5 epic winter activities in Taitokerau Northland
If you’re heading to Taitokerau Northland this winter, here are 5 must-do activities to include in your trip.
Soak in the mineral-rich waters of Ngawha Springs
These geothermal springs have been nourishing the bodies and souls of locals and visitors for generations. With 16 different pools of varying temperatures and healing properties, it’s an unmissable experience in the mid-north.
Discover the flavours of Taitokerau Northland
Warm up with comfort foods like hot pizza (check out Hōne’s Garden or Omata Estate), seafood chowders (hello The Duke of Marlborough) or slow cooked meats (yes, we’re eyeing up The Quay kitchen’s slow cooked lamb shoulder). Or embrace a long evening of fine dining at Sage Restaurant or Terra Restaurant. If lazy afternoons are more your style, unleash the summer harvests from the bottle with a wine from a local winery like Karikari Estate, Marsden Estate or Sovrano Estate.
Explore the wide range of indoor activities
From epic galleries like the Hundertwasser Art Centre and Wairau Māori Art Gallery to gigantic museums like The Kauri Museum, there is a huge range of indoor attractions with something for everyone. The nocturnal kiwi house at Kiwi North gives you an opportunity to see kiwi in their natural habitat, and the Waitangi Treaty Grounds has two fascinating museums as well as Te Whare Runanaga where the cultural performances take place.
Get the warm blood pumping
The mild climate means winter is still a great time for hitting the stunning walking tracks and cycleways around the region. The Pou Herenga Tai Twin Coast Cycle Trail is Aoteraroa New Zealand’s northernmost great ride, and the Waitangi Mountain Bike Park has kilometres of trails for all ages and abilities. There are loads of great hiking tracks from short boardwalks to full-day coastal hikes.
Get in, on, and around the ocean
Winter brings excellent visibility to the underwater world, and with the right wetsuit you’ll be set to explore the aquatic playground that is the Poor Knights Islands Marine Reserve. Alternatively, stay dry and rug up with a jacket to take a boat cruise through the islands of the Bay of Islands.