Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 24

Thread: Ideas for places to visit in North Island?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Ruislip, Middlesex
    Posts
    160

    Question Ideas for places to visit in North Island?

    Helloooooo

    We are currently planning for our next trip to NZ and we are looking for ideas of places to visit that may either be 'off the beaten track' or 'places that only locals know about (could be an area with a beautiful view, lovely cafe or challenging walks - anything really)', just to make our trip that bit more memorable.....

    On our previous visit, we did all the usual touristy things and are looking to do some of them again (Rotorua, Auckland, Bay of Islands etc), but are also looking to do something a little different aswell.

    We are only concentrating on the North Island (sorry all you lovely people of the South), and will have 3 weeks, 1 campervan with 2 very adventurous people on board!! We will be visiting in Feb 2008.....

    Any ideas or pointers you could give would be really great, even if it is just a link to a website or something similar. Also, any good places to stop on the way over? We are looking to break up the journey and will be spending one or two days relaxing, but with no specific location ear-marked at present.

    Thanks for reading!

    Cheers

    Liam n Rach

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Cambridge, Waikato
    Posts
    2,586

    Default

    Oooh, where do I start? I'll just give one idea for now before I go to bed and then come back with more tomorrow. There is a lovely bay on Lake Taupo that is DOC and really away from the crowds, from Taupo town centre you head to Acacia Bay. At Acacia Bay you turn right and head on on the road that circles the lake in an anti-clockwise direction. After 5 minutes you come to a VERY nice cafe - Cafe de l'arte, well worth a stop, food is great and fab sculptures and mosaics. After a nice lunch carry on road and about 10 mins more there is a turning on the left which takes you into a DOC reserve, you drive over bumpy grasslands to the edge of the lake, a beautiful secluded bay. Heaven.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Ruislip, Middlesex
    Posts
    160

    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by Sam B View Post
    Oooh, where do I start? I'll just give one idea for now before I go to bed and then come back with more tomorrow. There is a lovely bay on Lake Taupo that is DOC and really away from the crowds, from Taupo town centre you head to Acacia Bay. At Acacia Bay you turn right and head on on the road that circles the lake in an anti-clockwise direction. After 5 minutes you come to a VERY nice cafe - Cafe de l'arte, well worth a stop, food is great and fab sculptures and mosaics. After a nice lunch carry on road and about 10 mins more there is a turning on the left which takes you into a DOC reserve, you drive over bumpy grasslands to the edge of the lake, a beautiful secluded bay. Heaven.
    Sam

    Ooooooh, that sounds lovely! Just the sort of thing that we are looking for! We wont have any trouble getting the campervan stuck on the grass will we??!! We can't wait for your other suggestions!

    Cheers

    Liam n Rach

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Christchurch, NZ
    Posts
    178

    Default

    As tramping is a Kiwi institution - even Helen Clarke can be found out on the tracks - I'd definitely recommend doing one of the Great Walks. I did 5 of them whilst there last year. They are normally 3-5 days sleeping in DOC huts. You have to carry everything you need including food, cooking equipment and sleeping bags.

    The Northern Island ones are:

    Lake Waikaremoana Track - spectacular walk through the native bush surrounded by birdlife. You can drive on to Hawke's Bay which has some fabulous wineries where you can taste and dine.

    Tongariro Northern Circuit - Up Mt Doom (sorry, Mt Ngauruhoe is used as Mt Doom in LOTR), across the lunarscape and back into the Alpine plains and forests. Or you can just do the 1-day Tongariro Crossing which is the over the volcano bit which is amazing on a clear day - when we did it, we could see Mt Fuji (sorry, Mt Taranaki is used as Mt Fuji in the Last Samurai) 80 miles away.

    Whanganui Journey - This Great "Walk" involves a river and a canoe. Pack all your stuff into watertight barrels and paddle down one of the most remote parts of NZ. The full trip is upto 5 days and takes you through some simply stunning landscape and includes a stay in a Maori hut. Again, if you short on time, there are 1 day options bookable through the hostels in National Park.

    For more info on the Great Walks, look here:
    http://www.doc.govt.nz/templates/Cus....aspx?id=42468

    A good plan if your short on time would be:
    - Drive from Auckland down to New Plymouth which is a fun small town full of museums, sculpture gardens, surf beaches and cafes.
    - Take the scenic drive along the Forgotten World Highway to Taumarunui (Warning: progress will be much slower than expected, watch out for sheep and fill up before you leave New Plymouth)
    - Stay in National Park from where you can do the Tongariro Crossing and 1-day trip down the Wanganui
    - Drive up past Lake Taupo to Tauranga where you should have dinner in the excellent harbourside brasserie http://www.eatout.co.nz/harbourside-...e-and-bar.html. While there, I'd recommend a walk around and up Mt Manganui followed by a dip in the hot saltwater pools and an ice cream.
    - Drive up the Coromandel and stay at Pauanui. Visit the Hot Water Beach on the way back to Auckland.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Warkworth , NZ
    Posts
    1,402

    Default

    If landing in AKL good camp site is Orere point, top 10, lovely swimming in water hole.
    Waihi beach, south east of Thames on E coast is amazng plus great bush walk round coast.
    Across to Opotiki and south on SH 2, a wonderful native bush reserve, stuffed full of wonderful trees, birds, lichens etc at Hukutaia Domain.
    Lake Waikaremoana, south west of Gisborne, beautiful, some dirt roads to get there but our camper van did it ok. We were there on a Sun arvo, had idyllic white sand beach to ourselves, swam in warm water...paradise!
    Mahia penisula, beach incredible, if you like driftwood, wierd adn wonderful shapes or surfing, go there.
    Wanganui, go to the Echo tunnel and up in the elevator, then climb the tower for great views.
    Enough or all our favourite places will be full of tourists!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Whitianga. Nz. Pop; 4004
    Posts
    2,163

    Default

    You may find this link useful. I can highly recommend the pinnacles as a great walk.
    http://www.tramper.co.nz/index.cfm?view=object&id=74

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    1,294

    Default

    I agree with Carey - Waihi is lovely. Amazing walks and a gorgeous beach. I spend loads of time there during the summer.

    My fave place is Tawharanui, just north of Auckland. http://www.arc.govt.nz/auckland-regi...tawharanui.cfm
    I go there quite a lot to surf and chill out. (It's about 90 mins north of Auckland.)

    For a really quiet and empty site try Urutiti, which is a DOC site near Whangarei. It is just a field with a couple of long drops, but I love camping there as it's right on the beach and has amazing views over the Hen and Chicken Islands.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Cambridge, Waikato
    Posts
    2,586

    Default

    If you go right to the left hand side of Waihi beach, where the cliff rises up, there is a bush walk over the cliff. It takes about 30-40 minutes and you get to the most beautiful beach, think it's called Orokawa or similar. White sparkly sand, fringed with pohutakawa trees, steep, bush-clad hills rising up behind, hardly anyone there - really great.

    Will return with more, and photos.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Ruislip, Middlesex
    Posts
    160

    Thumbs up Wow! Fantastic Info....

    Thanks for all your inputs so far everyone!!

    We have followed the links and it is just what we are looking for! We are getting sooooooo excited now!

    Sam B, looking forward to the photo's and stuff, Orokawa sounds like heaven

    Liam n Rach

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    South of North Island
    Posts
    1,059

    Default

    If you haven't been before around the East Cape from Opotiki to Gisborne is just fantastic. Especially Opotiki side, gorgeous bay after bay and some lovely campgrounds on the way, the other side is mainly farming and not that interesting But we recommend Anuara Bay as a stop off point, just picture book perfect. They have a small campsite but no shop, nearest one is 15ks away in Tolaga Bay ! So stock up before Then when you get down to just outside Gisborne there's some more beautiful bays and Gisborne itself is just lovely.

    If you head for Rotorua again head for Lake Tarewera and The Landing Cafe, wonderful food and beautiful looking out over the Lake to the volcano.

    In the Wairarapa, Waohine Gorge is just a great walk for the swing bridge but they are replacing it with a safer one Great campsite though and very peaceful, also can kayak down the river if it's at safe levels.

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •