Dargaville is known as the kumara capital of New Zealand, as the vast majority of the country's kumara (sweet potato) is grown in the area. It is also in the heart of the region of where the giant native kauri tree grows, and where the gum (fossilised resin) of the kauri was dug up to make products such as varnish, and nowadays decorative items.
It's a 55-km drive from Whangarei.
If coming from the Hokianga, from the Tane Mahuta kauri tree in Waipoua Forest just carry on south for 62 km.
- Baylys Beach, 12 km west of town.
- 1 Dargaville Museum, also known as Dargaville Maritime Museum, 32 Mount Wesley Coast Rd. Every day except 25 Dec summer 9AM-5PM, winter 9AM-4PM. Adult $12, school child $2.
- Kai Iwi Lakes, 32 km north of Dargaville
- 2 Kaipara Vintage Machinery Museum, Harding Park (next to Dargaville Museum). W F Sa Su 10:30AM-3:30PM.
- 3 The Kauri Museum, 5 Church Rd, Matakohe (45 km south of Dargaville). Every day except 25 Dec 9AM-5PM. This large museum in a small village tells the story of the pioneering days through the use of kauri timber and kauri gum (fossilised resin). Adult $25, child (5-15 years) $8, senior or student $20.
- 4 The Kumara Box, 503 Pouto Rd (6 km south of town), ☏ , . One-hour show about the kumara (sweet potato), a major crop in the area, and a half-hour ride (weather permitting) on the kumara train made out of oil drums. Booking essential. Lunch or teas by arrangement. There is also Searle's Marine Collection, which includes items of geology, fossils, seashells, fish, kauri gum, ship wrecks. Show $20, train $10, Searle's $10.
- 1 Woodturners Kauri Gallery and Studio, 4 Murdoch St (on SH 12). Worth visiting just for a look at items made in the studio from beautiful kauri wood.