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 2 day stays in Paihia, Taipa and Omapere, we will see and do so much and still have time to relax.

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Extended Bay Of Islands & Northland

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 the iconic Kiwi pub at Puhoi (at your cost).

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. A midway break at Waipu gives chance for a cuppa or a quick look through the interesting Waipu Museum if you wish [your cost].  Then we continue north to the Bay of Islands, our base for the next 2 nights. We make a stop to see funky Kawakawa and its famous Hundertwasser Toilets and new Te Hononga Kawakawa Hundertwasser Park and Visitor Centre, before checking in to our waterfront hotel in Paihia.

DAY 2  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 the 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 lunch at the famous Duke of Marlborough Hotel. 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.

As a no cost alternative to the Hole in the Rock cruise, you can opt for a visit to the Kawiti Glowworm Caves, morning tea in Russell and a tour of Pompallier House before lunch.

DAY 3 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 lunch is provided 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!). We then take a short but scenic drive north to Taipa, which will be our base for the next 2 days, and a chance to relax at our beach front resort.

Whats Included:

  • 7 days of touring

  • 6 nights quality accommodation

  • Door to door service [home pickups]

  • Quality air-conditioned vehicle

  • Full commentary by 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

  • 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 The highlight for many is our trip to Cape Reinga. We join up with a family run tour company in Kaitaia who have specially designed vehicles for driving on the sand as the trip 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. 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. This will have been a really memorable day.

 

DAY 5 Today we move across the island to the West Coast, where a different pace of life is apparent as we enjoy the sparsely populated Hokianga region. But first we will make a short detour to visit the Butler Point Whaling Museum in Doubtless Bay, where an interesting collection of whaling artefacts is set in a stunning location on the shore at Butler Point. Then we retrace our steps north at first, before we pass through Ahipara, where 90 Mile Beach begins and then head south again down the West Coast to take the ferry across to Rawene, from which it is just a short drive to our waterfront accommodation at Omapere for the next 2 nights. 

 

DAY 6 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 head back to our resort where you can relax for the rest of the day, take a swim in the pool or ocean or join us on optional visits to the historic Clendon House in Rawene (at your cost) and the Koutu Boulders (Northlands version of the Moeraki Boulders).

DAY 7 Departing Omapere for home, more rugged scenery awaits as we head south through the Waipoua Forest, to Dargaville and onwards to Matakohe on the edge of the Kaipara Harbour. The interesting Matakohe Kauri Museum awaits, and we allow plenty of time to enjoy the detailed displays relating to the kauri timber industry. The on site cafe is your lunch option today. By the time we leave Matakohe we will have a much better appreciation of Northland life, its history and its people.

 

Our journey back to Tauranga will have plenty of stops along the way, arriving in the early evening at your door.

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.