Hokianga and Bay of Islands
Door to Door pickups, Transport, Accommodation, Activities, Meals as listed. (B breakfast, MT Morning tea, L lunch, D dinner)
DAY ONE 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 north, will see us arrive at award-winning 5-Star Lodge Bordeaux on the fringe of Whangarei’s city centre. Dinner tonight will be savoured 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!
DAY TWO B, MT, L, D
After a 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 historical 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.
DAY THREE 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. We then travel on to a lovely Northland couple Anna and Ian Sizer who upon returning from London, discovered their perfect location to fulfil a dream. A labour of love, the five acres of subtropical garden, once so overgrown the couple couldn’t see the river, are now an organic Eden of hibiscus, ponds and native bush. Touches of indulgence and whimsy in the claw foot baths, alongside eco-friendly bath products, make Magic Cottages at Takou River a truly unique, visit. We then move onto our lunch venue, the Marsden Winery. Over its two-decade history, Marsden Estate has become known for the quality of its original cuisine. Fresh produce is sourced from around the region, and the superb local food is served on the terrace, shaded by grapevines, overlooking the lake, gardens and vineyard. It’s the perfect place for a long lunch. 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.
** Please note the change from the original cataloged Itinerary, Kauri Cliffs Lodge is currently not trading. Replaced with Takou River Cottages and Marsden Winery
DAY FOUR 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.
DAY FIVE 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 great golf courses. No time to stop for a round 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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