Regional Capital: Whangarei

Population: Circa 158,000

Climate: Sub-tropical (New Zealand’s warmest region with 2000 hours of sunshine a year), but it can also get wet

Great for: Surfing, Diving, Deep Sea Diving, Golfing, Big Game Fishing


Bay of Islands
Discover amazing beaches, swim with dolphins or the take kids camping (a popular kiwi family experience). Don’t miss out on a visit to Kerikeri – famous for its arts, crafts and farmer markets.

Waipoua Forest
Dive into the kauri forest and admire the giant trees in this other-worldly place where time has really stood still. If you keep really quiet you might even get to see a Kiwi.

Treaty of Waitangi Grounds
This part of New Zealand is steeped in historical significance. A relatively young nation, it has a fascinating and colourful history and it's well worth a tour round the Waitangi Museum and beautiful grounds where the treaty was signed in 1840.

Cape Reinga
Make your way to the northern most point of the North Island where the Tasman Sea meets the Pacific Ocean. Visit this spiritual place before heading back via the famous Ninety Mile Beach.

Head’s top tip

Caroline O’Hagan:
“If I’m ever in Paihia, I like to pop over on the ferry to Russell (NZ’s first capital city) and enjoy lunch at the Duke of Marlborough Hotel, a fabulous boutique hotel with award winning food, where you can sometimes listen to a bit of cool jazz while you eat.” 

Watch the official video or visit

Bay of IslandsLittle Munro BayCape Reigna