Islands of the Hauraki Gulf


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    7 – 14 January 2022, Auckland – Paihia
    14 – 21 January 2022, Paihia – Auckland
    12 – 19 March 2022, Auckland – Paihia

    Day 1: Auckland/Hauraki Gulf
    Join Heritage Explorer, your home away from home, in Auckland this afternoon where your Captain and Expedition Leader will be waiting to welcome you on board (times will be confirmed with your voyage documents). When all are aboard, we will set sail from Auckland through the Hauraki Gulf to our anchorage for the night as our adventure begins.

    Day 2: Tiritiri Matangi & Great Barrier Islands
    Plan to rise early this morning for a landing on the world renowned Tiritiri Matangi Island – one of the
    country’s most successful conservation projects. Once completely cleared of forest, the island has
    been revegetated and rejuvenated thanks the tireless efforts of volunteers planting around 300,000
    native trees between 1984 and 1994. Now home to 11 species of threatened native birds in addition
    to more common species, be on the lookout for Saddleback, Kokako, Stitchbird, Brown Teal and
    Takahe among others. During lunch we cross the Hauraki Gulf sailing towards Great Barrier Island, during this time guests will benefit from being out on the deck as whales and dolphins are regularly
    seen in these waters. Arriving at Great Barrier Island Heritage Explorer will navigate to the sheltered
    waters of Port Fitzroy where there will be time to take the kayaks for a paddle, head ashore by
    Zodiac or perhaps even spend some time fishing with the Captain.

    Day 3: Great Barrier Island
    Today we have a full day dedicated to exploring Great Barrier Island. Existing entirely off grid through
    solar power and rainwater collection, 60 per cent of the island’s 285 kilometres is public land managed by the Department of Conservation where spectacular towering cliffs meet white surf beaches, wetlands, fiords and bays home to Spotless Crake, Fernbird, Brown Teal, Banded Rail, North Island Kaka and more than 13 species of lizard including the Chevron Skink. For the more active there are forest walks to explore, while those preferring to stay on, or near, the water there is the opportunity to take out the kayaks or join a Zodiac safari. If conditions are favourable, there may be an opportunity to visit Arid Island – one of the most beautiful, remote and rarely visited outer islands in the Gulf.

    Day 4: Mokohinau, Hen & Chickens Islands & Whangaruru
    An exploration of the outer islands of the Hauraki Gulf starts early this morning as we sail over to the
    archipelago of predator free Mokohinau Islands. The size of these tiny islands and outcrops, positioned uniquely at the edge of the continental shelf, belie their importance as a refuge for some of
    New Zealand’s most endangered species found nowhere else on the planet. Continuing northwards
    there is the option to set our course, depending on the prevailing conditions, to either the Hen and
    Chickens Islands or Poor Knights Islands. Both of these island groups have been vitally important in
    the story of New Zealand conservation and we will delve into this history today as well as marvel at the abundance of life both above and below the water on these remarkable island outposts.

    Day 5: Whangamumu Harbour & Cape Brett This morning we plan to visit the old whaling station
    at Whangamumu Harbour, this beautifully protected cove to the south of the Bay of Islands hides a dark past as the site of one of the earliest European whaling bases in New Zealand. The only whaling
    station in the world which caught whales with nets, Whangamumu was Northland’s longest running and most successful whaling station operating from the 1800s to early 1900s. The beautiful scenery continues as Heritage Explorer sails northwards past spectacular Cape Brett and the iconic Hole in the Rock at Piercy Island. The more adventurous on board may wish to take the opportunity to walk some of the Cape Brett Lighthouse Walk, the exertion rewarded by stunning coastal scenery.

    Day 6: Whangaroa Harbour & Cavalli Islands
    Wake this morning to the breath-catching scenery of Whangaroa Harbour. North of the Bay of Islands, this dramatic harbour is defined by both its narrow entrance, gravity defying volcanic spires, sheltered bays and tranquil sandy beaches. Head out on the water and explore by kayak or Zodiac, or head ashore and enjoy a morning hike to one of the vantage points that provide epic panoramas
    over these unforgettable surrounds. We then sail to the Cavalli Islands where there is the opportunity
    to explore nature reserve and diving hotspot Motukawanui Island. Swimming and snorkelling
    opportunities abound, explore powdery white sand beaches or tackle the Island track along the ridge of the island where spectacular views over the forestclad coastline and scattered islands await.

    Day 7: Bay of Islands
    We have the whole day set aside to explore and enjoy the Bay of Islands. Opportunities include
    exploring predator free Urupukapuka Island fringed by Pohutukawa forest, where Project Island Song
    has successfully released North Island Robin, Saddleback and Whitehead, and the dramatic,
    unrestrained beauty of Roberton Island which is also rich in New Zealand history. Later in the day there is an opportunity to explore historic Russell, a town of New Zealand firsts including first seaport, European settlement, capital and licensed hotel. Perhaps enjoy a drink at the iconic The Duke of Marlborough and brace yourself for one of Russell’s famed sunsets.

    Day 8: Paihia/Auckland
    After breakfast and final farewells we head ashore at Paihia where there is the opportunity for you to spend some additional time or join our complimentary shuttle transfer to Auckland. We expect to arrive in central Auckland around 12 noon this afternoon. Note: Some voyages will operate the itinerary in reverse. During our voyage, circumstances may make it necessary or desirable to deviate from the proposed itinerary. This can include weather and opportunities for making unplanned excursions. Your Expedition Leader will keep you fully informed.

    Voyages are planned and scheduled pending final regulatory approval.

    Full trip dossier is here

    Royal NZ$7,995 pp*
    Located on the Bridge Deck, our Master Suite features a spacious bedroom with a queen-sized
    bed, ample storage with wardrobe and drawers, mirror and washbasin, private en suite, personal
    climate control, TV, PABX satellite telephone, window and French doors opening out on to the covered Bridge Deck.

    Salvin’s NZ$6,475 pp*
    Located on the Lower Deck, Salvin’s cabins have the option of either a double bed or two lower
    berths. Both feature ample storage with wardrobe and drawers, TV, PABX satellite telephone, private en suite and a picture porthole.

    Wandering NZ$6,825 pp*
    Located on the Lower Deck, Wandering cabins feature one lower single berth, ample storage with
    wardrobe and drawers, TV, PABX satellite telephone, private en suite and a porthole.

    Buller’s NZ$5,775 pp*
    Located on the Lower Deck, the Buller’s cabin features one bunk (one upper and one lower berth),
    ample storage with wardrobe and drawers, TV, PABX satellite telephone, private en suite and a porthole.

    * All prices are per person in NZ$

    ADDITIONAL OPTION
    Premium drinks package NZ$200 pp*

    PRICE INCLUDES
    Landing fees, pre or post cruise coach transfer, all on board ship
    accommodation with meals and all shore excursions and activities.
    GST, house drinks, expert on board naturalist guides.

    PRICE EXCLUDES
    All items of a personal nature, laundry, domestic flights, extensions and travel
    insurance.