Twin Coast Discovery

Tour both coastlines of New Zealand's warmest region and discover picturesque beaches and marine adventures of every description.

Discover the Northland coast

Explore some of the many cycle trails and walking tracks and visit locations of local and cultural significance including Tane Mahuta - the famous Kauri Tree, 90 Mile Beach and Waitangi - the 'Birthplace of our Nation'.

6 days
Auckland to Hokianga via DargavilleDay 1
Waipoua Forest, Northland & Bay of Islands by Northland Inc

Depart Auckland and start your adventure north towards Opononi. On the way explore antique and craft stores in Maungaturoto and Paparoa, or visit the Matakohe Kauri Museum.

Discover Waipoua Forest - home to the majestic Tane Mahuta, the Lord of the Forest and largest Kauri tree in the world. 

Continue on to the Hokianga Harbour, where Maori first arrived in Aotearoa, New Zealand. Look out to the stunning sand dunes which after a short ferry ride you could be sandboarding down.

    Drive from Hokianga to Kaitaia (This route includes a car-ferry crossing.)

    1 hr 40 minutes
    Kaitaia to PaihiaDay 2
    Bay of Islands by Alistair Guthrie

    Continue on to the stunning Doubtless Bay, where you can enjoy lunch at the Mangonui Fish Shop.

    The road leading into Kerikeri is bordered by orchards, roadside stalls offer the chance to buy seasonal fruit. Look out for signs showing the way to artists' studios, which give this district its creative personality.

    In Kerikeri you'll find galleries, cafes, vineyards and fascinating historic sites such as the Stone Store and the Mission House. There are also superb bush walks in the area – Rainbow Falls is a perfect picnic spot.

    Spend the evening at Paihia at the heart of the Bay of Islands.


    • Ninety Mile Beach
    • Mangonui Fish Shop
    • Doubtless Bay

      Drive from Kaitaia to Paihia via Doubtless Bay

      1 hr 35 minutes
      Spend the day in Bay of IslandsDay 4
      Waitangi Treaty Grounds, Northland & Bay of Islands By Matt Crawford

      The resort town of Paihia makes an excellent base for exploring the Bay of Islands.

      Catch a cruise to the outer islands, go on a dolphin swimming safari, or take a ferry to the charming township of Russell.

      The historic Treaty House at Waitangi marks the beginning of New Zealand as a nation and is great place to experience some Maori culture.


      • Swim with dolphins
      • Explore Waitangi Treaty Grounds
      • Visit New Zealand's first sea port

        Drive from Paihia to Whangarei

        1 hr 5 minutes
        Paihia to WhangareiDay 5
        Poor Knights Island, Northland & Bay of Islands By Fraser Clements

        The Tutukaka Coast, near Whangarei was named one of the top coastal destinations in the world by National Geographic Traveller.

        Tutukaka is also the gateway to the Poor Knights Islands, a protected marine reserve known for the clarity of its water and abundant sea life. Jacques Cousteau called the Poor Knights Islands one of the top ten dive sites. Click here for a journey map for this area.

        Travel the Whangarei Heads scenic drive as it winds through pohutakawa fringed bays with stunning views to the wild and beautiful Ocean Beach. View recommended journey map for this region.


        • Poor Knights Island
        • Top surf breaks

          Drive from Whangarei back to Auckland

          2 hr 12 minutes
          Whangarei to AucklandDay 6
          Mahurangi, Auckland by Miles Holden

          Slowly make your way back to Auckland via the coastal road.

          You will come across beach after beach along the Ruakaka, Waipu, Bream Bay and Mangawhai coastal environment.

          At Matakana take a detour to check out the Saturday markets or stop for lunch a local winery.

          Back in Auckland, finish your journey with a sunset kayak to Rangitoto or watch the city's glittering lights from the summit of Mount Eden.


          • Matakana markets
          • West Coast beaches
          • Sunset kayak to Rangitoto

            More itineraries