Northland is New Zealand's Sub Tropical Paradise. Walk along the pristine sands and deserted beaches or track through ancient kauri trees. The oceans are ideal for almost every water based activity you can imagine.
Northland's transparent waters are world famous and a favorite playground for lovers of anything aquatic - including diving sailing fishing boating surfing swimming with the dolphins or even the sharks!
In the far north is Cape Reinga This is the meeting place of two oceans - the Pacific Ocean and the Tasman Sea. As you look out you can see the turbulent waters at the exact point the two oceans meet.
As you look out over the sea, you can see and feel how spiritually important this area is to Maori. It is believed that after death, Maori spirits travel up Ninety Mile Beach to Cape Reinga. Using seaweed as ropes, they travel down the hill to the pohutukawa tree, believed to be over 800 years old, at the northernmost tip of the Cape. The spirits make their final leap from the tree, down the roots, and then return to Hawaiiki, the ancestral homeland of Maori. Cape Reinga is known by Maori as Te Rerenga Wairua, the leaping place of the spirits.
The Bay of Islands is the finest Maritime Park in New Zealand with 144 islands, secluded bays and an abundance of marine life. It is the cradle of European civilisation in New Zealand and has fine examples of Maori culture for you to experience.
The scenery is nothing short of spectacular and can only be fully appreciated by cruising through the area. The area is the warmest part of New Zealand - temperatures average 24 degrees C / 75 degrees F in summer and 16 degrees C/ 61 degrees F in winter.
The Maritime Park is a natural wonderland with an abundance of wildlife including marlin, whales, penguins, dolphins, gannets and many other species.
Northland today is a place where you can indulge the senses - rejuvenate body and soul. With its own unique brand of subtropical pleasures you can find yourself in an exclusive luxury lodge or up-market retreat. Many are off the beaten track, hidden in the tropical greenery or set high up above the coastline far from the nearest neighbour.
At the other end of the spectrum are historic homesteads set amidst acres of gardens and native bush. Some of the new wave up-market bed and breakfasts are more cosmopolitan, located close to town, overlooking their own citrus orchards or tropical gardens. Many feature architecture and interior design, which compliment their sub-tropical environment.
The region is well known for its food and wine trails encompassing the country's northern most vineyard at Kaitaia. Other wineries offer coastal views and caffes which cleverly combine Mediterranean ambience with a distinctive New Zealand flavour.
All around the north, fresh local produce, a wide variety of seafood and award winning local wines are combined in Pacific rim cuisine which wins approval from the most sophisticated travellers.
Locally made gourmet food ranges from a local speciality macadamia liqueur, handmade chocolates, avocado and olive oils, award-winning cheeses, fruit wines, jams, chutneys and pickles - not to mention Northland's answer to Tabasco, 'Kaitaia Fire'.
A number of celebrated artists and crafts people, some internationally known, work here and visits to their studios and galleries can be woven into the wonderful food and wine trails of the north.