What To Expect
Departing Auckland in the morning, you'll cross the Harbour Bridge and travel north on a comfortable and air-conditioned deluxe coaches. Your local driver guide will point out interesting sights and provide entertaining and informative commentary as you journey through farmland and lush native forest towards the Bay of Islands.
Upon arrival, take some leisure time to explore the charming seaside village of Paihia, before taking a short ferry ride across the harbour to Russell, also known by its Maori name Kororareka. From here you will enjoy the Russell Mini Tour by coach. This intimate one-hour tour is led by an engaging guide who has a fantastic combination of historical knowledge and local insight, really bringing the cultural history of the area alive. Although Russell may seem tranquil today, you'll hear all about its rowdy past in the early 19th century when it was a lawless open port, known as the 'Hell Hole of the Pacific'!
Learn about the features that make Russell so significant in New Zealand's history, such as Christ Church (the oldest church in New Zealand), historic Pompallier House, and even the country's oldest licensed pub. You'll also hear more about the world's second oldest game fishing club - the Bay of Islands Swordfish Club, made famous by American author Zane Grey. The tour visits areas which cannot be easily covered on foot, like Flagstaff Hill (Te Maiki), which offers stunning 360-degree views of the whole Bay of Islands.
You may also take an optional guided tour of the historic Waitangi Treaty Grounds, where in 1840, the Treaty of Waitangi was signed between Maori and the British Crown, offers a truly unique insight into New Zealand's early history. Explore the original Treaty House, one of New Zealand's oldest and most visited historic homes and the Te Whare Runanga, a fully carved Maori meeting house, which is representative of all Iwi (regional tribes) in New Zealand.
After your tour ends you'll have time to wander the township before returning to Paihia, where your coach driver will meet you for the journey back to Auckland.
Pick-up from selected hotels and other areas
Return coach travel from Auckland
Informative driver commentary
Return ferry to Russell
Lunch (if option is selected)
Guided Tour of Waitangi Treaty Grounds (if option is selected)
Tips and gratuities
Tour itinerary is subject to change without prior notice.
Children under 4 years old are free of charge when not occupying a seat.
All our card payments are protected by thawte to give you peace of mind.
2 days / 1 night
3 days / 2 nights
1 hour and 30 minutes
1 hour and 30 minutes