BEST OF NORTHLAND HERITAGE TOUR
4 days/3 nights. Departs Auckland
2024: April 08
Departs most mondays for minimum of 4 subject to availability of driver/guide.
Day 1. Monday. AUCKLAND - KAURI MUSEUM AND FORESTS - HOKIANGA
Depart Auckland 9.30am. Drive north over the harbour Bridge and along the Hibiscus Coast to the Otamatea (Matakohe) 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 who first came to this area in 1862. See the world's largest kauri slab at 22.5 metres long and New Zealand's first tractor plus the beautiful furniture with its veneer of native timber, and the extensive display of kauri gum.
Continue through Ruawai 'kumara capital' of New Zealand, and Dargaville and visit the Kai-iwi Lakes. Continue into the Waipoua kauri forest. Visit "Tane Mahuta" giant kauri tree - some 2000 years old and enjoy spectacular views of the harbour and sand dunes as we arrrive in the Hokianga. Enjoy the MANEA - FOOTPRINTS OF KUPE 75 minute multi sensory 4D experience of guided story telling of Maori beliefs and migration. Kupe is credited with discovering New Zealand some 800 years ago, his wife is credited with giving us the original name He ao, He ao, He Aotea, He Aotearoa (land of the long white cloud), and this is where Kupe is reputed to have left on his journey back to Raiatea (Join me on a tour to Tahiti and 14 day cruise of the Society and Marqueses Islands) from where the great migration came. Continue to Omapere and our accommodation at the Heads Hotel on the shores of the Hokianga Harbour. Optional hike to the Hokianga Heads for spectacular views of the harbour entrance and sand dunes. (Please note: as accommodation is scarce in the Hokianga some tours may have to go on to Waitangi for 3 nights).
Day 2. Tuesday. RAWENE - WAIMATE - KERI KERI - RUSSELL (B)
We enjoy a brief visit to historic Rawene including Clendon House (exterior only) built in the 1860's. James Clendon had a chequered history including being signatory to the Declaration of Independence, present at the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, and American Consul in the Bay of Islands. Also learn of Baron Du Thierry, self proclaimed 'Sovereign Chief of New Zealand', and his misguided plans for the area.
Drive to Te Waimate Mission Station established as a model farm by the Missionaries in 1834 and where Charles Darwin enjoyed Christmas with the Missionaries in 1835. It was also the scene of the 2nd signing of the Treaty of Waitangi on the 10th February 1840. Drive through the citrus orchards of Keri Keri to visit the Stone Store which opened for business in 1836 and is still trading. Enjoy a tour of Kemp House built in 1822 and the oldest building in New Zealand. Visit Kororipo Pa site, home of the famous Maori chief Hongi Hika.
Continue to the Waitangi Treaty Grounds for a tour of the Treaty House, scintillating Maori cultural performance, see the great war canoe, and enjoy an hour in the excellent Treaty Museum opened in 2016 with video presentations portraying the events of 4-6 February, 1840. Optional visit to the 2nd World War Maori Battalion museum.
This afternoon we cross to historic Kororareka (Russell). Enjoy a walking tour of the town and a guided tour of Pompallier Mission House and Printery, built in 1842. Learn how to tan a hide, bind a book, and much more. See the oldest church in New Zealand, built in 1835. and visit Flagstaff Hill for a panoramic view over the Bay of Islands.
You are welcome to stay on in Russell and have dinner at the historic Duke of Marlborough Hotel and return to Paihia by ferry later. (dinner and ferry own expense).
Day 3. Wednesday. BAY OF ISLAND FREE DAY - CAPE REINGA OPTION.
The day is yours to make as active or relaxing as you wish.
Visiting Cape Reinga at the top of New Zealand is a special experience. It is possible within our tour. These options should be reserved well in advance as they are very busy during summer..
Option One. One day coach tour by special coach. Depart Paihia 7am - return about 6.30pm. - extra cost $170. 11.5 hours.
Depart at 7am by special bus for Cape Reinga at the top of New Zealand travelling part way on the sands of Ninety Mile Beach. See the meeting of the Tasman Sea and Pacific Ocean and some of the beautiful beaches. Option to Boogie Board on the giant sand dunes. Enjoy the drive down the beautiful East Coast passing Doubtless Bay, Coopers Beach, and Mangonui on the beautiful Whangaroa Harbour arriving Paihia early evening. Picnic lunch included.
Option Two - highly recommended. 4.5 hour tour by air and road. Extra cost $460.
Departs Kerikeri airport 8.30am and 1.15pm (morning - minimum of 2. Afternoon subject to demand). Transfers from Paihia provided.
Fly north over Kerikeri vineyards and orchards, Whangaroa Harbour, Rangaunu Harbour, Ninety Mile Beach, and land near Cape Reinga for a 2 hour road trip by special vehicle to Cape Reinga lighthouse, Tapotupotu Bay, and Te Paki stream. Return to the plane and overfly Parengarenga Harbour, Great Exhibition Bay, Houhora Harbour, and Cavalli islands returning to the Bay of islands. See parts of the north not seen from the road for an unforgettable experience.
Option 3. R Tucker Thompson tall ship sailing.
The R Tucker Thompson tall ship resumes sailing for the summer. Day sail (Departs Russell 10am - Returns 3.30pm including lunch $159. Sundowner sail 4.00pm - Return 5.45pm.$67.50. This option can be taken monday or tuesday.
Many other activities available including kayaking to Haruru Falls, Parasailing, deep sea big game fishing etc..
Day 4. Thursday. BAY OF ISLANDS - AUCKLAND.
This morning we cruise through the Bay of Islands to Cape Brett and through the 'Hole in the Rock' - weather permitting. You will have over an hour to explore Otehei Bay on Urupukapuka Island and purchase lunch (own expense). Visit Kawakawa to see the famed Hundertwasser toilets and ride the historic train. Continue to the Ruapekapeka Pa site, scene of the last battle of the Northern land wars in 1846 then on to Whangarei Town basin including the amazing Claphams Clock collection and the new Hundertwasser Art Centre . Return to Auckland late afternoon.