Northland road trip: birds, bikes and bush

The rain had settled in. Mist crept over the brows of hills, brooding and moody.


Cycling in Hokianga. © Alistair Guthrie

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Natural attractions

Zealandia: the world’s first fully-fenced urban ecosanctuary

Explore the world’s first fully-fenced urban ecosanctuary, with more than 30 kilometres of walking tracks and ample opportunities to spot tuatara, kiwi, hihi, saddleback and tūī. Read the story . . . 

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Heritage and history

The Beehive and Parliament Buildings: the heart of Aotearoa's Government

Get to the nub of it at all and join a free guided tour into the heart of New Zealand’s Government at the Beehive in the parliamentary precinct. Read the story . . . 

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Events and festivals

Homegrown: serving up local musical treats for a decade in Wellington

You’ve wandered among the wildlife at Zealandia, you’ve soaked up the citylife along the waterfront, observed bustling bureaucracy at the Beehive: now, you are ready to rock! Read the story . . . 

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Natural attractions

Hokianga: harbouring history

The Hokianga, stretching northeast towards the Bay of Islands on the opposite coast, has one of the longest histories of human habitation anywhere in New Zealand. Read the story . . . 

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Road trips

Hokianga: a road trip around a heavenly harbour

The most rewarding direction to approach the Hokianga is from the south, which also happens to be the leg of the Twin Coast Discovery Highway route featuring the great Waipōua kauri forest. Read the story . . . 

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Natural attractions

Devonport and North Head: Victorian village meets mysterious fort

North Head is the logical location for a picnic day out, which can also include lazing nearby on some of Auckland’s prettiest beaches and exploring Devonport’s boutique charm.  Read the story . . . 

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Natural attractions

Hot Water Beach: dig your own spa pool

Drop into Hot Water Beach, a few kilometres down the coast from Whitianga and remember to take a spade: the bucket is optional, but a garden spade or contractor’s shovel is not. Read the story . . . 

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Things to do

New Chums Beach: a slice of heaven

The east coast of the Coromandel Peninsula has more than its fair share of pretty beaches. Happily, there are still a few that have escaped the developers. New Chums is one. Read the story . . . 

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Natural attractions

New Plymouth: welcome to Taradise

New Plymouth has grown into a funky little city with the view from just about everywhere dominated by Taranaki’s paternal presence. Read the story . . . 

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Natural attractions

Taranaki's gardens: a sight to make the heart sing

Taranaki's gardens are a sight to make the heart sing – especially since you don’t have to do the weeding. Read the story . . . 

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Activities

New Zealand Rugby Museum

There is only one true religion round here, mate, and that’s rugby union. Read the story . . . 

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Natural attractions

Mount Tarawera: sleeping giant

Lake Tarawera, at the foot of the ruins of Mount Tarawera, is the site of New Zealand’s creepiest ghost story. Read the story . . . 

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Activities

Lake Taupō: the great lake

Lake Taupō is actually the drowned caldera of a super volcano, whose eruption in the first century AD caused meteorological effects noted by sky-gazers as far afield as Rome and China. Read the story . . . 

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Activities

Cook Strait crossing: one of the most beautiful in the world

Anyone who has ever done a road trip of New Zealand will have indelible memories of their Cook Strait crossing. Read the story . . . 

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Activities

Raglan: you don’t have to be a surfer, but it helps

Ask anyone with salt-draggled hair and the odd piercing where the best surf break in New Zealand is and there’s a fair chance they’ll name Raglan without a moment’s hesitation. Read the story . . . 

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