If you’re utilising the beautiful Tutukaka coastline as a base for your next weekend getaway and are looking for a few new areas to explore for the day, check out the below. From Oakihau to Kaikohe, you’ll be surprised at how many interesting things are right around the corner from you!
Roughly an hour and a half north-west of Tutukaka is the small town of Okaihau. With a population of 700, you’d think there isn’t much going down here, but boy are you wrong! Check out the Horeke Tavern, AKA the oldest pub in the country – Established in 1826. The perfect place for a bite to eat, the steak here is almost as satisfying as the Tavern’s home brew beer!
After lunch head over to the Northland Firehouse Museum, filled to the brim with antique fire appliances, fittings and uniforms, they also have a large collection of imported model fire engines from all around the world! If there’s anything you’ve ever wanted to know about fire engines or the firefighting business, make sure you hit up owner Brian Denton, who might just be the most knowledgeable man on the topic in the country!
For some much needed rest and relaxation, the Ngawha Hot Pools in Kaikohe are the perfect remedy to soothe those aching bones and muscles. With super simplistic surrounds, the various hot springs range in temperature – If you like it hot, you’ll love it here. The natural open air allows your body to breathe while submerged in the warm waters, which have been proven to have medicinal benefits!
You’ll also have the chance to discover the Pioneer Village down here in Kaikohe, featuring some historic buildings like the Waimate North Courthouse, which was constructed in 1862 and is the oldest courthouse in the country. The area is also confirmed to be one of the earliest places where Maori and European interactions took place, dating back well before the ground-breaking Treaty of Waitangi!