Leave Auckland this morning, travelling north over the Harbour Bridge past the sprawling suburbs of the city's North Shore. Your scenic drive continues through Northland's lush farmland before arriving in the beautiful Bay of Islands. Explore the place where Māori and British culture merged in the 18th century and see the beauty that lies within a network of 144 islands which dot the bay with their beautiful golden beaches. Wake up the sound of gentle waves, a cool sea breeze and the smell of the ocean over the next few days. But for now, the soul-stirring views never end as you cruise through game-fishing waters to Cape Brett and, weather permitting, through the famous 'Hole in the Rock' and into New Zealand's largest sea cave. Your return cruise to Paihia slices through the turquoise waters of the bay. Pass deserted beaches and secluded bays while you keep your eyes peeled for dolphins, seals and penguins which find sanctuary in this pristine tropical setting. Stay overnight in the jewel of the Bay of Islands, renowned for its secluded bays, mild weather and warm café culture. This evening, gather with your Travel Director and travelling companions for a Welcome Reception and dinner.
Indulge in a free day to soak up the enchanting beauty of the Bay of Islands. The allure of the great outdoors and array of experiences will be impossible to resist, and you'll want to skip a leisurely start to your day and head out on your own adventure. Consider an Optional Experience on the water, whipping through the waves on board a historic tall ship where you can play Captain James Cook for the day and sail amidst the deep blue waters he once did in his 'discovery' of New Zealand over 250 years ago. Savour the bold flavours of the region's full-bodied reds when you embark on a memorable wine tasting tour with stunning coastal views. You could consider instead a Russell Mini Tour to learn about the area's historical significance, taking a walk back in time to discover its wild ways as a noisy port town refuelling ships. Evidence of its colourful heritage can be seen in the historic buildings that remain to this day. You'll explore two centuries of what was once regarded as the "Hell Hole of the Pacific" and has today emerged as an idyllic tourism hotspot - how times have changed! After an action-packed day, you'll enjoy an evening at leisure to spend as you wish. Make the most of your stay and head to one of the restaurants along the waterfront, watching as the sun sets on yet another glorious day in New Zealand.
Trip Summary Meals IconIncluded Meals - Breakfast
Bay of Islands - Depart Auckland
There's no need to rush this morning. You can get your final fix of paradise before returning to Auckland. Take a stroll on the beach to set the right tone for your day and enjoy a leisurely coffee watching this serene seaside haven come to life. Our scenic journey south stops in Whangarei, the northernmost city in New Zealand, where there's time to admire local art and stroll along the marina in the Town Basin. Learn about the stories and legends of the people of the land, their special connection to nature and how they once ruled Aotearoa, the land of the long white cloud. Continue to Parry Kauri Park where you'll embark on a memorable walk among the ancient Kauri giants, which have towered over the forest floor for millennia. Connect with nature and learn heavy logging over the centuries has considerably reduced the numbers of trees that remain to this day. Later this afternoon, you'll arrive in Auckland, where your memorable encounter with New Zealand's Bay of Islands comes to an end.
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This trip is operated in conjunction with our sister company and South Pacific Specialists - AAT Kings.
If you wish to make the most of your time in New Zealand, this trip is the perfect add-on to the start of the 17 Day New Zealand Uncovered, which includes the cultural centre Rotorua and the adventure-capital Queenstown, as well as Milford Sound, Franz Josef Glacier and many other highlights in between. If your time is limited, why not add on this trip to the start of the 7 Day Iconic North, with sightseeing in Auckland, a visit to a dairy farm, a thermal valley and Maori Hangi feast in Rotorua, Te Papa Museum of New Zealand in the capital, Wellington and more. See page 48 for complete itinerary and prices.
As this holiday ends in Auckland at 4pm, and unless you have a flight booked or have made your own arrangements, accommodation will need to be pre-booked for this night.
As this trip departs at 7.30am from the Stamford Plaza Hotel Auckland, accommodation will need to be pre-booked for the previous night.
Unless otherwise stated, trip prices are per person, land only, based on double occupancy and reflect applicable discount. Discounts are subject to availability and may be withdrawn at any time without notice.
Trip prices are correct at the time of the products going live, however are subject to confirmation at the time of booking. All trip information is correct at time of trips going live, however are subject to change - please confirm all details at time of booking.
Twin-share option not available for trips to South America, Costa Rica, Mexico, Alaska, Hawaii, South Africa, Kenya & Tanzania, Botswana, Zambia or for any holiday & cruise combination, or in Asia and Eastern Mediterranean except Highlights of Turkey (without cruise) & Best of Turkey. It's also not available on Small Group trips. Guided Vacations included in this restriction are Newfoundland and Labrador (DNLA) as well as Panama, the Canal & Beyond (LPAN).
For trips that are part of our Guaranteed Room Share, please note that there is a no smoking policy in all shared rooms. Solo travel is not accepted on guided Family Experiences holidays unless travelling as part of a family group.
Your selected dates have an enhanced itinerary.
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You’ll be travelling in Autumn, Winter or Spring, and this itinerary has been enhanced for you to enjoy the unique experiences these seasons offer.