Bay of Islands Escape

From $1590.00 per person

Journey with us this winter to the Bay of Islands, rich in culture and history and blessed with a pristine natural environment. While touring this beautiful destination we visit Rawene, Russell one of the oldest European settlements in New Zealand, the Waitangi Treaty house and view Ngatokimatawhaorua, enjoy a cruise of inland waterway of Opua & Okiato, with the highlight of the trip visiting the most northern point of New Zealand, Cape Reinga.

Wednesday 13 June – Monday 18 June 2018  (6 Days)

Day 1 – Wednesday 13 June 2018 HOME CITIES- HOKIANGA  (D) 
Travelling north, our first stop is the Matakohe Kauri Museum at Otamatea. This award winning Kauri Museum tells the fascinating story of the pioneering days through the use of kauri timber and kauri gum. Explore the many exceptional displays and galleries inside the museum, from the magnificent collection of antique kauri furniture and the largest collection of kauri gum in the world, to restored machinery, including NZ’s earliest tractor, a 1929 Cat 60, and a turning steam sawmill. As one of Northland’s top attractions, you will also view a two-storey life-sized replica Boarding House, a Pioneer School and the historic Matakohe Post Office with a fantastic collection of telephones. From here we travel through Dargaville and Waipoua Forest to reach Hokianga, where we will spend our first night. Hokianga was named after the celebrated Polynesian navigator Kupe, the founding father of Maori lore and leaver of legends. Copthorne Hotel & Resort – Hokianga

​Day 2 – Thursday 14 June 2018  HOKIANGA – PAIHIA (BD)
This morning we travel on to Rawene, a town on the south side of the Hokianga Harbour. The historic town of Rawene is New Zealand’s third oldest European settlement and has a legacy of heritage buildings from this time. Look for Clendon House, built in the 1860s; the Masonic Hotel, from 1875; the Methodist Church, 1876; and the courthouse, which was built in 1875. From Rawene we continue on to Kaikohe and Te Waimate, where we view the Te Waimate Mission House, built in 1832. This is the only survivor of three mission houses founded in 1830 on behalf of the Church Missionary Society by the Reverend Samuel Marsden with the agreement of local Nga Puhi. Also here is the Church of St John the Baptist, a well-preserved example of timber Gothic Revival architecture, built during the latter stages of the Church Missionary Society (CMS) involvement in New Zealand. Erected in 1870-1871, it sits within one of New Zealand’s earliest churchyards which is associated with two previous churches built on the site in 1831 and 1839. From here we travel into Kerikeri to view the Stone House and we will also enjoy some leisure time in the town area before continuing our way to our accommodation in Paihia. Kingsgate Autolodge, Paihia – 4 Nights

​Day 3 – Friday 15 June 2018 BAY OF ISLANDS (BL) 
This morning we visit the Waitangi Treaty House where New Zealand’s history began. Explore the Treaty House and marvel at the scale of Ngatokimatawhaorua, one of the world’s largest carved war canoes (waka taua). Take time to wander through the beautiful grounds of the Waitangi estate, complete with extensive gardens, bush tracks, beaches, and fabulous views over the Bay of Islands and beyond. For lunch today we will board Darryl’s Lunch Cruise where we will cruise the calm inland waterways of Opua and Okiato, passing Omata Estate Vineyard, the Orongo Bay Oyster Farms and onto Kororareka (later renamed Russell). The remainder of the day is at leisure. Tonight is free for you to explore the local restaurants, cafes and bars.

Day 4 – Saturday 16 June 2018 CAPE REINGA (BLD) 
This morning we will board a Great Sights coach, and visit the most northern point of New Zealand – Cape Reinga (Te Rerenga Wairua). On this full day tour by coach, uncover the wild beauty of this vast and untouched region that is rich in Māori culture and tradition. Enjoy a taste of New Zealand’s varying and beautiful landscape: the rolling hills of Northland’s rural countryside, breath-taking coastal views and native forest. We drive along the sand on Ninety Mile Beach as the waves crash beside the custom-built coach. Feel the sand between your toes as we help the driver guide dig for shellfish (conditions permitting). Our off-road journey continues up Te Paki Stream, stopping at the massive sand dunes where you can experience the thrills and spills of sand-boarding. Clambering up and surfing down the dunes (if you dare!) is sure to get your heart pumping. We also visit the Puketi Kauri Forest and get up close to ancient and majestic giant kauri trees and native bush. Stroll along an elevated walkway as these graceful giants surround you, and learn about conservation efforts to preserve the forest today. The highlight of the trip is visiting Cape Reinga where we hear the stories of this significant site where, according to Māori legend, spirits depart on their journey home to Hawaiki. Enjoy spectacular panoramic views, visit the iconic lighthouse, and see the point where the Tasman Sea and the mighty Pacific Ocean come crashing together. During our Cape Reinga tour we enjoy a delicious fresh fish and chips lunch! A vegetarian option is available.

Day 5 – Sunday 17 June 2018 BAY OF ISLANDS (BD) 
This morning we take the ferry over to Russell, where on arrival we take a tour of Russell to give an insight into New Zealand’s earliest European history. We will visit areas of historic interest which cannot be easily covered on foot, see sights such as the Giant Sundial, Long Beach, Queen’s View, Tapeka Point and the Flagstaff with stunning 360′ vistas. We have a guided walk of the Pompallier House – the Pompallier Mission House is the sole surviving building of the French Catholic mission headquarters to the Western Pacific Church. After this you have some time to purchase your lunch, before taking a leisurely stroll to the Russell Museum, which we will visit before boarding the ferry again back to Paihia. Tonight we will enjoy a farewell dinner at the hotel.

Day 6 – Monday 18 June 2018  PAIHIA – HOME CITIES  (B)
This morning we commence our homeward journey. We travel south via Whangarei where we will stop for you to have a wander around the Town Basin before continuing on our way to visit the Waipu Museum. Waipu was settled in the 1850s by 940 Gaelic speaking Scottish Highlanders, who after 30 years of settlement in Nova Scotia developed great seafaring and ship building skills, enabling them to complete one of the great migrations in World History; Waipu Museum tells this remarkable story. Our next stop will be Warkworth. Poised at the edge of the Mahurangi River, Warkworth is a pretty town with an interesting choice of restaurants for you to purchase your lunch. You may even choose to have something from the bakery to eat on the riverbank. From Warkworth we make our to our home destinations.