6 Day / 5 Night tour:
This is a unique E-Bike tour – visiting Cape Reinga, cruising on the Upper Hokianga Harbour and an amazing journey from the Hokianga on the West Coast across the country to the Bay of Islands on the East Coast.
An E-Bike ride rich in history, culture, scenery, quirky towns, fascinating locals, boutique accommodation and enchanting Northland.
$3,350 per person, share twin
$550 single supplement
11 – 16 May, 2022
Introductory to Moderate
• 5 cooked breakfasts & 5 dinners
• Accommodation in 4-star hotels and motel
• E-Bike rental and helmet
• Upper Hokianga cruise on the “Ranui”
• Te Kongahu Museum of Waitangi
• Private transport in a luxurious 14-seater minibus for you and your luggage
• Full technical and back up support
• Services of a driver/guide
• Services of a Tours Direct Tour Leader, Mandy Page
• Domestic airfares
• Travel Insurance
The tour starts at Bay of Islands Airport (Kerikeri).
Most tour members will be flying on NZ8268 from Auckland to Bay of Islands Airport. The Air New Zealand flight departs Auckland at 1.45pm and arrives in Kerikeri at 2.35pm.
If you are travelling to Bay of Islands Airport by car there is parking available at the airport. We return to the Airport at the end of the tour.
We travel by luxury minivan to Ahipara which is at the southern end of Ninety Mile Beach. It’s home to incredible sunsets and a spectacular unspoiled sandy beach popular for surfcasting, land yachting and shellfish gathering.
Our accommodation for the first two nights is above Shipwreck Bay, aptly named because at low tide some of the wrecks are still visible. Behind us is the Ahipara Gumfields Historic Reserve, where you can see relics from the kauri gum digging days and remnants of ancient kauri forests. In the late 1800s the gum fields supported two thousand people, three hotels and numerous shops. Bullock teams carted the gum to waiting ships at Shipwreck Bay.
When we arrive at Ahipara we will go for a walk on Ninety Mile Beach. We will have bike fittings this evening as we have an early start tomorrow.
This evening we have dinner at the motel restaurant.
Accommodation at the Ahipara Bay Motel
This morning we travel by minivan to Cape Reinga, where the Tasman Sea and Pacific Ocean meet. For Māori, Cape Reinga is the most spiritually significant place in New Zealand. An ancient pohutukawa tree and a lonely lighthouse mark this special place. It is believed that here, after death, all Māori spirits travel up the coast and over the wind-swept vista to the pohutukawa tree on the headland of Te Rerenga Wairua.
We will walk out to the iconic Lighthouse and take in this spiritual place and soak in the Wairua (the spirit) and the stunning vista looking out to the ocean as well as back down the Aupouri Peninsula with its spectacular windswept beaches.
From here you will have a choice to ride to the Giant Sand Dunes at Te Paki (19km) or hop in the van! Te Paki is a 10km long by 1km wide coastal strip of jaw-dropping sand dunes. Incredibly it was once its own island disconnected from the mainland, but over millions of years, sand built up from volcanic activity elsewhere in New Zealand, which formed the large dunes. We will spend time here and soak up the magnificent dunes!
Then we travel south by van to Pukenui where we have an independent lunch.
Heading back towards our accommodation we will have a short stop at Waipapakauri, the southern end of Ninety Mile Beach.
Then there is an option to cycle back to Ahipara cycling on a back road from Awanui to Ahipara through Sweetwater Farms and parallel to the beach (29km riding maximum).
This evening we enjoy dinner at the motel restaurant.
Accommodation at the Ahipara Bay Motel
Today we E-Bike from Ahipara to Kohukohu. We are cycling on country roads with beautiful pastoral scenery.
Kohukohu is a very small town with loads of charm. At Kohukohu our E-Bikes are loaded on the trailer and we travel by van to the Narrows (4km) and board a ferry to Rawene. We travel to Omapere and on to South head/Arai Te Uru Recreational Reserve and walk where Kupe first walked when he first landed on Aotearoa; we should be in time for the setting of the sun in this truly auspicious place.
Our accommodation for the night is in Omapere, set on the edge of the Hokianga Harbour overlooking the magnificent sand dunes on the northern side of the harbour.
This evening we have dinner at our hotel.
Accommodation at “The Heads”
This morning we travel by van to the Waipoua Forest; a short walk leads us under the cooling shade of the forest canopy to the majestic Tāne Mahuta, New Zealand’s largest living kauri tree.
After this visit we retrace our steps back to Rawene to board the Ranui – and travel to Mangungu Mission cruising the Upper Hokianga Harbour – enjoying the stunning scenery and birdlife. Our local skipper has plenty to tell us about the wildlife, history and local life around the harbour.
The van will meet us at Mangungu Mission House at our point of disembarkation. We then ride on our E-Bikes to the western end of the Twin Coast Cycle Trail and on to Utakura Valley . We stop for an independent lunch at Snos Food stall. They have freshly homemade delicacies.
Then we cycle on to Okaihau and through to Kaikohe for our evening stop.
Dinner is served at our hotel.
Accommodation at Left Bank
Today we cycle from Kaikohe to Opua, over suspension bridges, past a waterfall and through forest and working farm scenery.
We stop off in Kawakawa for sightseeing and an independent lunch. Kawakawa is famous for its Hundertwasser Public toilets, the largest art gallery in Northland and their vintage train that chugs down the main street.
When we reach Opua our bikes will be loaded on the trailer and we travel by van to Russell. We check in at The Duke of Marlborough Hotel and the rest of the afternoon is at leisure.
The charming village of Russell tells many stories – Kororāreka (as Russell was formerly known) was originally a Māori settlement and it became a base for European traders, whalers, and missionaries in the early 1800s. By 1836 the settlement was dubbed the ‘Hell Hole of the Pacific’, notorious for its drinking, fighting and prostitution.
You will be pleased to know it is now called Romantic Russell and full of great eateries and beautifully restored buildings.
There will be the opportunity to E-Bike or walk to beaches and lookouts.
This evening we have a Farewell Dinner at our hotel.
Accommodation at The Duke of Marlborough Hotel
The first part of the morning is at leisure.
Mid-morning we travel by van to Opua and on to Waitangi.
Here we visit the Waitangi Treaty House and recently developed Te Kongahu Museum of Waitangi; which holds a stunning collection of stories and taonga that bring to life the history of Waitangi, one of New Zealand’s most important historic sites.
We have an independent lunch in Paihia and then transfer to the Bay of Islands Airport to catch the Air New Zealand flight to Auckland, departing at 3.00pm (or to pick up your car).
If you want you can stay on in Northland.
Mandy lives in Auckland and is a walker and cyclist. She has led 58 tours for Tours Direct over the last 18 years, and just loves travelling with its adventure and fun.
Believing that most of the delight of travel is in the journey, Mandy likes to make tours flexible for different levels of fitness and experience.
In 2019 she was tour leader for a Danube Boat & Bike tour. Mandy discovered the joy of E-Biking by accident and is now an enthusiastic devotee. Since then, she has led a number of E-bike adventures in the North and South Island of New Zealand.
On a tour with Mandy you can expect there will be variety and surprises.
As Mandy says, “A day E-biking is a day of fun and exercise with a smile on your face. I can think of few things to beat a nice trail, good company and scenery to enjoy.”
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