Ancestorial Home of the Maori on North Island

The Maori first settled here a thousand years ago, and much later, the British explorers founded New Zealand in the early 1800s. The many islands and beaches offer a variety of locations to explore. The Waitangi River opens up to mangrove forests and views of lush vegetation everywhere. The nearby Puketi forest and deep sea fishing are also favorite attractions at this northern tip of New Zealand.

Tenders took us from our anchorage to the Waitangi wharf. We took a two-hour guided kayak trip up the shallow Waitangi River to Haruru Falls. The river seemed deserted for most of the trip. Its shoreline consisted of mostly mangroves filled with birds. We turned around at the falls and landed at a small campsite where a bus took us to the village of Puketi for a nice lunch beside the harbor.