Hokianga and Bay of Islands
Door to Door pickups, Transport, Accommodation, Activities, Meals as listed. (B breakfast, MT Morning tea, L lunch, D dinner)
Monday 14th October DAY 1 L, D
As we set out for the winterless north, we’ll stop in Katikati for morning tea at the golf club. From here it’s off to lunch at the Winner of Rural Café of the year in 2016/2017 – Red Shed Palazzo. Set in Drury a visit feels like a side trip to Italy. Once we’ve cleared the Auckland traffic, we’ll be stopping at Warkworth for a leg stretch and the loo. Onwards and upwards in a northerly direction will see us arrive at award-winning 5-Star Lodge Bordeaux on the fringe of Whangarei’s city centre. Dinner tonight will be at The Quay Restaurant which as the name suggests is down on the harbour waterfront and offering what they describe as a “gate to plate” menu – so the food is going to be very FRESH!
Tuesday 15th October DAY 2 B, MT, L, D
After Continental breakfast, we’ll be stopping mid-morning for at the stunningly sited Helena Bay Café and Gallery. Spectacular views of the east coast and high-quality art, jewellery, sculptures and ceramics are available for purchase here. Our Northland holiday would not be complete without pausing to take in the quirkily iconic Hundertwasser Kawakawa toilets. From here it’s a short hop to Russell and lunch at the restaurant in the historic 1827-built Duke of Marlborough Hotel. Take a stroll round Russell after lunch and poke around the many boutiques and quaint stores in this colonial settlement. Then we’ll jump on the Okiato ferry and head over to Paihia to check into the resort-style Scenic Hotel for the night. Dinner tonight is at the in-house Nikau Restaurant.
Wednesday 16th October DAY 3 B, L, D
Kerikeri is our destination this morning. Home to the remarkable 1832-built Stone Store it was a pivotal meeting place for the budding relationship between local Maori and the early European settlers. Stopping here we will have time to take the tour, learning about the history of the store and surrounding mission station. Lunch at Kauri Cliffs luxury lodge promises to be memorable with its superb fine dining and panoramic views of the untouched coastline of Matauri Bay. The afternoon meander will take us through Waipapa arriving at the ferry at Kohukohu on the Hokianga Harbour to transport us across to Rawene for checking in to Copthorne Hotel and Resort. We’ll be dining at Bryers Room Restaurant in the hotel tonight where you can indulge your penchant for fresh local seafood from the a la carte menu.
Thursday 17th October DAY 4 B, D
Tane Mahutu has stood as a majestic sentinel in the Waipoua Forest for over 1,250 years. Occupying a place in the record books as New Zealand’s largest known living kauri tree, we’ll be stopping this morning to marvel at its towering canopy and massive circumference before moving on to have lunch at the Gumdigger’s Café in Matakohe. The adjacent kauri timber-lined museum presents a fascinating insight into the area’s incredible pioneering industry. Unique to this part of the world and displaying the many shapes, sizes and colours of kauri’s beautiful golden resin, stopping in here is a must. As we make our way back to Auckland, we’ll be carrying the beauty of this cherished region of New Zealand in our hearts and minds not to mention our cameras. We are overnighting at the Spencer on Byron in Takapuna, Auckland. Happy hour starts at 5.30pm and we’ll then dine-in at the Smokepit & Buoy restaurant for this our final night together.
Friday 18th October DAY 5 B
A cooked breakfast sets us up for the journey home via Mangatarata on the Hauraki Plains. Its undulating landscape makes it the ideal location for a couple of excellent golf courses. No time to stop for a look around, however, just lunch along the way before travelling the final leg of the journey home to Tauranga in the late afternoon.
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Bay of Islands
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