Massive sand dunes stand solid and unmoveable against the terrible onslaught of pounding seas. The dunes rise up from the harbour entrance like miniature mountain ranges, painted a brilliant golden hue by the sunlight.

From Hokianga Harbour’s South Head, the sweeping views are more of a spectacle than a landscape. Angry white-capped rollers exhaust themselves on the sandy shore and the wash they generate spills into a placid harbour that penetrates inland in snaking mangrove-fringed arms. High forested mountains enclose the harbour basin to complete a stunning panorama.

Hokianga, means ‘the circumstance of returning’ in Maori, and relates to the legend of the first explorer Kupe, returning to his homeland. The small community here enjoys a tranquillity and easy pace of life that contrasts markedly with the commercialism of Paihia, a short drive away. Hokianga is a place to relax, recuperate and enjoy the picturesque coastline and bush reserves. An excellent coastal tramp starts at North Head, leading south to Waipoua. Other local tramps include Mt Whiria, accessed from Cemetery Rd outside Opononi and the Waiotemarama Track, which climbs from Gorge Rd to Mt Hauturu.

Bus Pass New Zealand

From Auckland, the Twin Coast Discovery Route follows a clockwise circuit through Dargaville to the Kauri Forests and the Hokianga, returning via the east coast holiday resorts. En route, visits to Matakohe Kauri Museum and Dargaville Maritime Museum are suggested, but be sure to allow time for a walk through the ‘cathedrals’ of giant kauri trees at Waipoua Forest.

Waipoua is a sanctuary for the largest remnant of New Zealand’s original kauri forests. These are the world’s second largest tree species, after the Californian sequoias. Some of the 2,000-year-old giants can be seen just off S.H.12 near Waipoua, where the highway winds for 20 km through mature stands of Kauri. Tane Mahuta the ‘Lord of the Forest’ is well-signposted, and just 2 minutes from the road. A little further south, another carpark marks the entry to a short track to the Four Sisters, and another path leads to Te Matua Ngahere, the ‘Father of the Forest.’ A longer track runs to the Cathedral Grove and the Yakas tree. On the south entry to the Waipoua Forest, is the Katui Kauri Gum Store, which features Kauri woodcraft, souvenirs and kauri gum, along with local original art from the Moirai Studio/Gallery, situated 4kms north of Tane Mahuta.

After a visit to tranquil Hokianga and the mystical kauri groves, it is hard to comprehend why Kupe chose to leave this place. It is the alternative lifestyle haven that people often dream about.

By | 2014-08-25T23:31:28+00:00 August 25th, 2014|Scenic Highlights|0 Comments

About the Author:

Danny de Hek
Like most people, I have many passions, goals and dreams. As a self made business professional, my focus is helping my clients, associates and friends, build, strengthen and maintain their success. It would be fair to say I am in the full time business of building relationships and feel my purpose and skill is connecting the right people with the right people. My professional work tends to dominate my personal life, to the horror of my partner and business mentor. They both fully support me yet give me the hard truths when I need to hear this. I am always investing in my personal development to have a fulfilled work/life balance. I enjoy Target Shooting, Hiking & Mountain Biking to clear the brain and to take the guilt away when indulging at a quirky cafe for a cooked breakfast or brunch. My passion for travelling has seen me experience the world on many occasions, my next adventure will be doing the Tibet Rail Journey on the Qinghai-Tibet Railway from Lhasa to Golmud as long as they have Wi-Fi aboard ;-) I have many goals I still wish to achieve but am pretty chuffed that I have accomplished so many of these already.

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