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The Winterless North 

6 days from Auckland to Auckland

Explore the tropical Bay of Islands, the magnificent giant Kauri trees of the Waipoua Forest and the boutique wine region of Matakana, the winterless north is the perfect year round destination. Along the way you'll stay at charming boutique lodges where you can relax in style after each day's adventure.

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 This suggested tour costs from per person (twin share, low season) (get instant quote here)
 6 days/5 nights from Auckland to Auckland
 Accommodation suggested on this tour is: Boutique lodges & hotels (Can be customised? YES )
 Rental car insurance included: Fully inclusive with variable excess/deductible
 Rental car inclusions: GPS navigation, unlimited kms, airport/ferry terminal fees, additional drivers
 Tour pack: Includes detailed driving instructions, maps, guide books and much more
 This tour can be customised to suit you precisely - just request here

This Tour Also Features

  • Includes: All breakfasts
  • Includes: Private airport transfers
from pp
(twin share, low season)
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Auckland city, New Zealand
Maori culture, New Zealand
 

The Winterless North - at a glance (See detailed itinerary)

Day 1: Welcome to Auckland City
Accommodation: Great Ponsonby Art Hotel B&B

Day 2: Leave Auckland over the harbour bridge, then travel north to the sub-tropical Bay of Islands
Accommodation: Arcadia Lodge, Russell
Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 230 kms / 143 miles : 3.3 hours

Day 3: Discover the history of Waitangi or take a cruise through the island studded bay
Accommodation: Arcadia Lodge, Russell

Day 4: Cross Northland following the aqua blue waters of the Hokianga
Accommodation: The Heads Luxury Villas
Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 84 kms / 52 miles : 1.1 hours

Day 5: Follow the Kauri Coast south, then cross country to the east coast
Accommodation: Mangawhai Lodge Bed and Breakfast
Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 192 kms / 119 miles : 2.8 hours

Day 6: Travel south to Auckland Airport for your onward journey

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 122 kms / 76 miles : 1.7 hours

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The Winterless North - Day 1

Day 1 - Welcome to Auckland City

Personal meet and greet, and private transfer to your accommodation

On arrival you will be met by one of our team and driven to your Auckland accommodation.

Your tour documentation pack and support

Once you touch down in New Zealand your detailed tour pack will be hand delivered by one of our trusted representatives. The pack contains everything you need for the duration of your stay. It will include a comprehensive, printed and bound version of your itinerary as well as clear driving instructions and maps for each leg of your journey. It also contains all the reservation details for your accommodation and activities - along with relevant brochures and information. While in New Zealand we offer 24 hour support - details on how to contact us at any time will be well documented.

Welcome to Auckland City

Auckland, New Zealand’s self-proclaimed ‘City of Sails’ is the country’s largest metro area. Resting between the Pacific Ocean and the Tasman Sea, this urban paradise has something for everyone. Surrounded by native bush, rainforests and an abundance of beaches, Auckland is a playground for both the city savvy and those with an eye for adventure. Explore the central museums and galleries on foot, or take a drive through one of over 800 regional National Parks to see deserted beaches, waterfalls and native forest.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Harbour Sailing Cruise including Lunch with Explore

With a fleet of large purpose-built sailboats, the Pride of Auckland Company operates on the sheltered waters of the Waitemata Harbour. As you relax on the deck of a 50ft sailing monohull yacht, take in the spectacular Auckland landscape while you enjoy your picnic lunch. See the harbour bridge from below as you try your hand steering the helm. Relax and settle in for unforgettable 90 minute experience.

Your accommodation: Great Ponsonby Art Hotel B&B

This small hotel bed & breakfast is located in the heart of Auckland's Ponsonby district. A two minute stroll to the vibrant cafes bistros, restaurants, art and craft galleries and just five minutes by car to the harbourside and central Auckland.
Great Ponsonby Art Hotel B&B

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The Winterless North - Day 2

Day 2 - Leave Auckland over the harbour bridge, then travel north to the sub-tropical Bay of Islands

Choose from our great range of late model rental cars for your driving holiday

Today you’ll take to the road for your New Zealand Self Drive holiday, so take a look through the great selection of late model vehicles available and take your pick.  To help you on your way GPS is included with all rentals.

GPS navigation system

Use the latest GPS technology as you tour New Zealand. Your portable GPS features a simple touch screen interface with automatic route calculation and turn-by-turn voice-prompted directions including street name announcement. The automotive-grade GPS unit is easy to use and has multiple language options.

Auckland to Russell, Bay of Islands

The drive from Auckland to the Bay of Islands normally takes around three and a half hours - but plan to take a little longer for there are many things to see along the way. Stretch your legs in Puhoi, New Zealand's only Bohemian settlement. Go through Warkworth, and Whangarei and see the world famous hundertwasser toilets in Kawakawa. Arriving into Russell via the Opua Ferry, you'll be greeted by lush bush-clad hillsides dropping to golden sandy beaches

Your accommodation: Arcadia Lodge, Russell

Arcadia Lodge is a Russell landmark, a turn of the century home and luxury bed and breakfast overlooking Russell's tranquil Matauwhi Bay.

Meals included: Breakfast

Arcadia Lodge, Russell

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg is: 230 kms / 143 miles : 3.3 hours

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The Winterless North - Day 3

Day 3 - Discover the history of Waitangi or take a cruise through the island studded bay

Explore the Bay of Islands

Made up of over 140 subtropical atolls, New Zealand's Bay of Islands is renowned for its untouched beaches, abundant marine life and idyllic climate. Commonly known as the 'Winterless North' this tropical paradise is the ideal holiday destination. Spend some time on a remote stretch of beach, or cool off during a ‘swim with dolphins’ ocean safari. If diving is your thing, take the morning to descend the Rainbow Warrior - The Greenpeace flagship sunk by French saboteurs in 1985. Wander around Russell, a whaling port founded in 1843. Learn about our culture in historic Waitangi, the site where The Treaty of Waitangi was signed in 1840 between the Maori and European settlers dictating the terms by which New Zealand would become a British colony. Finally, before you leave take a travel day to Cape Reinga, the very top of the North Island.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Dolphin Cruise to Hole in the Rock with GreatSights

Take a glimpse into New Zealand's earliest European history as your luxury catamaran passes by the township of Russell (Kororareka) and many of the historic and culturally significant islands in the Bay, before heading out into open sea. Enjoy the views as you cruise past the Cape Brett Lighthouse, before arriving at the stunning Motukokako Island, home of the majestic Hole in the Rock. As we venture into the dramatic Hole in the Rock (conditions permitting) hold your breath as the skipper navigates through the narrow space and admire the rock walls which soar above you. Watch out for water drops if you are seated on the top deck! Take in the Grand Cathedral Cave before heading back into the sheltered waters of the Bay. Keep an eye out for bottlenose and common dolphins along the way.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Waitangi Treaty Grounds Guided Tour and Cultural Performance

Waitangi is one of New Zealand's most historic sites where the Treaty of Waitangi was signed in 1840 between the local Maori and the British Government. This two day pass allows you access to the Treaty of Waitangi Grounds and includes admission to the Museum of Waitangi, a guided tour and a Maori Cultural performance. During your guided tour, you'll learn about the history of the treaty and discover the stories and events that shaped New Zealand. The cultural performance inside the carved meeting house includes waiata (singing), poi, a display of Maori weaponry and the haka - a war dance New Zealand is known for.

Your accommodation: Arcadia Lodge, Russell

Arcadia Lodge is a Russell landmark, a turn of the century home and luxury bed and breakfast overlooking Russell's tranquil Matauwhi Bay.

Meals included: Breakfast

Arcadia Lodge, Russell

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The Winterless North - Day 4

Day 4 - Cross Northland following the aqua blue waters of the Hokianga

Bay of Islands to Hokianga

Heading west from the Bay of Islands you leave the Pacific Ocean and travel through the quirky township of Kawakawa, home of the funky Hundertwasser public toilets. Continue through rural Northland and you soon arrive into the Hokianga and the wilder seas of the Tasman. The small townships of Omapere and Opononi have a great seaside feel and the perfect place to stop for an ice cream.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Twilight encounter

Experience the Waipoua Forest at night on this spectacular 4 hour tour. Learn about the rich birdlife and fauna that inhabit the forest, including the carnivorous kauri snail. You'll also get to experience the deep spiritual respect the Maori people have for this place. Your Maori guide will brief you on the protocols for your visit and you once formal greetings have been made you will be allowed to meet the giant Tane Mahuta, or Lord of the Forest - the oldest Kauri tree in the world.

Your accommodation: The Heads Luxury Villas

At The Heads, the region's untouched beauty is on your doorstep. Walk where ancestors once roamed and soak up the sun on the golden sands of Omapere beach. You can explore the Waipoua Forest, brimming with scenic walks and home to the mighty Tāne Mahuta, estimated at more than 2500 years old and the largest Kauri known to stand today.

Meals included: Breakfast

The Heads Luxury Villas

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg is: 84 kms / 52 miles : 1.1 hours

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The Winterless North - Day 5

Day 5 - Follow the Kauri Coast south, then cross country to the east coast

Hokianga to Mangawhai

Leaving the Hokianga Harbour, journey South through rolling farmland and towering native forest before arriving at your seaside destination Mangawhai, home to beautiful beaches, vineyards and olive groves.

Your accommodation: Mangawhai Lodge Bed and Breakfast

Mangawhai Lodge offers bed and breakfast accommodation with spectacular sea views of Mangawhai Heads. Enjoy the nearby swimming beaches or explore the local galleries and vineyards.

Meals included: Breakfast

Mangawhai Lodge Bed and Breakfast

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg is: 192 kms / 119 miles : 2.8 hours

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The Winterless North - Day 6

Day 6 - Travel south to Auckland Airport for your onward journey

Mangawhai to Auckland Airport

Leaving the idyllic Mangawhai region, head south on State Highway one towards Auckland ‘City of Sails.’ The route takes you through the farming regions of Wellsford and Warkworth where - if time allows - a side trip to Matakana or the Tawharanui Peninsula is well worth the effort. Pass through the suburbs of the North Shore before crossing the harbour bridge into the heart of Auckland City and on to the Auckland Airport.

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg is: 122 kms / 76 miles : 1.7 hours

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