Bay of Islands
Duration: 2 nights self-drive tour
Price from: £229pp
Bay of Islands: 2 nights
Day 1 Auckland/Bay of Islands: Travel out of Auckland, viewing beautiful beaches along the way at Orewa and Waiwera. Stop at Bream Bay which is at the mouth of the Waipu River and provides a home to many species of wader birds, including the rare New Zealand dotterel. Head further north and you will pass through Whangarei and Whakpara before arriving in Paihia where you overnight (approx 3½ hours).
Day 2 Bay of Islands: At leisure. Perhaps travel to New Zealand's most northerly point – Cape Reinga, which holds great historic and spiritual significance. This is also home to the famous 90 Mile Beach where you can enjoy fabulous views of the Tasman Sea colliding with the Pacific Ocean. Alternatively visit Matauri Bay which has a superb beach and the Cavalli Islands just off shore. Diving can be arranged here to see the wreck of the Rainbow Warrior.
Day 3 Bay of Islands/Auckland: This morning why not take a boat cruise to see the famous 'Hole in the Rock' and Urupukapuka Island, the largest in the Bay of Islands and historically most important with a rich archaeological landscape. Be sure to keep an eye out for the playful dolphins which often take great delight in gliding alongside. Drive back to Auckland via the west coast, through the Waipoua Kauri Forest to view the giant kauri tree Tane Mahuta, 'Lord of the Forest'. Continue to Auckland and return your hire car (approx 3½ hours).
Accommodation: 3* Scenic Circle, Bay of Islands.
Meals: Room only.
Tour price: The price shown is based on the best value travel dates in low season and includes 3 days group C car hire and accommodation as stated.