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Twin Coast Discovery

Following the signposted 800km Twin Coast Discovery from north of Auckland, turn left at Brynderwyn for the Kauri Coast & Hokianga on the west coast. Wind your way around the shores of the mighty Kaipara Harbour to the famous Kauri Museum at Matakohe. Just after the riverside town of Dargaville, take a left turn to Baylys Beach for your first encounter with the wild Tasman Sea. Enjoy a freshwater dip in the nearby Kai Iwi Lakes and then disappear into the deep green of the Waipoua Forest – home to Tane Mahuta - the largest kauri tree in the world at over 2000 years old.

Catch the vehicle ferry from Rawene to Kohukohu and keep driving north. Keen surfers will want to visit Ahipara, the gateway to 90 Mile Beach, with one of the best left hand surf breaks you’ll ever find. Follow the departing Maori spirits to Cape Reinga, where the Tasman Sea meets the Pacific Ocean, Eerie and unforgettable, magical and entrancing, the Cape casts a spell on those who venture here. Meander back down the east coast, through beautiful Doubtless Bay and Matauri Bay past countless sheltered coves and deserted white sand beaches.

From the seaside town of Paihia you can sky-dive, para-sail, scuba dive, sea kayak or paddle a waka (canoe). The ‘hole in the rock’ at the tip of Cape Brett is one of the most popular maritime excursions. Other trips and overnight cruises let you swim with dolphins or walk on uninhabited islands. Take a ferry over to the elegant town of Russell, New Zealand’s largest town prior to 1840 and once known as ‘the hell hole of the Pacific’ due to the rough behaviour of whalers, traders and sailors who settled there. Waitangi Treaty Grounds is the scene of the 1840 signing of the Treaty of Waitangi.

Whangarei is a modern city set in a benevolent sub-tropical landscape. With a thriving arts community, cafés and restaurants serving the freshest of Northland produce, the people of Whangarei have something special to share. To the marine adventurer, this port is a gateway to Poor Knights Islands and to some of the best diving, snorkeling and fishing in the world. Conclude the Twin Coast Discovery drive back in Auckland.

Twin Coast Discovery

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