How to turn the State Highway 1 detour into your best roadie yet


How to turn the State Highway 1 detour into your best roadie yet

Although there’s a slip and subsequent road closure on State Highway 1 near the Mangamuka Gorge in the Far North, the detour along State Highway 10 doesn’t have to ruin your travel plans to the top of the country. In fact, you might find that old adage “it’s about the journey, not the destination” is totally true. Here’s why we think this could be the best roadie yet.  

Discovering Kerikeri  

Turning right on to State Highway 10, the first township you’ll come across is Kerikeri. Home to 5 waterfalls connected by walking tracks, the oldest stone building in the country, loads of artisan and boutique stores and plenty of great eateries, you could actually spend a couple of days here exploring it all. If you’re just passing through however, we recommend stocking up on handmade chocolates from Makana Confections, stopping by Waianiwaniwa Rainbow Falls, and exploring the Kororipo Heritage Park (including the old Stone Store). Bonus: if you’re travelling through on a weekend, the Packhouse Markets are always worth a visit.  

Hidden Coastal Gems

Those who travel a little deeper are always rewarded and that is definitely the case when you veer off the beaten track. Turning right onto Matauri Bay Rd before you get to Kaeo will take you along a stunning loop, where you’ll find popular Matauri Bay, the stunning Mahinepua Peninsula, and Tauranga Bay. Don’t forget to pack your togs, and if inclined, your hiking shoes, as you’ll find plenty of bays, walking trails and scenic lookouts.  


Foodie feasts in Doubtless Bay 

The heritage town of Mangōnui is probably most well-known for its Fish and Chip Shop, but you’ll also find plenty of boutique retail, art, and souvenir shops to explore along its aptly named Waterfront Rd. A little further along is the Cable Bay Store, complete with scoop ice cream and tasty cabinet treats. You’ll also find cool artisan producers around here like Apatu Aqua Smoked Fish and Taipa Salt Pig. 


Picture-perfect Karikari Peninsula 

You might have seen a picture of Maitai Bay, a stunning horseshoe shaped bay located at the end of the Karikari Peninsula, but what you might not know is that there are soooo many more beaches along this totally underrated part of the country. From stunning Puwheke to Rangiputa, the spectacular white sand and crystal clear blue water is incredibly inviting. Not to be overlooked either, is the Carrington Estate Resort, Golf Course, and Winery.  

If you are ready to explore more of this route, check out the Headlands and Hidden Harbour journey.  




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