AUCKLAND - BAY OF ISLANDS
DOLPHIN WATCHING, HOLE IN THE ROCK, BEACHES
Our route today will take you along one of New Zealand’s most unique journeys. We’ll take you through the amazing Waipoua Kauri Forest and the beautiful Hokianga. After crossing the Auckland Harbour Bridge we leave Auckland behind and cruise west to explore one of Magic’s unique destinations. First stop is the Matakohe Kauri and Pioneer Museum, which details how the native Kauri trees played a significant role toward shaping the new nation. After soaking up the information at the museum, we continue north to the Waipoua Kauri Forest where the road narrows as it twists and turns amongst giant trees hugging the roadside. We stop first at the Rickers Walk, where you can get your first taste of the Kauri forest. Then we head deeper into the Waipoua Forest where we get up-close to Tane Mahuta, ‘God of the Forest’. This mind-blowingly giant Kauri tree, estimated to be between 1250 and 2500 years old, is very important in Maori mythology. This is an encounter you won’t forget.
Next is lunch at Opononi, a lovely town on the edges of the Hokianga Harbour. Opononi faces the impressive Hokianga sand dunes – where we will encourage you to try your hand at the exhilaration of sandboarding. Magic strongly recommends you overnight in Opononi to take advantage of the celebrated 'Footprints Waipoua', one of 82 Lonely Planet 'Experiences of a Lifetime'.
From there we head to Paihia, but before you settle into ‘Bay life’, we first take you to Waitangi for a panoramic look over the beautiful Bay of Islands. We strongly recommend those interested in the Maori culture and history of New Zealand visit the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, the birthplace of our nation.
Finally we arrive in Paihia town, where we will give you an introduction to all there is to do in this great place, and then drop you off at your hostel.
If you are on a day trip you will have half an hour to explore the town before travelling back to Auckland.
Approximate arrival time into Paihia is 3.15pm.
CAPE REINGA DAY TRIP
MAORI LEGENDS, 90 MILE BEACH, SAND BOARDING
This Connection travels as far north as you can go in New Zealand. The scenic drive travels through land rich in Maori culture and history to the very tip of New Zealand - Cape Reinga. Here you will absorb stunning views of the Tasman Sea and Pacific Ocean crashing together. After stopping for lunch we travel up the Te Paki stream to the foot of some giant sand dunes; which are perfect for sliding down on boards that are provided. The special design of the bus allows you to actually drive along a section of the famous 90-Mile beach. On the way back to the Bay of Islands we stop at the fishing village of Mangonui, famous for its fish and chips, and then head back to Paihia.
Approximate arrival time into Paihia is 6.45pm.
BAY OF ISLANDS – AUCKLAND
We hope you enjoyed your time in Paihia! This afternoon we will cruise back to Auckland – the City of Sails, heading down State Highway 1 straight into the city. We will arrive back into Auckland in the evening, be sure to marvel at the city by night as you cross the Harbour Bridge. Be sure to check out Auckland’s great nightlife – the city is full of theatres, restaurants and bars.
Approximate arrival time into Auckland is 8.30pm.