If you are a visitor headed to New Zealand for the country’s landscape and natural beauty, maybe even for a taste of the rural life that we’re so well known for, there’s no better place to take a day trip than Dargaville. Fifty minutes west of Whangarei and two hours from Auckland, a lot of people like to organise car hire at Auckland Airport to make getting to (and around) the Northland region easier. Dargaville is one of the North Island’s best small towns and a great place to spend the day.
Pay a visit to a few of these Dargaville attractions during your stay.
The Woodturners Kauri Gallery and Working Studio
See the work of Rick Taylor, Master Woodturner, at the Woodturners Kauri Gallery and Working Studio. Rick uses NZ grown kauri harvested from swampland on Northland’s Kauri Coast. Beautiful works of carving and crafting are on display – some for sale – and you’re welcome to see Rick at work when he’s in the studio.
If you’re interested in giving carving a go yourself, Rick also offers tuition at the gallery. Learn about the kauri tree, where it’s found and how it is recovered, plus see the gallery and try your hand at carving at the Woodturners Kauri Gallery and Working Studio on Murdoch Street.
From humble beginnings, Dargaville Museum has grown into six separate exhibition halls, each with its own focus and story.
– The Pioneer Hall is dedicated to the history and development of Dargaville and the surrounding district.
– The Gum Diggers Hall focuses on the ‘Northland gold’: Kauri Gum.
– The Collections Hall is a must visit for any collector – it features collections of everything from birds eggs to teapots and an impressive model railway.
– The Music Room explores the instruments and musical history of the district.
– The Maritime Hall takes a look back to when the region’s economy was based on timber and kauri gum exports.
– The Maori Hall showcases a sixteen metre kauri canoe and the native Maori history of the region.
Find the Dargaville Museum at Harding Park.
Kai Iwi Lakes
The Kai Iwi Lakes are a recreation reserve 35 km northwest of the town. There’s plenty to do at the lakes in the Taharoa domain – fish, swim, yacht and waterski during the day, explore the extensive walking track and book a stay at the sheltered camping and picnic facilities if you’re looking to spend a night or two.
Find Kai Iwi Lakes Road just off Omamari Road and State Highway 12.
Explore rural New Zealand, the history, the culture and the outdoors in Dargaville in Northland. Enjoy a stay in one of the North Island’s most exciting small towns and get a taste for everything on offer.