Far North
Affectionately known as the ‘Winterless North’ is the most Northern District in New Zealand where you can indulge the senses, rejuvenate body and soul.

           


General Information

The Far North or as its affectionately known ‘The Winterless North’ because of its warmer climate all year round, is the most northern district in New Zealand. Here is a place where you can indulge the senses – rejuvenate body and soul. The magical essence of Northland’s colourful past is preserved in historic building and places waiting for you to explore. 1Kaikohe, the Hub of the North is where the District Council office is found. 2Kaitaia is the largest town in the district and the most northern service centre in New Zealand. A busy farming town, it also supports vineyards and fruit growing and is about 116 kms south of Cape Reinga .

With an area covering 7,324 square kilometres it’s also the largest north island district and shares its southern boundaries with 3Kaipara, and 4Whangarei Districts. It is bounded in the west by the Tasman Sea and to the east by the Pacific Ocean. In the north where the Tasman Sea and Pacific Ocean meet, sometimes producing waves more then 10 metres high.
Shopping

The district has excellent shopping centres, cafés, and restaurants. The region is well known for its food and wine trails encompassing the country's northern most vineyard at 2Kaitaia. Other wineries offer coastal views and cafés which cleverly combine Mediterranean ambience with a distinctive New Zealand flavour.
Attractions and Activities

Being surrounded on three sides by sea, there is no shortage of things to do in and on the water. Fishing is by far the most popular with plenty of maritime facilities such as jetty’s, boat ramps and wharves. Try your hand at deep sea fishing or surf casting on the famous 90 Mile Beach, maybe even scuba diving through some famous wrecks like the Greenpeace Boat ‘The Rainbow Warrior’. The Far North also has one of the best left hand surf breaks in the world. For those who love walking and tramping

The population can more than triple during the long summer months in some of the coastal towns, due to the activities catering for young and old alike.
From award winning vineyards to horse treks, from quad bike safari’s to sunning yourself on white sandy beaches the Far North has a lot to offer. To help you with the offerings of the north, check out the Far North District Council Event Calendar. (pdf file)
Cape Reinga Lighthouse, Far North, New Zealand
Cape Reinga Lighthouse
Almost at the tip of the North Island.
History

It was Kupe and his crew, in his waka (canoe) who first discovered New Zealand and it was his wife Hine-te-Aparangi who on sighting land said, “He ao, he aotea, he Aotearoa”. It is a cloud, a white cloud, a long white cloud becoming Aotearoa “Land of the long white cloud.” The first landfall of the waka Matahourua was the shore of the ‘Hokianga-Nui-a-Kupe’ – the place of Kupe’s great return.
Maori Mythology

Māori legend tells us that it was Maui, a Māori hero of ancient times who hooked the North Island of New Zealand – 5Te Ika-a-Maui to prove his fishing skills. A look at an aerial map of the North Island will show how closely it resembles a fish. Māori believe the Far North to be the tail of the fish and Wellington Harbour the mouth. Māori describe the South Island as Maui’s waka (canoe) and Stewart Island (Rakiura) as his punga (anchor).
Cape Rēinga, also known as Te Rerenga Wairua (the pathway of spirits), is one of the most sacred Māori places in New Zealand. Tradition says that the spirits of the dead travel along the two pathways to Cape Rēinga, at the northernmost tip of the country. One path begins in the south and runs along Te Oneroa-a-Tōhē (Ninety Mile Beach), and the other starts at Kapowairua (Spirits Bay). The spirits congregate at Cape Rēinga before leaping into the water; they surface after crossing the ocean to Manawatāwhi (Three Kings Island). There they sing a last lament for the loved ones they have left behind before proceeding to their spiritual home in Hawaiki.
Bay of Islands harbour view of a cruiseship sailing away
Bay of Islands Harbour.

A cruise ship sailing out of the Bay of Islands Harbour.
Kauri Tree 'Tane Mahuta' being admired by a visitor. Waipoua, Far North, North Island, New Zealand
Tane Mahuta.
The world's largest rainforest tree Tane Mahuta stands guard over Waipoua.
Kaikohe, home of the Far North District Council. New Zealand
Kaikohe.
The home of the Far North District Council

Maori Translations
1 Kaikohe
Kai – food
kohe – climbing plant
2 Kaitaia
Kai – food
taia – neap, of the tide
Outer palisade of a pā
3 Kaipara
Kai - food
para - fern root
4 Whangarei
Cherished Harbour
5 Te Ika-a-Maui
Maui's fish hook
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