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Travel Guide

TOP-10 things to do in Hokianga, activities — trip guide 2021 - 2022

Koutu Beach, Hokianga Harbour

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.

Rock Pools, New Zealand @Nz Frenzy North Island New Zealand
Rock Pools @Nz Frenzy North Island New Zealand

Rook pools

  1. Rook 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.

Walks and tramps

  1. 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.

Arai Te Uru Coastal walkway, New Zealand @TripAdvisor
Arai Te Uru Coastal walkway @TripAdvisor

Quad biking from Mitimit to North Head track

  1. Explore on a quad bike an empty shoreline, the extraordinary ridges and valleys created by the massive sand dunes.  It is exhilarating as you transverse the landscape sculptured by the elements.  Contact Awesome Adventures Hokianga for details.
Quad biking, New Zealand @RedBalloon @RedBalloon
Sand Dunes, Hokianga, New Zealand @jim_engu
Sand Dunes @jim_engu

Sand Dunes active holiday fun

  1. 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.

Heritage Hokianga

  1. The place where cultures met, colidided 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: Adventure Tourism New Zealand for details.
Mangungu Mission Station, New Zealand @Search Twin Coast Cycle Trail Mangungu Mission House @Search Twin Coast Cycle Trail

Kauris, massive giants of the forest

  1. 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: Kauri Coast places to visit.  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.
Trounson Kauri Park, New Zealand @Vagabon and Dave
Trounson Kauri Park @Vagabon and Dave
Concretions on Koutu Beach at Hokianga Harbour, Northland, in the North Island of New Zealand
Concretions Koutu Beach, Hokianga

Boulders, landforms and a selfie moment

  1. 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.

Estuary and mangroves – atmospheric

  1. 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’s mangrove boardwalk, New Zealand @Licorice Allsorts
Rawene’s mangrove boardwalk @Licorice Allsorts
Waiotemarama Waterfall Walk, New Zealand @TripAdvisor
Waiotemarama Waterfall Walk @TripAdvisor


  1. 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: Waima Forest, Northland a great introduction for families to New Zealand native bush.

Cycle Trails

  1. 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 – Twin Coast Cycle Trail | Northland at it’s finest 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.
Twin Coast Cycle Trail, New Zealand @New Zealand Cycle Trail
Twin Coast Cycle Trail @New Zealand Cycle Trail

The journey is worth it.


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