Approx 3.5 hrs from North Shore, Auckland
Head up the Northern Motorway from the Auckland Harbour Bridge, SH 1, passing through the Tunnel, on through Warkworth, Wellsford, and Kaiwaka. Turn left at the base of the Brynderwyn Hill on SH 12, passing through and small towns of Maungaturoto, Paparoa, and Ruawai, crossing the Wairoa river the road turns left through Dargaville. Continue on SH 12 past Kiwi Iwi lakes (off the road) and on up to the Waipoua State Forrest, home of the large Kauri Tree Tani Mahuta. You will then come down the valley into Waiotmarama, about 10 mins away to the top of the hill overlooking the Hokianga Harbour entrance and views of the inner harbour and sand dunes.
At the bottom of the hill is the Copthorne Hotel on the LHS, The Lighthouse Motel is about 5 mins drive further, across the road from the beach on the RHS and the Opononi Hotel (Opo the Dolphin statue us outside is on the LHS).