South of the kauri forests are the muddy, mangrove-choked shores of the Kaipara Harbour, New Zealand’s largest. The harbour once unified this quarter of Northland, with sailboats plying its waters and linking the dairy farming and logging towns on its shores. Kauri was shipped out from the largest northern town, Dargaville, though the fragile boats all too often foundered on the unpredictable Kaipara Bar. Many eventually washed up on Ripiro Beach, which just pips Ninety Mile Beach to the title of New Zealand’s longest, running for 108km.

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