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    I'm looking at exploring Northland over a couple of weeks in summer. Plan is to rent a car from Auckland and drive up one coast and down the other. I've got two young kids (they'll be 2 and 5). Any recommendations for towns worth spending a few nights in? I've never been north of Auckland before.

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    Paihia, Goat Island, Kaitaia

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    Kaitaia is a bit lame but kind of necessary since it's about as far north as you can find a hotel and civilization so it works as a good base for a day trip up to Cape Reinga and the sand dunes. I'd drive up the West coast through the Kauri forests and back down the east past Paihia etc. Stay a night in Kaitaia and one or two at or around Paihia and Russell where you can go on boat rides around the Bay of Islands and check out Waitangi etc.

    Goat Island is only about an hour north of Auckland near Walkworth and would make for a better day trip.

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    Paihia is worth a day or two, go visit the treaty grounds

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    Cheers for suggestions, that will be a good starting point to make some rough plans.

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    Coopers Beach and Taipa is idyllic in summer - the sand is orange. I spent my childhood holidays there as our cuzzies owned the Blue Pacific Motel.

    Goat Island/Tawharanui is lit.

    Tane Mahuta got to be worth a visit, if you can even access it anymore cos of dieback disease.

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    Off the track, but Pouto Point (not to stay but to visit)
    Paihia definitely

  8. Post
    zippy wrote:
    Paihia is worth a day or two, go visit the treaty grounds
    Waitangi itself is pretty boring if you aren't interested in NZ history. If the buildings and the grounds were transplanted somewhere else you wouldn't look twice at it. Paihia is nknown because it's the main town of the Bay of Islands. Try and stay at Russel across the water if you can; it would be more expensive but it's much nicer.

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    paihia and russell is both worth while.
    there should to be a cool white westy terrier at the docks at russell a few years ago, wonder if hes still kicking around.