In Okiato, tucked away in the Bay of Islands, dense coastal bushland hides a surprising history and some pretty shy birds.

While only a short ferry ride from popular Pahia and a quick drive from the famous heritage town of Russell, Okiato remains blissfully undeveloped. Even the elusive kiwis (as in the birds, not the people!) feel confident enough to leave the dense coastal shrubs to roam people’s gardens at night. It’s hard to imagine now but Okiato was New Zealand’s first-ever capital. There’s only one historic well left after the town burnt down to prove it ever existed.