Roadtripping the Northlands

The area north of Auckland is full of rolling sand dunes, beautiful stretches of beach and uninhabited islands. It’s great if you have your own transport as it means you can see all those little things that you usually miss out on a bus.


Bay of Islands

The drive here is breathtaking. We stayed in a little town called Paihia, our hostel rented free kayaks so we took them out for a day to explore the little islands just off the coast. You can also pay for a boat cruise, swim with dolphins, scuba dive or just relax on one of the many beaches.

Bay of Islands

Bay of Islands

90 Mile Beach

This beach is actually only 55 miles long. But you can drive on it. Which is awesome! They recommend hiring a 4×4 but, as you can see, our little rental car made it without getting stuck too much! It’s a fun experience, the next step up is driving around Fraser Island in Australia!

90 Mile Beach

Hostel Recommendation

If you’re driving yourself you need to make sure you don’t miss this last gas station before heading up to Cape Reinga. We drove straight past it, realised what we had done a while later and had to turn around for gas, and a place to stay. We came upon a little place in Pukenui Lodge Motel and Backpackers, we payed $20 for our own little bungalow right on the water! It definitely costs a lot more than that now, but it’s a great little place to spend a night.

Pukenui Lodge

Te Paki Sand Dunes

Ever heard of sand boarding? Well this is a good place to try it. All you have to do is rent a body board in the nearest town and walk your butt up each sand dune you want to slide down. Some are nice and easy, some are a lot steeper, but it’s really good fun, and doesn’t hurt too much if you bail… Even if you’re not keen to sand board it’s an awesome place to explore.

Te Paki Sand Dunes

Rawara Beach

This white silica sand beach is a great place to stop for a bit, even if the weather isn’t so great. It’s a decent beach break if you fancy a surf, and there’s a campsite nearby if you have your own camping equipment.

Rawara Beach

Cape Rienga

It’s technically the northwesternmost tip of the country, but it feels a million miles away from anything, 100km from the nearest town, Highway 1 extends all the way to the end. The Maori name Te Rerenga Wairua means the ‘leaping off place of spirits’ and Reinga is the word meaning ‘the underworld’, it is the point where the spirits of the dead enter the underworld.

Cape Rienga

You can view the full album here.

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9 Replies to “Roadtripping the Northlands”

  1. Oh my god I am in absolute love with your blog, one of my life goals is to travel the world. I’m glad that until I do so I can live vicariously through you. You’re absolutely amazing! Let’s be friends, haha xx

    1. Hey friend!! I’m super stoked I can inspire you with my adventures, there are a million awesome things to see in this world. Where do you want to go the most?

      1. There are so many places I want to go to but a few that come to mind: visit MOMA in New York, climb Patagonia (mountain in Chile), and climb Dinosaur ridge (mountain in S Korea). Since I live in California, I’m taking a trip to a couple national parks this summer but I would love to venture more out of my comfort zone. Currently, I’m saving for a trip to Costa Rica for turtle conservation!

      2. Amazing, they are some really cool things to have on your bucket list. Im super jelous of you living in California, the American National Parks look like the best places ever 🙂 and Costa Rica is fun! While youre down there you should try to visit Nicaragua, the land of lakes and volcanoes.

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