Occupying most of the Northland peninsula this region encompasses Bay of Islands, listed separately but well worth a mention of its own.
On the west coast Ninety Mile Beach is spectacular, with amazing sand dunes at Te Paki Stream, leading eventually up to Cape Reinga, almost the most northerly tip of New Zealand. At the lighthouse you’ll be rewarded with impressive views of the Pacific Ocean meeting the Tasman Sea.
The region is famed for its beautiful pohutukawa trees, revered by the Maori and today an important connection with home for all New Zealanders. Flowering in December with a burst of brilliant red blooms it is also known as the New Zealand Christmas Tree.
Another famous tree, lying to the west in the Waipoua Forest, is Tane Mahuta. This is the largest Kauri tree in the world, known as the Lord of the Forest and today both protected and rare.