Some tour companies leave the Bay of Islands off their itineraries, but to us it’s one of the most special regions of New Zealand and we can’t wait to share it with you.
Two nights and a full day in the Bay of Islands gives you time to pick from a wealth of awesome optional activities. We’ve got you covered, whether you fancy a day trip to Cape Reinga, New Zealand’s northernmost point, or a dolphin viewing cruise (and even the chance to swim with them if you’re lucky!).
As with all our tours, we do include a few ‘must-do’ events, such as a “Kiwi-as” fish and chips feast by the water, and entry to one of the most important historical and cultural sites in New Zealand, the Waitangi Treaty Grounds.
Activities can be pre-booked or purchased on the road – just let your tour guide know. We can’t always guarantee availability when booking on the road, so we suggest prebooking any activities you especially want to do.
As the tour starts early in the morning, you can opt to book accommodation with us in Auckland the night before the tour – only having to walk downstairs on day 1 makes for a
The tour price includes dorm share accommodation but if you would prefer a little extra space you have the option to upgrade to a private room for the duration of your tour. In this itinerary, you’ll find descriptions of the places you’ll be visiting and the inclusions that you’ll experience.
We’ve also provided an example timetable for each day to help give you a sense of what your days on tour may look like. Keep in mind though, that every tour is unique, with each guide bringing their own special flavour to the trip.
Each day also has a list of our favourite Haka Highlights, and the add-on activities and experiences that are
available in that location.
Passionate Kiwi guides
3 nights in high-end hostel accommodation – dorm share, upgrades available
Small groups, maximum 16
Orientation tour of every location
Comfortable bus transport
Continental breakfast every day
Fish and chip dinner with spectacular Bay of Islands views
Marvel at the Hokianga Harbour and its giant sand dunes
Visit the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, the birthplace of New Zealand
Check out the Hundertwasser Toilets in Kawakawa
Take in amazing coastlines and golden beaches
Plus many surprise stops on the way
Tall Ship Sailing
Hole in the Rock cruise
Swimming with Dolphins
Day trip to Cape Reinga
Book online or on the road
Day 1: Auckland to Paihia
Kia ora! Nau mai, haere mai ki Aotearoa!
Hello and welcome to New Zealand –The Land of the Long White Cloud!
After our 8am welcome breakfast, we’ll kick off our tour with a leisurely scenic drive to the subtropical “Winterless North”.
The Northland region is home to some seriously ancient and impressive kauri forests. We’ll stroll through the largest of these – the Waipoua Forest – to meet Tane Mahuta, the hugest of them all. At over 1,250 years old and over 51 metres tall, he’s looking pretty good for his age.
We’ll also visit Hokianga Harbour, unique for its 150 metre high sand dunes. When the weather’s fine and the tides are on our side, you’ve got the option of sandboarding down into the beautiful water – it’s an unforgettable experience worth the cheap and cheerful price!
We reach the town of Paihia, the jewel of the Bay of Islands, in the early evening. As the sun sets, we’ll treat you all to a fish and chips feast overlooking the water. It doesn’t get more Kiwi than that!
Day 2: Paihia
With more than 140 sub-tropical islands dotted around the coastline, how will you spend your day in the Bay?
Hitting the water is the best way to enjoy the coves and beaches of this corner of paradise, and the options are endless. Cruise through a natural rock archway, explore the ocean floor on a scuba mission, sail in search of the local dolphins (or even swim with them!), or snorkel your way around beautiful islands. Check out our awesome add-ons for ideas or hit up your guide for inspiration.
For an epic day out, take a road trip to Cape Reinga – the northernmost tip of New Zealand – to see where the Tasman Sea and Pacific Ocean collide. It’s an unforgettable sight.
Thrill-seekers – you’ll have the chance to fly high above the ocean on a parasailing adventure. Or hire a kayak, sail boat or stand-up paddleboard and check out the Bay of Islands from sea level.
Whatever you choose, you’ll have epic stories to swap with your travel buddies tonight as the sun sets on an awesome day.
Day 3: Paihia to Auckland
Today, discover the Bay of Islands’ important role in New Zealand’s history with a trip to the Waitangi Treaty Grounds. We love bringing you here, it’s a truly unforgettable insight into Māori culture. The 35-metre carved waka (ceremonial war canoe), the world’s biggest, is a must-see.
After lunch we say goodbye to the Bay. We make time for a very special rest stop in Kawakawa to check out the grass-roofed, mosaic-covered, cobblestoned Hundertwasser Toilets. There’s even a living tree in there.
There are some beautiful waterfalls around the area, if you know where to look – and we certainly do! So we’ll stop off at one of them, depending on the weather and what your Haka Guide’s favourite spot is.
We head back to Auckland via Northland’s east coast, which boasts stunning beaches and coastal walks. Be sure to have your swimwear handy – if time permits, your Haka Guide will take you to some of their top locations!
After an epic day, we reach the bright lights of the City of Sails in the early evening – and bid farewell to your new pals from tour. If you’d like to stay with us at our Haka accommodation tonight, you can confirm it online when you’re booking your tour.