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4 Day Kotare Small Group Tour

Days
4

Pricing From
$2190

North Island
Book Now

Overview

The Northland offers the ideal landscape from perfect, white beaches to stunning blue seas and a laid-back local lifestyle to match! These parts are perfect for that relaxing getaway and, since this is the birthplace of New Zealand, there's also plenty of history to enjoy here too on a 4 Day Kotare Small Group Tour in New Zealand.

Included Sightseeing and Exploring

  • The gannet colony nestled above Muriwai black sand beach.
  • Travel through the ancient Waipoua Forest.
  • Explore the giant sand dunes of the Hokianga harbour.
  • Visit the historic seafaring town of Russell.

Included Activities and Entrance Fees

  • Visit Northland’s Kauri Museum.
  • ​A walk with authentic Maori guides through Waipoua Forest to visit Tane Mahuta - The Lord of the Forest.
  • A relaxing and picturesque cruise across the Hokianga Harbour.
  • ​A chance to swim with dolphins or cruise to the Bay of Island’s the iconic Hole in the Rock.
  • Visit Kerikeri’s iconic Stone Store.
  • Learn about New Zealand history at the Waitangi Treaty House.
  • Marvel at the Kawiti Caves and their luminous glowworms.

Auckland Black Sand Beach

Auckland Black Sand Beach

Kauri Museum at Matakohe

Kauri Museum at Matakohe

Tane Mahuta

Tane Mahuta

Omapere

Omapere

Hokianga

Hokianga

Carved Meeting House at Waitangi

Carved Meeting House at Waitangi

Dolphins in Bay of Islands

Dolphins in Bay of Islands

Russell, Bay of Islands

Russell, Bay of Islands

Tutukaka Marina

Tutukaka Marina

Itinerary

Open All
Day 1Auckland to Hokianga(D)

Your New Zealand adventure begins with a real local’s treat, Muriwai Beach on the West Coast, a real Kiwi favourite. Follow your guide for a short stroll along the headland for stunning views of the Tasman Sea and gannet colony on the nearby clifftops.

From Muriwai we head for Northland, the ‘birthplace of the nation’. Skirting the Kaipara Harbour, we continue to the excellent Matakohe Kauri Museum to learn the history and significance of the mighty kauri tree. The perfect launch pad as we continue into the ancient Waipoua Kauri forest to meet our friends from Ngapuhi, the northern most Maori tribe in New Zealand. Ngapuhi are the guardians of the most symbolic places in the New Zealand story, the Hokianga harbour, the spot where Kupe 'the great navigator’ ended his epic voyage to become the first human being to set foot on land in Aotearoa, and the magnificent kauri tree 'Tane Mahuta’ in Maori legend, which represents the creation of the universe, where the sky father ‘Rangi’ and earth mother ‘Papa’ were prised apart to bring light to the world. We’re welcomed with a special ‘Karakia’ from our hosts before relaxing over dinner in our beachside accommodation for the night amongst new friends.

Stay 1 night Copthone Hotel and Resort, Hokianga

Day 2Hokianga to Bay of Islands(B)

Our day starts with a harbour cruise with another of our Ngapuhi friends, Pete (a real hard case!). He’ll tell you why all Kiwis have heard of Opononi and take us on our first foray ‘off the beaten track’, across the harbour for a walk along the deserted beach and for the adventurous, the chance to try sandboarding!

Northland is one of the narrowest spots in the whole North Island, which makes for an easy day from the Hokianga to the Bay of Islands, on the ‘other side’. We’re in no rush, so there’s time for plenty of stops along the way, like the famous Stone Store in Kerikeri, New Zealand’s oldest stone building. We’re now in the beautiful Bay of Islands, where we continue onto our home for the next 2 nights, Paihia. From our hotel walk just across the lawn to the Waitangi Treaty House, for our guided tour. You’re standing on the spot where, In 1840, Maori chiefs and Queen Victoria’s representatives signed the treaty which gave birth to the nation of New Zealand.

Stay 2 nights Copthorne Hotel and Resort, Paihia

Day 3Bay of Islands(B)

Getting out on the pristine waters of the Bay of Islands is an absolute must! Take your pick from swimming with dolphins or a relaxed cruise to Cape Brett and the famous ‘Hole in the Rock’. Whichever you choose, you’ll see why we loved coming on holiday here so much as kids and how two nights here is the perfect start to your tour.

Your fun on the water finishes at Russell (Kororareka), the very first capital of New Zealand, a small town with a rollicking 19th century past. It’s come a long way since it was a favourite haunt of whalers and sealers, with no police or laws you can imagine what went on! Visit the colonial buildings, walk the waterfront or climb Flagstaff Hill for spectacular views before the short ferry ride back to Paihia. After soaking up all the unique history of the area and marvelling at the crystal clear water and ‘Pacific’ blue sky, you know you’re in New Zealand now!

Day 4Bay of Islands to Auckland(B)

Today’s another chance to get off the beaten track, one of the real advantages of travelling in a small group. Our first port of call are the Kawiti Glowworm Caves, a one-two punch of scenic beauty and Maori history. The caves are named after the famous Maori chief of the area, Kawiti, and still belong to his family, after great grandson Te Tawai Kawiti showed the first visitors through the caves in the 1950s. Our guide through the caves will be one of the descendants of Kawiti too.

Glowworms are something most Kiwis grew up with, but are surprised to learn that they’re extremely rare in other countries. In the glowworm world, New Zealand is the centre of the universe! The ancient limestone caves are home to millions of twinkling glowworms including the famous Milky Way cavern, you’ll learn all about them from your friendly guide.

This afternoon we’ll head back to Auckland for the night, right in the heart of it all in the viaduct.

Cost per person

October 2019 - April 2020

  • Twin:   NZ$2,190
  • Single: NZ$2,790

PAYMENTS

  • 20% Deposit per person on booking, balance 60 days before departure.

CANCELLATIONS

  • Bookings cancelled more than 60 days before departure incur 20% of tour cost.
  • Bookings cancelled between 59 days and 45 days 50% of tour cost.
  • Bookings cancelled between 44 days and 31 days 75% of tour cost.
  • Bookings cancelled within 30 days or less of tour departure 100% of tour cost.
  • No refunds will be made after travel has commenced.

Luggage: Try to keep to one suitcase weighing around 23kgs and one small carry on bag.

 

Itinerary

Open All
Day 1Auckland to Hokianga(D)

Your New Zealand adventure begins with a real local’s treat, Muriwai Beach on the West Coast, a real Kiwi favourite. Follow your guide for a short stroll along the headland for stunning views of the Tasman Sea and gannet colony on the nearby clifftops.

From Muriwai we head for Northland, the ‘birthplace of the nation’. Skirting the Kaipara Harbour, we continue to the excellent Matakohe Kauri Museum to learn the history and significance of the mighty kauri tree. The perfect launch pad as we continue into the ancient Waipoua Kauri forest to meet our friends from Ngapuhi, the northern most Maori tribe in New Zealand. Ngapuhi are the guardians of the most symbolic places in the New Zealand story, the Hokianga harbour, the spot where Kupe 'the great navigator’ ended his epic voyage to become the first human being to set foot on land in Aotearoa, and the magnificent kauri tree 'Tane Mahuta’ in Maori legend, which represents the creation of the universe, where the sky father ‘Rangi’ and earth mother ‘Papa’ were prised apart to bring light to the world. We’re welcomed with a special ‘Karakia’ from our hosts before relaxing over dinner in our beachside accommodation for the night amongst new friends.

Stay 1 night Copthone Hotel and Resort, Hokianga

Day 2Hokianga to Bay of Islands(B)

Our day starts with a harbour cruise with another of our Ngapuhi friends, Pete (a real hard case!). He’ll tell you why all Kiwis have heard of Opononi and take us on our first foray ‘off the beaten track’, across the harbour for a walk along the deserted beach and for the adventurous, the chance to try sandboarding!

Northland is one of the narrowest spots in the whole North Island, which makes for an easy day from the Hokianga to the Bay of Islands, on the ‘other side’. We’re in no rush, so there’s time for plenty of stops along the way, like the famous Stone Store in Kerikeri, New Zealand’s oldest stone building. We’re now in the beautiful Bay of Islands, where we continue onto our home for the next 2 nights, Paihia. From our hotel walk just across the lawn to the Waitangi Treaty House, for our guided tour. You’re standing on the spot where, In 1840, Maori chiefs and Queen Victoria’s representatives signed the treaty which gave birth to the nation of New Zealand.

Stay 2 nights Copthorne Hotel and Resort, Paihia

Day 3Bay of Islands(B)

Getting out on the pristine waters of the Bay of Islands is an absolute must! Take your pick from swimming with dolphins or a relaxed cruise to Cape Brett and the famous ‘Hole in the Rock’. Whichever you choose, you’ll see why we loved coming on holiday here so much as kids and how two nights here is the perfect start to your tour.

Your fun on the water finishes at Russell (Kororareka), the very first capital of New Zealand, a small town with a rollicking 19th century past. It’s come a long way since it was a favourite haunt of whalers and sealers, with no police or laws you can imagine what went on! Visit the colonial buildings, walk the waterfront or climb Flagstaff Hill for spectacular views before the short ferry ride back to Paihia. After soaking up all the unique history of the area and marvelling at the crystal clear water and ‘Pacific’ blue sky, you know you’re in New Zealand now!

Day 4Bay of Islands to Auckland(B)

Today’s another chance to get off the beaten track, one of the real advantages of travelling in a small group. Our first port of call are the Kawiti Glowworm Caves, a one-two punch of scenic beauty and Maori history. The caves are named after the famous Maori chief of the area, Kawiti, and still belong to his family, after great grandson Te Tawai Kawiti showed the first visitors through the caves in the 1950s. Our guide through the caves will be one of the descendants of Kawiti too.

Glowworms are something most Kiwis grew up with, but are surprised to learn that they’re extremely rare in other countries. In the glowworm world, New Zealand is the centre of the universe! The ancient limestone caves are home to millions of twinkling glowworms including the famous Milky Way cavern, you’ll learn all about them from your friendly guide.

This afternoon we’ll head back to Auckland for the night, right in the heart of it all in the viaduct.

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