Guide to Kohukohu: Things to do in a Treasure of History and Culture in New Zealand


blog authorBy Johanna Hansen shield verification Verified Expert

    Join us on a captivating journey to Kohukohu, a hidden gem in New Zealand's Northland. This quaint village, rich in Maori history and surrounded by breathtaking natural beauty, offers a unique escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. In this guide, we'll unveil the best of Kohukohu, from its serene harbors to its lush landscapes, ensuring your visit is both memorable and magical. Get ready to explore the charm and wonders of Kohukohu with us!

    Where is Kohukohu Located?

    Kohukohu, a serene seaside town, is nestled within the picturesque Hokianga Harbour in New Zealand's North Island. This historic village, once a hub for Kauri milling, is now known for its heritage architecture and artistic community. 

    It's conveniently located just an hour from Kerikeri, two hours from Whangarei, and four hours from Auckland, making it an accessible yet tranquil getaway.

    Weather in Hokuhoku

    What is the Best Time of Year to Visit Kohukohu?

    The best time to visit Kohukohu is during the warmer months, from late spring to early autumn. This period offers the most pleasant weather for exploring the outdoors and enjoying the town's natural beauty.

    Weather in Kohukohu

    Kohukohu enjoys a mild, maritime climate. Summers are warm and inviting, perfect for outdoor activities, while winters are cooler but still mild enough for exploring. Always pack a light jacket, as evenings can be cool, and rain is a possibility year-round.

    Things to Do in Kohukohu

    Exploring the Hokianga Harbour

    The Hokianga Harbour, a vast and serene natural wonder, is a jewel in New Zealand's Northland. As one of the largest natural harbours in the country, it offers a plethora of activities for nature enthusiasts. Kayaking through the calm waters, you can discover secluded islands, each with its unique charm. 

    Boating excursions provide a broader view of this magnificent landscape, revealing hidden coves and pristine beaches that are perfect for a day of relaxation or exploration. For those who prefer land-based adventures, the harbour's scenic trails offer tranquil walks with breathtaking views.

    Hokianga Harbour

    Hiking to the Summit of Mount Wesley

    Mount Wesley, a dormant volcano, stands as a silent guardian over Kohukohu, offering hikers a rewarding challenge. The trail to its summit, though moderately challenging, is a journey through diverse landscapes. As you ascend, the panoramic views of the Hokianga Harbour unfold, offering a stunning backdrop that gets more impressive with every step. 

    Reaching the summit, hikers are rewarded with a 360-degree view of the surrounding countryside, a perfect spot for contemplative moments or capturing stunning photographs.

    Mount Wesley

    Visiting the Kohukohu Historic Village

    Kohukohu's history is vividly alive in its historic village. Walking through the village is like stepping back in time, with each restored building telling a story of the town's past. The church, school, and general store, among others, are not just architectural beauties but also repositories of local history and culture. 

    This historic village is a must-visit for anyone interested in New Zealand's colonial past and the evolution of its small towns.

    Browsing the Collections at the Village Arts Gallery

    The Village Arts Gallery in Kohukohu is a cultural treasure trove. It showcases the creativity and talent of local and regional artists. The gallery's ever-changing exhibitions provide a glimpse into the vibrant art scene of the region. 

    Whether you're an art aficionado or a casual observer, the gallery offers a chance to appreciate and even acquire unique pieces of art, from traditional Maori crafts to contemporary artworks.

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    Savor Fresh Seafood at Kohukohu's Waterside Cafés

    Kohukohu's location by the water means seafood is a local specialty. The town's cafés and restaurants, many of which are situated by the harbour, offer menus brimming with fresh, locally-sourced seafood. 

    Dining here is not just about the food; it's an experience, with stunning views of the harbour complementing the culinary delights. Whether it's a casual lunch or a romantic dinner, the combination of fresh seafood and scenic beauty is unmatched.

    Attending a Traditional Maori Haka Performance

    Experiencing a traditional Maori haka performance in Kohukohu is an unforgettable experience. The haka, with its powerful chants and vigorous movements, is an integral part of Maori culture. 

    Originally a war dance, it's now performed on various occasions, including welcoming guests and celebrating significant events. The intensity and passion of the performers make it a deeply moving and authentic cultural experience.

    Immerse Yourself in Maori Culture at the Kohukohu Marae

    A visit to the Kohukohu Marae offers a deep dive into Maori culture. The marae, a communal and sacred meeting ground, is the heart of Maori community life. Here, visitors can engage with local Maori, learn about their traditions, and experience their legendary hospitality. 

    It's an opportunity to gain insights into the Maori way of life and their connection to the land and ancestors.

    Hokuhoku in New Zealand

    Travel Tips for Visiting Kohukohu

    • Accommodation: Choose from a range of options, from cozy backpackers & hostels to boutique lodges.
    • Transport: Kohukohu is just four kilometers from the Hokianga ferry landing, connecting to Rawene on the southern side of the harbour.
    • Local Cuisine: Don't miss trying the local seafood, a true delight in this coastal town.


    Kohukohu is a hidden gem in New Zealand, offering a peaceful retreat with a rich history and vibrant cultural scene. Whether you're kayaking in the harbour, exploring art galleries, or simply soaking in the town's historic charm, Kohukohu promises a memorable experience.

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