Northland Gardens, Art, Sculptures & History

Deal Details

Travel Dates

Friday 3 September – Wednesday 8 September 2021

Sale Ends

Aug 31, 2021

Priced From

$2,200 per person

Trip Information

​Take a springtime break and escape to subtropical Northland for a creative exploration of the region. We include a wide range of gardens, sculpture parks, and historic sites along with some popular sightseeing activities and attractions throughout the region. Join your likeminded fellow travellers for dinner on most evenings to compare thoughts and inspirations generated from your travels.

Tour Inclusions
Door to door home collection & drop off service available
5 nights accommodation, twin/double rooms (single rooms available with surcharge), all with private facilities
Admission to Eden Gardens
Admission to Brick Bay Sculpture Trail
Visit Whangarei Quarry Gardens
90 minute night tour into Waipoua Forest
Guided tour of Kerikeri Stone Store and Kemp House
Admission to Wharepuke Subtropical Garden
Guided tour of Waitangi Treaty Grounds
Morning cruise to the Hole in the Rock
Lunch at the Duke of Marlborough Hotel
1 hour tour of Russell including Pompallier House
Admission to the Kauri Museum
5 breakfasts, 1 lunch and 4 dinners included


Day 1          Friday 3 September 2021
Starting our tour today our first visit is to the Eden Gardens in the heart of Auckland to see their Tulip Extravaganza! Developed by volunteers in the disused Eden Quarry on one side of Mt Eden, Eden Garden has become an award-winning destination with beautiful plant collections that always provide something in bloom.  Showcasing a mass planting of Tulips in the Garden it is Eden Gardens way of fare welling Winter and inviting the promise of Spring! Enjoy the extensive tulip display while enjoying music & art displays in the garden.  We depart Auckland heading northbound 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.  Next we visit the  Sculptureum Experience where the owners - Anthony and Sandra Grant, have spent ten years creating a destination that is designed to “unlock the imagination, fuel creativity and ignite the mind”. They have spent many more years collecting the displayed works, which have been brought together for an art experience that is internationally unique. The hundreds of works on display have been chosen to amuse, inspire, and stimulate.   After a wonderful few visits today we push on with our journey north to Whangarei to our accommodation for the next few nights.
Accommodation: Distinction Hotel Whangarei 

Day 2          Saturday 4 September 2021
A more leisurely start to the day after breakfast we head to the Whangarei Quarry Gardens is a community garden project created by volunteers in the forested western hills of Whangarei City in the once dilapidated quarry site which has after many years of hard work become a subtropical oasis for all to enjoy. At Whangarei Quarry Gardens these climatic conditions, coupled with the sheltered and heat-radiating properties of a stone quarry, create an ideal microclimate for growing a plethora of native and exotic subtropical plants.  While strolling among the garden enjoy the many sculptures located around the gardens including; "Te Kereru Rua" - by artist Shane Hansen, "Hand Holding Young Kiwi" - by artist Susan Dinkelacker, "Te Wai U O Te Atakura - The Milk From the Breast of Te Atakura" – by Keri Keri based artist Chris Booth, Russell Fransham Memorial Sculpture - by artist Peter Brammer and "Gong" - by artist Archie McCahon.  We head back into Whangarei for a visit to  Botanica Whangarei - a horticultural complex where the public can come and enjoy a colourful and exotic range of plants. The facility  includes, a heated conservatory for tropical plants, a cactus house, an extensive fernery, a small Japanese style garden and a shade garden area.  This afternoon we have a leisurely time exploring the Tutukaka Coast and Matapouri Bay area.   Matapouri Bay is well known for a spectacular white sand beach.    The Tutukaka Coast has been rated as one of the top coastal destinations on the planet by 'National Geographic Traveller'.

Day 3          Sunday 5 September 2021
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 up Northland’s west coast skirting Kaipara Harbour and following the Kaihu River to Kai Iwi Lakes and the primeval forest of Waipoua, which translates as ‘water falling at night’. Arriving early afternoon at our overnight accommodation on the Hokianga Harbour there will be time for us to relax and enjoy the magnificent views of the harbour and sand dunes.  This evening something very special as we experience a 90-minute night tour into the Waipoua Forest to visit one of the oldest and largest known kauri trees in the world, Tane Mahuta known as The Lord of the Forest).   Let the night noises, foreign environment, time, local Maori guides and ecological and cultural interpretation (Maori story, song and instruments) awaken your spiritual senses.  Dinner in the hotel restaurant.
Accommodation: Copthorne Hotel & Resort Hokianga

Day 4          Monday 6 September 2021
After breakfast we commence our travel to the eastern coast of Northland. Our first stop for the day will be Kerikeri, a town with a rich and colourful history.  While here we enjoy a guided tour of the Stone Store and Kemp House (Kerikeri Mission House).  The iconic Stone Store stands at the edge of the Kerikeri inlet, offering a unique shopping experience with an interactive story space upstairs. See how the early settlers lived and learn about the building’s many lives as a trading post, library, barracks, school and general store. Built in 1822, Kemp House is the country’s oldest surviving building, surrounded by English-style cottage garden and orchards. Hear the story of the first missionary families and see their personal items and furniture preserved over the years. Next we visit the Wharepuke Subtropical Garden and Sculpture Park with work installed along a 1 km trail through the award winning Wharepuke Subtropical Garden of National Significance (NZ Garden Trust) making it an ideal walk for both art and garden enthusiasts.  For the sweet tooths on board we make a stop in lovely Kerikeri where we visit Makana Confections where we sample their delicious hand-made chocolates. Departing Kerikeri we travel south into the heart of the Bay of Islands – Paihia. On arrival we visit the Waitangi Treaty House where New Zealand’s history began.  We explore the Treaty House and marvel at the scale of Ngatokimatawhaorua, one of the world’s largest carved war canoes (waka taua). There is also time to wander through the beautiful grounds of the Waitangi estate, complete with extensive gardens, bush tracks, beaches, and enjoy fabulous views over the Bay of Islands and beyond, and perhaps visit the fascinating Te Kōngahu Museum of Waitangi and Te Rau Aroha, a recently opened museum which commemorates the service and sacrifice of Māori in the NZ Armed Forces in times of conflict.  Free time this afternoon to relax and stroll the shops, cafes and beach of the Paihia township.   Dinner in the hotel restaurant.
Accommodation: Kingsgate Hotel, Paihia – 2 nights

Day 5          Tuesday 7 September 2021
BAY OF ISLANDS          (BL)
This morning join a Fullers Great Sights Hole in Rock cruise.  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!  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.  Before reaching Paihia we disembark our vessel in Russell nearby historic Russell.    Here we enjoy a leisurely lunch at the famed Duke of Marlborough Hotel situated right on Russell’s waterfront, before taking in the sights of Russell on an intimate one-hour coach tour combining historical knowledge and local insight. Learn about significant sites like Pompallier House and Christ Church and stand atop Flagstaff Hill for stunning Bay of Islands views.  Free time after your tour to stroll and explore the beautiful township, before taking the ferry back to Paihia at a time that suits you.  Dinner this evening is at your leisure – suggest a stroll to the village to dine at a restaurant on the wharf or maybe more relaxed grab some fresh fish and chips to enjoy on the wharf or beach!

Day 6          Wednesday 8 September 2021
Today we commence our journey south to Auckland then Hamilton.  On our way south 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.  We then travel on the road less travelled via Kumeu, a town which offers a refreshing blend of boutique wineries, orchards and rolling green farmland. We will stop here for you to purchase your lunch and browse their variety of boutique shops. Departing Kumeu, we travel along the South Western Motorway and through the Waterview Tunnel (touted as the biggest change to Auckland's roading network since the opening of the Harbour Bridge in 1959) before arriving back in Hamilton.

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