South of Auckland, Franklin Country reaches from the black sands of the west coast to the Firth of Thames in the east. Franklin is a delight to explore, with wide open landscapes, spectacular scenery and country hospitality with a touch of city sophistication. The main towns of Franklin country are Pukekohe, known for its cafés and market gardens, and historic Waiuku, where the colonial pub is a favourite local watering hole.

Beyond Waiuku, at the tip of Awhitu Peninsula, lies the Manukau Heads with its spectacular ocean views. South of Pukekohe, Tuakau enjoys a quiet country charm, or visit Port Waikato, where the mighty Waikato River flows out to sea. You can fish for flounder or take a stroll on Port Waikato’s sandy ocean beach. Thrill-seekers can head to Mercer for a skydiving adventure, while nature lovers will find themselves at home in tiny Miranda. The town is close to some wonderful birdwatching on the Firth of Thames, and afterwards, you can enjoy a soak in Miranda’s hot springs.