Day 1 : Depart Auckland for the Bay of Islands
Begin your short and sweet New Zealand island adventure travelling north from Auckland over the Harbour Bridge continuing through Northland's lush farmland of green and blue hills before arriving in the beautiful Bay of Islands, 144 islands dotting the bay with golden beaches. On arrival you’ll start the trip discovering the stories, people, and events that shaped Aotearoa New Zealand at the Waitangi Treaty Grounds. You'll be enlightened by a Local Specialist, who will bring to life the world's largest ceremonial war canoe, the ‘whaka,’ the historic Treaty House, and carved Meeting House. Stand where the Treaty of Waitangi was signed in 1840 and visit the Carving Studio to meet the carvers and learn about the Maori art of whakairo (wood carving). Then there's time to explore Te Kongahu Museum of Waitangi, a MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience through stewardship of the Waitangi National Trust. Whether you’re from near or far, this in-depth experience will give an appreciation for the stories that have shaped New Zealand at the very spot it was founded. Stay overnight in the jewel of the Bay of Islands, renowned for its secluded bays, warm weather, and buzzing café culture. This evening, get to know your Travel Director and group over a Welcome Reception, where seafood plucked straight from the ocean is the star of the show, washed down with delicious New Zealand wine.
Accommodation : Copthorne Resort
Day 2 : Bay of Islands is All Yours
Today is all about exploring the enchanting beauty of the Bay of Islands from its signature golden sands, water, and vibrant green hillsides and there are plenty of options to show off all its angles. You could choose an Optional Hole in the Rock boat ride to Cape Brett to see New Zealand's largest sea cave. Cruising through the turquoise waters passing beaches and secluded bays, keep your eyes peeled for dolphins, seals, and penguins in this pristine tropical setting. Wine lovers could learn more about the local drop, savouring the bold flavours of the region’s full-bodied reds while embarking on a memorable Bay of Islands wine tasting tour to organic Ake Ake Vineyard and the award-winning Marsden Estate. After yesterday’s cultural immersion, you could take it even further with a Russell Mini Tour to learn about the area's historical significanc. Take a walk back in time to discover its wild ways as a port town with evidence of its colourful heritage in the historic buildings. After an action-packed day, head to one of the restaurants along the waterfront and raise a glass while watching the sun set on another glorious day in 'The Bay’.
Day 3 : Farewell Bay of Islands and Auckland
There's no need to rush this morning as you 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. Later, enjoy a drive through the Rodney District before arriving in Auckland where your memorable encounter with New Zealand's Bay of Islands comes to an end.