NORTHLAND GRAND HERITAGE DISCOVERY TOUR
5 days/4 nights.
Unsolicited comment from past passengers:
Hi Steve - have just returned to Southland. I just wish to say a very big THANK YOU for organising an amazing trip and also to James for being a really great driver and getting us to all,points on time - well done team. Please can you pass on my appreciation and thanks to David my guide/driver from Bush and Beach (Auckland City and Wilderness Best of Both Worlds tour - tour 109, really enjoyed my day out walking in the Waitakere Ranges).
Day 1. 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 sand dunes and enjoy our included fish, chips and salad lunch on the shores of the Hokianga Harbour (vegetarian options available). Visit historic Rawene and see Clendon House (usually exterior only) built in the 1860's. Also learn of Baron Du Thierry and his misguided plans for the area!. Continue to historic 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.
Continue to the Bay of Islands for four nights accommodation and breakfast at Paihia Pacific Hotel or similar
Day 2. Tuesday. KERI KERI - WAITANGI. (B).
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.
Day 3. Wednesday. FREE DAY (BL)
Free day to relax, explore at your leisure, cruise, or whatever you wish.
Optional Cape Reinga Tour by coach - available from 26 September. $155
Depart at 7.15am 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. Lunch included today. Enjoy the drive down the beautiful East Coast passing Doubtless Bay, Coopers Beach, Mangonui on the beautiful Whangaroa Harbour returning to Paihia early evening.
Optional Cape Reinga Tour - by air/land.
Transfer to Kerikeri airport to join your l;ight aircraft and fly north over the Whangaroa Harbour, Rangaunu harbour, and Ninety Mile Beach. Land near Cape Reinga and join your vehicle to the Cape Reinga lighthouse car park and walk to the lighthouse. Visit Tapotupotu Bay and and the massive Te paki Stream sand dunes before rejoining your aircraft for the flight back to Kerikeri via Parengarenga Harbour , Great Exhibition Bay, Houhora Harbour, and Cavalli Islands, and the Bay of Islands. Total time from Paihia 4.5 hours with 2.5 hours land tour. Available from July - extra cost $450.
Day 4. Thursday. BAY OF ISLANDS - RUSSELL (B)
Cruise the Bay of Islands this morning to Cape Brett and through the 'Hole in the Rock' - weather permitting including an island stopover. Dolphins are usually seen during this cruise.
Disembark in historic Russell, first permanent European settlement in New Zealand, for a tour of the town, including Flagstaff Hill, the oldest church in New Zealand, and enjoy a guided tour of Pompallier House Catholic Mission station built in 1842 including a 'hands on' introduction to tanning leather and bookmaking as done by the Catholic brothers 170 years ago. Return by ferry to Paihia. Why not stayover for the evening and dine at the historic Duke of Marlborough Hotel - extra expense.
Day 5. Friday PAIHIA - AUCKLAND (B)
Visit Kawakawa to see the famed Hundertwasser toilets and Ruapekapeka Pa site, scene of the last battle of the Northern land wars then on to Whangarei Falls and town basin including the amazing Claphams Clock collection. Return to Auckland late afternoon.
You are welcome to stay longer in the Bay of Islands and return by scheduled transport if you wish.