The North Island’s Northland is, unsurprisingly, the most northerly bit of New Zealand. It’s also the bit with some of the best weather, and some of the best beaches. There are plenty of pristine and perfectly empty beaches here, but also plenty which have been well developed to cater to families on holidays or people who’re looking for some watery thrills and spills. The best places to stay in Northland range from family beach resorts to remote lodges in the lushly green and beautiful interior.
The east coast of Northland has been a popular holiday destination for a long time, but the west coast is just starting to be appreciated. On this side you’ll find the spectacular ancient Tane Mahuta kauri tree forests, lining the conveniently named Kauri Coast. There isn’t a lot here apart from breathtaking coastal scenery and vast trees with trunks measuring eight metres around. The west coast also has the Koutu and Wairere Boulders, a collection of vast basalt boulders, and the sand dunes of Hokianga.
In the far north of Northland you’ll find the beautiful the Bay of Islands, a superb turquoise bay, dotted with around 150 islands, the vast majority of them undeveloped and uninhabited. These protected waters are extremely important historically, being both the first place the Māoris settled, and the first place the British did. There are a number of settlements in or on the bay, but the best places to stay in the Bay of Islands seem to be largely grouped around historic Russell or unspoiled and beach-y Paihia.
There are plenty of nice townships and little ports along both coasts, but the centres are small, and they’re more for refuelling and passing through. Though there are lots of interesting little museums and interesting local histories to uncover as well as spectacular scenery to be admired.
As with any popular beach destinations, the best places to stay in Northland can get exceptionally busy during the peak holiday periods, so get organised and book early.
Still not sure? Browse through our list of all the best places to stay in Northland or contact one of our friendly Gurus for advice. Alternatively you can widen your seach by checking out all our North Island recommendations.
Luxury lodge set in 7 acres of gardens and orchards only minutes from water sport haven Kai Iwi Lakes. Four separate lodges sleeping up to 6 people, with kitchen and dining facilities. Breakfast included, and additional meals prepared with fresh produce such as vegetables grown on site.
Contemporary, bright, comfortable luxury Lodge with Pacific Ocean views to the Cavalli Islands. Food ethically sourced, seasonal and local, organic toiletries and commitment to sustainable practices. With outdoor spa pool and landscaped gardens. Great for a country escape.
Luxury Lodge sleeping six people and separate Keeper's Cottage sleeping two, with full kitchen, dining and laundry facilities. In house chef prepares tailored menus using fresh ingredients grown on five acre property. With spa and outdoor salt water pool. Perfect for families and groups.
Country manor turned luxury hotel with spacious suites, walk in wardrobes, fireplaces and panoramic Pacific Ocean views. Pampering day spa in native Totara forest, tennis courts, infinity pool, private beaches and championship golf course. Ideal for a romantic getaway and local exploring.