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The winterless Far North of New Zealand offers some of the least developed but most spectacular scenery in the North Island. Visitors are attracted to this region for the rich history, Maori legends, the scenery, the fishing and water activities and the utter relaxation that the region offers. There are sparkling coves with white sandy beaches, wild and rocky shores, peaceful inlets - such a variety of scenery that they really need to be seen to be believed.
The Far North has a special atmosphere, as it is off the main tourism routes for those holidaying in a hurry. But for those who have time to explore, the Far North offers some truly memorable spots that are well worth taking the time to visit.
The country's northernmost point, Cape Reinga is a popular destination for excursions and day-trippers. With its historic lighthouse perched high above the meeting point of the Pacific Ocean and Tasman Sea, the Cape offers magnificent sea views. Cape Reinga is also a spiritually important landmark for Maori as the departure point for spirits.
Situated on the narrow Aupouri Peninsula leading to Cape Reinga, you will find Houhora where you can enjoy game fishing, boating, surfcasting, surfing and swimming.
Houhora Heads is located near the entrance to the Houhora Harbour and is one of three launching spots for many recreational fishers. Under the gaze of Mount Camel, Houhora is the perfect spot for family holidays, especially for those who enjoy fishing and swapping stories with the locals.
Just up the harbour from Houhora Heads is the small harbourside village of Pukenui, which has views stretching up and down the scenic harbour. Pukenui's historic tavern features a bar that was formerly an old woolshed. It was dragged from Ninety Mile Beach to its present site in 1902 by a team of bullocks. A scenic and peaceful village, it’s the perfect place to rest and relax while you explore all Northland has to offer.
Just 12km to the west of Houhora, Ninety Mile Beach provides a dramatic contrast to the gentle bays of the east coast. This wild stretch of surf and sand is popular for fishing. Taking a drive up Ninety Mile Beach is an awesome experience, with tuatua (shellfish) to gather at low tide, and the landscape to view.
Actually only about 100km (64 miles) long, this is the only beach in New Zealand classed as an open road. Tour buses often drive passengers along the beach en route to Cape Reinga.