Bay Of Islands Winter Escape
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 and much more…
Wednesday 10 June – Sunday 14 June 2020 (5 days)
Day 1 Wednesday 10 June 2020 – 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.
Accommodation: Copthorne Hotel & Resort – Hokianga
Day 2 Thursday 11 June 2020 – 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 are 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.
Accommodation: Kingsgate Autolodge, Paihia – 3 Nights
Day 3 Friday 12 June 2020 – 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 13 June 2020 – BAY OF ISLANDS (BL)
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. We then enjoy lunch at Sally’s Restaurant on The Strand with lovely views across the harbour. After lunch, we take a leisurely stroll to the Russell Museum, which we will visit before boarding the ferry again back to Paihia. Tonight is also free for you to explore the local restaurants.
Day 5 Sunday 14 June 2020 – 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 shipbuilding 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.