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Forests and beautiful coastline, the best the North Island has to offerDiscover this route
This 430km twisty forest tour in the North part of the North Island starts and ends in Whangarei. It can be done in a day with stops, or over 2 days at a more modest. The route can be further extended easily by taking the ferry from Opua to Russel.
Head southwest from Whangarei on the 14, then join the excellent SH12 running Northeast and then the fantastic twisty SH13.
While enjoying to the ride on the SH12, there is the possibility to stop at the Waipoua forest, home to the largest living Kauri tree in New Zealand.
Shortly after that at Omapere is one of the routes main tourist attractions, the Arai Te Uru, the southern head of the harbour entrance is steeped in Maori history and is a place of great natural beauty. As this represents about half way on this route, if you are planning 2 days for the trip, this is good choice for somewhere to stay for the night.
After that the route takes you to the end of the bay and then out to the eastern coast via some lovely twisty rural roads and round the Opua forest. From Opua it is possible to extend the trip further by taking a ferry over to Russel. Otherwise turn back west and head towards Tautoro and then from there back to Whangarei. All the roads on this route are good but (as always) there is a occasional section where the surface could be better.