Explore Hokianga

This tour is only available from 1 October to 30 April.

Known as ‘The Cradle of a Nation,’ the Hokianga was established by New Zealand’s first discoverer, Kupe over 1000 years ago. Join a local Māori guide on an unforgettable journey to the Hokianga, a landscape rich with legends.


  • This tour is only available from 1 October to 30 April.
  • Captivating legends of the land told by your local Māori Guide.
  • A gentle walk through the ancient Waipoua Forest, home to the largest remaining stand of kauri trees in New Zealand.
  • A personal introduction to Tāne Mahuta (The Lord of the Forest) and Te Matua Ngahere (The Father of the Forest), the largest and oldest kauri trees in the world.
  • The fascinating tale of how a wild dolphin made the small town of Opononi famous.
  • Lunch at the Copthorne Hotel & Resort Hokianga (included in the tour cost) located directly on the edge of the Hokianga harbour.
  • Optional lunchtime activities includes sandboarding (at your own cost), swimming in the hotel pool or harbour, or a stroll along the beach or to South Head (tide dependant).
  • Chance to interact with locals and be captivated by heartfelt Hokianga hospitality.
  • A small group setting, with transportation to and from Paihia on board a comfortable vehicle.


Enjoy the slower pace of life and warm hospitality as you wander the seaside towns guarded by giant sand dunes. After the forest walk, you'll return to the harbour's edge for a bite to eat at the charming Copthorne Hotel & Resort Hokianga. You can opt for a leisurely bite to eat in the sun, or enjoy a range of additional activities. Choose to beat your feet along the white sandy beach, go for a dip in the harbour, or relax at the hotel pool. If you're feeling more adventurous, take on the giant dunes and go sandboarding. Chat with locals and relish in small town hospitality. The Explore Hokianga tour satisfies all the senses by combining history, local culture, adventure and nature, allowing you to engage the present and embrace the past.

Add a thrilling Sandboarding Experience to your trip - Sandboard the giant Hokianga sand dunes. Includes a short boat transfer across the Hokianga harbour:

  • Adult - $25pp
  • Child - $15pp*
  • Under 5 - $5pp

*Child 5-12yrs. Weather dependant and seasonal.


Not only is the area steeped in early Māori and European history, but it is also a paradise adorned with natural wonders. Framed by giant sand dunes, expansive beaches, rolling hills and kauri forests, the majestic Hokianga harbour is the life essence for many small communities sprinkled along its waters edge. Let us drive while you relax. Take photos, meet the locals and immerse yourself in an experience of a lifetime.


Visit the Waipoua Forest sanctuary, home to the most extensive and best preserved ancient kauri forest in New Zealand. Stroll along an easy walking track with a Māori storyteller from Footprints Waipoua, a tour Lonely Planet named one of 84 Code Green Experiences of a Lifetime. Your expert guide will introduce you to the giant sentinels that safeguard this prehistoric environment. You'll be mesmerized by Te Matua Ngahere, the oldest kauri tree in the world, estimated to be 3000 years old. Known as the 'Father of the Forest,' its trunk spans more than five metres in diameter. Conclude your tour by visiting Tāne Mahuta, a national icon. As the largest kauri tree in the world, it stands an impressive 51 metres tall and is aptly named 'Lord of the Forest.' The giant kauri trees have inhabited these shores far longer than human civilization and serve as an important refuge for native flora and fauna.

Need to know:

  • Wear comfortable clothing and flat-soled shoes. The walking tracks we visit are very easy - total walking time is approximately 45 minutes with multiple stops along the way.
  • Bring a camera, sunscreen, sunglasses and hat, plus a towel and change of clothes for sandboarding and/or a swim either in the harbour or Hotel swimming pool.
  • Pick-ups from Paihia accommodation start from 9:45am