Exploring Northland, a historic area in New Zealand
Angelo Dal Bó
The northern portion of New Zealand hides lush nature and peaceful historic cities bathed by the blue Pacific Ocean
The amount of attractions to New Zealand is completely disproportional to its territory, composed of two main islands and a few islets that are home to movie-like mountains, deserted beaches, and unique fauna and flora, in addition to offering excellent wine and great food. More famous among tourists, South Island has adventure activities and exuberant scenery. But it’s the less-visited northern portion that hides subtropical landscapes and plenty of history. New Zealand welcomed its first inhabitants, peoples from the region of Polynesia, between the years of 1250 and 1300. The Europeans arrived in the 17th century and, in 1840, signed a treaty to live together with the first explorers, the Maori. This took place in the North Island, and this historic event resulted in ancient villages and a well-cared-for museum, the Te Kongahu Museum of Waitangi, which recounts the rich history of the region. Next, learn about some of the highlights of Northland.
There are flights to the airport of Kerikeri from the country’s main city, Auckland (50 minutes away). You can also drive or take a train there (the trip takes 3h30 or 4h40, respectively).
When to go
To enjoy the beaches, the best period is from December to February, when the average temperature is 68 °F [20 °C]. The winter is mild (temperatures usually stay above 46 °F [8 °C]) and pleasant for people who like wine, a fireplace, and taking walks.
There are plenty of options, from hostels to luxury hotels, like the Duke of Marlborough. The cities of Paihia and Russell are perfect, connected by a ferry.
LATAM has direct flights to Auckland from Santiago.
Up top, beach in the small and charming Russell, a small town in the first European settlement in New Zealand, viewed from the historic hotel Duke of Marlborough
In a country passionate about honey, producing some of the best in the world (search for manuka honey), bees are practically pets. Here, a close-up of a flower from the tree that’s a symbol of New Zealand, the pohutukawa
Top right, the scenery on a boat trip to Bay of Islands
Right, Maori motifs on display at the Te Kongahu Museum of Waitangi
Aerial view of Russell, a historic city with a population of less than 1,000, with attractions like boat tours, beaches, waterfalls, museums, and walking tracks