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5 day trip from Auckland to Bay of Islands

Sydney
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5 day trip from Auckland to Bay of Islands

We are travelling to NZ in early May to see the Bay of Islands. Plan so far is to fly to Auckland and hire a car.

Drive to the Bay of Islands, staying overnight on the way.

What route should be take?

Where could we stay on the way?

Day 2 we will drive to Paihai and we thought we would do the overnight Greatsights cruise.

Then thought 3 nights tn Paihai, doing day trips to Russell and maybe Cape Reinga etc

then drive back to Auckland for a night before flying home (we have been to Auckland before). What route should be take back to Auckland?

Would love to hear any thoughts on the plan so far, suggestions would be really welcome

Surrey England
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1. Re: 5 day trip from Auckland to Bay of Islands

If you travel up on the east coast then definitely try to return via the west--SH12.Then you will get to see Hokianga harbour,theWaiapoua forest with the giant Kauri trees and the Kauri museum at Matakohe.

Whangarei, Northland
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2. Re: 5 day trip from Auckland to Bay of Islands

Hi there

This would be my suggested route....

DAY 1 Drive to Whangarei area, spend the afternoon on this day exploring the Tutukaka Coast, Whangarei Falls, Whangarei Heads

DAY 2 Drive to the Bay of Islands via the Old Russell coastal road (through Helena Bay & Oakura), stop at the Helena Bay cafe & gallery for morning coffee or lunch.

Stay in either Russell or Paihia (these are connected by a passenger ferry and a car ferry, both of which run very regularly all day)

DAY 3 Morning at Waitangi treaty grounds, then lunchtime get on the Iripiri for the overnight cruise

DAY 4 Arrive back at lunchtime, drive to Doubtless Bay, overnight in Mangonui

DAY 5 Bus tour to Cape Reinga, returning to Doubtless Bay that evening

DAY 6 return to Auckland via the West Coast, Hokianga Harbour & Waipoua Forest

Not sure if I have put one too many days in that itinerary !!

I think that returning via the West Coast route should definitely be factorred in as its a stunning area.

The alternative could be to do the route in reverse and come up along the West Coast, and down the East Coast.

If you need any more detailled info, happy to help

Sydney
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3. Re: 5 day trip from Auckland to Bay of Islands

thanks very much for the suggestion. Only thing is my husband isnt really into moving accomodation every night, that was why I thought we could base ourselves at Paihia. If we stay at Whangerei on the way up, then the boat and then Paihai for a few days could we do daytrips to Mangonui, Doubtless Bay and Waitangi etc? If we drive home along the West Coast is one day enough to get to Auckland and see the scenery on the way? Going from Paihai to Auckland what route do we take to go along the West Coast?

Thanks

Whangarei, Northland
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4. Re: 5 day trip from Auckland to Bay of Islands

Hi

You can easily use Paihia as a base and do day trips. The reason I suggested staying in Manganui was that I think it is a better starting point for the Cape Reinga tours, but you can do those tours starting from Paihia aswell.

It is 5 hours driving time to drive from Paihia to Auckland via the West Coast, so a long but definitely feasible day with plenty of time for stops.

The route is Paihia-Kaikohe-Opononi-Waipoua Forest- Kaihu- Dargaville-Matakohe-Brynderwyn and then back on SH1 to Auckland

Sydney
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5. Re: 5 day trip from Auckland to Bay of Islands

thanks very much for all your help, really appreciate it.

Sydney Australia
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6. Re: 5 day trip from Auckland to Bay of Islands

I would certainly second the idea of a stop at Tutukaka. Also the Hokianga and Waipoua forest is not to be missed. Russell is a more charming town than Paihia though logistics can drive you towards basing in Paihia .

We took the slow coast route from Tutukaka to Russell then over on the ferry to Paihia. The cafe at Helena Bay was great. Beautiful food and great gallery. The driving though was not one of our highlights. Mostly either very similar to NSW north coast - even down to the gum trees everywhere or not much views and very winding roads. Hubby was getting a bit nauseous and I was getting a bit over it. I think there are better ways to spend a half a day in Northland.

..BTW if you happen to be interested in history there are some really excellent historic properties within striking distance of Paihia while you're based there. Lots of shared history between NZ and Australia. Same people crop up. Rev Samuel Marsden for example was active in the area and there are also some terrific local identities.

We had a wonderful time in Northland over about a week.

If your budget will stretch to it we found the Salt Air Cape Reinga trip absolutely wonderful and great value. .. and the night tour to see Tane Mahuta and Te Matua Ngahere is definitely the way to do it. Wonderful and worth the $ expenditure...and they do it as a day trip from Paihia if you insist on staying in one spot and retracing steps all the time.

Also if you're coming down the west coast, stop at somewhere to watch the video of them extracting the swamp kauri. Only 10 mins. They have it at the museum in Dargaville which involves an entry fee, but you can stop and see it free..at name escapes me at the mo...

you might be interested to read about our Northland trip ....you'll need a cuppa and a comfy position...the link starts you off at Tutukaka.

…blogspot.com/2010/02/pt-4-nz-perfect-day-it…

7. Re: 5 day trip from Auckland to Bay of Islands

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