4 Day - Kotare Northland Tour

Waitangi Maori Marae

Discover the birthplace of New Zealand as we know it today on this tour of the North Island. The Kotare Northland tour ofers a unique view of Northland’s mix of natural beauty and fascinating heritage, making it an unforgettable holiday destination for locals and visitors alike.

Day 1 - Auckland to Omapere, Hokianga (D)

We travel north through towards our first stop at Muriwai Beach, taking a short walk to view the renowned gannet colony nesting on the cliffs. From here we skirt the shoreline of the Kaipara Harbour, one of the world’s largest inland tidal estuaries. There are elevated views of the harbour as we travel to Wellsford and on to the Matakohe Kauri Museum, dedicated to the mighty kauri tree, growing to over 50 metres tall with 16 metres girth and living for 2000 years. North of Dargaville we enter the primeval Forest of Waipoua (translated as water falling at night), the largest kauri forest. At twilight we accompany Footprints Waipoua, a group of young Maori dedicated to preserving the traditions and culture of Ngapuhi, the northern Maori tribe, to visit both Tane Mahuta (the God of the forest) 51 metres tall, girth 13.8 metres. This journey will give you a deeper understanding of this unique forest from both an ecological and Maori perspective.

One Night Accommodation at Hokianga Copthorne Hotel Resort. This waterfront hotel is located at lovely Omapere on the Hokianga Harbour with stunning views to huge sand dunes across the bay.

Day 2 - Omapere to Paihia (B,D)

The Hokianga harbour providing shelter from the Tasman Sea has not changed since the time of Kupe, the Polynesian sea captain and navigator who is credited with discovering New Zealand 1000 years ago. From this harbour Kupe sailed for home to Hawaiiki the ancestral homeland of Maori (hence the name Hokianga Nui A Kupe meaning “great returning place of Kupe”). This morning we cruise out onto the Hokianga Harbour with the MV Hokianga Express. This beautiful waterway is a significant and spiritual place for Maori, something that is made evident to us as we cruise this great harbour. We have a chance to explore the sand dunes and, if you are adventurous, ride a body board down the dunes. 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. We are in no rush, so there's time for plenty of stops along the way, for example in Kerikeri. This is a thriving town known for citrus orchards and arts and crafts. We visit the Stone Store, New Zealand's oldest stone building. Our destination is  Paihia in the Bay of Islands. The sparkling blue waters of this maritime park are dotted with islands - paradise for beach lovers and sailors.

Two Nights Accommodation at Waitangi Copthorne Hotel Resort. This four star hotel offers uninterrupted Bay views surrounded by 60 acres of subtropical gardens and the historic Waitangi Treaty Grounds.

Day 3 - Cruise the Bay of Islands - Russell (B)

Step on board at Paihia this morning to cruise out to a maritime park of 144 islands. It is your choice if you want to go looking for dolphins and swimming (weather and conditions permitting)  or take a relaxed cruise to Cape Brett and the “ Hole in the Rock” . Your fun in the water finishes at Russell, the first capital of New Zealand. It has a rollicking 19th century past when it was known as the “hell hole of the South Pacific” and was a favourite haunt of whalers and sealers. Visit the colonial buildings, walk the waterfront or climb Flagstaff Hill for wide views over the Bay before catching the short ferry back to Paihia.

Day 4 - Bay of Islands to Auckland (B)

Today is another chance to get off the beaten track and we will stop by at the Kawiti Glowworm Caves after leaving the Bay of Island.  They are named after a famous Maori chief of the area and still belong to his family. The Caves are located in the heart of the Waiomio Valley and home to thousands of glow worms as far as the eye can see. Your friendly guide will share is knowledge about the fantastic little glowing creatures and no doubt give you an insight into their fascinating life circle.

In the afternoon we will make our way back to Auckland, where you tour ends in the heart of the city.


Please take the time to view our “Virtual Tour” for the 4 Day Captivating Northland tour or download/print the detailed “Tour Dossier”. Both can be found on the right hand column of this page. Alternatively you can simply contact us. For a comprehensive list of all activities available in each location featured in this tour, please refer to the "Destination Guide" found at the top of this page.

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