Northland (Auckland to Opononi) [The Travel Diaries]

Hey everyone,

After…really not much planning (pretty much getting together the day before, having pizza and beer and staring at google maps) we decided to go with some friend to the northland, which is the far north area up Auckland city in the North Island.

We decided (given that we were going just for a weekend) to drive through route 12 from the west side of the island until we reach Opononi, then cross the island to Pahia and then go back to Auckland following the Route 1.

Since we stopped in various spots during the trip im going to divide this posts on three or fours different posts, this first one will cover the route from Auckland to Opononi.

WTF Moment N°1: We were going through Ruawai town when we spotted  this fellows…

We figured out it was a Kumara* & other veggies factory, but the reason why they decided to build those creepy dolls is something that will be forever a mystery. There were at least 10 different dolls lined up on the roof of the building guided by a “Kumara King” in the middle.


*For those not familiar with the term, the Kumara is New Zealand sweet potato

Next stop, Dargaville. Even thought I don’t think this next photo is one of the best, I wanted you to see how Dargaville (and most little towns) look like.


We got there around midday (we left Auckland city around 10am) and we stopped in the blah blah blah cafe to have some lunch. (real name)

dargaville 2

We order tarakihi fish fillets with some salad and boiled potatoes with a buttery sauce. Even though it tasted amazing, maybe is not the best choice when you are going on a road trip and its a really hot and humid day.

WFT (FTW) Moment N° 2: This one is actually a good one…. 30 to 40 minutes away from Dargaville, continuing through the route 12 we saw a sign that said “Kai Iwi Lakes”, we were about to continue our trip when we decided to give it a go and go see the lake, just for a minute. To our surprise we found this INCREDIBLE PLACE.

kai iwi lake

kai iwi lake 2

The lake is perfect for any water sport and the land around it is prepared as a camping place, either with tents or if you want you can take an RV truck. Given that we weren’t prepared to set up a camp we continues up north through the curviest, most “easy to get dizzy” route in the world. (Waipoua Forest)

Half way through the Waipoua Forest is the Tane Mahuta tree, a giant kauri tree that is consider the most ancient of tree in the southern hemisphere, and a few miles from that you can find a look out point the you can see one of the most amaizing views of the northland, there was even a rainbow waiting for us.

[waipoua photo]

[waipoua photo2]

In the next post I will continue with the road from Opononi to Pahia…until then, let me know what you think.

Written by julesinabox