Russell, the former capital of New Zealand, is, as I always describe places in New Zealand, spectacular, unique and colourful. You have to come by boat because it's an island. The area's landscape is so beautiful that you have to see it in person, even if the adjectives to describe this country seem repetitive, I promise, they're all true. The people are very hospitable. Since it's remote and not many tourists visit, the locals are delighted with the tourists who have made the effort to visit. If you are also from "overseas" or European, they will treat you like family wherever you go. Once there, you can walk and get lost wherever you want, all the roads will lead you to beautiful places. I went with Henry (Nigeria) and John (South Africa), two great guys, and we met these two charming grannies from Sydney (Australia) on the boat that took us there. I spend the weekend with all these people, and they were unforgettable. What a gang we made, haha! One of the best weekends of my life.
Waipoua Forest is a nature reserve in the North Island in New Zealand. It is one of the best examples of a kauri forest, a tree endemic to the region, which is in this country. Within the park, there are the two of the world's largest kauri, Tane Mahuta and Te Matua Ngahere. Mahuta means the god of the forest. This protected area was created in 1952. The nearest villages to visit are Dargaville and Omapere. The visitor center is organized by the mauri, and you have to contact them to be able to organize your trip. There is easy access from the main paths, but the rest is very dense. You can stay at the edge of the park to sleep, camping is prohibited within. Most northern forests have disappeared because of fire and construction. This is one of the primeval forest of Zealand. They are protected by the DOC, the Department of Conservation. I recommend that you visit it, as it is a beautiful site to see and enjoy the nature and relaxation.
Tāne Mahuta is the largest living Kauri tree ever recorded, with an estimated age of between 1250 and 2500 years and a huge measurement of 13.77 m in circumference, 51.2m in height, and a volume of 244.5 m³, and including the canopy it it a total of 516.7m³. Its Māori name means the Lord of Forests.
Wonderful Lovely with Russel in front and all the little islands. Water was absolutely impeccable. A helicopter ride to see the Bay of Islands. Restaurants that were very good. The stunning views. All relaxation.
Well, Whangarei Falls isn't Niagara or Iguazu Falls, but it has its own charms. Ideal to spend the day with family and eating at tables of their parks. Perfect for walking around. The spectacular flora. Just minutes from downtown Whangarei Road to Nunguru.
We went sailing on a boat called Carino that we hired from the hostel. We saiedl between the 144 islands that make up the beautiful Bay of Islands. The scenery is breathtaking. We were able to take in the fresh air and admire the many islands in the bay while having a beer. We stopped on an island with a cove where you can sunbathe, swim, play volley-ball, snorkel and go into a kind of inflatable sausage that fit 5 passengers and was towed at high speed on a boat motor. Later, we went into the water for a swim but as soon as we put our toes in, we realized the water was freezing! We decided to lie out in the sun and enjoy the splendid day.
Sailing with Dolphins!! After deciding to spend the night in Russell, why no go for a boat ride? So we chose a tour of all the islands of Island Bay so as not to miss a thing. EXPLORENZ JET was recommended to us as they have marine wildlife and local culture experts. They also assist in the recovery of endangered species. At the moment I think it's the most wonderful thing we've done so far: We sailed with dolphins, YES YES!For 15 minutes they danced in the waves to the rhythm of our boat letting us massage them with the slipstream of the Jet. An amazing dance, you could touch them and swim with them and all this surrounded by spectacular scenery, a painting of mountains, islands, cliffs rocks born in the sea, and of course, the famous "Hole in the Rock" Russell Peninsula. This certainly brings a tear to my eye. Words cannot express what I am witnessing and the worst part is that my camera can not capture such grandeur. During the trip we stopped at Urupukapuka Island and walked up to the top, where the Maoris perform their sacred rituals. Last but not least, on our way back we enjoyed a ride with a Bryde whale and her calf, an unforgettable experience. Tomorrow we will continue pedalling for as long as our legs will allow or simply to another enchanting place.
In reality, this beach is 90 kilometres long, not 90 miles, but it's pretty much the same thing, and it's equally amazing. At low tide, you can drive on it in a car at full speed because it's officially considered a road in New Zealand. At the end, there are giant dunes, down which people go on body boards and reach impressive speeds.
To the north of the country within 1 hour of Keri-Keri, is a town dedicated to kiwi, just 1 hour tour of this waterfall, where you can almost always see rainbows. This is normal, when you're next to a waterfall, but the secret of this waterfall is that you can see rainbows all around. The zone is like a corridor through which air blows all the time, water diffuses in every corner and you see rainbows here and there, through the trees, through the underbrush, it is great to see, I never saw so many bows together. In this country, it is very easy to see any of them any day, but ... not as many combined together as here, which you go on the way to the waterfall. In-Keri Keri there is a lot of work for anyone who is willing to pick kiwis and tangerines. The season is May and June, is reliable, you get paid at the end and the experience is unique, I was there for 2 months, I saved and I took off to explore the island with a groin girl.
Well, we traveled an absolutely horrendous 35 kilometers in order to get to this little place between Russell and St. Helena Bay. However, once we got there we were in for a pleasant surprise is that we find a small village between two seas, the views amazing as usual in this country, and the best, in the evenings is a group of orcas roam these waters. It is also a great place to practice snorkeling and leverage to get some of the delicious green mussels and giant. In summer there are shops, visitor center two campsites, etc ... But to November 10 not a soul. We arrived exhausted and the campground was closed until December but luckily we found a couple with unbed and breakfast in one room where we stayed. It can take a long walk to the northern tip where the Whangaruru Forest, and is one of the places where you can see the famous kiwi fruits, that and the fact that at night this place is silent are enough to make it amazing.
We left Auckland towards the north of the island and since it´s almost a 600 km drive, we decided to make a little stop in Paiha, Bay of Island. It wasn´t quite yet summer so it was very quiet but it gets very packed because it is the most touristic spot of Noerte Island. The beaches have fine, white sand and they´re surrounded by greenery. The village has no special appeal outside of the bay and harbor. There is a whole chain of virgin islands surrounded by water that goes from white to green to blue to turquoise. Most can be visited by boat and from the air - there´s a small heliport next to the port and for 100 euros, you can have a bird´s eye view of the entire bay. It´s an experience!
Russell is one of the prettiest towns in New Zealand. It is located in the region of Bay of Islands, north of the northern island. It has some spectacular landscapes and vegetation and its inhabitants are very hospitable and friendly to visitors. It is also amazing to see how well kept all the houses are and how they neither have fences or lock their doors. Its Maori name is Kororareka. It is small and very quiet with less than a thousand inhabitants. There is a cheap ferry service departing from the small harbor taking you to the town of Paihia. This is an absolute must if you visit this area of the country. Russell was one of the first towns colonized by Europeans and was the first capital of New Zealand. Therefore it is a town with much history and even has a small museum. Other activities in this charming village is a small dolphin-spotting cruise.
A 5 Km mountain drive up and down from the main road of the Twin Coast Route. This small hidden beach is between Mangonui and KeriKeri. It is also like many other beaches in New Zealand- a beautiful place to get lost. Come with food and supplies as there are only 4 houses and a camping site without a tent. The beach is framed in a bay surrounded by cliffs on one side and ferns into the sea on the other. Clams come up from the sand with the changing tide and the water on the shore has different temperatures depending on the current. We spent the night in the campground with one other caravan. They say that here the sunset is worth seeing and staying in December over 500 people at this campground.
We finally got to Russell on the ferry and to our surprise it turned out to be the most charming and historical town that we have visited. It is funny and quiet and you can take part in many excursions to visit the bay of Islands, fishing , a trip to Tapeka ... (although there is a frightening 500metre wall). The views from this harbor are magnificent and on a sunny day even more so. Well, I´m sure some other users have been here so I leave it there...
This museum tells the whole story of the Kauri trees, which are considered sacred by Maori, and are now under full protection. Some of the Kauri trees can be gigantic, reaching over 50 meters tall, and many have been perfectly preserved for millions of years because they were buried in swamps.
The capital of Northland is an amazingly wonderful place with an ideal climate. In the summer it doesn't get much over 30 degrees and in the winter no lower than 15. This is the perfect place for sailing, surfing, snorkeling, hiking, ...... The food delicious. The fresh fish. The fruit also with many tropical varieties: Feijoas, guavas, kiwuano, .... The ideal people, helpful, attentive, ..... The bad: Only English. But strive to understand you much. If you do not have problems to understand you. Ahhhhhhhh. And Maori culture, do not miss this town that was the first to live in Aotearoa New Zealand.
Whangarei Bay is beautiful with over 100 beaches to visit. Almost impossible to see them all but it's worth a try. You have the Bay beaches but try to see the ocean so you can also enjoy the waves. Clear blue water which makes for great snorkling because you can see all the fish. Ideal for sailing and fishing. Nunguru beaches, Tutukaka, Ocean Beach, ....