"A day trip to Northland from Auckland." Northland Travelogue by worldkiwi
Northland Travel Guide: 710 reviews and 1,540 photos
I have to say that I would not recommend to anyone visiting New Zealand in the summer months to spend less than 4 days in Northland. However, if you are really pushed for time and have access to a car, you can make a day trip into Northland and see some of its beautiful coastal scenery.
In January 2006, two friends asked me to join them on a one day drive into Northland. We left Orewa (in northern Auckland) at about 0930 and arrived in Whangarei about two hours later. After lunch there, in the Town Basin (the waterfront area), we headed up to the Tutukaka Coast, stopping at the Whangarei Falls enroute. This beach studded coastline is about 30km northeast of Whangarei. We called in at each of the main beaches and had a swim at picturesque Whale Bay.
Our return to Auckland took us less time than coming up. We left Whangarei at about 1720 and arrived in Auckland at 2000. In that time we had stopped for a very leisurely summer evening alfresco dinner in Waipu.
So, if you are on a whizz-bang tour of New Zealand and want to see some of what makes Northland special, but can't fit in a stay in the Bay of Islands, consider hiring a car and zapping up to the Tutakaka Coast near Whangarei.
Here are some pictures from our day trip.
A great place to stop for coffee or a meal. There's plenty of free car parking and it's easy to get to (follow sign posts). Drool at the yachts moored in the basin.
Matapouri Bay is about 36km northeast from Whangarei. The beach wraps around a circular bay. This looked like a place I could have happily spent the whole day!
Not far from Matapouri, on a sharp left bend (heading towards Sandy Bay), you'll see the car park for Whale Bay. Lock your car securely and take valuables with you. Follow the good track down the headland to beautiful little Whale Bay. There are good spots for photographs along the track. Make sure you take out all your rubbish!.
This is a view from the track to Whale Bay.
The curiously named Woolleys Bay is the next beach with road access north from Matapouri. Here it is viewed from the track to Whale Bay. Beyond Woolleys Bay is Sandy Bay.
Bream Bay is a wide sweep of ocean beach south of Whangarei. On our way home to Auckland, we stopped on the northern flanks of the Brynderwyn Hills to take a photo looking back towards the towering Whangarei Heads. The little town of Waipu is located at the southern end of Bream Bay.
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