Destination view

Hokianga region

A three-hour drive north of Auckland, The Hokianga is an area surrounding the Hokianga Harbour, also known as the Hokianga River, a long estuarine drowned valley on the west coast of the North Island. Europeans first arrived in the region early in the 19th Century but found the area had been inhabited by the Ngapuhi for centuries before.
Early settlers were less than desirable - many being escaped convicts or deserters. The New Zealand Company (a 19th-century English company that played a key role in the colonisation of New Zealand)  tried to establish the first settlement here in 1826 but the shipload they bought refused to disembark. An Irish couple were the first official settlers and subsequently, the first Catholic mass in New Zealand was celebrated in this area.
The harbour itself is New Zealand's 4th largest but can only be entered by small boats due to a large sandbar at the entrance. However once inside, the waters are navigable up to 20 kilometres inland. On the northern side of the harbour massive shifting sand dunes reach up to 200 metres high and provide great fun to anyone with a suitable apparatus to slide down them.
The small seaside towns of Omapere and Opononi have many holiday and summer homes plus a few craft shops, cafes and a pub. Rawene sits on the harbour around 30 kilometres inland. It is here that the Rawene ferry will take you across the harbour and save you around 1 hour drive if you are heading north to Kaitaia. The town itself has many old wooden buildings with many of them constructed using cantilevers over the harbour. Originally designated as new settlement in 1820 the intended occupants refused to stay because it rained so hard and for so long!

Twilight Waipoua Encounter

Twilight Waipoua Encounter

Be introduced to the oldest and largest known kauri trees in the world. These sentinels have stood silently witnessing the passing of time. Culture and Nature collide here in a sensory experience of a lifetime. Footprints Waipoua is 1 of only 2 NZ and 82 Global Lonely Planet Code Green Experiences of a Lifetime. It is truly an intimate encounter with giant kauri trees who have stood silently witnessing the passing of time. Witness the transition of time and space as the sun sets on an ancient theatre.

Manea Footprints of Kupe Guided Tour

Manea Footprints of Kupe Guided Tour

Enter Te Hokianga-nui-a-Kupe, our sacred cradle of tribal histories. Walk in the footprints of the Maori ancestor – Kupe the intrepid, Kupe the voyager, Kupe the discoverer.
Experience a Pƍwhiri (welcome ceremony) and other rituals and customs experienced through interaction with the descendants of Kupe. Explore the contemporary cultural centre with carvings and artefacts holding the stories of the past, giving you incredible insight into the history of Aotearoa.

New Zealand Touring Styles

A popular style of touring is to take a preplanned self drive road trip.  After a thorough consultation with you we expertly plan and create your self drive tour around New Zealand. These tours allow you the freedom to explore at leisure with the comfort and security of pre-booked activities and accommodations. Route suggestions, APP guidance plus local support mean your New Zealand vacation is in safe hands. See self drive ideas here

If you prefer to let someone else do the work then an escorted small group tour might be for you. Our sister company at New Zealanbd Coach has a range of hand picked small group itineraries are ideal if you prefer to travel in the company of like minded people. Tours are limited to a certain number of participants which means different accommodation options, exclusive activities and of course a knowledgeable guide ensures you get to see the best of New Zealand. See small group tours here. 

A private guided tour offers true flexibility and the security of a knowledgeable local guiding you all the way. Well planned itineraries ensure you see exactly what you want to see but with your own driver-guide you can adapt to suit the day or your preference. 100% tailor-made to suit you a private tour is a great option when travelling as a small group. All our self drive itineraries can be replanned and priced using a private driver and guide, so if it is what you fancy just contact us to discuss.

All North Island touring ideas - See here to explore the diverse North Island - itinerary suggestions.

All South Island touring ideas - Iconic scenery and landscapes await on this made for touring island. See itinerary suggestions

All Nationwide touring ideas - See the best of New Zealand on these all encompassing touring itinerary ideas

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