Kaipara/Kauri Coast

Visit Kaipara and Kauri Coast, Northland, NZ

The Kaipara harbour stretches inland far to the north and south of its entrance, making it the largest natural harbour in the southern hemisphere. It was an important fishing ground for Maori people as well as a trade route. It was later used in the kauri timber trade for transporting logs. While in this region, it is pleasant to take the time to visit the museums, kauri workshop/galleries and shops.

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  • The harbour entrance was the scene of most shipwrecks in early NZ, even though a lighthouse was built in 1884. It is too dangerous for most shipping. The area can be explored by beach tours, eco-tours, coastal walking tracks and hiking trails. 

    Accommodation in Kaipara and Kauri Coast (NZ)

    Kaipara and the Kauri Coast has a range of accommodation options – from motels, hotels and lodges to bed and breakfast, self contained apartments, backpackers, holiday parks and cottage/chalet holiday homes. Homestay and farmstay options are available.

    Many properties are close to the sea and make boats, kayaks, surfboards, windsurfers etc available to guests.

    Preserved kauri forests are short drive from Dargaville, at the top of the Kaipara harbour. The Waipoua sanctuary has New Zealand’s largest tree (Tane Mahuta). Walking tracks and guided tours offer the visitor an experience of this unique sub-tropical forest and birds.


    Transport around Kaipara and Kauri Coast

    Some of the main towns of the Kaipara district are Maungaturoto, Paparoa, Ruawai, Matakohe and Dargaville. Local transport services include bus, taxi and coach. Motels, B&Bs, self-contained cottages and holiday parks cater to tourists with rental vehicles such as campers and motorhomes. Other transport can be arranged at main centres.


    Tourist Activities in Kaipara and Kauri Coast

    A visitor to the Kaipara region can easily become entranced with the history of the area and the natural beauty of the remaining kauri forests. Museums tell the stories of earlier times. Local artists use “swamp kauri,” which can be up to 40,000 years old.

    Fishing options include both the Hokianga harbour and the “wild west coast” surf. Golf courses surround the district.

    There are some great coastal walking tracks and mountain bike trails. Beach tours are also available. You can join a guided party or plan your own route through walking tracks in native bush areas.

    The popular Kai Iwi lakes, north of the harbour, offer safe swimming and family camping.

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    Kaipara/Kauri Coast