Kaipara Country Including Waiheke Island
Friday 7th February 2019 DAY ONE
We will start our journey from your door, stopping for morning tea along the way. We’ll then meander over to the West Coast via Ngaruawahia on roads less travelled but offering stunning Karaka Tree and Nikau Palmed hill country. Our next port of call being the Nikau Caves and Cafe located in the heart of Waikaretu Valley amongst towering limestone cliffs. We’ll stop for lunch at this excellent country café. This a unique setting as there are some fabulous underground caves located on the property, today we are only visiting for a bite to eat and talking to the property owners. After our yummy lunch, we’ll head through to Port Waikato, stretch our legs on the black sand beach then on to our accommodation in Whangaparaoa evening meal will be in a local restaurant.
Saturday 8th February 2019 DAY TWO B, MT, L
After breakfast this morning we will take advantage of the Auckland Bus lanes to get us into the central city quickly, where we will catch the Fullers Ferry across to Waiheke for the day. Once we arrive, we will be met by our local guide to board the bus and embark on our tour of the Island. Waiheke a true island paradise just a stone's throw from Auckland City. We will discover why Lonely Planet is calling it one of the best destinations in the world. Along the way, we will enjoy a lovely High Tea style lunch. Early afternoon we will be delivered back to the Ferry terminal for our return cruise back to Auckland. We then bus back to our Accommodation to relax and freshen up for dinner.
Sunday 9th February 2019 DAY THREE B, L
Today we head north to Matakana village to catch the Matakana River Cruise, A one Hour discovery cruise leaving from the heart of Matakana. This boutique cruise is tailor-made for peak relaxation. Sit back, relax while Captain Phil gives you an informative, amusing commentary on the way down the river, showcasing the history and tidal environment of mangroves, Native Bush and Farmland. We turn around where the green of the upper fresh meets the vibrant blue water of Sandspit Basin. Once we arrive back, we will find a local café for morning tea and enjoy a quick browse of the shops. The afternoon will be exciting, with a visit to the new Sculptureum, whose gates have just opened. We will enjoy a great lunch in a lovely surround before setting forth in the park. Inside there are hundreds of works on display in the Gardens and Galleries, all chosen to amuse, inspire and stimulate. A mix of colour, whimsy and wonder. Time permitting, we will take a short drive to Omaha Beach for a nosey. Returning to our motel we will then gather for dinner.
Monday 10th February 2019 DAY FOUR B, L
Another day of discovery ahead, we board the coach and travel to Helensville having morning tea along the way. At 11 am we will meet our captain and crew as well as other members of the public joining us for this 2.5hr cruise. Cruising in sheltered inland waters of Kaipara harbour past Shelly Beach to view the expanse of NZ's largest inland waterway, along the way we will gain an insight into history, Maori Pa Sites, the birdlife and marine ecology of the harbour. We then return to Shelly Beach and go ashore for lunch at "The Jetty" licensed café then reconnect with the coach for an afternoon drive up South Head, stretch our legs at Lake Ototoa. Time permitting, we will travel back to the motel via Waimauku, Kumeu and Coatsville. Again, we will move to the nearby restaurant to enjoy a meal.
Tuesday 11th February 2019 DAY FIVE B, MT, L
Packed up and ready to head for home, we say farewell to pretty Whangaparaoa and travel to our morning tea stop at the award-winning Twin Lakes Garden. We will take a guided tour around Twin Lakes a peaceful, all-seasons garden formed around a five-acre lake with water lilies and exotic waterfowl. The garden features unusual and ornamental borders around the house with areas of mixed planting, rock gardens and a bog garden. Beautiful black-faced Suffolk sheep are kept on the property and are a popular attraction. Ostriches also farmed here and an aviary with exotic birds - which will intrigue and surprise you with their colour and variety. After our time at the gardens, we depart for the legendary Riverhead Tavern for Lunch. With lunch complete, we board the Riverhead Ferry for a pleasant cruise down the harbour to central Auckland. Here we will re-board the coach and head for home.
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