a VirtualTourist member from Kuala Lumpur
Hi! Trying to plan my time here. Hope someone can help.
Q1: How far (time and distance)if we drive via the west coast (Dargaville, Opinoni..) from Auckland to Ahipara. Including the ferry from Rawene to Kohukohu, EXCLUDING waiting time for ferry, stopping to gape at the awesome Tane Mahuta, Hokianga Harbour, etc.. etc...
Q2: In terms of shorter distance and time, which is shorter .... Auckland- Whangarei-Dargaville or Auckland-Matakohe-Ruawai-Dargaville
You need a full day of driving from Auckland to Ahipara; as you said excluding all the sights along your way to the north. The 'shortest' and 'quickest' way is through Ruawai.
Enjoy your trip in wonderful 'Northland' !!
More info with maps, driving times etc:
Thanks Jaap. The AA website's really useful.
I see you have some interesting tips in your Northland page. Will get to it soon. The internet's still excruciatingly slow (due to damaged undersea cables during the earthquake in Taiwan). Any other tips you might want to share? We're going to Cape Reinga via the Twin Coast Route. Up the west coast, and back to Auckland via Kerikeri,Paihia ....
I suppose you do have a (rental car. But not sure if you are in a 'hurry'.
Some tips to the north:
- you could take the Northwest Highway to 'Helensville'; after Kumeu (were we often stayed) is a turn off to Muriwai; there is a large gannet colony at the beach till the end of February;
- after crossing the Hokianga Harbour by ferry drive to the very remote maori village of Mitimiti on the 'wild' west coast;
- on/from your way to Cape Reinga turn off at Te Paki and drive about 4 or 5 km's till a car park. Here ends the road for rental cars, because they are not allowed on 'the beach'. Just opposite the car park you will find some huge sand dunes. It is possible to walk to 'ninety mile beach' through the stream.
- Cape Reinga: near the parking lot is a trail that goes off to the West, about two miles long down to a large mostly empty beach. The beach itself is amazing; try to be as early as possible to avoid the tourist buses.
Some tips going back to the south:
- Kerikeri has a couple of interesting historic sights;
- At least take alook at Russell, much more authentic than rather touristy Paihia ;
- Tutukaka has a couple of lovely beaches, for instance Whale Bay;
- Goat Island: a marine reserve close to Leigh and Warkworth with a glass bottom boat for a trip.
Enjoy your trip
Feel free to ask more info.
In Kerikeri we have NZ's oldest buildings, the Stone Store and Kemp House, down at the Kerikeri Basin. Just across the bridge is Rewa's Village which is a replica of a pre-European kainga (unfortified village)
Nearby is the site of Kororipo Pa (a fortified village) I haven't been there for several years and don't know what interpretation is available but it may be worth a wander, even though all that remains are the remnants of earth works.
If you're feeling hungry as you head through Waipapa (on SH 10, 10 minutes from Kerikeri) stop at Highway 10 Takeaways.(my local!) They do some excellent gourmet burgers.
Then you could spend some time tramping in Puketi Forest. (If you head out there via Puketotara Road and pass someone riding a big black horse with a small chesnut in tow, that's me. Wave out!)
Going through Kawakawa you will need to have a comfort stop at the Hundertwasser Toilets. There used to be a train that did trips out to Opua but they ran out of money, so Kawakawa's only claim to fame now is the dunny, and you no longer have to look out for trains trundling down the middle of the road.
I agree with vtveen's comments, especially about Mitimiti- try and book a fre nights at Mitimiti Lodge, lovely remote place right on the beach, if you play your cards right the owner will take you rock fishing. From there it is a 3 hour drive to cape reinga
Somewhat confirmed our schedule. After spending a whole day at Cape Reinga, we'll leave Kaitaia early (8am?) the next morning for Auckland.
Jaap, how long does it take to drive from Kohukohu to Mitimiti? I guess I have to multiply the time taken by 2 as we have to double back to cross to Rawene, moving south. Is there another route from Broadwood? Afraid we will not spend a night in Mitimiti, Heather. Anything we shouldn’t miss in Kaitaia? On the suggestion when we are at Cape Reinga, well.. we will be the tourist on the "tourist bus" Jaap talked about :)
Am taking up most of the suggestions for Kerikeri, Russell, Kawakawa – and will certainly wave at Kerikiwi on the big black horse! Thanks for the tip on Highway 10 Takeaways!
Thanks so much…. These are the priceless little tips I look for …. Will begin our journey on 27 Jan.
> Is there another route from Broadwood?
Coming from Ahipara, Herekino, turn off to the right before Broadwood to Pangura, this village is about halfway between Mitimiti and Kohukohu. I think the distance between these two Maori villages is about 40 km’s.
The Rawene ferry departs every hour on the half-hour from Rawene and on the hour from Narrows. The first sailing leaves Rawene at 7.30 am, with the last sailing leaving the Narrows at 8 pm.
You may find a lot of extra information (with very interesting tips and maps) on these two websites:
I'm sure you will enjoy your trip to Northland.
Thanks heaps, Jaap :)