Ep13: Northland’s soothing scenic drives


On this edition of Kiwi Tripsters, we celebrate the great outdoors in Murchison and surrender to the frenzy of Australasian gannets at Cape Kidnappers. We take to the rail carts with Forgotten World Adventures and head far north to Whangarei, to check out their soothing scenic drives.

Whangarei Heads, Northland, New Zealand
Whangarei Heads; Photo: Northland NZ

The fresh mornings of autumn are dawning, but the warmth lingers at the top of the South. Wedged between two national parks, it’s all about the outdoors in Murchison, headlined by the majesty of the Buller Gorge and the escapism of the Old Ghost Road trail.

Murchison Swing bridge, Northland, New Zealand
Murchison Swing bridge. Photo: Tourism West Coast

Pinned to the edge of Hawke’s Bay, when was the last time you paid a visit to Cape Kidnappers? You’ve got the tractor-trailer tour around the base of the cliffs, or the overland tour with Gannet Safaris. The star attraction for both tours is to zip you up close and personal with the largest, most accessible mainland gannet colony in the world. Plus, there are specials running at The Farm Cape Kidnappers.

Gannet colony, Cape Kidnappers. New Zealand
Gannet colony, Cape Kidnappers. Photo Gannet Safaris

You may have driven the Forgotten World Highway which connects Taranaki to the King Country. But the decommissioned railway line delivers an even more scenically intimate encounter between Stratford and Taumarunui. Take to the rail carts on this riveting 140km track.

Forgotten World Adventures. Northland New Zealand
Forgotten World Adventures. Photo: Mike Yardley

Northland’s thriving capital of Whangārei, is a city of adventure, culture and natural beauty. After taking your fill of the cultural draws and quayside eats, we showcase some stunning scenic drives that fan out from Whangārei.

Whangarei Heads Bays. New Zealand
Whangarei Heads Bays. Photo: Northland NZ
  • 01:02 Visiting Murchison and the Buller River
  • 08:49 Cape Kidnappers and the Gannet safaris
  • 15:29 Driving the Forgotten World Highway
  • 20:47 Whangarei's true colorus

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