A road trip around Northland is one of just two New Zealand routes featured in a new book about great drives of the world by a top travel publishing company.

Epic Drives of the World, published this week by Lonely Planet, details 50 road trips around the world, from Argentina to Zambia, and covers six continents.

One of the New Zealand road trips traverses the Southern Alps, the other is a 990km loop around Northland.

The book is written as a series of first-person travelogues with sidebars on some of the top attractions and practical tips.


The Northland journey start and ends in Auckland, heading up the east coast with detours via Waipu, the back road to Russell and the scenic loop around Matauri Bay before it rejoins the highway for the long run up to Cape Reinga.

The route then returns via the west coast, stopping in Hokianga and Waipoua Forest on the way.

The author skips Whangarei but includes a fact box about Waitangi Treaty Grounds, and stops off at a number of small, locally owned pubs and cafes. The art credentials of gallery-rich Rawene and Kohukohu also get a plug.

At McLeod's Brewery in Waipu the author describes a lunch of wood-fired pizza and craft beer with a friendly brewer, which may have been co-owner Geoff Gwynne.

"The biggest reward from this business is getting people from afar, stopping in little towns like ours and eating and drinking like the locals," Mr Gwynne said.

"It's nice that people get that feeling of community. That's what New Zealand, and especially Northland is about."

Northland Inc promotions and tourism manager Paul Davis said Lonely Planet was one of the world's most respected sources of information, so having a Northland route identified in the book was great for the region.

The book "syncs in nicely" with the agency's efforts to promote Northland as a touring destination, for example through the Twin Coast Discovery route and the Northland Byways project launched earlier this year.