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New Zealand's Bay of Islands

From towering kauri trees to sub-tropical islands, this corner of New Zealand’s North Island is like another world. On this 4-day adventure, join a local leader and travel from Auckland into the depths of Northland, known for its dense forests and warm weather. A paradise comprising of 140 islands, the Bay of Islands are a guaranteed good time, whether you’re swimming, sailing, scuba diving or kayaking, while a visit to the Waitangi Treaty Grounds provides insight into one of the most important moments in New Zealand’s history.

Accommodation on this trip is in mixed-gender multi-share dormitory style hostels with shared facilities. We are aware of a system functionality limitation incorrectly indicating "twin-share" when you manage your booking on our website.

4 days, from


per person


16 people max


Trip code: PHRI
Style: Basix
Theme: Explorer


Countries Visited:  New Zealand
Accommodation: Multi-share hostel with shared facilities (3 nights)
Transportation: Private Vehicle
Included Meals:

  • 3 breakfasts
  • 1 dinners

Group size: Minimum 6, Max 16

  • Explore Northland’s soaring kauri forests – a visit to the lush Waipoua Forest will introduce you to the mighty Tane Mahuta, a kauri tree standing at an impressive 51 metres tall.

  • Spend a day soaking up the sunshine in the Bay of Islands – whether that looks like scuba diving, sailing or swimming is up to you!

  • Find out about the important role the Bay of Islands played in New Zealand’s history with a visit to the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, the country’s most significant historical site.

  • With a local leader guiding the way, you’ll be privy to little-known locations off the tourist trail, from secluded swim spots to hidden waterfalls.


Show Full Itinerary

Day 1: Auckland / Bay of Islands

Welcome to New Zealand! Your adventure kicks off in Auckland with an early start – a welcome meeting will take place over an included breakfast at 8am where you’ll meet your local leader and the other travellers joining you on your journey. After your meeting, hit the road and get your first dose of epic scenery as you drive up to the Northland Region. Often referred to as the “Winterless North”, the name might be a little optimistic, but there’s no doubt this region receives more pleasant year-round weather than the rest of the country. Aside from its mild weather, Northland is also known for its ancient and towering Kauri forests. On arrival, take a walk through the dense Waipoua Forest, where you’ll find Tane Mahuta – standing at 51 metres tall, this is the tallest kauri tree in New Zealand, and is estimated to be up to 2500 years old. Your day ends in Paihia, a gorgeous seaside town that serves as a gateway to the beaches of the Bay of Islands. Tuck into a fish and chips dinner this evening as you watch the sun set over the ocean – what better way to end a day!

Day 2: Bay of Islands

The day is yours to enjoy the little slice of heaven that is the Bay of Islands. More than 140 sub-tropical islands mean there are so many different ways to have fun here, and your leader will be on hand with recommendations on how to get the most out of your day. If you fancy getting on the water, boat cruising, swimming, snorkelling, scuba diving and sailing are all available options – you might even be joined by some friendly bottlenose dolphins! Regroup in the late afternoon and catch up with your group about all you’ve seen and done today, then jump on a catamaran for an incredible sunset cruise. Sit back and watch the landscape reveal itself to you as you cruise between the secluded bays of Paihia, Opua, Russel and Waitangi.

Day 3: Bay of Islands / Auckland

After experiencing much of the Bay of Island’s natural beauty yesterday, today you’ll take a look at the region’s history during a visit to the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, perhaps the most important historical site in New Zealand. The site marks the spot where the Treaty of Waitangi was signed by 43 Maori chiefs and representatives of the British Crown, signifying the foundation of a nation state. Take a guided tour of the grounds, visit the historic Treaty House and check out the Te Kongahu Museum of Waitangi for an honest depiction of the interactions between Maori and Europeans that lead to the signing of the treaty. In the early afternoon, leave the Bay of Islands behind and get back on the road. Make a stop in the little town of Kawakawa – believe it or not, the town’s most famous attraction is the artistic Hundertwasser Toilets, so this is sure to be the best rest stop of your trip! Your local leader will also take you to stretch your legs in some off the beaten track spots along the way. Hug Northland’s east coast as you travel back down to Auckland, arriving in the early evening.

Day 4: Auckland

Your adventure comes to an end this morning after breakfast. If you’d like to spend some more time in Auckland, get in touch ahead of time and we’d be happy to arrange some extra accommodation for you (subject to availability).