Places in Whangarei District
Mangawhai Village sits at the base of a horseshoe harbour, but it’s Mangawhai Heads, 5km further on, that's really special. Various Maori tribes inhabited the area before the 1660s, when Ngati Whatua became dominant. In 1807 Ngati Whatua defeated Ngapuhi from the north in a major battle, letting the survivors escape.
Tutukaka Coast & the Poor Knights Islands
If Goat Island Marine Reserve whetted your appetite, diving at the Poor Knights is the feast followed by a wafer-thin mint that might cause your stomach to explode. Apart from the natural underwater scenery, two decommissioned navy ships have been sunk nearby for divers to explore.
Waipu & Bream Bay
The original 934 British settlers came to Waipu from Scotland via Nova Scotia (Canada) between 1853 and 1860. These dour Scots had the good sense to eschew frigid Otago, where so many of their kindred settled, for sunnier northern climes. Their story comes to life through holograms, a short film and interactive displays at the Waipu Museum.
Tips and articles
Ten unforgettable New Zealand beaches
With 15,000 kilometres of coastline, New Zealand is heaven for beach-lovers. Its diverse shores dish up everything from lazy days and blazing sunsets, to active adventures such as swimming, kayaking and surfing...
Bottoms up: New Zealand's top 10 country pubs
With a shed load of rural settlements and a penchant for a cold pint, it’s no wonder New Zealand does a great line in country pubs. Here’s a thirst-quenching selection of pretty spots to imbibe the amber nectar...
New Zealand’s Middle Earth: behind the scenes of The Hobbit
A land of snow-capped peaks, primeval forests and glacier-carved river valleys, New Zealand seemed destined to play a starring role in Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings films...
On the craft beer trail in Wellington
It’s one of the coldest days of the year in the New Zealand capital, but I’m in a Wellington brew pub busily zesting a summery selection of plump oranges, knobbly limes and stout grapefruit...