Join us in the beautiful Bay of Islands for Christmas. Rich in culture and history and blessed with a pristine natural environment. While touring this beautiful destination we visit Whangarei, Cape Reinga and Russell one of the oldest European settlements in New Zealand. While in the Bay of Islands we enjoy visits to historic sites including the Waitangi Treaty House. You will also spend a night in Auckland with a farewell dinner at the top of the Sky Tower. This tour starts and finishes in Auckland but we can also help you with pre & post tour arrangements.
- 6 Nights accommodation, twin/double rooms, (single rooms available with surcharge) all with private facilities
- Tour Admissions as per itinerary
- Daily Breakfasts (B), Lunch (L) and Dinners (D) where indicated on the itinerary
- Touring in modern air conditioned tour coach
Day 1 - Arrive Auckland - Whangarei (D)
Welcome to your Christmas in the Bay of Islands Tour! Arrive Auckland Domestic Airport (flights to arrive before midday) and proceed northbound, crossing the iconic Auckland Harbour Bridge, and travel north through the scenic Hibiscus Coast and into Northland’s lush farmland. We make a stop at The Kauri Museum at Matakohe, an award-winning Museum that tells the fascinating story of the pioneering days through the use of kauri timber and kauri gum. We explore the many exceptional displays and galleries inside the museum, from the magnificent collection of antique kauri furniture to restored machinery, NZ’s earliest tractor, a 1929 Cat 60, and a turning steam sawmill. As one of Northland’s top attractions, we 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 continue our northward journey to Whangarei. New Zealand’s northernmost city Whangarei is nestled between forest-clad hills at the heart of the beautiful Whangarei Harbour. This evening we enjoy a welcome dinner together at the hotel restaurant to meet your fellow travel companions that you will be experiencing your Christmas tour with.
Accommodation: Distinction Hotel Whangarei
Day 2 - Whangarei - Bay of Islands (B, D)
This morning we enjoy a later start today so you have a chance for a morning stroll to the Marina then we visit the AH Reed Kauri Park. Maturing kauri trees known to be at least 500 years old can be easily viewed close up from the raised walkway through the forest canopy. There will be time here for you to complete the loop walk then we will visit the Whangarei Falls, a picturesque waterfall that falls 26 metres over basalt cliffs. Continuing our journey north we travel Continuing our journey we reach Paihia in the beautiful Bay of Islands, where you’ll take a guided tour of the Waitangi Treaty House where New Zealand’s history began.
Accommodation: Kingsgate Hotel Paihia – 4 nights
Day 3 - Bay of Islands (B, L, D)
Merry Christmas! A relaxed start to the day with breakfast at leisure before setting off on a scenic drive around Paihia, Waitangi, Haruru Falls and Kerikeri. We take along a picnic lunch today to enjoy at a local beach along the way. This afternoon we return to our accommodation and enjoy a festive Christmas Dinner!
Day 4 - Cape Reinga Day Tour (B, L, D)
Today you will be collected from your hotel by coach for a full day tour to Cape Reinga, the northernmost tip of New Zealand. Your luxury airconditioned coach will be driven along a quicksand stream and raced through the waves of mighty Ninety Mile Beach. At Cape Reinga you will enjoy spectacular views, including the meeting of the blue Pacific Ocean and deep green Tasman Sea. Your tour includes a visit to Puketi Forest to see giant kauri trees.
Day 5 - Cruise the Bay of Islands and tour of Russell (B, L)
This morning join a cruise through the Bay of Islands out to Cape Brett. On the way to the Cape Brett Lighthouse, the boat seeks out the playful dolphins. Bottlenose and common dolphins take great delight in racing alongside and showing off their aerobic flips! Conditions permitting, see them race alongside and play in the bow waves. Orca whales are often encountered too. Farther out see beautiful Motukokako Island and the famous Hole in the Rock. Hold your breath as the skipper skilfully navigates his way through the hole and into Grand Cathedral Cave (sea conditions permitting). On the return to Paihia pass several remote islands, fringed with golden sand beaches. On your return disembark at Russell in time for lunch at the famed Duke of Marlborough Hotel situated right on Russell’s waterfront. After lunch enjoy a small group guided tour of Russell discovering New Zealand’s earliest European history. We will visit areas of historic interest which cannot be easily covered on foot, seeing sights such Long Beach, Tapeka Point and the famous Flagstaff with stunning 360′ vistas as well as Christ Church (the oldest church in NZ famed for the bullet holes in its walls). At the end of your tour travel back to Paihia for an evening of leisure
Day 6 - Bay of Islands - Auckland (B, L, D)
This morning we farewell the Bay of Islands and head south to Whangarei then continue on to Snells Beach for a visit to the Brick Bay Sculpture Trail – an exhibition of contemporary sculpture by New Zealand’s leading contemporary artists. During the 2-km walk discover a dynamic exhibition of 60 artworks set in a stunning natural environment of native bush, wildlife and ponds bursting with waterlilies. Also the chance to enjoy lunch at Brick Bay before continuing our southbound journey down the Hibiscus Coast before arriving back in Auckland to your centrally located hotel. Return to Auckland to our accommodation for a farewell dinner tonight at the Orbit Restaurant at the top of the Sky Tower.
Accommodation: Sky City Hotel Auckland
Day 7 - Auckland - Home port (B)
Farewell from Auckland – we hope that you have had a wonderful time with us! After breakfast you will be transferred from the hotel to Auckland Airport for your flight back home.