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Topic # 159867 15-Dec-2014 14:17
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Hello Guys, So It would be my first time traveling up north for a week long backpack holiday, Want to go Paihia for a day then next day perhaps towards Kerikeri, Then Kaitia/Ahipara, And Next day Cape Reinga, then on my way back next day. I will take my car and will do mostly sight seeing and other fun activities and be back home before the new year.

Need some advice from those who have done trips up north or live up north. What places should I visit, activities I must do? I was going to do diving in paihia but not a very good swimmer, so not sure if they would let me.

Also if you know any good spots, to perhaps crash the nights, student hostels/camping grounds or car park if I end up sleeping in my car (somewhere less likely to get stolen or towed lol) tongue-outOr if you or a friend has a place around those parts I would be grateful to be put in contact. smile




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  Reply # 1197816 15-Dec-2014 14:41
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Not sure where you're coming from.  But there are limited places to stop between Orewa and Whangarei, especially at this time of year.

I'd highly recommend booking ahead of time.  Wellsford is a popular halfway town for travelers.  Food, places to stay and an hour away from the two main cities.  My parents own the Sunvalley Motel there.  If they are full, there is a backpackers up the road, but they are pretty popular too!

www.sunvalleymotel.co.nz

Other than that, I'd recommend the Kauri Museum if you just wanted to check out some history, look at expensive things...etc.  Not really too much to do up north, haha. :)





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  Reply # 1197841 15-Dec-2014 14:59
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I was last up there a few years ago and stayed at the Boathouse in Opua with a group of chefs. No idea of cost as a mates produce company paid for it all but it was an amazing place so I'd say it's very expensive!

That aside, Opua is where you catch ferries over to the township of Russell and back. Other things to think about in the region are a day trip to Cape Reinga, Tane Mahuta, Waitangi (treaty grounds etc), Ninety Mile Beach. There's bush walks as well but keep well away from any electric puha you may find...

I'd recommend putting something like "things to do in Northland" into your search engine of choice.

 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 1197868 15-Dec-2014 15:43
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Visit Waitangi when you're in Paihia. Kiwis have to pay to get in now, but it's worth the $15.

Try a daytrip sailing on a "Tall ship" (the R Tucker Thompson).. a personal favourite.
Kerikeri's Rainbow falls & the Stone Store are worth a visit.

As you head North from Kerikeri on #10 take the Matauri bay/Tauranga Bay loop for some neat Northland coast.
Brings you to scenic Whangaroa village then rejoins the road North.

Pop into Mangonui for fish & chips at the shop over the water there, or lunch at the Carrington Estates vineyard on the Karikari Peninsula.

As you head to the Cape, visit Rawara Beach - the last East coast access heading North on the Aupori Peninsula, and the Southernmost of the white, pure silica sand beaches that used to provide NZ's glass.

Try sand surfing at Te Paki Dunes - Rose in the yellow van at the parking lot will rent you a board.

There are some great hikes around the Cape Area. Take the Te Werahi beach hike, or head up towards Darkie Ridge from Taupotupotu.

On your way South turn out to 90 mile beach 2 km South of the shop at Pukenui (Whalers Road) - one of the few spots you can easily drive a 2wd car on & off the beach (depending on the tide). There's another great little vineyard (Okahu) beteween Kaitaia and Ahipara if, like my wife, you're into that sort of thing..

From Ahipara head towards Kohukohu, drive your car onto the ferry to Rawene - departs from the North shore on the hour.
Rawene's an arty little place with a couple of good coffee places, the old Mission's a bit of iconic Kiwi history.

A half hour South is the Waipoua Kauri forest. A quick hike to Tane Mahuta's a must, but if you're staying in the area there's a guided evening forest walk - kiwis calling, glow worms glowing and giant trees, it's like being in a Hobbit movie..

The DOC campgrounds are in primo spots. Rawara Beach, Tapotupotu and Matai Bay are my favourites in the Far North. There's an honesty box system, but do pay. Often a grumpy ranger there 1st thing in the morning to check your receipt.

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  Reply # 1197869 15-Dec-2014 15:49
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Research pricing on activities before you go as well, worst thing to travel somewhere to find its too expensive to enjoy properly...





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  Reply # 1199531 17-Dec-2014 21:33
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Thanks Guys, I am living in whangas right now, never been any north then this...but this pretty much sorts out my trip planning, specially the log by Sidestep. Thanks a lot for that man.

The Weather has been crap since last week and I am wondering if I should head before Xmas/New Years (wouldn't this be the best time? although may have problem with accommodation) or if I should go beginning of Jan?


pab

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  Reply # 1199540 17-Dec-2014 21:56
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Wow @Sidestep - you know where it's at.

My only contribution, would be to add few days chilling at Kai Iwi Lakes campground.



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  Reply # 1199544 17-Dec-2014 22:10
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pab: Wow @Sidestep - you know where it's at.

My only contribution, would be to add few days chilling at Kai Iwi Lakes campground.


One question, about camp grounds, how does it work? I mean, I will take my car and a back pack and maybe a blanket, but not tents or anything, so how do you camp there? you pay a few dollars to buy a ticket and just lay on the grass hoping no rain gets you and some phyco doesn't try to stab you at night while you are asleep? Lol.Just curious.



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  Reply # 1202810 23-Dec-2014 17:59
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Is there anything in Paihia worth seeing/staying in hostels for 2 nights or should I head straight to Kerikeri for everything and just have a day trip driving/walking around Paihia?


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  Reply # 1202821 23-Dec-2014 18:29
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  Reply # 1202826 23-Dec-2014 18:44
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thanks goes on my to do list......but I am talking about Paihia man...should i stay there or straight kerikeri after seeing paihia for a day, will come back for Dive after xmax...but other than that, anything else in Paihia to stay more then the day??

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  Reply # 1202848 23-Dec-2014 19:10
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Yep stay the night in Paihia. It's a fun little place.
There's plenty of backpacker's hostels - $28-30 gets you a bed in a dorm room. Or stay at the campground.
As well as sailing on the R Tucker, and visiting Waitangi, there are a ton of things to do there.
Some of the stuff's a bit "tourist trappy" - the dolphin watching, parasailing, diving, hole in the rock tours etc.. but jump on the ferry across to Russel and wander around for a bit of NZ history. It's a cool little place, all quaint & gentrified now but was once the "Hell Hole of the Pacific" 
Or, you can wind your way out to Russel on your way North, take the ferry to Opua/Paihia and do your stuff there.

Was over at Matai Bay (as mentioned by bigal_nz) last week.
A really sweet spot & has a DOC campground ($10/night). Not too crowded yet, but will be busy as soon..mosquitos as big as seagulls..

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  Reply # 1202890 23-Dec-2014 20:24
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Bit of a drive but Oke bay at Rawhiti is lovely (Its on the Russel Side)

https://www.google.co.nz/search?q=Oke+Bay&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=qRiZVPSBBZTs8AXh_4KwBg&ved=0CAkQ_AUoAg&biw=1255&bih=859

No direct road access so its quite private.

5 min walk from road.

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  Reply # 1202917 23-Dec-2014 21:03
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PetAT:
pab: Wow @Sidestep - you know where it's at.

My only contribution, would be to add few days chilling at Kai Iwi Lakes campground.


One question, about camp grounds, how does it work? I mean, I will take my car and a back pack and maybe a blanket, but not tents or anything, so how do you camp there? you pay a few dollars to buy a ticket and just lay on the grass hoping no rain gets you and some phyco doesn't try to stab you at night while you are asleep? Lol.Just curious.


I would recommend a tent if only to keep the mosquitoes at bay.  

Even something like this for $40 would be better than nothing

http://www.torpedo7.co.nz/products/KCRTBN5SR/title/kiwi-camping-sparrow-recreational-dome

something like this for $80 would be better

http://www.torpedo7.co.nz/products/KCRTBN5T2/title/kiwi-camping-tui-2-person-dome-tent




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  Reply # 1202951 23-Dec-2014 22:04
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What are things to do in KeriKeri & Kaitia/Ahipara? I will visit the Okahu vineyard..The Kerikeri Rainbow Falls and.... what else?

Sand Dunes, The Beautiful Carrington Estate Vineyard flowed by little trip to the Matai Bay.. are on my list along with the 90 Mile Beach & Cape...Would had been easier if I could find any beds to crash the nights in Kaitia/Ahipara region, but so far all booked. 

I was originally going to stay in Kerikeri for a night or two after a night in Paihia.. But now might squeeze in a few more days in Kerikeri and go the rest of north from there..

Also any Christmas / New year Party Destinations to meet other Europeans as I will probably going all over northland at that time..

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  Reply # 1202964 23-Dec-2014 22:40
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PetAT: Hello Guys, So It would be my first time traveling up north for a week long backpack holiday, Want to go Paihia for a day then next day perhaps towards Kerikeri, Then Kaitia/Ahipara, And Next day Cape Reinga, then on my way back next day. I will take my car and will do mostly sight seeing and other fun activities and be back home before the new year.

Need some advice from those who have done trips up north or live up north. What places should I visit, activities I must do? I was going to do diving in paihia but not a very good swimmer, so not sure if they would let me.

Also if you know any good spots, to perhaps crash the nights, student hostels/camping grounds or car park if I end up sleeping in my car (somewhere less likely to get stolen or towed lol) tongue-outOr if you or a friend has a place around those parts I would be grateful to be put in contact. smile





Pack Glock, shotgun, stabvest, Mace...leave nothing valuable visible in car. Stay indoors after dark....!





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