Long, lazy summer days are classic Northland. Relax in waterfront hotels at Copthorne Omapere, Ramada Resort, Taipa and Copthorne Waitangi. On Christmas Day we explore the Far North driving to Cape Reinga with time to enjoy the magnificent views and call into Tapotupotu Bay. In the Bay of Islands we cruise out to Cape Brett and lunch at the renowned Duke of Marlborough in Russell.
$3,090 per person, share twin
$600 single supplement
23 – 28 Dec, 2020
• All meals
• Entrance fees
• All transport by comfortable, air conditioned coach (maximum of 18 travellers).
• Services of your knowledgeable guide.
• Quality accommodation chosen for a “sense of place”.
• Domestic airfares
At Muriwai Beach we walk to the gannet colony. Further north we skirt the Kaipara Harbour and stop for lunch at Matakohe and visit the Kauri Museum. In the Waipoua Forest it’s just a short, flat walk to see Tane Mahuta, the God of the Forest and the largest Kauri.
We continue northwards and around the southern shores of the Hokianga to Omapere. Our hotel is on the water’s edge with wonderful views across to the golden sand dunes. Take a walk on the beach before we dine in at the hotel this evening.
From Rawene we catch the ferry across the Hokianga Harbour. There’s time to wander the waterfront at historic Rawene and see the art and craft galleries in Kohukohu on the northern shore of the harbour. We continue north to Mangonui for lunch at the famous harbourside fish shop.
This afternoon Win Matthew’s shows us his fascinating and immaculate collection of vintage and classic cars and trucks.
We stay two nights at Ramada Resort Reia, Taipa Beach and dine in.
On Christmas Day we drive as far north as the road will take us. We have plenty of time to enjoy the magnificent views from the pathway out to the iconic lighthouse at Cape Reinga where the Tasman Sea and Pacific Ocean meet.
The pohutukawa are in bloom as we explore along the way, taking side roads to Houhora Harbour and beautiful Tapotupotu Bay, among others.
We return to our Taipa hotel in time for the Christmas buffet.
On the historic trail this morning we visit Jan Ferguson’s house, garden and whaling museum at Butler Point on the the southern shores of Mangonui Harbour.
Further south at Kerikeri we are guided through The Stone Store and New Zealand’s oldest building, Kemp House built in 1822 for the Kerikeri Mission. After lunch we visit the carefully restored Te Waimate Mission House.
Arriving in the Bay of Islands, we stay two nights in waterview rooms at Copthorne Waitangi Hotel.
Enjoy a scenic cruise on the Bay this morning out to the Hole in the Rock. Step on board at Paihia to cruise out through the islands and golden sand beaches to Cape Brett and the famous Hole in the Rock. Disembark at Russell to meet up with your Kiwi guide and lunch on the waterfront. Later we take a guided tour of Pompallier House and printing press.
There’s time to wander Russell’s shops and historic buildings before we drive to Long Bay then catch the vehicular ferry to Opua and return to Waitangi.
Before we leave the Bay of Islands we take a guided tour of the Waitangi Treaty House and museum then call into Kawakawa to check out the Hundertwasser toilet block which put this small town on the map.
We lunch in Whangarei and call into Robert and Robyn Webb’s Native Bird Recovery Centre to hear the talking tuis and meet Sparky the kiwi close-up before returning to Auckland in the late afternoon.
Some great news… while we wait for international borders to re-open, there is no better time to see a bit of our own backyard and help our local communities get back to business.
We’re excited to let you know that we have partnered with MoaTours, one of New Zealand’s leading and most trusted local tour operators since 1971. MoaTours offers a range of small group tours all over New Zealand that we think you’ll love — from Cape Reinga to Stewart Island.
A a family run business just like Tours Direct, MoaTours has great connections and unbeatable local knowledge of New Zealand’s best kept secrets. They also share common values so we know you will be well looked after and have a great experience.
It’s a great feeling to leave town behind and drive North before Christmas. Let alone celebrating Christmas Day at Cape Reinga at the top of the North Island – quite unique. There’s lots to enjoy from Northland’s historic places to the cruise out through the Islands to Cape Brett and the Hole in the Rock.