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Northland must dos with kids

June 7, 2023

Northland is known for its beautiful beaches, but there is so much more to explore during a roady from Auckland to the Bay of Islands.

A two and a half hour drive north from Auckland you can find the Tutukaka Coast. Matapouri is great for boogie boarding and if you fancy a surf, check out Sandy Bay.

Whale Bay is also nearby and is a beautiful white sand beach which is framed by native bush. Enjoy this secluded location as you need to walk down a fairly steep hill from the carpark.

You can also find quiet estuaries for your tamariki to paddle around in.

Continuing north, you will find the new Te Hononga | Hundertwasser Memorial Park in Kawakawa, about 45 minutes north of Whangārei.

Friedensreich Hundertwasser, the Austrian-born artist and architect, who spent time every year in the Bay of Islands and designed the famous toilets in Kawakawa is remembered at Te Hononga.

The cultural centre itself is also something to marvel at as the design is symbolic and represents the coming together of the community and Hundertwasser, Māori and Pakeha, visitors and residents, past and future, local places (east and west) of man and environment.

If you are and your tamariki are keen to blow off some steam, why not hit the Waitangi Mountain Bike Park in the Bay of Islands? There are multiple tracks for different skill levels and distances and you can hire a bike from Paihia Mountain Bikes, located just ten minutes from the park. A good portion of the tracks are suitable for younger kids.

Download the Waitangi Mountain Bike Park app to help you navigate around the Park which is located in the Waitangi Endowment Forest.

The nearby Waitangi Treaty Grounds is a must do family experience during your visit to Northland. Children are free and receive an age appropriate discovery trail activity on arrival with questions about different sites on the Grounds.

Learn about the events and people which lead to the signing of New Zealand’s founding document Te Tiriti o Waitangi, the Treaty of Waitangi. Te Kōngahu Musem of Waitangi and Te Rau Aroha Museum of the Price of Citizenship have interactive screens and videos which encourage children to engage with the history of Aotearoa.

The onsite Whare Waka Cafe also has a special kids menu to keep the youngsters happy when it is time to grab a bite to eat.