We collect you at your Auckland city accommodation at 9am and drive north through lovely countryside with rolling hills and typical New Zealand farmland.
We drive along the Kaipara as the largest natural harbour in the southern hemisphere on the way to Dargaville, “The Kumara (Sweet Potato) Capital of NZ”. Here we will stop briefly outside the Dargaville Museum, so you can see the original masts from the famous Greenpeace ship “The Rainbow Warrior”, which was sunk in Auckland harbour in 1985.
Enjoy an early dinner before departing on the Footprints Waipoua Twilight Encounter Tour (own cost if you decide to include it).
Located on Northlands rugged West Coast, let Kupe’s (NZ’s first discoverer) descendants take you on a night guided walk. Friendly, experienced local Māori guides willingly share their knowledge, stories, song and the playing of musical instruments to enlighten and enhance this tranquil and spiritual location.
Stand before some of the world’s largest trees Tane Mahuta (God of the forest) and Te Matua Ngahere (Lord of the forest) and learn about their very special significance to Maori.
When arriving in the Bay of Islands at around lunchtime, you have the option of boarding a cruise to see the famous Hole in the Rock and possibly some Dolphins and Whales that call this area home. Depending on sea conditions, you can also book as an option a Swim with the Dolphins for a once-in-a-lifetime experience with these amazing animals. Or how about combining a fishing trip with a sightseeing cruise in this famous fishing destination, or seeing the Bay of Islands from the comfort of a sailing boat?
Please note the Bay of Islands Cruises or fishing trips are at your own cost but we will be happy to advise and book a suitable cruise for you. This cruise can also be booked for the next morning, depending on weather conditions.
Arrive back in Paihia or Russell and take a stroll along either lovely waterfront. Finish the day with a nice bottle of wine in one of the several romantic restaurants in this area. Or take a passenger ferry across to Paihia or romantic Russell with its lovely restaurants before taking the ferry back for a well-deserved rest.
You have the option of visiting the historic Waitangi Treaty House to explore New Zealand's unique history. The Waitangi Treaty House is the place where Governor Hobson and the Paramount Chiefs of Aotearoa (New Zealand) signed the document which formed our bi-cultural nation in 1840.
You can visit Te Tii, New Zealand’s most famous Marae, or meeting place, where every year on Waitangi Day (February 6) the Prime Minister, the chiefs of Maoridom and the people of Aotearoa New Zealand meet to commemorate the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi. Below the Treaty House and the Marae near the water’s edge lies Ngatokimatawhaorua, the huge, beautifully carved waka of the Ngapuhi Iwi who are the tangata whenua or local people here.
On the 3-hour drive to Auckland, stop at the iconic Hundertwasser toilets at Kawakawa – a living piece of art created by the world-famous Austrian artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser.
Choose to stop at the Kawiti Caves and see pure white limestone formations and hidden chambers with Glowworms - a great addition for those who are unable to see the famous Waitomo Caves.
Drive along Bream Bay with its glorious white sandy beaches and views across to the volcanic islands Marotini and Taranga (The Hen and Chicken Islands), as well as the aptly-named Sail Rock.