"Northland" Top 5 Page for this destination Northland by kiwiwahine

Northland Travel Guide: 720 reviews and 1,635 photos


Northland is a place where you can indulge the senses - rejuvenate body and soul. You can find yourself in an exclusive luxury lodge an up-market retreat or a family run campground. Many are off the beaten track, hidden in the tropical greenery or set high up above the coastline far from the nearest neighbour.

All around the north, fresh local produce, a wide variety of seafood and award winning local wines are combined in Pacific rim cuisine .
The region is well known for its food and wine trails encompassing the country's northern most vineyard at Kaitaia. Other wineries offer coastal views and cafés which cleverly combine Mediterranean ambience with a distinctive New Zealand flavour.

Locally made gourmet food ranges from a local speciality macadamia liqueur, handmade chocolates, avocado and olive oils, award-winning cheeses, fruit wines, jams, chutneys and pickles - not to mention Northland?s answer to Tabasco, ?Kaitaia Fire?

A number of celebrated artists and crafts people, some internationally known, work here and visits to their studios and galleries can be woven into the wonderful food and wine trails of the north.


Explorers, traders and missionaries - Europeans began living in Northland in the late eighteenth century. They came first on voyages of scientific exploration, soon to be followed by traders seeking deep sea whales and seal colonies. Missionaries headed the next wave of arrivals. On Christmas Day in 1814, on the northern shores of the Bay of Islands, Samuel Marsden preached the first Christian sermon in New Zealand. Soon mission stations were established throughout the region.

In the early 1850s, five ship-loads of Gaelic-speaking Highlanders settled at Waipu on the east coast to create their own slice of Scotland. On the west coast, emigrants from Dalmatia lived a down to earth life digging gum. And throughout the region, colonists from England, Ireland, Wales and Scotland arrived to mill the forests and establish farms.

History that can still be seen - Historically significant sites abound in Northland. From a Maori perspective, the pa sites of Kororipo and Ruapekapeka in the Bay of Islands are culturally and spiritually important.

European history can be appreciated with visits to the Stone Store and Kemp House in Kerikeri ? respectively the oldest stone building and the oldest house in New Zealand.

At Waitangi you can view a copy of the treaty that tied together the lives of European and Maori people when it was signed in 1840. Across the harbour from Waitangi lies Russell which was once a place of roughly spoken sailors, grog shops and bawdy houses. It was known as ?the hell hole of the Pacific?.

Throughout your Northland travels, you?ll see that the history of the region gives character to the landscape. Quaint white churches, grand old homesteads, tiny wooden cottages, pa sites carved into mountain tops and peninsula headlands. Poignant reminders of a fascinating past.

The magical essence of Northland?s colourful past is preserved in historic buildings and places waiting for you to explore. Much of Northland?s hundreds of miles of coastline remain unspoilt, an aquatic paradise, a truly amazing playground and experiential ecological classroom, encompassing ancient kauri forests, windswept harbours and a host of other natural experiences.

  • Last visit to Northland: Jan 2001
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (11)

Comments (4)

  • asturnut's Profile Photo
    Jan 13, 2005 at 11:35 AM

    Northland is definitely going to be on my itinerary. The Matauri Bay Camp sounds right up my alley...

  • Bernd_L's Profile Photo
    Nov 23, 2004 at 3:29 AM

    Good tips and great pictures! I guess I should do a trip to NZ. If only the flight from Europe wouldn't be that long.

  • kiwi's Profile Photo
    Aug 24, 2003 at 3:52 PM

    It's really a lovely part of NZ, and you've showed us it's beauty well. Thanks Ange.

  • pepples46's Profile Photo
    Jul 2, 2003 at 12:14 AM

    just as beautiful as the south of the South Island....heaps of infos and great presentation thnx for sharing Ange


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