Places to visit

What follows below is a brief synopsis of a few of the region’s attractions and in no way should be considered complete.

Northland and the Bay of Islands Region

The Northland and the Bay of Islands region extends north from Auckland, to the tip of the North Island, Cape Reinga, a place sacred to the Maori peoples. Cape Reinga is the most spiritually significant area in the country for it is here that after death, all Maori spirits travel to the pohutukawa tree on the headland of Cape Reinga (Te Rerenga Wairua) and descend into the underworld (reinga) by sliding down a root to fall into the sea below. They climb out again onto Ohaua, the highest point of the Three Kings Islands to bid their last farewell before returning to the land of their ancestors. Hawaiiki-A-Nui. The North is steeped in both Maori and European history and traditions. Historically it is thought that the first Polynesian sea voyagers landed somewhere in this region during the 11th century. Captain Cook’s landing in 1769 was followed by an influx of first the whalers and then the missionaries into the region. In May 1840 Governor Hobson declared British sovereignty over New Zealand. The Treaty of Waitangi which established bicultural New Zealand, had its first signing on 6th February 1840, after a gathering at Waitangi, Bay of Islands. There are many beautiful historic buildings in the region that are open to visitors. Some of the most memorable are Pompalier House in Russell, The Stone Store in Kerikeri and the Te Waimate Mission House, which is just a five-minute drive from Paheke. The subtropical climate of the North makes it a natural outdoor playground. There are many beautiful bush-covered islands, lovely sandy beaches and secluded bays on both the West and East coast of the region. The region has many trails and national parks which enable the visitor to share in Northland’s natural beauty. Fishing is a major passion of both the peoples of the North and the visitors to the region. There are many opportunities to fish for snapper or bigger game fish in the region. Sailing and diving are also very popular within the Bay of Islands and charters and dive companies work out of both Paihia and Opua.

Main Centres

  • Kaitaia – the most northern major town in New Zealand
  • Kerikeri – producers of art and fruit
  • Paihia – gateway to the Bay of Islands
  • Whangarei – New Zealand’s northernmost city
  • Dargaville – the heart of the Kauri Coast
  • Bay of Islands – tourism hub including Kerikeri, Paihia, Waitangi and Russell

Northland Heritage Sites

The Waitangi Treaty House and Grounds

Gifted to the Nation by Lord and Lady Bledisloe in 1932, New Zealand’s most important document, The Treaty of Waitangi, first signed here in 1840 between Maori Chiefs and the British Crown became the basis for life in New Zealand. Not all Maori chiefs were present at Waitangi to sign the treaty, and Governor Hobson travelled to the north and south gathering further signatures. It was not until the 3rd of September that the final signature was obtained. Eventually, over 500 Chieftains signed the Treaty. If you are interested in reading more about the significance of the Treaty of Waitangi to New Zealand and its people, this link will be of interest The Treaty of Waitangi.

The Waitangi National Trust Treaty Grounds houses the historic Treaty House, a fully carved Maori Meeting House, Maori War Canoe and Exhibitions, with extensive park-like grounds with abundant native bird life, heritage trees and wonderful Bay views.

Clendon House

Clendon Esplanade, Rawene

Clendon House, built in the 1860s, was the last home of James Reddy Clendon, one of New Zealand’s earliest traders and ship owners. He was the United States Consul at Okiato (the first New Zealand capital) in 1839-41 and a witness to the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840. He was also a member of the first Legislative Council from 1841-44 and a magistrate from 1850.
Ph 09 405 7874

Edmonds’ Ruins

John Edmonds was born in Worcestor, England, and was sent to New Zealand to build the Stone Store in Kerikeri by the Christian Missionary Society who, unfortunately, omitted to inform the Missionaries of this fact. In the meantime, William Parrott, a stonemason from Sydney, had been employed to do this job since July 1832, and by the time John Edmonds arrived with his wife and four children on 7 February 1834 the stonework was almost finished. He did, however, help with the finishing off of the Stone Store. With his sons, he built near Keri Keri a house and farm buildings, the remains of which can be visited.

Kaipara Lighthouse

The lighthouse is situated on the last outcrop of sandstone and is 278 feet above sea level. Erected in 1884 by Mr D Scott. First operated on 1st December 1884. The cost of building the lighthouse was 5571 pounds. To accommodate the lighthouse keepers, two small cottages and tool sheds were built nearby. The lighthouse switched to automation on 17th November 1947 and on that day the harbour was closed to ships. It is now under the Historic Places Trust.

Kerikeri Mission House – Kemp House and Kerikeri Stone Store

Two of New Zealand’s oldest buildings are situated in the Kerikeri Basin. Kemp House and the Stone Store are the only survivors from the Church Missionary Society’s second Anglican mission to New Zealand, founded in 1819 on land granted to the Reverend Samuel Marsden by the powerful Nga Puhi chief, Hongi Hika. Kemp House was built in 1822 and is the oldest house in New Zealand, while the Stone Store is New Zealand’s oldest standing European stone building, and was completed in 1836.

Mangungu Mission House

Motukiore Road, Hokianga Harbour The Wesleyan Mission at Mangungu was founded in 1829 and this mission house was built in 1838-39. On 12 February 1840 it hosted a gathering to discuss and sign the Treaty of Waitangi.

The house was designed and construction supervised by Reverend John Hobbs who lived here with his wife Jane and family from 1841-55. When the station closed the house was moved to Onehunga near Auckland and returned to Mangungu in 1972.


Built-in 1841-42 under the direction of architect Louis Perret, it was used as a printery, tannery and storehouse for the French Marist mission in Kororareka (now known as Russell). Pompallier, is the sole surviving building of the French Catholic mission headquarters to the Western Pacific. Not only a witness to “The Birth of the Nation”, Pompallier is also a uniquely French Provincial building that stands as a witness to wider French influences in New Zealand and the Pacific.

Te Waimate Mission Station and church

Te Waimate Mission Station is a five-minute drive from Paheke. The second oldest building in New Zealand, Te Waimate is built in the Georgian style of architecture. Built for the family of missionary George Clarke, it is the site of the earliest inland farm in New Zealand. The station was set up to instruct locals in farming techniques and to supply other missions with food. Te Waimate Mission House is also the scene of the second signing of the Treaty of Waitangi.
Ph/fax 09 405 9734

St John the baptist - Waimate north


Kerikeri is a lovely township surrounded by orange and avocado orchards. The town boasts many lovely little cafes and restaurants. There is a thriving art and craft community ranging from native wood products, and leather goods to pottery and glass.On the outskirts of town there are two thriving vineyards; Marsden Estate and Cottle Hill. Marsden Estate, is situated just between town and the airport has tastings, a lovely restaurant and beautiful grounds that you can wander around.

Businesses worthy of a visit are:

Living Nature

Living Nature was created by Suzanne Hall, a chemist and beauty therapist. Suzanne’s goal was to create holistic skin and body care products that were chemical-free, healthy, and based on plants native to New Zealand.

Living Nature has a product line of more than 100 products. The range extends from acne treatments, eczema treatments, and skincare for both men and women, to healing balms and gels, makeup and hair care, as well as natural soaps, massage oils, bath oils, oil blends, base oils, essential oils, flower enfleurage oils, travel packs and gift packs.

Living Nature Spa using the Living Nature product range, offers wonderful facials and massages. In tranquil and aromatic surroundings you are able to relax and you are expertly pampered.

Bulls Gorge, State Highway 10

Email enquiries@livingnature.com
Ph 09 407 7895 · Fax 09 407 4056

LIVING NATURE FACTORY RETAIL STORE Bulls Gorge, State Highway 10, Kerikeri, Ph 09 4070113

Makana Confections

Makana Confections specialises in gift-quality confections – all hand-made and using only the freshest, natural ingredients available.

The boutique chocolate factory is located in Kerikeri, on State Highway 10. The factory is set up like a winery, where you can see how the chocolates are made, taste a few samples and shop for delicious chocolates.

Marsden Estate

The estate is named after Samuel Marsden, who introduced the grapevine to New Zealand with 100 plantings to Kerikeri back in 1819. Marsden Estate was established in 1993, the main varieties of wine produced are Pinot gris, Chardonnay, Merlot, Malbec, Pinotage, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chambourcin.

The estate has a lovely restaurant with an imaginative seasonal menu, the food and the estate-grown wines can be enjoyed outside in vine shaded courtyard which overlooks a small lake and the vines.

Wine sales, tastings and tours are also available.

Wiroa Road Kerikeri
Bay of Islands
Email: marsdenestate@xtra.co.nz
Ph 09 407 9398 · Fax 09 407 9398


Paihia, is a beautiful little town looking out over the Bay. The beach area shaded by pohutakawa with white sand and warm waters is perfect for swimming, snorkelling and relaxing on the sands, just a short walk from the town center. The wharf complex is the starting point for many varied adventures. A fast jet boat ride out to the Hole in the Rock, a more leisurely cruise through the islands where you will see dolphins and whales or maybe charter a boat for fishing. Book a dive wih the experienced people based at the wharf. Dine on fresh fish and chips on a park bench overlooking the beautiful bay. Go for a paraglide or maybe a scenic flight in a seaplane around the Bay of Islands.

Also nearby is the historic Waitangi Treaty Grounds, whose gardens were recently awarded ‘Garden of National Significance’ status by the New Zealand Gardens Trust.


There are many beautiful walks easily accessible from Paihia town center. One walk that starts at the Waitangi Treaty House and ends up in Haruru Falls takes you through the varied fauna of coastal New Zealand, one of its features is a boardwalk which takes you through a mangrove swamp.

Golf Courses in the Far North

Kauri Cliffs

A world-class golf course, Kauri Cliffs was designed and built by David Harman of Golf Course Consultants, Orlando, Florida.

The par 72 championship golf course measures 7,119 yards/ 6,510 metres and offers four sets of tees to challenge every skill level. Fifteen holes view the Pacific Ocean, six of which are played alongside cliffs which plunge to the sea. The beautiful inland holes wind through marsh, forest and farmland.

The golf complex includes a world-class practice range, putting and chipping greens, a well-stocked golf shop, and ladies’ and men’s locker rooms. Callaway ladies’ and men’s rental clubs are available.

Lodge Tel: +64 9 407 0010
Golf Shop Tel: +64 9 407 0060
Fascimilie: +64 9 407-0061
Matauri Bay Road
Matauri Bay
P O Box 800, Kerikeri

Waitangi Golf Club

Tau Henare Dve, Waitangi, Paihia
Ph 09 402 8207

Kerikeri Golf Club

Golf View Rd, Kerikeri
Ph 09 407 8837

Whangaroa Golf Club

State Highway 10 Kaeo
Ph 09 405 1808

Kaitaia Golf Club

Takahe St Ahipara
Ph 09 409 4833

Sports and Recreation in Northland

The Bay of Islands consists of nearly 150 islands mostly untouched and still covered in natural bush or nesting birds. You can take a sightseeing tour around the Islands or out to the Hole in the rock, go whale watching or swim with dolphins.


Game fishing, deep water fishing for schnapper or kingfish, in the coastal waters, in and around the picturesque islands, or off the rocks or many wharves of the region, fishing is a major passion of both the peoples of the North and the visitors to the region.

If you would like to charter a boat for fishing or relaxation. Juen at Paheke can recommend or can make the booking for you.