The North of New Zealand is known as the birthplace of the nation. The magical essence of Northland's colorful past is preserved in historic buildings and places waiting for visitors to explore.
Most of Northland's coastline remains an unspoiled aquatic paradise, a truly amazing playground and experiential ecological classroom, encompassing ancient Kauri tree forests, windswept harbors and a host of other natural experiences.
The Bay of Islands has more than 100 islands, at least six species of game fish and is more than a world away from everyday life. Spend a day exploring romantic Russell, this historic town was New Zealand's first capital, a base for whalers and a constant worry to missionaries. Today it is a charming village with a number of excellent restaurants. To learn about the story of New Zealand and the Treaty of Waitangi include a visit to Waitangi and enjoy the evening performance of the same name.
Northland is a place where visitors can indulge their senses and rejuvenate body and soul. With its unique blend of sub-tropical pleasures, visitors may find themselves in an exclusive retreat or luxury lodge. Many are off the beaten track, hidden in the tropical greenery or set high up above the coastline, far from the nearest neighbour.
All around Northland fresh local produce, wine trails and locally made gourmet foods add to the uniqueness of the experience. Head off on one of the region's golf courses, heritage or art trails as you drive your way around the Twin Coast Discovery Highway - the best way to see the area.
Spring reveals the early blush of summer with balmy days, native birdlife with their resonant song feasting off the sweet nectar of native plants. In the subtropical north spring comes early, and the abundance of roadside fruit stalls brings the promise of sunny days ahead.
All around the North, fresh local produce and a wide variety of seafood are combined to create Northland's own style of Pacific Rim cuisine, which wins approval from the most sophisticated travelers.
The region is well known for its locally made gourmet treats ranging from speciality macadamia liqueur, handmade chocolates, avocados and olive oils, fruit wines, jams, chutneys and pickles not to mention Northland's answer to Tabasco - "Kaitaia Fire".
A number of celebrated artists and craftspeople work here and visits to their studios can be woven into the wonderful food and wine trails of the north.
During the summer blazing pohutukawa trees line the Northland coast, their resplendent red blooms acting as sentry guarding the beaches below. Summer is a time when New Zealanders and international visitors alike flock to this magical unspoiled paradise.
With hundreds of miles of coastline, Northland and the Bay of Islands are known as a marine adventure playground. You can swim with dolphins, dive the renowned Poor Knights marine reserve, sail around the islands and have a crack at landing big game fish like marlin, mako, billfish and tuna. Between bouts of activity you can renew your spirit with relaxed visits to local Northland attractions such as giant Kauri forests, historic sites and character filled seaside townships.
Summer in New Zealand officially begins in December and lasts through to February but as always in the sub-tropical North the summer season extends a little longer. Now is the time to book to ensure your choice of upmarket lodge, quaint B&B or home and farmstay - you can rest assured you will find your warmest welcome in Northland.
The arrival of autumn in the sub-tropical north is more subtle than in other parts of New Zealand. The warmth of summer lingers as the leaves cling just a little longer to the trees. Glorious days out in the bay are still to be enjoyed, although evening approaches a little earlier and can get a little cooler.
For those who seek to avoid the summer crowds choose to visit during autumn. This is the best of times for spending relaxed days exploring beaches and bays - you may even find one all to yourself. Enjoying a bush walk brings with it the benefit of a more gentle heat while the leaves commence their subtle colour changes. Birds are busy feasting on the abundance of ripe berries and fruits and dolphins continue to play as they do all year round in these warmer waters.
Around Kerikeri, in the Bay of Islands, exotic fruits can still be found in abundance from roadside stalls, while other varieties weigh heavily on the vines waiting their turn. Enjoying lunch at a local winery brings with it a different view as the nets spend their last few days protecting the fruit prior to picking.
Northland is where it's warmest in New Zealand during winter - it's sub tropical climates encourage exploration of the region, and without the summer crowds. With plenty to do, great local wine, exquisite food, warm hospitality and outstanding scenery, an area rich in history and culture, the pleasure is pure.
Award winning wineries dot the region, which includes New Zealand's northernmost vineyard and winery. Macadamia liquor and other unique delights can be found on the adventure north, including handmade chocolates, avocado and olive oils, NZ's Supreme Award winning cheese factory, all of which conspire to tempt your tastebuds and seduce your senses.
Getting out and about could mean a pleasurable stroll through the giant Kauri trees of the Waipoua Forest, including a visit to the majestic Tane Mahuta - Lord of the Forest; visiting one of the many breathtaking waterfalls in the region, or walking along a deserted stretch of NZ coastline with nary a soul to disturb your thoughts.
Northland history and heritage is rich and colourful. If holiday time for you is about taking time to learn new things - you can while away the time absorbed in our nation's past. Vibrant performances depict the coming together of Maori and European cultures in Northland the Birthplace of a Nation while numerous quality museums around the Twin Coast Discovery Highway tell stories of our Kauri logging, maritime and pioneering past.
Book Your Trip Today... Here's How
Learn about the different regions of New Zealand from the options above, then to check for airfares, contact the Air New Zealand Reservations team 1-800-247-KIWI(5494) book online, or call your local travel agent.