Blog For New ZealandThis is a guest post by Craig Martin and is a part of the Blog4 New Zealand campaign to raise awareness that after the Christ Church Earthquake it is perfectly safe to visit New Zealand. In fact your tourism will help them to rebuild and keep people employed!

There are plenty of places to explore while you travel through New Zealand. Here are five of my favourite spots to stop and spend some time.


Visit Auckland New ZealandThe country’s largest city, and likely the city you fly into. Auckland is cosmopolitan but it is spread out over countless suburbs. Make sure you explore further than the central city – heading out towards Mission Bay for coffee and gelato on the beach, or the Waitakere Ranges for instant escape from the city into a series of forests and reserves.


Visit Matakana New ZealandA weekend escape for many Aucklanders, Matakana is home to amazing farmers markets, small-production wineries and the most beautiful cinema I’ve ever visited.

Particular favourites of mine is the freshly-harvested oysters wrapped around local bacon at the markets. Or maybe it’s the Montepulciano at OBV. Or maybe a beer at the Leigh Sawmill Café and microbrewery a bit further up the road. It’s hard to say.

Bay of Islands

Visit Bay of Islands New ZealandRussell, Paihia and Waitangi make up the townships surrounding the gorgeous Bay of Islands. You might remember it from the 2009 Season of the Bachelor, but its known in New Zealand for its abundance of history and sea life.

Waitangi is where the ‘founding document’ of modern New Zealand was signed between the British Government and Maori tribes. Although the Treaty of Waitangi is a controversial document, a visit there is a must. Russell, the old capital of New Zealand (before it moved to Auckland then Wellington) was known as the Hell Hole of the Pacific. Doesn’t look like it now, but the stories floating around are fantastic.

And if you don’t like history at all, the Bay of Islands is a perfect base for deep sea sports fishing, diving, swimming with the dolphins and spotting whales.


Visit Houhora New ZealandThere’s not really very much at Houhora, and that’s the way we like it. A perfect spot to camp, relax, sail or fish. A very nice place to spend a week at the beach. And if you’re bored, try making your way up Mt Camel … I’ve never been able to get to the top.


Visit Coromandel New ZealandUnlike all the others, you have to head south from Auckland to hit the Coromandel, although a flight is much quicker as the peninsula reaches all the way back up towards Auckland. A steep range of hills drop down to rugged coastline, some of it the most amazing sandy beaches you might ever see.

My favourite place to stay is out a Hahei: a lovely little beach-side town with some cracker restaurants. It’s close to Cathedral Cove, unspoiled because of the 20 minute walk you must make to get there. This is the setting of the first entry to Narnia in the recent Prince Caspian movie, and a wonderful place for a picnic and a swim if the swell isn’t too rough.

This guest post was supplied by Craig Martin, Kiwi and full-time traveller, as part of the #blog4nz project, to let you know New Zealand is still open for business. Read more of Craig’s New Zealand stories at his New Zealand travel page and hundreds of new stories on the Blog4NZ Facebook Page.

Photo Credits 1,2,4,5 & 3

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10 Responses to “Beautiful places to visit in the North of New Zealand”

  1. GregNo Gravatar says:

    Fantastic post and photography I must say
    My relatives are looking to emmigrate to the North Island.I will pass this link to them
    Well written and clear with the information
    Though the photos really do impress me
    Greg´s recent [type] ..Finnish Archipelago-Discover A Sea Of Islands

  2. villa begurNo Gravatar says:

    Bay of island is my personal favorite destination in New Zealand….Every year i used to get there for 5 or 7 days….I like its charming beauty….The pics and its description here proving what i am saying…

  3. Cathy MNo Gravatar says:

    From your post, I see that I’ve missed so many wonderful places! Several years ago, I went on a family vacation to NZ, and we only had 2 weeks. My mom, being the planning-out-everything type, actually booked us on a tour of both islands. At that age, I wasn’t handling any of the travel plans. We flew into Auckland, and didn’t get to see anything north of there, and your pictures and words tell me that I’ve really missed out.
    The aspect of NZ that stood out the most to me is its natural beauty. It seemed like every time I turned around, there was a different and equally beautiful landscape. I would’ve like to see some of the history in Waitangi. Though colonial pasts are difficult for all nations, it seems like NZ has really been able to celebrate and keep alive the native Maori culture and history, which is so important (we don’t do that so well–or at all–in the US). I could be wrong, but it seems like NZ does this well.
    Thanks for the tips on places to see!

  4. Mark PerkinsNo Gravatar says:

    Awesome. Seems you had a great time. Houhora looks fantastic got to admit I’ve not been there I think must go check it out.
    Mark Perkins´s recent [type] ..Places To Visit In New Zealand To Play Golf

  5. I’ve never been to New Zealand. After i saw these amazing photos, think it’s worth a visit. Thanks for the great read.

  6. these are beautiful places to visit

  7. I like those beautiful pictures! I enjoyed reading this post. There are many beautiful places in New Zealand that need to be explored.

  8. SophieNo Gravatar says:

    Yay for the North Island! The South Island seems to get all the attention – and it is beautiful, but so is the north, although a different beauty.

    Love Auckland, Devonport, the view from Mt Victoria, the North Shore beaches. And of course Russell. And stunning Coromandel. And Taupo and Huka Falls. No end to it really… :)
    Sophie´s recent [type] ..How to rent a home in New Zealand

  9. ArtiNo Gravatar says:

    This is a great post by Craig, I am a fan and a member of Indie Travel Podcast… I love the site!!
    NZ is a must visit, is one of the most beautiful places on earth!! The rainbow pic is just mind blowing!!
    Arti´s recent [type] ..Enroute to Gangotri – Gangnani

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