HOKIANGA – AUCKLAND (via Dargaville)
Travel distance is approximately 274kms (170 miles).
Allow at least 3.4 hours drive time (not including stops).
After breakfast depart Hokianga on the tourist route back to Auckland city, taking in some of the North Islands best scenic highlights, including breathtaking forests and stunning recreational lakes before arriving back in the hustle and bustle of metropolitan Auckland city where you can indulge with a night in a luxury inner city hotel or perhaps escape to a quaint bed & breakfast.
Some notable stops along the route to Auckland include:
TROUNSON KAURI PARK
Located 32km’s north of Dargaville, the Kauri Park reserve is home to threatened species such as brown kiwi, kukupa, pekapeka (bats), banded kokopu and kauri snails along with clear water streams that are home to koura, (crayfish) and native fish-like banded kokopu. Enjoy the easy half-hour walk that leads from the car park and picnic area by the road as it passes through a stunning forest with streams and some excellent kauri stands, a couple of fallen kauri trees and the famous ‘Four Sisters’ which is two trees each with two trunks.
The forest is located between Dargaville and Omapere (Hokianga) on SH12, which winds through magnificent stands of tall kauri, rimu and northern rata, and offers extensive views in a few places. The forest is home to the mighty Kauri tree and offers an extensive range of short walks and long tramps in this DOC area.
KAI IWI LAKES
This 538-hectare recreation reserve boasts three freshwater lakes that are known as the Kai Iwi Lakes. Located northwest of Dargaville, the domain is well signposted off State Highway 12. The lakes cover an impressive 305 hectares and are perfect for recreational water based activities, including boating, diving, fishing, sailboarding, swimming, yachting and water skiing. A great camping and picnic spot for families and visitors to the area.
Considered the gateway to the Kauri Forest, the unique town of Dargaville has grown into a popular tourist destination for visitors keen to enjoy the ‘great outdoors’. This is a lovely place to enjoy a lunch break at one of the trendy cafes and stroll around the art and craft shops.
Located in Matakohe, the award-winning Kauri Museum unveils the fascinating story of the pioneering days through the use of kauri timber and kauri gum. Enjoy the fabulous displays and dedicated galleries, including a magnificent collection of antique kauri furniture, restored machinery, New Zealand’s earliest tractor, a 1929 Cat 60 and a turning Steam Sawmill.
New Zealand’s biggest city offers a diverse range of breathtaking scenery, sandy beaches, interesting walks, dreamy holiday islands, fabulous food and wine, awesome shopping and a truly exciting nightlife. Even for a 1 night/day stay there is plenty you can cram in!
Highly recommended Auckland tourist attractions include…
Rainbows End – New Zealand’s premier theme park for families and the ‘young at heart’. Open daily from 10am and located in Manukau city, there are plenty of rides, including the famous Corkscrew Roller Coaster to entertain the brave hearted!
Villa Maria Winery – One of New Zealand’s leading winemakers now has a state of the art winery in Auckland so you can enjoy their award winning New Zealand wines. The Auckland Winery and Vineyard Park is a splendid 40 hectare property planted in Chardonnay, Gewurztraminer and Merlot grapes. Open daily for winery tours, sales, tastings and delicious food platters.
Top Golf – Located in Kumea but worth the drive out of central Auckland if you are an avid golfer! The spectacular rural outlook is as close to a full golf course as you’ll get with native trees, target greens and even a natural water hazard. Also boasts a terrific cafe with a selection of breakfasts and meals along with freshly ground coffee.
Minus 5 Ice Lounge – Located in the heart of Auckland’s waterfront precinct and set on the spectacular Princes Wharf, this is a unique way to spend 30 minutes as you get decked in thick, warm jackets and gloves before enjoying the funky ice lounge. Something truly different, right down to the cool drink in the ice glass!
Auckland is over-flowing with attractions and activities, ranging from vineyards, boat cruises, yachting, forest walks, garden tours, markets, beaches, zoo, museums and more.
There is also a huge range of over-night accommodation to suit you, including inner city luxury suites, hotels, home-stays, motels, backpackers, B & B’s, campervan parks, holiday parks and much more.
New Zealand Itineraries: North Island Suggested Itineraries
Our modern self-drive travel Itineraries have routes specifically for the North Island as well as the South Island, ranging from 5 to 11 days, plus there are some travel routes that take in both the North and South Island’s. Our range of travel itineraries include information regarding travel distances and time to ensure that you can make the best of your time in New Zealand, no longer how short your visit!
- 5 Day Itinerary: Auckland – Rotorua, Rotorua – Taupo, Taupo – Waitomo Caves and Waitomo Caves – Auckland
- 6 Day Itinerary: Auckland – Coromandel, Coromandel – Whitianga, Whitianga – Tauranga, Tauranga – Rotorua and Rotorua – Auckland
- 6 Day Itinerary (route 2): Auckland – Dargaville, Dargaville – Kaitaia, Kaitaia – Paihia, Paihia – Whangarei and Whangarei – Auckland
- 7 Day Itinerary: Auckland – Whitianga, Whitianga – Tauranga, Tauranga – Rotorua, Rotorua – Taupo, Taupo – Napier and Napier – Wellington
- 8 Day Itinerary: Wellington, Wellington – Masterton, Masterton – Wellington, Wellington – Nelson, Nelson – Blenheim and Blenheim – Christchurch
- 9 Day Itinerary: Auckland – Coromandel, Coromandel – Whitianga, Whitianga – Tauranga, Tauranga – Gisborne, Gisborne – Napier, Napier – Taupo, Taupo – Rotorua, Rotorua – Waitomo Caves and Waitomo Caves – Auckland
- 9 Day Itinerary (route 2): Auckland – Whangarei, Whangarei – Paihia, Paihia – Hokianga, Hokianga – Auckland, Auckland – Rotorua, Rotorua – Taupo, Taupo – Waitomo Caves and Waitomo Caves – Auckland
- 11 Day Itinerary: Auckland – Whitianga, Whitianga – Tauranga, Tauranga – Rotorua, Rotorua – Gisborne, Gisborne – Napier, Napier Taupo Napier, Napier – Wellington, Wellington – New Plymouth, New Plymouth – Waitomo and Waitomo Caves – Auckland