Kauri Museum and Forests - Hokianga - Te Waimate - Bay of Islands - Russell
2 days/1 night. Departs Auckland most mondays year round. (Minimum 2 passengers). Any day for minimum of 4 at same price or any day for a minimum of 2 with surcharge of $150 per person.
Day 1. AUCKLAND - KAURI MUSEUM AND FOREST - BAY OF ISLANDS. (L)
Depart Auckland 7.45am. Drive north over the Harbour Bridge 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 our included fish and chips lunch (vegetarian option 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 one night accommodation and breakfast. .
Day 2. BAY OF ISLANDS - AUCKLAND (B)
Option One: Cruise (Commences late September) , Russell, (Kororareka), and Waitangi.
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. 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.
Option Two. Keri Keri 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. Return to Auckland arriving mid evening.
FLY/ROAD TO CAPE REINGA: If you would like to visit Cape Reinga instead of the cruise and do not have time for our 3 day BEST OF NORTHLAND tour we highly recommend this tour. 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 massive 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 you will still have time to visit the Waitangi Treaty Grounds. Departs twice daily in summer, once daily in winter - extra cost instead of cruise $480 per adult. Total time from Paihia approximately 5 hours.
Return to Auckland may be with another operator.
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.