Sprawling along the Wairoa River, Dargaville is a lively town known as the Kumara Capital of New Zealand. It’s home to an excellent history museum and unique rail cart tours and is the end point of the spectacular Kauri Coast Cycleway.
Things to do
Learn about the people and events that have shaped the town at the Dargaville Museum, which lies in the riverfront Harding Park. Admire the 16-metre-long Maori canoe and wander through the replica gumdiggers camp, then see over 100 piano accordions in the restored Aratapu Library.
Experience Dargaville’s sights from the water during a cruise along the Wairoa River while hearing tales of the early Kauri timber milling days. Alternatively, get behind the wheel of a converted golf cart during a fun rail tour, which takes you through native bushland, tunnels and across bridges as you explore the town’s rural surrounds.
Embark on the 113-kilometre-long Kauri Coast Cycleway, which extends from Hokianga Harbour to Dargaville and out to the mouth of Kaipara Harbour. Ride through the twin settlements of Omapere and Opononi, then cycle beneath the kauri trees of the Waipou Forest, which is home to New Zealand’s largest living kauri, Tane Mahuta.
A short drive from Dargaville takes you to the Kumara Box, a family farm dedicated to the humble sweet potato. Learn about the farming history of the kumara and enjoy a tractor-powered train ride around the property, which is home to New Zealand’s smallest church and dotted with unique sculptures.
Dargaville is around 2.5 hours’ drive from Auckland and Auckland International Airport. The town is small enough to explore on foot, but having your own vehicle is the best way of accessing the surrounding sights.
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