Journey from Auckland into sunkissed Northland and discover golden beaches, New Zealand history and playful wildlife. Explore the volcano, Rangitoto, soak up the beauty of Auckland’s Hauraki Gulf and discover a mix of playful wildlife and coastline in the famous Bay of Islands. In the Hokianga – an area steeped in Māori culture and history – admire New Zealand’s largest kauri tree, Tane Mahuta ‘Lord of the Forest’ on a unique twilight forest tour.
Spend a day getting to know Auckland, New Zealand’s ‘City of Sails’. A diverse city perched on the edge of a sheltered harbour, Auckland’s outstanding culture, natural attractions and foodie scene makes for a unique urban experience. Get out on the Hauraki Gulf and journey to nearby Rangitoto Island on the Rangitoto Volcanic Explorer Tour to enjoy lava fields, native bush and city views from this ruggedly beautiful volcanic island. Change pace in the afternoon and stroll through the modern Britomart Precinct before savouring Auckland’s vibrant food and wine scene.
Drive North from Auckland to Waitangi in the Bay of Islands. A sub-tropical paradise known for its coastline, islands, history and wildlife, soak up the laid-back holiday vibe and take your time discovering the area. Venture out on the water for dolphin and whale watching, before arriving at the famous Hole in the Rock, where a soaring rocky outcrop juts into the sea. After a leisurely morning on the water spend the afternoon walking archaeological trails or relaxing by the beach on the historic Urupukapuka Island reserve, the only island in the Bay that is open to the public.
Journey west to the Hokianga, home to fascinating early Māori history and legends as well as the Waipoua Forest. Many Māori tribes have ancestry dating back to the famous Polynesian explorer Kupe, who is said to have first set foot in New Zealand in the Hokianga. In the late afternoon, take a Twilight Tour with a Māori guide into the lush Waipoua Forest, studded with huge Kauri trees. Enjoy learning about the wonders of these impressive trees and hear Maori legends and chants that have been passed down through generations.
From the Hokianga, drive south back to Auckland. On the way, take your time enjoying the small settlements of Omapere and Opononi , full of history and laid-back charm. If there’s time, a slight detour at Warkworth takes you to Matakana, a picturesque region an hour north of Auckland known for its boutique food shops and spectacular vineyards. On your return to Auckland take the opportunity to visit Sky Tower observation deck for panoramic views of the city and beyond.