Generic filters
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Search in excerpt

Travel Guide

TOP-10 things to do in Hokianga, activities

  • 2 minutes

North Island, New Zealand

In this Article

Hokianga the underrated Northland west coast. Home of Kupe and the first landing of people to Aotearoa NZ it is a place of stories belonging to legends and myths. Along with the heritage trails, Hokianga Harbour offers visitors estuary boardwalks, thrilling jet ski trips on the harbour, quad biking on massive sand dunes and a chance to cycle your way through New Zealand history. Perhaps your ideal holiday is simply soaking the summer away in the rock pools. Hokianga is the place to find your quiet space.


  1. Rock pools

Rock pools are magical mini aquariums. Sunlight warms the pools. Shards of light and dark is where intertidal creatures dwell. There is a sense of adventure with the sea just a short tidal change away. To find your own slice of rock pool delight, take the track to the end of Waimamaku Beach road, near South Head. Check tides before departing.

Coastal Walk Arai-Te-Uru Recreation reserve in Omapere in New Zealand
Coastal Walk Arai-Te-Uru Recreation reserve
  1. Walks and tramps

Arai Te Uru Coastal walkway is a heady mixture of Maori heritage, nineteenth century navigation signal posts and sheer spectacular views. You are walking in the footsteps of people who travelled this land over a thousand years ago. For photographers the sunset is a great opportunity to capture the massive dunes with the setting sun glimmering on the dune tips.


Remember to take wasp repellent in the middle of summer.

  1. Jet ski – Hokianga harbour

Let it rip, learn how to manage a jet ski (safely). Awesome Adventures jet ski journeys are a licence to have fun on your holiday. The Hokianga harbour is your playground. Places to go on the jet ski embrace heritage; Horeke, the site of the first pub. Depending on the tide visit MANGUNGU MISSION where the largest signing of the Treaty of Waitangi took place. Enjoy hanging out in Rawene at the Boat Shed Cafe. The sights and sounds of the Hokianga Harbour from the water as part of your jet ski adventure. Awesome.

Hokianga Harbour great sand dunes, New Zealand
Hokianga Harbour great sand dunes
  1. Sand Dunes active holiday fun

Massive, towering gold sand dunes are unmissable as you enter the Hokianga harbour. There is a great photo moment at the promontory as you enter the harbour. Perhaps snag a board for sand dunning. Captaput yourself into the shallow waters of the Hokianga Harbour careering down the dunes. Glorious fun for all age groups.

  1. Heritage Hokianga

The place where cultures met, collided and challenged the status quo. Listen to stories about Cannibal Jack and his immersion in the Maori culture where he found a home. Find out about one of New Zealand’s earliest mission stations, Mangungu and the role it played in people’s lives. Did you know the largest signing of the Treaty of Waitangi was in Hokianga. The place for the first government hui. Stories to fascinate told to you by locals. Contact Awesome Adventures Hokianga for details.

  1. Kauris, massive giants of the forest

Check out Tronson Kauri Reserve and take a short 30 minute boardwalk through a slice of Aotearoa’s primel heritage with Kauri and other sub-tropical plants. The Reserve is Trounson Kauri Park. A special treat is the adjacent serviced campground in the Kauri Coast area. Camp beside a small but beautiful kauri stand. There are many walking tracks nearby.

Forest of ferns, giant redwoods and kauri Trounson Kauri National Park, New Zealand
Trounson Kauri Park
Koutu boulders, Northland, in the North Island of New Zealand
Koutu boulders, Northland
  1. Boulders, landforms and a selfie moment

Extraordinarily smooth cylindrical boulders nestled on a gold sandy beach of Koutu. Check the tides and take a beach walk to wonder at what nature has wrought. You can also view the boulders from the harbour. These boulder formations are identical to the well known Moeraki boulders.

  1. Estuary and mangroves – atmospheric

There are no crocodiles yet the density of the mangroves stimulates the imagination. The Hokianga harbour has silted over the last hundred or so years creating the environment ripe for mangroves to become a dominant estuary plant. Rawene’s boardwalk gets you among the mangroves and looks down for the fish and marine life that flourishes in the quiet backwaters of the harbour.

Rawene Boat Shed Cafe, Northland, NZ
Rawene Boat Shed Cafe, Northland
  1. Waterfalls

A favourite for selfies and capturing the holiday spirit is a great waterfall. Cascading a satisfactory 20 metres the waterfall is an easy 20 minute walk through striking tawa and taraire and other sub-tropical hardwood trees. Waiotemarama Waterfall Walk a great introduction for families to New Zealand native bush.

Lake Omapere @Pou Herenga Tai Twin Coast Cycle Trail Northland
@Pou Herenga Tai Twin Coast Cycle Trail Northland
  1. Cycle Trails

Hokianga is part of New Zealand’s recent cycle trails, Twin Coast Cycle Trail – Pou Herenga Tai crosses from coast to coast. From Horeke (Hokianga to Opua on the East Coast. The trail is 87 km. You are biking through New Zealand’s earliest Maori and European settlements. Pou Herenga Tai invites visitors to explore further. Want to give it a go, not the entire route, then  Twin Coast Cycle Trail makes it a breeze to spend either half a day or several days cycling through a piece of history. Delivery and pick up where you want.

Getting to Hokianga activities


Our editors independently visit tour operators, purchase tickets, pay for accommodation, and rate products and places. We are not paid to go on a tour or visit a place. We only make money if you decide to purchase a product through our website links. You will not pay any extra, that is guaranteed.

We promise to never accept free products from manufacturers in return for boosting their products. Our independence and reviews is funded by your purchases and affiliate commissions, at no additional cost to yourself… read more about our affiliate programme in the terms and conditions HERE.



Best Bits travel guide is published by Owned and managed by PacificJane Ltd.

Related articles


If you have a query about content, travel deals or anything else, our team is happy to answer all your questions 🙂

    Your information is secure, no third party involved.
    100% Safe, secure, privacy guaranteed. Privacy Policy.