Summertime in the Bay

Easy Twin Share

From $2,820 per person

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Wednesday 25 – Monday 30 January 2023 (6 Days)

Travel with us to the beautiful Bay of Islands. We travel to Whangarei and Paihia, spend time exploring Russell, and sail on the R Tucker Thompson; a traditional gaff rigged schooner for a full day of sailing including a barbeque lunch for a truly unforgettable summer adventure.

Day 1              Wednesday 25 January 2023
This morning our first stop is at the Awhitu Peninsula,  a hidden gem full of history, character and natural beauty where its vast panoramas across wild, black-sand beaches and coastal cliff-top roads make it a true escape. Our travels take us on a walk to the historical Manukau Heads Lighthouse, jutting out from the tip of the peninsula. We backtrack to Waiuku, where there is time to purchase lunch (own cost) before journeying to Kariotahi Beach, a beautiful and remote West Coast location offering a true sense of escape. Its wild coastline and stunning sunsets will simply take your breath away. Our accommodation tonight is at Castaways Resort, situated above Kariotahi Beach and offering beautiful panoramic views. There is ample time to enjoy the resort facilities including the Bersantai Day Spa (own cost for treatments, please ask the Leisure Time office if you would like to prebook any spa treatments), or simply enjoy the magnificent views of the beach from your room. Dinner tonight will be at the hotel restaurant.
Please note that a mixture of room types are being utilised including two bedroom chalets. Please advise at the time of booking if you have accessibility requirements.
Accommodation: Castaways Resort – 1 night

Day 2              Thursday 26 January 2023  
After breakfast this morning we say goodbye to the beautiful views of Kariotahi Beach and continue our travels north. Our first stop for today will be Orewa where we stop for a cuppa along the beachfront. Continuing north visit Matakana, where we have time to find some lunch (own cost). After lunch, we visit the Sculptureum, where we discover an exquisite collection of art galleries, gardens, and sculptures executed to world-class standard. The sculpture gardens are spread over three gardens and six art galleries, with 1.5-km of flat path and surprises around every corner. Take in beautifully crafted sculptures, prehistoric rocks, live animals and reflective quotes surrounded by lush plants. We leave behind this unique experience and travel to Whangarei, where we stay overnight. Dinner tonight will be at our hotel.
Accommodation: Distinction Hotel Whangarei – 1 night

Day 3              Friday 27 January 2023  
Departing the hotel this morning, our first visit is the Hundertwasser Art Centre, an original Hundertwasser architecture project. Alongside his famous public toilets in Kawakawa, the Hundertwasser Art Centre is the only other example of Hundertwasser’s architecture in the southern hemisphere and is home to about $16 million worth of Hundertwasser's art, the only permanent collection outside of Vienna. We visit the AH Reed Kauri Park to see maturing kauri trees known to be at least 500 years old, close up from the raised walkway through the forest canopy. There is time here to complete the 30-minute loop walk. Afterwards we travel out to view the Whangarei Falls, a picturesque waterfall that falls 26 metres over basalt cliffs. We have a leisurely afternoon exploring the Tutukaka Coast and Matapouri Bay area. Matapouri Bay is well known for a spectacular white sand beach while the Tutukaka Coast has been rated as one of the top coastal destinations on the planet by 'National Geographic Traveler'. We enjoy lunch at a local café before continuing up to Paihia where we will stay for the next three nights. Tonight, we enjoy dinner at the hotel.
Accommodation: Copthorne Hotel & Resort Bay of Islands – 3 nights.

Day 4              Saturday 28 January 2023
RUSSELL           (BL)
Today we travel the short distance to board the Opua vehicle ferry to Okiato, giving us the freedom to explore this area of the Bay of Islands. Our first visit is to Pompallier Mission and Printery. Situated in a beautiful waterfront setting, this French-style printery and tannery combines momentous Māori and Paheka history and glorious gardens. While here we enjoy a guided walk through the building, with our guide revealing its unique architectural features and providing a fascinating step-by-step insight into nineteenth-century printing and bookbinding. We enjoy a delicious lunch at The Duke of Marlborough Hotel on the waterfront. After lunch spend time exploring Russell township before travelling to Omata Estate to sample their wines from their scenic location overlooking the ocean. We retrace our journey back to Paihia via the vehicle ferry. The remainder of the afternoon is at leisure.

Day 5              Sunday 29 January 2023
BAY OF ISLANDS           (BLD)
We enjoy a full day cruising around the waters of the Bay of Islands today on the tall ship, the R Tucker Thompson. This is a traditional gaff rigged schooner, which combines the safety and comfort of a modern vessel with the unique character and charm of schooners of 150 years ago. We have a relaxing day sailing with the friendly crew. There are plenty of opportunities available to help sail the vessel, swing from the yardarm and ride the bowsprit if you wish. A delicious barbecue lunch is served at anchor in a sheltered cove. There will be opportunities to sunbathe and swim in the sea, so remember to bring your togs if you wish to swim. Tonight, we enjoy a farewell dinner at the hotel.

Day 6              Monday 30 January 2023
Today we begin our journey back to Hamilton. Poised at the edge of the Mahurangi River, Warkworth is a pretty town with an interesting choice of cafes to find some lunch (own cost). From Warkworth we make our way to our home destinations.

Castaways Resort

Castaways Resort

Resting on the wild coastal cliff tops above Karioitahi Beach, Castaways Resort is the perfect place for an effortless escape. The newly renovated restaurant and bar offers relaxed a-la-carte dining all year round.

Distinction Whangarei Aerial view with boats in background

Distinction Whangarei

Distinction Whangarei Hotel & Conference Centre is perfectly suited to both business and leisure travellers. Conveniently located opposite the stunning Whangarei Town Basin and a few minutes walk from the Whangarei city centre as well as some of Whangarei’s most tranquil bush walks and gardens. The majestic Bay of Islands is less than one hour’s drive from our 4 star Whangarei hotel.

Bay of Islands

Copthorne Hotel & Resort Bay of Islands

Situated right on the waterfront on the Waitangi National Trust Reserve, the Copthorne Hotel and Resort Bay of Islands is a harmony of nature and spacious comfort. Outside, visit the lagoon style swimming pool and rock pools of cascading water before dining in the onsite restaurant, Jimmy Cook’s Kiwi Kitchen.

Tour Inclusions

  • Door to door home collection & drop off service available from select areas - refer to further information available here
  • 5 nights accommodation - twin/double rooms, all with private facilities (single rooms available with surcharge)
  • Tour admissions as per itinerary
  • Touring in modern air-conditioned vehicle
  • Breakfasts (B), Lunches (L), Dinners (D) where indicated on your daily itinerary - 5x breakfasts, 2x lunches, 4x dinners
  • Roadside Morning Teas – where possible
  • Admission to Sculptureum Matakana
  • Admission to Hundertwasser Art Centre
  • Guided tour of Pompallier Mission House
  • Wine Tasting at Omata Estate
  • Full day sailing on R Tucker Thompson

Tour Payments Per Person ($NZD)

Non Member Share Twin Cost: $2,820.00
Single Supplement: $760.00
Non-refundable deposit due at time of booking $200.00

Discount available for Travel Club Members - please enquire

Full balance of tour payment due by Wednesday 14 December 2022

Early Bird Offer Book and pay in full by Tuesday 27 September 2022 and receive $100.00 discount per person!


Are door to door collections included on this tour? YES

Yes. Leisure Time Tours offers a free home collection and drop off service from selected Hamilton, Tauranga, Rotorua and most Auckland City areas. Our complimentary collections are based on your individual post code, other home collection locations available at an additional cost. Alternatively you may wish to meet us at our Hamilton depot in which case you can park your car in our secure yard free of charge for the duration of your holiday. For all tours that have a flight component, we can also offer door to door collections from Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin city areas.

Please refer to our Home Collection flyer for further information about this service.

Is the Guaranteed twin Share Price available on this tour? YES

Yes. Our Guaranteed Twin Share price is available for those passengers willing to share with another single traveller of the same gender. If there isn’t another passenger of the same gender to share with we GUARANTEE our twin share price. Leisure Times Tours accepts no responsibility for the compatibility of passengers travelling under this arrangement. If someone is not compatible with the person they have been matched up with, all additional costs incurred to assist with changing their shared room type to two single rooms will be at the expense of both travellers and will be subject to availability. Acceptance of a guaranteed twin share room is subject to the individual’s medical condition being suitable for this type of arrangement.

Please note that the guaranteed twin share pricing is not available to pre & post tour accommodation arrangements.

What fitness level is required for this tour? EASY LEVEL

To ensure that you select the right tour for you, we’ve developed a very clear set of fitness recommendations for our tours. These physical ratings clearly explain how much physical exertion is required to participate on each tour.

Level 1 – Easy

  • Relaxed paced tour
  • Be able to participate in guided or unguided small walking tours at a relaxed pace.
  • Walk on mostly level ground
  • Tackle an occasional flight of stairs
  • Occasionally need to stand for up to 10 minutes
  • Able to get on and off transportation unaided

Level 2 – Moderate

  • Be able to participate in walking tours with time to rest at least every 10 minutes
  • Stand for 15 minutes without needing to sit down
  • Tackle a flight of stairs or incline
  • Able to get on and off transportation unaided
  • Walk confidently on bush tracks

 Level 3 – Active

  • Participate in walking tours without having to rest for up to 20 minutes
  • Walk up an incline equal to a flight of stairs without stopping
  • Stand for 30 minutes without needing to sit down
  • Walk over uneven ground and walk through soft sand
  • Able to get on and off transportation unaided
Will there be a daily seat rotation on this tour? YES

Passengers rotate seats in the coach daily so that all passengers have the opportunity to enjoy forward and window seating. All passengers are expected to participate as a booking condition.

Can you assist with pre & post tour accommodation? YES

Yes we can. Should you wish to arrive earlier or stay longer we can book in some pre and post tour accommodation for you. Please ask at the time of booking if you require this.

Is this tour a guaranteed departure? NO

This tour will be guaranteed once there are 10 passengers booked on the tour.

Are roadside morning teas included on our tours? YES

Yes. A point of difference is that wherever possible we offer our passengers roadside refreshments served from the coach. This gives all passengers the chance to mix and mingle over a hot cuppa allowing us to share our experiences as we journey together.

Do I need travel insurance?

Leisure Time Tours strongly advises all passengers to purchase a travel insurance policy. A comprehensive travel insurance policy may prevent you from spending extra money in case of an emergency and will help you feel protected during your holiday. We are agents for Cover More Travel Insurance. Ask us for a no obligation insurance quote today. 

How much luggage can I bring?

Luggage is restricted to one suitcase and one small item of hand luggage per person. Baggage handling of one suitcase per person, at each hotel, is included in the trip price. Carry-on/hand luggage handling is the responsibility of each guest and all personal items must be taken off the coach by you each day of the trip.

What clothing should I pack?

When on tour, dress is generally relaxed and casual with an informal dress standard on most occasions. Casual wear is recommended for travelling with something a little more formal for evening dining. If taking part in outdoor activities, make sure you have a waterproof coat, comfortable footwear and dress in layers to help you adjust to any sudden changes in climate. Be prepared for New Zealand’s powerful sun, even on cold windy days, bringing a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen.

Summertime in the Bay

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