Stay and Play in the Bay
5 days/4 nights (extendable)
Day 1. Monday. AUCKLAND - KAURI MUSEUM AND FORESTS - BAY OF ISLANDS. (L)
Depart Auckland 7.45am. Drive north over the harbour Bridge and along the Hibiscus Coast to the Otamatea Kauri and Early Settlers Museum, one of the best little museums in New Zealand. Learn of the importance of the kauri tree to the development of Northland and see the lifestyle of the early settlers. Continue through Ruawai 'kumara capital' of New Zealand, and Dargaville into the Waipoua kauri forest. Visit "Tane Mahuta" giant kauri tree - some 2000 years old. Enjoy the views of the Hokianga Harbour and see the statue to "Opo" the dolphin then into historic Rawene. See Clendon house exterior (built 1862) and learn of Baron Du Thierry self styled 'Sovereign Chief of New Zealand'. Continue to Te Waimate Mission station built as a model farm in 1830 and where Charles Darwin enjoyed christmas with the missionaries in 1835. It is also the scene of the 2nd signing of the Treaty of Waitangi on the 10th February, 1840. Continue to the Bay of Islands for four nights accommodation and breakfast at Paihia Pacific Hotel.
Day 2. Tuesday - Thursday Day 4. BAY OF ISLANDS
Three days to make as active or relaxing as you wish.
** Included for you to use one day is a voucher for the Waitangi Treaty Grounds. Enjoy a guided tour of the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, see James Busby's House sent in kitset form from Sydney in 1834, enjoy a scintillating Maori Concert, and time in the excellent museum portraying the events around the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi on the 6th February,1840. Also experience the new (opened February 2020) Maori Battalion museum showing the heroic actions in World War 2. Waitangi is an easy 20-30 minutes stroll along the waterfront from your hotel.
** Also included is a 4 hour cruise on the Bay of Islands to Cape Brett and through the 'Hole in the Rock' - weather permitting. Usually dolphins are to be seen during this cruise, and enjoy an island stopover. Cape Brett Cruises now operate every tuesday, thursday, saturday and sunday and will operate daily from 26 September,
We recommend the ferry to historic Russell. See the oldest church in New Zealand and Pompallier House (Pompallier open wednesday-sunday), climb Flagstaff Hill to see the remains of historic flag pole cut down by Hone Heke on 3 occasions, and maybe dine at the historic Duke of Marlborough Hotel. We also recommend a visit to Keri Keri and the Stone Store, and Kemp House - oldest building in New Zealand, All activities extra expense.
Cape Reinga day torus will be available daily from 26 September travelling part way on the sands of Ninety Mile Beach. For the more active kayak to Haruru falls, horse trek, parasail, and other activities are available.
Day 5. Friday. BAY OF ISLANDS DEPART
Return to Auckland by Intercity coach. Our arrangements end at Skycity coach terminal.
Current Intercity timetable has an express bus departing Paihia at 7.45am arriving Auckland 12pm or another service departing at 10.45am on fridays with transfer at Whangarei arriving Auckland 4.10pm. This service provides an hour to enjoy the Whangarei Town basin and visit Claphams Clocks.