7 Day Northland Coastal Campervan Escape
The accommodationDay 1 Auckland
Welcome to Auckland. With an irresistible combination of magnificent natural scenery and a vibrant, yet laid-back, city lifestyle, Auckland is a place of exciting contrasts and endless adventures. Not only is Auckland a great city, but a whole region waiting to be explored. See Auckland from the water on a harbour cruise, or from the sky on a scenic flight, or get a 360-degree birds-eye view of the city from Auckland Sky Tower, standing high as 220m at the Sky Deck.
Auckland city has a plethora of exciting restaurants and bars to experience, from the waterside precincts at Wynyard Quarter and Viaduct Harbour, to the eclectic Britomart and the inner suburbs of Ponsonby Central and Parnell Road. Head to Parnell's French Style Farmers Markets every Saturday and Sunday morning to sample local gourmet treats.
Stay 1 night in Auckland.Day 2 - 3 Auckland to Paihia (228km)
Renowned for its scenic beauty, subtropical climate, fishing, and boating, the Bay of Islands is one of the most popular destinations in New Zealand. Historically, the region is very important, as it is officially where the Treaty of Waitangi, the nation's founding document, was signed by an assembly of Maori leaders and the British Crown in 1840.
You can make your way easily around the Bay of Island's top spots as you make your way to Paihia. Stop at Whangarei, where you can take a stroll up to the summit of Mt Parihaka, the highest point in the city for spectacular views, then stop for a coffee at Quayside, at the town basin. As you continue north, you will arrive in the region's capital of Paihia, an ideal place to swim with dolphins, or take a leisurely cruise for an abundance of wildlife spotting. Take a cruise to Cape Brett and the iconic Hole in the Rock to experience the natural wonders and beauty of the area. A little further up is the Waitangi National Reserve, home to the Treaty House, a beautiful Maori meeting house, and a Maori waka (war canoe).
Stay 2 nights in Paihia.Day 4 Paihia to Mangonui (84km)
As you make your way to Mangonui, you will pass the town of Kerikeri. Stop for hand-made sweet treats at the Makana Chocolate Factory, visit New Zealand's oldest stone building at Stone Store, built by an Australian convict, and marvel at the spectacular 27 metre waterfall at Rainbow Falls.
Mangonui is the main town in Doubtless Bay, where you can explore the several small villages within the bay, stretching from Coopers Beach to Whatuwhiwhi forming a horseshoe around the bay. A short drive takes you over the Karikari Peninsula to Maitai Bay and Rangiputa. Take a stroll through Mangonui and see the historic building on a heritage trail, and be sure to stop in for lunch or dinner at the famous Mangonui Fish Shop, serving locally caught fish. If time permits, or add on an extra night in Mangonui, to travel north to the tip to discover the sacred site of Cape Reinga, where you will witness two oceans collide and see the Cape Reinga lighthouse. The drive will take you approximately 4 hours round trip plus extra time to explore the area.
Stay 1 night in Taipa Beach, MangonuiDay 5 - 6 Mangonui to Omapere, Hokianga (140km)
Travel west to the Kauri Coast and explore the small settlements of Hokianga Harbour with its fascinating history. Stop for coffee at the Boatshed Cafe in the fishing village of Rawene, or stroll along the white sand beach of Opononi, also where you can also catch a water taxi to the sand dunes on the other side of the harbour and go dune surfing. Continue south and visit Footprints Waipoua for an unforgettable spiritual journey through the Waipoua Forest, home to some of the largest remaining kauri trees in the world. See the oldest kauri tree in New Zealand at 1200-2500 years old at Tane Mahuta.
Stay 2 nights in Omapere, Hokianga.Day 7 Omapere, Hokianga to Auckland (170km)
Make your way back to Auckland today for your flight home, or extend to stay a little longer. As you travel south, and time permits, stop into the Matakohe Kauri Museum, or stroll through the antique and craft stores in Paparoa or Maungaturoto.
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