BIRTHPLACE OF OUR NATION
THE WINTERLESS NORTH
Sub-tropical, authentic yet cosmopolitan and rich in history.
The Far North offers a unique quality of life — a sub-tropical climate and cosmopolitan yet relaxed small scale towns and communities. Both Kerikeri and Waitangi in the Bay of Islands claim the right to birthplace of our nation and are home to many important historical sites. The Far North has picturesque coastal and rural towns, sheltered bays and harbours with white sand beaches and abundant kaimoana, some of our country’s most significant podocarp rainforests and vibrant farming, horticulture, fishing and tourism sectors. The estimated total resident Far North population is 61,000 (i.e. excluding Whangarei District estimated itself to be nearing 90,000 residents).
KERIKERI & THE PURERUA PENINSULA
KERIKERI. SO NICE THEY NAMED IT TWICE.
The Māori meaning for Kerikeri is 'to dig up repeatedly' in reference to the fertile soils and established place for cultivation of crops.
Kerikeri is the largest town in Northland with a population of over 7,000 residents. It is a vibrant rural service centre and a popular domestic and international visitor destination about three hours drive north of Auckland and 80 km north of the region’s largest city, Whangarei. It is often called the ‘Cradle of the Nation’, being the site of the first permanent mission station in the country, and it has some of the most historic buildings in the country. Built in 1822 the Mission House is New Zealand’s oldest standing wooden structure and the Stone Store is the oldest stone structure completed in 1836. Just 30 minutes north on the Purerua Peninsula is Marsden Cross at Rangihoua — where the first Pākehā missionary settlers landed in 1814. The Bay of Islands Airport is just a 7 minute drive from the Kerikeri Town Centre.
PAIHIA, RUSSELL, WAITANGI & OPUA
JEWEL OF THE BAY
The place where New Zealand's nationhood was founded.
Paihia is described as ‘the Jewel of the Bay of Islands’ and is the main tourist hub. It is about a 20 minute drive south from Kerikeri and a short boat trip directly across Pomare Bay to the historic town of Russell — one of New Zealand’s earliest Pākehā settlements. Originally known as Kororāreka, Russell was an important shore station for shipping in the early 1800s with a notorious reputation for lawlessness. Jean Baptiste Pompallier established a Roman Catholic mission there in 1842 , which is New Zealand’s oldest industrial and rammed earth building.
Nearby to the north of Paihia is the historic Waitangi Treaty Grounds — the place where Māori chiefs first signed their accord with the British Crown (the Treaty of Waitangi), New Zealand’s founding document. The original Treaty House was pre-cut in Sydney from Australian hardwood and shipped to New Zealand for assembly on site in 1834 (New Zealand’s first pre-fabricated house). Retail, residential and commercial areas lie to the west of Paihia waterfront and just a 10 minute drive to the south is the town of Opua — with port, marina, vehicular ferry and the ‘Pou Herenga Tai’ Cycle Trail start or finish point. The combined population, including the Rawhiti surrounds, is about 7,000 residents.
KAIKOHE, WAIPOUA & THE HOKIANGA
THE HEART FOR RURAL & MĀORI NORTHLAND
Cultural heart for Ngāpuhi — and strategic rural hub.
Kaikohe has about 4,500 residents with another 4,000 in the wider surrounds. It is a strategic hub for the province of Northland, providing retail and service facilities for an extensive farming district taking advantage of the highly fertile soils. It is recognised as the centre of culture for Ngāpuhi — the largest Māori iwi in New Zealand. Within a 50 km radius of Kaikohe there are many popular visitor attractions such as the Bay of Islands, Waipoua Forest with its giant Kauri trees, the beautiful Hokianga Harbor with its quaint seaside settlements of Omapere and Opononi and giant sand hills, the Puketi and Omahuta Kauri forests, the Waiomio limestone caves and the historic towns of Rawene and Kohukohu.
WHANGAROA, DOUBTLESS BAY, KAITAIA & AUPŌURI PENINSULA
SMALL SEASIDE VILLAGES RICH IN HISTORY
Stunning beaches and bays one after the other and what must be the best boating and fishing waters in New Zealand.
Located about 20 minutes north of Kerikeri, Whangaroa is known as the ‘Marlin Capital’ of New Zealand and offers deep anchorage and easy access to nearby Cavalli Islands, Te Ngaere Bay and the Mahinepua Peninsula with their superb beaches and fishing. A little further north is the charming fishing village of Mangonui — a former whaling and trading hub. Further up the coast is a series of stunning bays and harbours — Doubtless Bay, the Karikari Peninsula, Rangaunu Bay, Houhora Harbour, Great Exhibition Bay, Parengarenga Harbour and Spirits Bay. Kaitaia, with a population of over 5,500, services the many small coastal communities located to the north on the Aupōuri Peninsula — all the way to Cape Reinga.