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Dargaville’s not a place for adrenalin junkies, as one resident put it, but this rural service town does make a good base for exploring the surrounding region. It’s the gateway to Waipoua Forest, home of Tane Mahuta (the Lord of the Forest), the largest tree in New Zealand. It’s also close to Baylys Beach, on the 100km-long drivable Ripiro Beach, and the dune lakes of Kai Iwi.

And of course, Dargaville has the distinction of being the kumara capital of New Zealand.

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