At the most northerly tip of New Zealand, Northland is a serene, beautiful stretch of country where no place is more than 40km from the stunning coastline, and where everything associated with the ocean is celebrated. Home to deep and chequered heritage, it features fabulous restaurants, tons of unusual shopping opportunities, and a laid back ambience, all of which make it the perfect getaway destination.

Here we’ve assembled our top 5 things to do during your getaway:

  1. The ocean is an integral part of the region, with eternal stretches of golden sand that are greeted by calm, turquoise waters, presenting the perfect opportunity to swim, snorkel or dive. Cruise to one of the 144 remote spots that make up the Bay of Islands and spot dolphins or visit the Hole in the Rock. The beauty continues inland, with some of the world’s oldest forests, including sub-tropical Waipoua, home to the elusive kiwi and ancient kauri trees, some reaching over 2000 years old.
  2. Most of us imagine our break away from everyday life to be rejuvenating and relaxing, and the unspoilt and peaceful atmosphere of Northland is the perfect spot just to let everything go for a short while. Visit Ginns Ngawha Spa, and immerse yourself in the mineral pools heated by thermal springs, which are reputed to have magical healing qualities and have been visited for centuries. Make no mistake, it isn’t a luxury, five-star resort, but you’re guaranteed to come away blissfully relaxed and revitalised.
  3. The history that connects ancient Maori people and more recent settlers is evident throughout Northland, and it is a huge pull to the area. It is the place where New Zealand’s most momentous document, The Treaty of Waitangi, was signed, and home to numerous historical artefacts and places of interest. Explore a snapshot of the region’s fascinating history in Russell, with Pompellier Mission, a unique book-making tannery, established by French missionaries;  just a stone’s throw away, you’ll discover Christ Church, the country’s oldest church.
  4. Shopping in the region offers an eclectic choice, but the theme that runs through Northland is one of unique, hand-crafted ware; you’ll find pottery and wood workshops, art galleries, gift shops, vibrant morning markets, and must-try specialist food outlets, such as Makana, a boutique chocolate factory creating truly indulgent delights using only natural and fresh ingredients.
  5. Although wine growing might not be the first thought when considering Northland, the region is an unpretentious producer of increasingly high-quality wines that are achieving world acclaim, helped along by an almost sub-tropical climate. The region has a laid-back, understated vibe that continues with its restaurants, but don’t let this fool you. The food is outstanding, none more so than at The Gables, Russell’s oldest restaurant, presenting delicious food, in a stunning waterside location.

There is something special about Northland, and your visit will leave memories that will linger long after you return home; why not intensify your enjoyment by choosing to stay in one of our featured Northland luxury accommodations.


Image: Carrington