Shore Excursion: Small Group Bay of Islands Highlights Tour
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Shore Excursion: Small Group Bay of Islands Highlights Tour
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Shore Excursion: Small Group Bay of Islands Highlights Tour

4 h
Small Group
About this activity
Our tour departs from Waitangi Wharf where the tenders arrive. First stop is the Haruru Falls, a breathtaking waterfall, its name meaning "Big Noise".

Next we head inland through farmland to the historic "Te Waimate Mission House". Built in 1832, it is the only survivor of three missions founded in 1830 by the Church Missionary Society and is a simple Georgian building, the Mission Society's first farm, and forerunner of modern agriculture in New Zealand.

After a short introduction by the volunteer guide, you are free to explore the Mission House, Church and Churchyard, then wander the extensive grounds with magnificent trees. The Mission Station is also where we usually take our morning tea/coffee and cake refreshments, though on some days we may visit a local cafe instead.

The region is also known for its successful horticulture and niche food products, so our next visit is to the Makana Chocolate factory to sample their hand made chocolates. There is time to visit the adjacent wood crafts shop and exhibition as well.

Heading through the township of Kerikeri, our final stop is at the Kerikeri Inlet, where the river meets the sea and is the location of the original Mission Station which was established here in 1819.

There are two significant buildings to see here, "The Stone Store" built in 1832, originally used as a Missionary Society warehouse. Over the ensuing years the building was reutilised as a trading post, library, barracks and boys' school.

Adjacent is "Kemp House", New Zealand's oldest building completed in 1821/22 by missionary carpenters and Maori sawyers. Kemp House was a family home of simple, Georgian design. It has changed little over time, despite bearing witness to many historically significant events. There is time for you to explore this very historic part of the Bay of Islands before we head back to Waitangi.

We can drop you in Paihia for sightseeing or shopping (free shuttle back to the tender wharf), or at the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, ($50 entry fee) - New Zealand's most important historic site, just a short walk back to the wharf to catch the tender to your ship.

Please note on some dates we may use larger 22 seat mini-coaches and also change the order of the itinerary.
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  • Small-group tour with local guide.
  • Morning tea/coffee and cakes.
  • Comfortable, air-conditioned minibus.
  • Entry to historic Waimate Station.
  • Visit Haruru Waterfall.
  • Tasting at Makana Chocolates.
  • Historic grounds of Stone Store and Kemp House
Not included
  • Entry to Kemp House
  • Confirmation will be received within 48 hours of booking, subject to availability
  • This tour is not suitable for users of mobility scooters or wheelchairs as there is limited storage capacity on the minibus.
  • Please note there is limited storage capacity on the minibus for push chairs or strollers. You must advise us at the time of booking if you intend to bring anything that requires storage.
  • Please note on rare occasions we may be required to substitute a different vehicle onto this tour which has 22 seats.
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Stroller accessible
  • Service animals allowed
  • Most travelers can participate
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 15 travelers
5 | 2018-04-01

This tour was amazing. Our driver Felicity was very knowledgeable and helpful. She made our day really enjoyable and included a couple of more stops which added to our enjoyment. A brilliant day was had by all. Would definitely recommend this tour.

Kelly H
4 | 2018-03-15

Great trip to shore and wonderful to experience and learn about some of the history of New Zealand. Only a short stop but well worth it. My only complaint was lack of WIFI in the arears we visited - Manuka Chocolates

William B
5 | 2018-02-02

The guide was great. He seemed to love what he was doing and loved the area. Napier is known for the Art Deco that it was rebuilt in after the 1931 earthquake that destroyed most of the town.

Barry A F
4 | 2018-01-11

The tour guide fell behind schedule and at the tour end gave us the choice of not spending time in town and taking the shuttle bus back to the tenders or to skip town and go back to the tenders. As the line was extremely long for the shuttle buses, we chose to skip visiting the town. Bay of Islands is beautiful and we enjoyed being in a small group to visit the area and learn about the early settlement of New Zealand.

Louis I
4 | 2017-11-19

Informative. friendly, knowledgeable, clean van, polite

Steve E
2 | 2017-05-03

My husband and I were rather disappointed with this tour. Highlights meant a couple of water falls, a couple of churches and a few other sights which didn't interest us. The one thing on the tour we were looking forward to was the Glow Worm Caves - which were never mentioned. Whatever is in the picture, we didn't see. We had so many wonderful tours in New Zealand that I'm sorry we can't recommend this one.


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