15 places to take a break, #NorthlandStyle
Enjoy your journey around Taitokerau Northland with this list of scenic coffee, icecream and wine stops! As always, if you’re the driver, be responsible and don’t overindulge in the cold tipples (or rum and raisin ice creams) if you still have a drive to make.
1. If you ask anyone where you must go for a coffee in the Hokianga, the Boatshed Cafe in Rawene is always on the list. Watch the ferry cross and the tide lap on the shores while you enjoy your coffee at this over-the-water cafe.
2. The Coffee Cart in the upper part of the Waitangi Treaty Grounds is an excellent spot to grab a latte and take in the epic panoramic views of the Bay of Islands, Te Whare Runanga, and Te Whare Tiriti.
3. Omata Estate is just a few minutes from the where the car ferry docks at Okiato, so it makes perfect sense to stop off for a tasting on your way past (that’s if you can’t stay all day enjoying the views and platters).
4. You can’t miss the giant ice cream adorning the roof of the Cable Bay Store and this is definitely the perfect spot to stop for a cold cone. Choose your scoop then cross the road to enjoy a classic kiwi Tip Top on the beach.
5. The Cove Cafe at Waipu Cove is open 9am-9pm every day, making it the perfect stop for a hot coffee or a cold brew just metres away from the stunning Waipu Cove beach.
6. Whether it’s a morning coffee or a delightful glass of local wine, The Quay in the Whangārei Town Basin is an epic spot to take a break for 20 minutes. Top tip: Nab a seat outside and enjoy the sunshine, marina views, and people watching.
7. Any time spent gazing out at the giant sand dunes that shelter the Hokianga Harbour is time well spent, but grab an icecream from Opononi Beach Takeaways first and really make your break count.
8. Coffee with waterfront views is pretty much guaranteed all along the aptly named Waterfront Drive in Mangōnui, but the Remarkable Cafe and Restaurant and the Waterfront Cafe and Bar both come highly rated.
9. You’ll find Aqua Restaurant inside the Hundertwasser Art Centre with Wairau Māori Art Gallery building in the Whangārei Town Basin. Enjoy a delicious coffee while you people watch and take in the multi-coloured mosaics that adorn the building.
13. Over at Long Beach in Russell you’ll find Carl’s Long Beach Coffee Cart where you can enjoy organic fairtrade coffee with your toes in the sand.
14. Matapouri Beach is a hugely popular destination for beachgoers along the Tutukākā and just at the end of the street is the Matapouri Bay Store when you and other barefoot swimsuit-clad patrons can grab an icecream cone for a walk along the beach.
15. Last but not least, do as hundreds and thousands before you have done and stop in at the Duke of Marlborough in Russell. It’s known for gaining the first liquor licence in the country so it would be rude not to enjoy a drink here!