Bay of Islands Escape
3 days starting in Auckland
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New Zealand tour itinerary name and information
Thrifty Tours

Bay of Islands Escape

Spend 3 days in paradise in this short but sweet adventure to the Bay of Island and Cape Reinga. Watch the landscape change as you journey further north to Paihia from Auckland and experience the famous Hole in the Rock Cruise. Keep your eyes peeled for bottlenose dolphins, whales and native birds as you glide along the Cape Brett Peninsula.

Continue the adventure with an unforgettable day excursion to Cape Reinga at the northwesternmost tip of Aotearoa New Zealand and drive in a coach along Ninety Mile Beach, an 88-kilometre-long beach recognised as an official highway.

Before heading back to Auckland, immerse yourself in culture at Waitangi Treaty Grounds.

Tour summary and feature

About this NZ Road Trip

Seat-in-Coach Touring

This suggested tour costs from NZD$925 per person (twin share, low season)

Starts in Auckland, finishes in Auckland

3 days/2 nights

Hotel 3 star

 Customisable? YES

 Viewed 20 times in the last 7 days

Also included in this package
- Paihia Accommodation to Waitangi Treaty Grounds
- Waitangi Treaty Grounds to Paihia Accommodation
2 breakfasts, 1 lunch
price pp from
Was NZD$975

Now NZD$925

twin share/double
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Detailed itinerary for this New Zealand Road Trip
Bay of Islands Escape - Day 1
Auckland to Paihia by InterCity Coach

Heading north to the Bay of Islands takes you along the coast road past the seaside villages of Orewa and Waiwera. Then its on to the township of Puhoi, New Zealand's only Bohemian settlement, then Warkworth and the harbour side city of Whangarei and the unique township of Kawakawa. Arriving into the sub tropical Bay of Islands you are greeted with bush clad hillsides dropping to golden sand beaches. Paihia is the main tourist centre in the bay and has a great beach side atmosphere.

Bay of Islands (Paihia)

Paihia is considered the capital of the Bay of Islands. The town and surrounding area played a key role in shaping the history of New Zealand. Not long after Cook sailed into the bay in 1769, whaling and sealing ships began to arrive in numbers and ignite the inevitable conflict of two cultures.  Just across the bay from Paihia you will find Russel, the first capital of New Zealand. These bustling tourist centres teem with cafes and shops and it is here you will find an abundance of activities to keep you occupied.
Things to do in the area range from getting onto the water by boat or kayak to dolphin spot, sail through the Hole in the Rock or even fish. If you'd rather see the place on your feet Waitangi Treaty Grounds gives you an insightful look at New Zealand's history and Russell offers the charm of the early 1800's. For those that wish to travel to the very tip of New Zealand Paihia provides you with a great base for journeying to Cape Reinga Lighthouse the very top of the north island.

Hole in the Rock Cruise with Fullers GreatSights

Board your cruise and take in the stunning views as you glide out through the islands and along the Rakaumangamanga Peninsula to Cape Brett, where a historic lighthouse keeps watch over and Piercy Island/Motukōkako, or as it is popularly known as the Hole in the Rock. According to Māori legend, local warriors used to paddle through the Hole in the Rock in their canoes before departing for battle. Drops of water from the cave roof above were a good omen. If conditions permit, your skipper will expertly guide the ship through the narrow space. Keep an eye out for common and bottlenose dolphins, whales, and other marine life during your cruise, and have your camera ready as you get up close to the action. Stop off at Otehei Bay on Urupukapuka Island where you have time to relax, take a walk, have a swim, or enjoy a bite to eat and drink from the on-site fully licensed café. The purpose-built catamaran is licensed by DOC (the Department of Conservation) for dolphin viewing and the crew has years of experience locating dolphins in these waters. 

Your accommodation: Kingsgate Hotel Autolodge, Paihia

The Kingsgate Hotel Autolodge, Paihia is located on the waterfront only 100 metres from Paihia wharf and township. All rooms are air-conditioned and hotel facilities include restaurant, swimming pool, spa pool and sauna.

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Bay of Islands Escape - Day 2
Cape Reinga & Ninety Mile Beach Full Day Tour with Fuller GreatSights - Lunch Included

Journey to the very tip of the North Island and uncover a region of rich Māori tradition along the way on an unforgettable full-day tour. Travel along the sand-swept shore of Ninety Mile Beach in our purpose-built coach and experience sandboarding (weather permitting). In Māori tradition, Cape Reinga or Te Rerenga Wairua is the place where spirits depart on their long journey back to the homeland. Stand at the northernmost point of New Zealand and drink in the panoramic views. As you stand beneath the iconic lighthouse, and watch the Tasman Sea and the mighty Pacific Ocean collide far below, you'll feel the power of this special place. Throughout the day your local driver guide will provide an entertaining and thought-provoking insight into the culture, history and natural wonders of the Far North. Your tour also includes a locally prepared lunch to keep you fuelled throughout the day.

Your accommodation: Kingsgate Hotel Autolodge, Paihia

The Kingsgate Hotel Autolodge, Paihia is located on the waterfront only 100 metres from Paihia wharf and township. All rooms are air-conditioned and hotel facilities include restaurant, swimming pool, spa pool and sauna.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

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Bay of Islands Escape - Day 3
Paihia Accommodation to Waitangi Treaty Grounds with Haruru Cabs

You will be transferred from your accommodation in Paihia to Waitangi Treaty Grounds.

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 Te Kōngahu Museum and Te Rau Aroha Museum 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 well known for.

Waitangi Treaty Grounds to Paihia Accommodation with Haruru Cabs

You will be transferred from Waitangi Treaty Grounds to your accommodation in Paihia.

Paihia to Auckland by InterCity Coach

Leaving the magical Bay of Islands behind you head south on State Highway 1 back towards Auckland, the city of sails, the route takes you through Kawakawa, affectionately known as 'train town'. The farming regions of Wellsford and Warkworth accompany you the rest of the journey before passing through the suburbs of the North Shore and crossing the harbour bridge and into the heart of Auckland City.

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