Here’s some of what the Lonely Planet – New Zealand chapter on The Bay of Islands & Northland has to say about Opononi and Omapere:
Opononi & Omapere
“These tranquil settlements near the south head of Hokianga Harbour more or less run into one another. The water’s much clearer here and good for swimming. Views are dominated by the mountainous sand dunes cross the water at North Head. If you’re approaching Omapere from the south, the view of the harbour is nothing short of spectacular.”
KAPOORS ON THE ROAD
It was great to get out of the city and begin to explore the landscape of the North Island, north of the capital, Auckland. The weather couldn’t have been better, sunny skies, warm sun and light breezes. Our goal was to drive all the way to the northernmost tip of the island, and eventually, when we were touring the South Island, drive all the way to the southernmost point of land. For some reason, whenever we are faced with such geographical locations on a map, we make them ‘must-see’ destinations.
The traffic was light, and at times almost non-existent, and we made good time, stopping only to take photos and to have lunch or stretch our legs now and then. We hadn’t made any bookings in advance, we felt confident that we would be able to find places to sleep and didn’t want to be constrained by an itinerary that didn’t allow us to seize the opportunity to go off the beaten path should we want to.
We arrived at the Pakia Hill lookout shortly after 5:00pm and stopped to take in the amazing view of the Hokianga Harbour and the sand dunes at North Head. At this point, the highway turns inland and runs along the south coast of the harbour to a spot where it’s possible to cross the expanse of water on a small ferry.
There were rain clouds in the distance inland, so we decided Opononi was a great spot to stop for the night and we received a warm welcome from the woman who runs the Opononi Lighthouse Motel. I’m very fond of lighthouses so it tickled my fancy just perfectly.
We were on the road shortly after 10:00am the next morning, but first I just had to get Anil to pose for a photo, sitting in the red bathtub/sofa, in front of the miniature lighthouse at the entrance to the motel.