Northland Discovery

    enquire now 5 Days From NZD $2,999 pp twinshare
    Small group
    Terms & Conditions apply

    Immerse yourself in the North Island’s nature and culture as you take 5 days to hike, cruise, snorkel and kayak with us around the North Island.


    Remember, the activity distances and elevations that you see on the detailed itinerary are flexible with shorter and longer options usually available. Get in touch if you’d like to chat about these alternatives.

    DAY 1-Arrive, journey north, Waipoua Forest and Footprints tour
    Starting in Auckland city, we’ll hit the road and make our way along the banks of the Wairoa River, heading north to Waipoua Forest. As a gentle introduction to our adventure together we’ll stretch our legs in Waipoua Forest, where the birdlife is abundant and the trees are sleeping giants. From Waipoua we’ll continue our journey north, passing through the west coast settlement of Opononi. We’ll arrive in time to eat together, and then we’ll retrace our steps to Waipoua Forest for an evening walk, joined by local Maori guides. We’ll be greeted with a powerful waiata, a sacred Maori chant, and wander through the colossal kauri trees. We’ll visit the mighty Tane Mahuta, meaning Lord of the Forest. At a height of 51.2 metres, and with a trunk girth of 13.7 metres, this colossus is the largest known living kauri tree in New Zealand. (L, D)

    DAY 2-Te Pouahi Reserve, hike Puketi Forest, Bay of Islands
    Today’s adventures begin with a water taxi across the Hokianga Harbour. We’ll be walking the sand dunes at Te Pouahi Recreation Reserve, home to one of the most diverse ecosystems in New Zealand. If you’re keen on the fast route down the dunes, we’ll also have a few sandboards in tow! Later in the afternoon, we’ll make our way across the island to Puketi Forest, a diverse, ancient kauri forest with over 360 indigenous plant species, many of which are unique to the region. Afterwards we’ll make our way over to Paihia, dubbed ‘The Jewel of the Bay of Islands’, this bustling seaside town is the heart of the bay and will be our resting place for the night. (B, L, D)

    DAY 3-Hike Cape Brett, visit Ruapekapeka Pã site
    After breakfast we’ll take another water taxi, this time heading out to Deep Water Cove, where we’ll embark on a ridgeline hike through the Manawahuna Scenic Reserve, finishing at Cape Brett. This 3-4-hour hike offers magnificent coastal scenery with dramatic cliff-faces, native bush and abundant birdlife. On a good day it’s also a great opportunity to see for yourself the region’s claim to the second bluest sky in the world! If we’re lucky, we may have the opportunity to spot dolphins and seals from our vantage point high on the clifftops! If you’d prefer to take it easy this morning there are plenty of other options for activities around the Bay of Islands. This afternoon we’ll return by water taxi, enjoying the scenic ride back to Paihia, then it’s onwards to Ruapekapeka. (B, L, D)

    DAY 4-Cruise Poor Knights Islands, snorkel or kayak
    This morning we’ll wake up our legs with an early morning stroll before boarding a purpose-built boat for a cruise to the Poor Knights Islands, the remains of a group of ancient volcanoes. This sub-tropical environment is an important conservation area for many marine species. Whales, dolphins and orca can often be spotted here, as well as a myriad of fish species. Make sure remember to look up too, as you’re likely to spot flocks of petrels, shearwaters and gannets, many of which nest exclusively on the Islands. We’ll also be visiting the largest sea cave in the world named Riko Riko, meaning twinkling or glistening light in Te Reo. You’ll learn all about the history of the Poor Knights Islands, including their occupation by ancient Maori. You’ll have the chance to explore the islands under your own steam, either with a snorkel and mask or by kayak. If you’re a keen scuba diver and you feel like exploring a little deeper, you can upgrade to diving. There is an additional fee which covers all the necessary gear. (B, L, D)

    DAY 5-Hike Northland coastline
    For our last day together we’ll follow the winding coastal road south to Waipu, a small settlement with a strong Scottish heritage dating back to the 1850s. When we’re done exploring Waipu, we’ll hit the road again and make our way down the coast to Mangawhai Heads for our last hike. Unique rock formations and panoramic views characterise this trail, which offers magnificent photo opportunities. The Mangawhai Cliffs Walkway is one of the most stunning cliff-top walks in New Zealand. We’ll pass through shady bush, under pohutukawa trees and finish along the beach. After lunch, we’ll continue south from Mangawhai Heads back to Auckland, where we’ll say our goodbyes and end our time together. (B, L)

    Active Adventures -Northland Discovery Kikorangi

    Images courtesy of Active Adventures