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6 Day Winterless North

6 days 5 nights
Auckland to Auckland
from NZD$2,356pp
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Explore the tropical Bay of Islands, the magnificent giant Kauri trees of the Waipoua Forest and the boutique wine region of Matakana, the winterless north is the perfect year round destination. Along the way you'll stay at charming boutique lodges where you can relax in style after each day's adventure.

Family touringWildlife & nature

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Day One - Welcome to Auckland City
Tour day 1
6 Day Winterless North - Day 1
Private Transfer Auckland Airport to Auckland Accommodation

You will be met at the Auckland airport by the driver and transferred to your Auckland accommodation.

Welcome to Auckland

Auckland, New Zealand's self-proclaimed "City of Sails" is the country's largest metro area. Resting between the Pacific Ocean and the Tasman Sea, this urban paradise has something for everyone. Surrounded by native bush, rainforests, and an abundance of beaches, Auckland is a playground for both the city savvy and those with an eye for adventure. Explore the central museums and galleries on foot, or get out onto the water to experience the best views of the city.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Harbour Sailing Cruise with Explore

Enjoy the City of Sails from the water on a relaxed harbour sailing yacht. This cruise offers a uniquely local experience experiencing the harbour under sail with a small vessel with an intimate and engaging atmosphere. View the stunning city sights while sailing on the inner Waitemata Harbour. Sail where the wind takes us while enjoying Auckland's city highlights; including sailing under the Harbour Bridge and other well-known landmarks along the harbour's edge. The crew's local knowledge will give you the best harbour sailing experience Auckland has to offer. Become the crew and help participate with the sailing experience take the helm while you carve through the water, or if you prefer just sit back and relax above deck.

Accommodation: Fable Auckland
Accommodation type: Hotel 4 star
Located right on Queen Street the Fable Auckland is boutique and stylish property with an ideal location to enjoy and explore the vibrant heart of the 'City of Sails'.

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Day Two - Leave Auckland over the harbour bridge, then travel north to the sub-tropical Bay of Islands
Tour day 2
Meals included: Breakfast
6 Day Winterless North - Day 2
Collect your rental car

Our rental car range includes the latest vehicles from the top suppliers. We have a fantastic range, from economy hatchbacks to prestige sedans and SUVs. Insurance can often be included with a small excess or deductible.

Auckland to Russell, Bay of Islands

The drive from Auckland to the Bay of Islands normally takes around three and a half hours, but plan to take a little longer for there are many things to see along the way. Stretch your legs in Puhoi, New Zealand's only Bohemian settlement. Go through Warkworth, and Whangarei and see the world famous hundertwasser toilets in Kawakawa. Arriving into Russell via the Opua Ferry, you'll be greeted by lush bush-clad hillsides dropping to golden sandy beaches.

Accommodation: Arcadia Lodge, Russell
Accommodation type: Boutique Lodges & Hotels
Arcadia Lodge is a Russell landmark, a turn of the century home and luxury bed and breakfast overlooking Russell's tranquil Matauwhi Bay.
Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 230 kms / 143 miles : 3.3 hours

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Day Three - Discover the history of Waitangi or take a cruise through the island studded bay
Tour day 3
Meals included: Breakfast
6 Day Winterless North - Day 3
Explore the Bay of Islands

Made up of over 140 subtropical atolls, New Zealand's Bay of Islands is commonly known as the ‘winterless north.’ Renowned for its untouched beaches, abundant marine life and idyllic climate this tropical paradise is the perfect place to relax and unwind. Spend some time on a remote stretch of beach, or cool off during a ‘swim with dolphins’ ocean safari. If diving is your thing, take the morning to descend the Rainbow Warrior - The Greenpeace flagship sunk by French saboteurs in 1985. Wander around Russell, a whaling port founded in 1843. Learn about our culture in historic Waitangi, the site where The Treaty of Waitangi was signed in 1840 between the Maori and European settlers dictating the terms by which New Zealand would become a British colony. Before you leave take a travel day to Cape Reinga the very top of the North Island.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Hole in the Rock Cruise with Fullers GreatSights

Board your cruise and take in the stunning views as you glide out through the islands and along the Rakaumangamanga Peninsula to Cape Brett, where a historic lighthouse keeps watch over and Piercy Island/Motukōkako, or as it is popularly known the ‘Hole in the Rock’. According to Māori legend, local warriors used to paddle through the Hole in the Rock in their canoes before departing for battle. Drops of water from the cave roof above were a good omen. If conditions permit, your skipper will expertly guide the ship through the narrow space. Keep an eye out for common and bottlenose dolphins, whales and other marine life during your cruise, and have your camera ready as you get up close to the action. The purpose-built catamaran is licensed by DOC (the Department of Conservation) for dolphin viewing and the crew have years of experience locating dolphins in these waters. Dolphin Seeker has indoor and outdoor seating available, and the largest outdoor viewing decks in the Bay of Islands.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Waitangi Treaty Grounds Guided Tour and Cultural Performance

Waitangi is one of New Zealand's most historic sites where the Treaty of Waitangi was signed in 1840 between the local Maori and the British Government. This two day pass allows you access to the Treaty of Waitangi Grounds and includes admission to the Te Kōngahu Museum and Te Rau Aroha Museum and a Maori Cultural performance. During your guided tour, you'll learn about the history of the treaty and discover the stories and events that shaped New Zealand. The cultural performance inside the carved meeting house includes waiata (singing), poi, a display of Maori weaponry and the haka - a war dance New Zealand is well known for.

Accommodation: Arcadia Lodge, Russell
Accommodation type: Boutique Lodges & Hotels
Arcadia Lodge is a Russell landmark, a turn of the century home and luxury bed and breakfast overlooking Russell's tranquil Matauwhi Bay.

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Day Four - Cross Northland following the aqua blue waters of the Hokianga
Tour day 4
Meals included: Breakfast
6 Day Winterless North - Day 4
Russell, Bay of Islands to Hokianga

Heading west from the Bay of Islands you leave the Pacific Ocean and travel through the quirky township of Kawakawa, home of the funky Hundertwasser public toilets. Continue through rural Northland and you soon arrive into the Hokianga Region and the wilder seas of the Tasman. The small townships of Omapere and Opononi have a great seaside feel and the perfect place to stop for an ice cream.

Manea Footprints of Kupe Guided Tour

Enter Te Hokianga-nui-a-Kupe, our sacred cradle of tribal histories. Walk in the footprints of the Maori ancestor – Kupe the intrepid, Kupe the voyager, Kupe the discoverer.
Experience a Pōwhiri (welcome ceremony) and other rituals and customs experienced through interaction with the descendants of Kupe. Explore the contemporary cultural centre with carvings and artefacts holding the stories of the past, giving you incredible insight into the history of Aotearoa.

Hokianga Harbour to Waipoua Forest

From Hokianga head south into the iconic Waipoua Forest, home to New Zealand's largest kauri tree, Tane Mahuta.

Accommodation: Waipoua Lodge
Accommodation type: Luxury Lodges & Hotels
Waipoua Lodge is nestled on a ridge overlooking the mighty Waipoua Forest. Experience authentic New Zealand luxury hospitality in a breathtaking ancient and natural environment. Please contact the property a day or two before your arrival to discuss menu preferences.
Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 100 kms / 62 miles : 1.9 hours

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Day Five - Cross country along the Kaipara Harbour to the east coast
Tour day 5
Meals included: Breakfast
6 Day Winterless North - Day 5
Waipoua to Mangawhai

Continue down the Kauri Coast and across the country towards the Matakohe Kauri Museum. This award-winning museum has extensive displays of the region's logging, farming, and social history.  As you leave the Kaipara Harbour behind you'll make your way to Warkworth a laid-back town situated at the head of the Mahurangi River and is a gateway to many beaches along the Matakana and Kowhai Coasts.

Accommodation: Woodhouse Mountain Lodge Warkworth
Accommodation type: Luxury Lodges & Hotels
Contemporary secluded villa accommodations in paradise-like grounds are set high above surrounding land, meaning privacy is guaranteed and views extend as far as the Hauraki Gulf. Our facilities include a restaurant, outdoor pool, sauna, day spa treatments, cocktail bar, and extensive grounds to explore.
Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 174 kms / 108 miles : 2.5 hours

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Day Six - Travel south to Auckland Airport for your onward journey
Tour day 6
Meals included: Breakfast
6 Day Winterless North - Day 6
Mangawhai to Auckland Airport

Leaving the idyllic lower Northland region, head south on State Highway one towards Auckland ‘City of Sails.’ The route takes you through the farming regions of Wellsford and Warkworth where - if time allows - a side trip to Matakana or the Tawharanui Peninsula is well worth the effort. Pass through the suburbs of the North Shore before crossing the harbour bridge into the heart of Auckland City and on to the Auckland Airport.

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 84 kms / 52 miles : 1.1 hours

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