"The Great Northern Run"
Auckland to Cape Regina, back through Daragville and Northland back roads.
This is a great 2-3 day trip with plenty of options for accommodation in stunning locations.
This is an incredible ride to the wonders of far Northern New Zealand. From Auckland, by heading up SH16 you will manage to see a lot of the Kaipara Harbour and escape most of main SH1 traffic and end up popping out in the small town of Wellsford. The highway will take you through open farmland and mild hill country, then over the Brynderwyn's to a beautiful view of the East Coast and Whangarei heads. Once you get past Whangarei it is mainly farmland till you hit the orchards of Keri Keri, and then into high quality back country roads that head up through the Twin Coast to Mangonui, Doubtless Bay and then Kaitaia, which is a great place to stay for a rest. Mangonui has a legendary fish shop and hotel to stay at with beautiful vies out to the harbour and this is well worth a visit. The final run up the approx 100km to Cape Regina is a fabulous road, once gravel but now quality tarseal, the last section of the road is like being on a roller-coaster on a fine day as you end up in the Cape Regina carpark and a short walk to the light house. Gas up before you head up the last leg, however there are some stops on the way, just check what will be open with the locals.
An alternative to head back is to head south from Kaitaia on through the forest and Mangamuka Hills on SH1, then through farmland where you come to Kaikohe, then head south on Mangakahia Road, and this well take you all the way to Dargaville, which has alot of straights. This then leads to Ruawai and Maungaturoto where you could stop at the old Hotel for a bite and a drink. There is a short distance onto SH1 and back south to Auckland.