Today you will head over ‘The Harbour Bridge’ and say goodbye to New Zealand’s largest city to be greeted by Northland ‘The Winterless North’, famous for its gigantic kauri trees, Māori culture and its stunning beaches. En route, you could visit the Kauri Museum to learn all about New Zealand’s most ancient tree and how its significance has developed over time (optional – extra cost). You will then visit Whangarei, the capital of the Northland region where you can view the stunning Whangarei Falls, known as the most photographed waterfall in New Zealand due to its ease of access, picturesque bush surrounds and guaranteed 365 day of the year flowing cascade. From here you head to the gorgeous Tutukaka Coast where you will spend the next two nights.
This morning you will venture out on a 2-hour diving trip (all gear supplied) in the Poor Knights Islands Marine Reserve with Dive! Tutukaka, who are New Zealand’s premier full-service dive charter operator, servicing the Poor Knights Islands which as an area are known as the best sub-tropical diving in the world! The rest of the day is free to spend enjoying the stunning coastline. Perhaps rent kayaks or stand-up paddleboards, or simply laze the day away at the beach.
North you go! Today you can check out the gorgeous Bay of Islands en route to the far North. Board the vehicle ferry in Paihia across to Romantic Russell for lunch, see NZ’s first capital, check out the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, enjoy a swim in the delightful waters and then head North towards Karkari Peninsula, spending a night at the beautiful Carrington Estate.
Today you will reach the very Northern tip of Aotearoa/New Zealand! Stand at the top of the cliff and observe the Tasman Sea and Pacific Oceans meet together in harmony. It is a beautiful sight. Following this, head south back down the road and pull off at Giant Te Paki to see ginormous sand dunes. Here you can rent a boogie board and sandboard your way down these massive slopes. It is quite a thrill! Return to Carrington Lodge in the evening.
Today you will head South-West towards Opononi/Omapere where you will stay facing the Hokianga Harbour and it’s massive sand dunes. There will be time to check out the Bay of Islands again if you missed anything the first time! This evening you will be taken on a tour hosted by local Māori who will take you into the Waipoua Forest to see Tane Mahuta and Te Matua Ngahere – 2 of Aotearoa’s largest and most majestic trees. Learn of the significance of these trees to the Māori people as day turns into night in this breath-taking forest.
You will drive through Waipoua Forest where you will have another opportunity to see the impressive kauri trees by day on one of several forest walks in the area. New Zealand only has around 1 per cent of its beautiful Kauri trees remaining and they can only be seen in the Northern part of the North Island. Heading South to Auckland down the west coast through Dargaville, you arrive in the’ City of Sails’ in the afternoon/evening. We hope you’ve enjoyed your authentic Far North Experience!
“Thanks to The Road Trip for their organizational skills and their assignment of Tom Stuart as our excellent, personable, fun guide. An adventuresome experience – a memory maker for sure.”
Jim & Lynn Fritz and Rich & Jill LaBardi – USA, February 2017