Matauri Bay & Cavalli Islands
© Northland Inc
There are so many interesting little townships and spectacular coastal vistas to while away the journey – so if you’re driving to Northland remember to allow plenty of time.
In total Northland has 6500kms of roads and yes, we drive on the left. State Highway 1 is the main artery through the region but for those of you with more time the slower paced Twin Coast DiscoveryTouring Route is Northland's scenic touring route. At about 800km long the touring route starts and finishes in Auckland and gives you access to all the region has to offer by way of a scenic, relaxing drive. Additional tourist drives join the Highway to extend the scenic journey through Northland. One initiative for travellers to the Northland region is 'On the road recycling'
We’ve put together some approximate driving times and distances along the Twin Coast Discovery Highway to help you plan your trip. Don’t forget there’s plenty to see and experience along the way so allow extra time to stop and take it all in. It pays to allow some time for peak traffic periods getting in and out of Auckland during the busy holiday season and on the weekends. The Northern Gateway Toll Road can cut 15 minutes from your journey to the Northland region but you’ll need to organise payment of the toll – you have 3 days after your trip or you can pay in advance. And if you feel you need a break from driving call in at one of the 11 road side stops for a free coffee hosted by the Northland Road Safety Association and Coffee Brake.
|Twin Coast Discovery Touring Route||Time||Distance in km/miles|
|Auckland to Wellsford via SH1||1 hour||77km/48miles|
|Wellsford to Waipu via Mangawhai||1 hour||53km/33miles|
|Wellsford to Matakohe||45 min||54km/34miles|
|Matakohe to Dargaville||40 min||44km/27miles|
|Dargaville to Waipoua Forest||45 min||57km/35miles|
|Tane Mahuta to Omapere||25 min||24km/15miles|
|Omapere to Rawene||25 min||24km/15miles|
|Rawene to Kohukohu (by Hokianga vehicle ferry)||15 min||Ferry|
|Kohukohu to Kaitaia (via Ahipara)||1 hour||69km/43miles|
|Kaitaia to Mangonui||35 min||37km/24miles|
|Mangonui to Kerikeri||50 min||60km/38miles|
|Kerikeri to Paihia||25 min||25km/15miles|
|Paihia to Whangarei direct||1 hour||70km/44miles|
|Paihia to Whangarei via Hikurangi & Tutukaka Coastal route||2 hours||118km/73miles|
|Whangarei to Wellsford (via Waipu and Mangawhai)||1 hour 49 mins||94km/58miles|
Alternative Tourist Drives (alternative routes)
|Whangarei to Dargaville via SH14||1 hour||58km/36miles|
|Russell to Whangarei via Oakura coastal route||1 hour 30 min||84km/52miles|
|Paihia to Omapere via Kaikohe||1 hour 20 min||94km/58miles|
|Kohukohu to Kaitaia via Mangamuka Bridge and SH1||1 hour||62km/38miles|
|Kaikohe to Dargaville via Mangakahia Rd||1 hour 15 mins||81km/50miles|
|Matauri Bay and Whangaroa coastal loop road||1 hour||37km/23miles|
|Kaitaia to Cape Reinga ONE WAY||1 hour 45min||111km/70miles|
There is a choice of 3 routes into the Northland region:
The Northern Gateway Toll Road allows easier access, less congestion and reduced travelling times when travelling to the Northland region from Auckland.
The road is mostly four-lane, features clearer sight lines, smoother turns and reduced road gradients, making for a safer drive. The State Highway 1 route between Orewa and Puhoi, is very picturesque but contains winding, narrow sections of road.
There are a variety of ways to pay the toll one of which is electronic tolling meaning travellers can pay at their convenience rather than interrupting their journey.
For all the latest updates on the Northern Gate way Toll Road
The following companies provide regular services to and from the Northland region:
There are 3 short ferry trips available in Northland