Top things to do

Top Choice Historic Site in Paihia, Waitangi & Haruru

Waitangi Treaty Grounds

Occupying a headland draped in lawns and bush, this is NZ's most significant historic site. Here, on 6 February 1840, after much discussion, the first 43 Māori chiefs signed the Treaty of Waitangi with the British C…
Top Choice Landmark in Waipoua Forest

Te Matua Ngahere

From the Kauri Walks car park, a 20-minute walk leads past the Four Sisters, a graceful stand of four tall trees fused together at the base, to Te Matua Ngahere (The Father of the Forest). At 30m, he has a significa…
Top Choice Landmark in Waipoua Forest

Tāne Mahuta

Near the north end of the park, not far from the road, stands mighty Tāne Mahuta, named for the Māori forest god. At 51.5m, with a 13.8m girth and wood mass of 244.5 cubic metres, he’s the largest kauri alive, and h…
Top Choice Viewpoint in Cape Reinga & Ninety Mile Beach

Cape Reinga

State Hwy 1 terminates at this dramatic headland where the waters of the Tasman Sea and Pacific Ocean meet, breaking together into waves up to 10m high in stormy weather. Cape Reinga is the end of the road both lite…
Top Choice Historic Building in Kerikeri

Kerikeri Mission Station

Two of the nation's most significant buildings nestle side by side on the banks of Kerikeri Basin. Start at the Stone Store, NZ's oldest stone building (1836). Upstairs there's an interesting little museum, while do…
Top Choice Beach in Mangawhai

Mangawhai Heads

Mangawhai's main claim to fame is the surf beach at the northern head of its large estuary. The large beach-side car park fills up quickly in peak season.
Top Choice Cafe in Mangawhai


Despite the name, Mangawhai's best eatery is nowhere near the sands. Situated in the heart of the village, Dune is half bar, half cafe – with sunny outdoor tables arrayed around both. The food is excellent, includin…
Top Choice Cafe in Mangawhai


Polished concrete floors and a living wall set a quietly stylish scene for a daytime cafe and night-time bistro. Evening meals are sophisticated and deftly constructed, featuring the likes of fresh fish, Scotch fill…
Top Choice Cafe in Whangarei District

Cafe Bianca

Beyond the rough wooden exterior is a corrugated-iron-lined speakeasy where staff dressed as flappers deliver cooked breakfasts, gourmet burgers and seafood chowder to bemused road-weary patrons seated at Edwardian …
Top Choice Contemporary in Russell


Serving an imaginative take on Kiwi classics (lamb, beef, seafood), the Gables occupies an 1847 building on the waterfront built using whale vertebrae for foundations. Ask for a table by the windows for maritime vie…