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The most rewarding direction in which to approach the Hokianga is from the south along State Highway 12, which also happens to be the leg of the Twin Coast Discovery Highway route that features the great Waipoua and the Trounson kauri forests.
It’s not that long ago that Matakana was just a bend in the road between Warkworth and Leigh. Now it’s a byword for gourmet food, top-quality wine and arthouse cinema.
Aoraki Mount Cook National Park is a rugged land of ice and rock, with 19 peaks over 3000 metres, including New Zealand’s highest mountain, Aoraki Mount Cook (3754 metres).
There was a time when New Zealanders could get all the locally-produced wine they wanted, so long as they got it from a handful of diehard Dalmatian winemakers making do with limited viticultural resources and licensing laws that viewed sales of wine to the general public as sly-grogging.
By and large, the waters in New Zealand are uniquely well-suited to messing about in boats. There’s not many places where you can’t at least drop in a tinny or launch your dinghy for a quick sail.
Out and about walking
Alpinist and climber Paul Hersey chooses five one-day hikes to our mountain tops to celebrate International Mountain Day on Sunday 11 December.