Exploring the Northland & Bay of Islands region of New Zealand’s North Island and looking for ideas for your own outdoor adventures or travel itinerary? Find some inspiration as you read about the places we’ve explored and activities we’ve experienced in our travels around New Zealand.

Northland region map

Our Northland & Bay of Islands Outdoor Adventures

Waipu Cave

Exploring Waipu Cave

It’s wet, it’s muddy and there are no guided tours, but if you’re up for adventure and keen to see a glow worm galaxy, Waipu Cave is just the place for you.


Matapouri Mermaid Pool

Although a bit of a detour off Highway 1 to get to, this emerald green natural tidal rock pool near Matapouri Bay is the perfect place for a refreshing swim at low tide.

Cape Brett

Walking the Cape Brett Track

Definitely one of the North Island’s top walks, the 16km Cape Brett Track offers stunning sea and clifftop views with secluded bays and unbelievably blue water.

Mangawhai Beach

Mangawhai Cliffs Walkway

Explore the rugged coastline with it’s secluded beaches and enjoy stunning clifftop views along this scenic looped walk just north of Mangawhai Heads Beach.

Waipu Cove

Exploring Waipu Cove

Did you know that the North Island has it’s own version of Punakaiki’s Pancake Rocks? Not quite as spectacular we’ll admit, but still well worth a visit if you’re in the Waipu area.

Mount Manaia

Climbing Mount Manaia

At 403m, a ‘quick’ climb up Mount Manaia makes for an excellent workout and you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views of Whangarei Harbour and nearby Bream Head.

Northland & Bay of Islands Outdoor Adventure Map

Here’s our pick of top outdoor and adventure activities in the Northland & Bay of Islands region. The orange map markers below are places we’ve visited and you can click on a marker to see photos and read about our experience there. The blue markers are places we still need to explore – lucky us.

This is a living map, and we’ll update it regularly as we explore and discover new places and more exciting outdoor activities. Have some suggestions of places we should visit? Use the contact form over here and share the adventure.

Hint: click the icon to explore the map in fullscreen mode.

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Mangawhai Heads: -36.081480, 174.598130
Cape Brett Track: -35.228040, 174.263450
Waipu Cove: -36.030620, 174.508790
Mount Manaia: -35.818260, 174.517390
Matapouri Mermaid Pool: -35.559030, 174.514290
Whale Bay: -35.558240, 174.500350
Cape Reinga: -34.426310, 172.677540
Te Paki Dunes: -34.524890, 172.774320
Rarawa Beach: -34.718360, 173.078650
90 Mile Beach: -34.899110, 173.084400
Puheke Hill: -34.857510, 173.331850
Rangiputa Beach: -34.878080, 173.289580
Maitai Bay: -34.830090, 173.434810
Ahipara: -35.176330, 173.115860
St. Paul\'s Rock: -35.050370, 173.749380
Mahinepua Peninsula: -34.991360, 173.856410
Kayaking Bay of Islands: -35.261170, 174.159350
Tapeka Point: -35.243560, 174.119460
Skydive Bay of Islands: -35.263520, 173.913140
Dive Bay of Islands: -35.195330, 174.301080
Charlie\'s Rock: -35.201790, 173.963890
Rainbow Falls: -35.214140, 173.942320
Wairere Boulders: -35.374830, 173.598390
Hokianga Dunes: -35.511890, 173.370950
Arai Te Uru Point: -35.536620, 173.370060
Tane Mahuta: -35.600380, 173.527590
Waipoua Kauri Walks: -35.607710, 173.534800
Waipoua Forest Lookout: -35.663290, 173.564370
Hokianga Kai Iwi Coastal Track: -35.757200, 173.558440
Kai-Iwi Lakes: -35.807650, 173.642860
Baylys Beach: -35.954940, 173.744950
Tokatoka Peak: -36.057970, 173.971080
Piroa Falls: -36.055760, 174.387190
Waipu Cave: -35.934420, 174.349500
Bream Head: -35.854620, 174.576570
Whangarei Falls: -35.684290, 174.335720
Abbey Caves: -35.708660, 174.353810
Poor Knights Islands: -35.480660, 174.735740
Tohumoana Lookout Track: -35.429650, 174.428600
Whangaruru North Head: -35.362450, 174.371690