. It is often called the Cradle of the Nation, being the site of the first permanent mission station in the country, and it has some of the most…

Mangonui

According to some Maori legends, the great Polynesian explorer and navigator, Kupe, sailed from Hawaiiki in his canoe, named Matahourua and landed at Taipa Bay. Others believe that he landed in the Hokianga Harbour around AD 900. I much prefer the first theory here, mainly because Mangonui is situated on such a beautiful spot that I believe it…

Mercury Bay

When Captain Cook was exploring New Zealand on his expedition in the south Pacific, the Endeavour anchored in a bay to observe the transit of Mercury. Once this was completed he named the bay Mercury after the planet. The Moari already had a name for it – Te Whanganui A Hei. Interestingly the memorial of…

Whangamata

Whangamata is a small town on the east coast of the Coromandel Peninsula. The name of Whangamatā comes from the Maori words ‘whanga’, which means bay, and ‘matā’, which means a hard stone, in reference to the obsidian which washes up on the beach. The beach is beatiful, and offers views out to several islands in…

Opoutere

Opoutere is a small beach side community of the east side of the Coromandel Peninsula. I did not know this when I took the photo above but Opoutere means “place of floating posts”. The region has traditionally been occupied and settled. This was until the early 19th century during the Musket Wars, when the area was…

Whiritoa

Whiritoa is a small beach-side town on the Coromandel Peninsula. It has a small population of only a few hundred, however this swells into the thousands in the summer months as people from nearby Auckland & Hamilton seek beach holidays. I traveled through Whiritoa in winter on my way to Whitianga, stopping for some respite from…

Whitianga

From Whitianga you can enjoy all that the Coromandel Peninsula has to offer. From the beaches of Hahei & Hot Water Beach, to water sports out on Mercury Bay, to bush treks. Whitianga, is the second largest town on the peninsula, with about 4700 residents. There are a lot of alternatives in terms of accommodation, from hotels,…

Waihi

Waihi is a small town on the Coromandel peninsula. It is primarily known these days as a holiday getaway. However, Waihi, has its history rooted in gold. It was founded as a mining town during the gold mining era in 1878. The entire peninsula was one of the great gold mining spots in the world at…

Coopers Beach

Coopers Beach is a picture perfect seaside town in Northland. We spent a week here in winter and was treated to a perfect winters escape from Auckland. The small township has a few shops including a supermarket, which come in handy for those staying in town. We rented a holiday home (bach) for a few…

Cape Reinga

The is something magical about Cape Reinga.  It may be because it is literally miles from anywhere, or it could be because here you can see to oceans collide. Whatever it is, you definitely know you are at a special place from the moment you arrive. The Cape is also spiritually significant to the Maori, as…

Tane Mahuta

In Maori mythology Tane Mahuta is the god of the forests and of the birds. Tane Mahuta is also a giant Kauri tree in the Waipoua Kauri Forest in the Northland region of the north island. Standing at 51.2 mtrs, with a trunk 13.7 mtrs wide it really does command attention. The tree is located just a…

Pt Chevalier

Pt Chevalier is one of Auckland’s inner suburbs, just five kilometers from the CBD. Yet when you visit the suburb, which is located on a peninsula on the harbour, you feel transported. All of the city hustle and bustle seems to disappear and suddenly you are on holiday! On summer days the area gets very…