Visit this coastal village with its splendid views of the sand dunes across Hokianga Harbour to explore one of New Zealand’s largest remaining primeval forests.
Enjoy the leisurely lifestyle of Omapere, explore its kauri forest and linger here for breathtaking sunset vistas of the natural harbor and its sand dunes during your discovery tour of New Zealand’s Far North.
Omapere and Opononi on the south shore of the Hokianga Harbour are closely related. So, pick up a detailed map and tour information at the visitor center in Opononi first before driving a few minutes south to its twin Omapere.
New Zealand’s Northland is steeped in Māori tradition and, all around Hokianga Harbour, these former Polynesians open up their community houses and their hearts to share their culture with visitors. You will find that Omapere is no exception.
Rent a rod or buy a small handline and bait to go fishing from the jetty, which is also one of the best spots to enjoy the views of Hokianga Harbour and the sacred sand dunes. Chat to the fishing locals to find out more about the species, tidal movements and legends of the sea.
Take a walking tour with a Māori guide through the Waipoua Forest at night for the most impressive way to discover the giant kauri trees. Or, to explore the kauri rainforest on your own, wind your way through the Waipoua Forest to the Waipoua Visitor Centre. This is your gateway to the unique ecosystem of the largest remaining tract of native forest in Northland.
At the very least see Tāne Mahuta. Standing 169 feet (51.5 meters) tall, it is the largest living kauri tree in New Zealand. Continue along the track for a better view of its massive trunk from a little distance and ponder the fact that this “Lord of the Forest” is thought to be more than 2,000 years old.
Follow the highway east and turn into the old Signal Station Road to Arai Te Uru Reserve for memorable sunset vistas across the harbor entrance and North Head Dunes. At low tide, you can also walk up the hill to the signal station and then back to town along the beach.
Both Opononi and Omapere have accommodations to suit all budgets. Stay overnight and set out in the morning to drive south to Dargaville on the West Coast and on to Auckland, or head northeast to Cape Rēinga on the top of the peninsula.