Explore the picturesque Bay of Islands region of New Zealand. With 144 islands on offer you'll witness the natural beauty and learn about its history.
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For those keen to explore a single region of New Zealand, this is the ideal itinerary. Spend time in exciting Auckland, sampling all the experiences on offer from culinary to sightseeing before heading to the lovely Bay of Islands.
Wander through giant kauri forests, learn about the history of early pioneers and perhaps visit the first permanent European settlement in New Zealand, the romantic town of Russell. Cruise around the bay or visit a lighthouse, even try your luck at fishing. Finish your journey at Cape Reinga, a sacred place where two oceans meet and where an 800-year-old tree stands waiting to help Maori spirits begin their final journey home. By the time you return to Auckland you’ll be deeply moved by the splendour, spirituality and hospitality of this magnificent and mythic region.
Kia Ora and welcome to Auckland for a two night Special Stay. Celebrate the wonder of New Zealand at a welcome dinner.
Meals included: Dinner
Choose from a range of Auckland’s attractions – enjoy an exhilarating sail on an authentic America’s Cup yacht and be part of the crew. Take the helm or simply sit back and enjoy the ride as you sail Auckland Harbour. Or explore the wine and cuisine of Waiheke Island and enjoy tastings of olive oil, wine and beer as well as a vineyard tour. Alternatively, take a leisurely morning cruise of Auckland’s beautiful harbour and see highlights including Devonport and the Harbour Bridge, or discover the Waitakere Ranges, walk in the lush rainforest and stroll along the black sand beaches. Or choose to join a small group tour and discover the history and sights of Auckland.
Your dining choices for tonight include a sunset dinner yacht cruise, Harbourside Ocean Bar, Orbit 360 Restaurant at Sky City or dinner at Palm Court in your hotel.
Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner
Travel north across Auckland’s busy Harbour Bridge, along the Hibiscus Coast towards the Bay of Islands. Visit Matakohe’s award-winning Kauri Museum and gain an insight into the rich pioneering history of New Zealand’s Northland region. The museum specialises in the legacy of the ancient kauri forests, specifically the strong durable timber and the highly prized kauri gum. Continue to the Waipoua Forest, an ancient green world of towering trees and rare birds, and travel past natural gateways created by huge kauri trees and the fringing of colourful ferns along the road’s edge.
The sense of awe you feel as you see the mighty Tane Mahuta kauri tree for the first time is unforgettable. Listen to the interactive interpretation from your local Maori guide about the importance of the ‘Lord of the Forest’ to both the natural environment and the Maori people.
Watch the sunset on Hokianga Bay with a drink on the terrace of your hotel.
Enjoy your overnight stay in Omapere.
Cruise the calm inland waters of the Bay of Islands including lunch or enjoy a ferry ride to Russell, the birthplace of European settlement in New Zealand. You could also cruise to Cape Brett Lighthouse and through the Hole in the Rock (weather permitting) or try your luck at fishing.
Your base for the next two nights is Paihia.
Travel to the very top of New Zealand – Cape Reinga. Explore the magnificent lighthouse and see where the waters of the Tasman Sea and the Pacific Ocean meet. Discover this remote and magical place of deep spiritual significance to the Maori then enjoy the thrill of travelling along Ninety Mile Beach and marvel at the immense sand dunes.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch
Discover the birthplace of modern New Zealand at the Waitangi Treaty Grounds with a Maori guide. See the world’s largest waka – a ceremonial war canoe, over 70 years old but still used every year on 6 February to celebrate New Zealand’s national Waitangi Day.
Be entertained by an authentic Maori cultural performance inside the beautifully carved meeting house including a traditional Maori welcome, waiata (singing), poi, stick games, Maori weaponry, as well as the famous haka.
Head south via the city of Whangarei and arrive back in Auckland where it’s time to bid a fond farewell to your new friends and the wonders of New Zealand. Please book flights to depart after 8.30pm.
Meals included: Breakfast
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