Kauri Museum and Forests - Hokianga - Bay of Islands - Cape Reinga
Unsolicited comments from past clients ;
On behalf of our family group I would like to thank you for the unforgettable trip you organised for us. We highly appreciate your considerations with our need to be together as a family group, and for the excellent organisation during the whole trip. (E.R. Israel).
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 enjoy a fish, chips, and salad lunch (vegetarian and vegan options available). 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 two nights accommodation and breakfast
Please note: as travel to Cape Reinga is by special coach your driver/guide will usually return to Auckland tonight.
Day 2. Tuesday. CAPE REINGA (BL)
Option One: Nature at its best - Cape Reinga and 90 Mile Beach.
You will be picked up by special coach for a full day excursion north through the Puketi forest plus the beautiful Mangonui Harbour and Coopers Beach to Cape Reinga at the top of New Zealand.
Travel part way on the sands of Ninety Mile Beach. See the meeting of the Tasman Sea and Pacific Ocean. Return to the Bay of Islands early evening. Lunch is included today.
Option Two: History - Kerikeri and Waitangi.
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 bult in 1822 and the oldest building in New Zealand. Visit Rewa's recreated early maori traditional village and Kororipo Pa site, home of the famous Maori chief Hongi Hika. Continue to the Haruru Falls with the option for a walk among the mangroves to Waitangi if you wish. Visit 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 and video presentations portraying the events of 4-6 February, 1840. Also visit the new 2nd World War Maori Battalion museum.
Your driver may return to Auckland tonight.
Optional relaxing evening dinner cruise up the Waitangi River to the Haruru Falls and return - extra cost $105.
Option Three: FLY/ROAD TO CAPE REINGA:
For a shorter day, a bigger experience, and fabulous scenery not seen from the ground transfer from your hotel to Kerikeri airport and fly north over Ninety Mile beach to land near Cape Reinga. Your special vehicle will be waiting for a 2.5 hour (approx) land tour to Te Paki stream and masive sand dunes on Ninety Mile beach, Cape Reinga light house, Tapotupotu Bay. Fly back to Keri Keri via the fabulous coastal scenery of Parengarenga Harbour, Great Exhibition Bay, Houhora Harbour, Karikari Peninsula, Whangaroa Harbour, Cavalli Islands and Bay of Islands. Return to Kerikeri airport and transfer back to you hotel. Departs twice daily in summer, once daily in winter - extra cost instead of coach $350 per adult. Total time from Paihia approximately 5 hours
Day 3. BAY OF ISLANDS - AUCKLAND (B)
Morning cruise around the Bay of Islands and through the ‘Hole in the Rock’ - weather permitting. Cruise past the islands and into secluded bays. Often dolphins are to be seen during the cruise. Disembark at historic Russell for a tour of the town including Flagstaff Hill and the oldest church in New Zealand. Visit the Waitangi Treaty House where the Treaty of Waitangi between Maori and the British Government was signed in 1840 (if not taking option 2 on day 2). Enjoy a tour with a local guide of the Treaty House and Meeting House with its fabulous carvings, and see the giant war canoe and Waitangi Treaty and Maori Battalion Museums. Return to Auckland mid evening.
We do recommend an extra night or two in the Bay of Islands to enjoy all that it has to offer. This will provide a more relaxed time in Russell and gives you the option of taking the historic 'Cream cruise', R Tucker Thomson tall ship cruise, and/or swim with the dolphins cruise either instead of, or as well as the most popular Cape Brett cruise we include. Return to Auckland will normally by scheduled coach from Paihia wharf terminating in Downtown Auckland for less than 4 passengers.