Whalers, Fishing Village & Shipwrecks

We head north to Hihi (translated to “ray of sun”), a Northland holiday spot nestled on a cute peninsular renowned for breath-taking sunsets. Visit Butler’s Point Whaling Museum, New Zealand’s northern most whaling port in colonial days. The museum displays a fully equipped restored whale boat and most likely NZ’s largest collection of whaling artefacts.

Just around the bay is the historic fishing village of Mangonui. Wander past the historic buildings to the world famous Mangonui Fish and Chip Shop built over the water with extensive views of this peaceful harbour. An opportunity to have lunch here if you wish. You may also choose to observe fishing off the local wharf, where Kingfish, Snapper and John Dory are regularly caught.

An option is to ‘wash down’ lunch with some delightful wine tasting in a lovely setting at the ‘Dancing Petrel’ vineyard, nestled on its own island.

To the south we visit Whangaroa (Whaingaroa) harbour viewing the spectacular landscape. This now serene marine environment bodes stories of the shipwreck Boyd, Lae and Sons Mill and is the place of Kingfish Lodge and WWII bunkers.

Returning we follow the beautiful coastal road via the bays of Mahinepua, Wainui Bay and Te Ngaere Bay before turning off to Matauri Bay, the resting place of the Greenpeace ship the Rainbow Warrior which was bombed and sank in 1985.


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