Your place: Kawhia
The town of 400 people nestles beside a 6000-hectare harbour where State Highway 31 reaches the sea. It is an hour's drive from Hamilton, two hours from Auckland. Kawhia is the spiritual home of Tainui and resting place of the ancestral waka. It's tiny but it is listed by Lonely Planet as one of the top ten places to go to in New Zealand.