Bay of Islands and Northland    - 7   day New Zealand Tour

Paihia, Russell, and the Bay of Islands, Waitangi Treaty Grounds, 90 Mile Beach and Cape Reinga, Mangonui, Hokianga Harbour, Waipoua Forest, Kaipara Harbour & more…​

 

Join us on this new extended 7 day, 6 night adventure to the Bay of Islands and Northland, an interesting area full of history, culture and amazing scenery.

Enjoy some famous ‘Hinterland quality hospitality’ as we explore all the way to the top of New Zealand. With 3 days in Paihia, 2 in  Taipa and 1 Omapere, we will see and do so much and still have time to relax.

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Bay Of Islands & Northland - plan B
9th Mar 2021
$2595 pp

DAY 1 Travelling from Tauranga through the coastal Bay of Plenty, our first stop is at the world famous (in New Zealand) L&P cafe for morning tea. Its our shout and a chance for us to get to know our travelling companions.  Continuing north through the ‘Big Smoke’ of Auckland we make our lunch stop at another well known iconic Kiwi pub at Puhoi.

After lunch we continue north on SH1, passing through rolling countryside, farmland and native forests, with our route offering stunning coastal views of the offshore islands before we leave SH1 and head west for our afternoon destination at the interesting Matakohe Kauri Museum. Our guide here will give us an introduction to the museum after which you can enjoy the detailed displays relating to the kauri timber industry at your own pace. By the time we leave Matakohe we will have a much better appreciation of Northland life, its history and its people.

We continue north along the coastline, through Dargaville and the Waipoua Forest to our beach front hotel at Omapere.

DAY 2 We begin today with a guided tour to the  ‘Lord of the Forest’ – Tane Mahuta, located in the Waipoua Forest just 20 minutes drive from the hotel. Tane Mahuta is thought to be up to 2500 years old and is now the largest of the species still standing in New Zealand. A short boardwalk will take us into the forest where our expert local Maori guide will provide insight into the role of the forest in both past and current times, enabling us to understand how important care of our natural environment is to us all.

We then return to Omapere and continue on to the small settlement of Rawene, for our lunch stop before we take the ferry across the Hokianga Harbour to the north shore and continue to our beachfront resort at Taipa, travelling through farmland and forests in this truly remote Far North part of New Zealand.

DAY 3 Today we head north for our trip to Cape Reinga, joining up with a family run tour company in Kaitaia who have specially designed vehicles for driving on the sand. The tour includes a drive along 90 Mile Beach (only 64 miles long!) to the enormous Te Paki Dunes. Body boards are provided if you want to try out some sand dune surfing, but first you have to climb up the dunes! 

 

A picnic lunch is included at a secluded bay before heading to the very top of New Zealand where the Tasman Sea meets the Pacific Ocean and marvel at the 360 degree views from the Cape Reinga lighthouse, which has to be one of those bucket list destinations! Our dinner tonight is at the famous Mangonui Fish Shop for a delicious Fish n Chip supper at this harbour side setting after a great day out.

Whats Included:

  • 7 days of touring

  • 6 nights quality accommodation

  • Door to door service [home pickups]

  • Quality Air-conditioned vehicle

  • Full commentary from your guide 

  • All breakfasts and 5 dinners

  • Lunch at The Duke of Marlborough Hotel

  • Hole in the Rock Dolphin Cruise

  • Ferry from Russell to Paihia

  • Guided tour of Russell

  • Cape Reinga and 90 Mile Beach tour

  • Fish n chips supper at Mangonui

  • Waitangi Treaty grounds and tour

  • Butler Point Whaling Museum

  • A guided tour of Kemp House

  • Kawiti Glow worm caves

  • The Matakohe Kauri Museum

  • Guided tour to see Tane Mahuta

  • Plenty of stops along the way

You will see:

  • Stunning scenery throughout

  • The iconic Hundertwasser toilets

  • The historic town of Russell

  • Paihia with its stunning BOI vistas

  • Mangonui and its famous Fish Shop

  • Kerikeri and the Stone Store

  • Cape Reinga & 90 Mile Beach

  • The Hokianga Harbour and West Coast

  • Tane Mahuta - the 'Lord of the Forest"

  • The Kaipara Harbour

DAY 4 Today we head south and our first visit is to the Butler Point Whaling Museum in Doubtless Bay'. Here an interesting collection of whaling artifacts is set in a stunning location on the shore at Butler Point. We then continue south to Kerikeri where we have time for lunch at a local cafe before we head to another of New Zealand’s historic treasures – The Stone Store and Kemp House in Kerikeri. Here we enjoy a guided tour of the Kemp House and have access to the The Stone Store upper levels. This is New Zealand’s oldest stone building and Kemp House is our oldest building in New Zealand, situated in an idyllic location at the head of the tranquil Kerikeri Inlet. Our final visit this afternoon is a very popular place for all visitors - the mouth watering Makana Chocolate factory (chocolates and ice-creams to die for!). Its then just a short drive to our accommodation at Paihia, on the way stopping at the Hururu waterfall.

DAY 5  On our first day in Paihia we take a half-day Bay of Islands cruise in search of dolphins and other marine life. Enjoy the views from our comfortable catamaran, the  Dolphin Seeker, as we cruise right to the end of the Cape Brett Peninsula to the famous Hole in the Rock on Motukōkako Island.  Heading back to shore we disembark at Russell for a special lunch at the famous Duke of Marlborough Hotel. After lunch a short sightseeing tour allows us to see more of this interesting town, once named the "Hell hole of the Pacific" before taking the ferry back to Paihia. This evening is free for you to explore Paihia and select your own dining options from the many cafes and restaurants within easy walking distance of the hotel.

As a no cost alternative to the Hole in the Rock cruise, you can opt for a visit to Pompallier House in Russell and enjoy morning tea at this historic building before meeting the others at the Duke of Marlborough Hotel for lunch.

DAY 6 Next morning is spent at the Waitangi Treaty Grounds – New Zealand’s most important historic site. A local guide will inform and educate you about the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840 and we will have time to explore the new interactive museum and also enjoy a short cultural performance in the carved meeting house in the grounds. Time for us to enjoy lunch at the Whare Waka cafe before departing for Kawakawa.

Another must see destination in the Bay of Islands are the Kawiti Glow Worm caves, located right in the heart of the Waiomio Valley, the Glowworm Caves are home to thousands of luminous glow worms, breath taking rock formations and lush green rainforest.  The caves are owned and operated by the Kawiti family and your guide will lead you on a tour along a wooden boardwalk through the 200 metre long limestone cave system. Once inside, you will see thousands of glow worms spread across the ceiling surrounded by breath taking stalactites and stalagmites. Before returning to Paihia for our last evening we will make a stop at Kawakawa, famous for the train that runs down the towns main street, the Hundertwasser Toilets and new Te Hononga Kawakawa Hundertwasser Park and visitor centre.

Not included:

  • Any lunches unless specified* 

  • Morning/afternoon tea stops*

  • Any alcoholic beverages with meals

* Please note, that unless specified in the itinerary we do not usually include the cost of lunches or morning and afternoon tea stops in the tour cost, but we always make stops where there are a range of options available so you can choose what you want, and have flexibility to do things on your own if you wish.

DAY 7 Today we must return to home so after a leisurely breakfast overlooking the beautiful bay in Paihia we head south with a stop at Waipu, chance to visit the small Museum that tells the story of how this very "Scottish" settlement came about, or enjoy morning tea at one of the local cafes. We continue south along SH1 for our next destination, the well renowned Morris and James Pottery at Matakana.  Using clay harvested from the banks of the Matakana river, Morris & James create a vast selection of colourful ceramics, pots, home décor and garden ware, all created on-site in expansive buildings that house the showroom and pottery factory.  After browsing the displays we will enjoy lunch together at their on-site cafe, itself a work of art. Departing Matakana we traverse Auckland and head south to the Bay of Plenty in good time to be home by the evening, after what will have been a great 7 days of exploring the Far North and Bay of Islands.