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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Things to do

Mauao Mount Maunganui: holiday hotspot

The proper Māori name of Mauao – or ‘the Mount’, as most New Zealanders tend to call it these days – has a certain poetry that ‘Maunganui’ (‘big hill’) does not. Read the story . . . 

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Natural attractions

Mount Taranaki: picture-perfect peak

Taranaki is about as close as you can get to the ideal of volcanic beauty – almost perfectly round, its nearly symmetrical cone rising to a pointed summit, with a single crater. Read the story . . . 

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Things to do

Ōrakei Kōrako: thermal wonderland

There are still reminders scattered about the Taupō district of the subterranean forces that produced its mighty, first-century eruption and subsequent lake. Read the story . . . 

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Things to do

Port Waikato: where river meets sea

Those unfamiliar with New Zealand geography are often surprised to find the Waikato River, which they first met at Taupō, cropping up again and again as they drive north. Read the story . . . 

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Natural attractions

Adventure time: Rere rock slide

Throw yourself onto your belly on your boogie-board at the top of the slide and hang on for an exhilarating, wet and wild ride to the bottom. Read the story . . . 

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Activities

Rotorua: hot pools

From fumaroles and mini geysers to steaming stormwater drains, Rotorua has hot water and boiling bogs to burn.  Read the story . . . 

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Natural attractions

Te Mata Peak: Hawke's Bay icon

From Te Mata Peak, on a clear day, you can see the whole of Hawke’s Bay laid out before you – up to Māhia Peninsula in the north and the rugged hills behind the coast to the south. Read the story . . . 

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Heritage and history

The Beehive and Parliament Buildings

Discover the heritage and iconic architecture of Wellington's Beehive and historic Parliament Buildings.  Read the story . . . 

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Activities

Whakarewarewa Valley

Picturing the transition from their homeland to the decidedly sub-tropical rigours of New Zealand, you can imagine the attraction of Whakarewarewa for the first Polynesian settlers. Read the story . . . 

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Natural attractions

Tongariro Alpine Crossing

The Tongariro Alpine Crossing offers an insight into just why the park is rated an international treasure and listed as an UNESCO World Heritage Site. Read the story . . . 

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Things to do

The not-so-distant summit: day hikes to mountain tops

Mountain climbing doesn’t just have to be for the experienced or those inclined to take risks. There are plenty of spectacular summits in New Zealand that can be reached with little more than the right provisions, a propensity for physical exercise and common sense. Read the story . . . 

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Activities

Waitomo: caves, waterfalls... and sheep

The golden land stretches out seemingly forever and the place sparkles in sunshine many days of the year with ripe green grass as your view. It’s terrific.   Read the story . . . 

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Activities

East Waikato: discovering Middle Earth

Driving down into the guts of The Mighty Waikato from the Kaimāī ranges you get a good look at the land as it flexes its muscles. Read the story . . . 

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Road trips

Manawatū: off the main drag

The Manawatū is a rich and deeply characterful part of the New Zealand landscape – perfect for a road trip. Read the story . . . 

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Things to do

Hundertwasser Toilets: the loo that made headlines

The internationally renowned Hundertwasser toilet in Kawakawa has become one of New Zealand’s most photographed attractions. Read the story . . . 

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Natural attractions

Waipā: a slice of royalty in the Waikato

From famous athletes to horse racing, cycling and connections to royalty – there's a lot to discover in Waikato's Waipā District. Read the story . . . 

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