|New Zealand Travel -
by Ace Shattock
The paradise of Northland begins at Cape Reinga,
extends down 90 mile beach, to the beaches
of Whangarei and forests and bush walks of
the entire region.
Much of Northland's extensive coastline remains
pristine - an aquatic playground for adventure
activities and escapist relaxation. Whangarei
and Opua are havens for international and
local yachts; Tutukaka and Russell are game
fishing hot spots; the beaches of Doubtless
Bay and 90 mile beach are endlessly beautiful.
Throughout the region youll also enjoy
the shopping, dining and entertainment possibilities
that stem from the distinctive local culture,
which embraces art, creativity, organic farming
and alternative thinking.
It is believed that the first Polynesians
arrived in Northland in the 11th century.
Today Waitangi is the centre of Maori culture
in the region, where approximately 30 percent
of the population are Maori. European settlement
began in the 1840s.
A Nation is born
History has always been made in Northland.
The Hokianga Harbour was the first Polynesian
landing place, Russell was New Zealands
first capital and the Treaty of Waitangi was
signed in the Bay of Islands.
The largest island in the Bay of Islands,
Urupukapuka is a place to explore archaeological
Beaches and islands
The sea plays a large part in the lives of
most Northlanders, and with good reason. Dive
down to a shipwreck, swim with the dolphins,
bodysurf in the waves or just relax on the
Things to do
* The Albertland Museum in Wellsford (turn
right off SH.1 before the Caltex if heading
south) contains many artifacts of the past
120 years and is well worth a stop.
* Follow the Twin Coast Discovery Highway
and explore some of the linked tourist drives.
* Regular domestic air services connect to
Northlands three airports - Whangarei,
Kerikeri and Kaitaia.
* To make the most of the bays and beaches,
explore Northland by rental car or campervan.
* The Stone Store in Russell is one of Northland's
oldest free standing buildings.
* For a scenic trip that you don't have to
drive a car on, catch a coach from Auckland.
Most leave from the Sky City terminal, with
a ticket office at the terminal.
About The Author
Ace Shattock runs www.nzboards.com - a free
online kiwi community.