Haere Mai | Welcome
Hokianga nui a kupe
the returning place of Kupe
The Hokianga is the true spiritual birthplace of Maori Culture in New Zealand being the place where Kupe the first Maori to arrive here, came ashore and called the Hokianga his “home”.
The landscape of the founding ancestor Kupe, the sea that brought him, the landscape he named, the headlands of Arai Te Uru and Niua and the power he instilled in all. They whose language is mute, they whose silence speaks, welcome you and invite conversation and companionship, to walk the dunes, the land and the shoreline of Pouahi.
Something for everyone
The Hokianga is the final part of your Kauri Coast journey and not only offers some of the best New Zealand scenery and the birthplace of Maori culture, it really does offer something for everyone, young and old.
After spending time with the ancient kauri giants, as you leave Waipoua Forest look out for the Moirai Studio/Gallery sign and catch up with artisans Diane and Seabourne before arriving in Waimamaku (map A) where Morrells Cafe is a great place to stop.
After Waimamaku, turn right onto Waiotemarama Gorge Road which will lead you to the intriguing Labyrinth & Woodworks and Louis with his many puzzles and maze.
A little further up the road you will find the entrance to the beautiful bushwalk to the Waiotemarama Waterfalls (map B).
You can either continue on this loop road and join SH12 again north of Opononi, but it is recommended that that you turn back to SH12 to continue your journey north.
A stop for a breath of fresh air at Waimamaku Beach (map C) is spectacular and there is also an awesome tree stump which with a bit of imagination resembles a Triceratops dinosaur!
If horse riding is on your list of things to do then Tim Rueben of Fern River Horse Treks can be found nearby.
From Waimamaku Beach your journey to one of the most breathtaking sights in the world is not far as you reach the top of the hill before your descent into Omapere (map D).
You will truly be inspired at the view of the Hokianga Harbour and the dunes beyond. If you would like to linger longer and enjoy the view, stop at The Schooner Cafe or at the Look Out where you will also find some lovely coastal walks.
During the height of the timber trade the Hokianga Harbour was the major port for the export of Kauri. The bar is extremely dangerous and several ships perished fully laden. By 1900 the bulk of the forest had sailed away and the surrounding countryside was turned to dairy farming.
Today, Omapere and Opononi (map D & E) are where visitors can find so much to do from relaxing on the beach, creating their own personal piece of art with the artisan Hokianga Bonecarver, taking the Hokianga Express ferry to the dunes to sandboard to the water’s edge.
Hokianga Express also provides wonderful harbour cruises and fishing trips. At Opononi look for the monument of the famous Opo the wild dolphin who became known in 1955-56 for playing with children in the Hokianga. Opo had no qualms about human company and playing with balls and beer bottles.
Maori children thought she was a messenger from Kupe. Heading north to the last part of your journey you can either go to Rawene (map g) with the famous Boatshed Cafe and the historic Clendon House before taking the 20 minute historic ferry trip across to Kohukohu (map h).
At Kohukohu you will find an historic village walk which features a fine selection of nationally registered historic buildings which will give you a taste of the bygone era when Kohukohu was the third largest town north of Auckland and a kauri milling town. Sadly many of the original buildings on the waterfront have been destroyed by fire, but today it is still a popular place for tourists to peruse the art galleries and soak up the beautiful scenery and village life.
Alternatively instead of taking the ferry, you can take a longer route north via Horeke (map F) to see the mysterious and amazing prehistoric Wairere Boulders which are over 2.5 million years old! From Horeke the road joins back into the major State Highway 1.
Now it is time to say Haere ra to your Kauri Coast Pathway to Northland and continue on the Twin Coast Discovery Highway to the spiritual tip of New Zealand ~ Cape Reinga, or across to the Bay of Islands
We hope that your journey along your Kauri Coast pathway to Northland has brought many wonderful experiences, that you have encountered some of the best hospitality in New Zealand and you leave with memories that last a lifetime