Season is now closed, and no further departures for this trip are currently available. Please check back in a few months’ time to see if new dates have been released for next year.
This island-hopping adventure begins and ends in Auckland, offering world-class wines on Waiheke Island, an active volcano at Rangitoto, and Tiritiri Matangi’s remarkable bird life as destinations.
1. Waiheke Island
Waiheke Island is one of Auckland’s premier vacation spots, renowned for its tempting beaches, charming vineyards, and vibrant local art scene.
Waiheke Island offers plenty of exciting activities, but no visit is complete without tasting some of its exquisite wines. A Waiheke Vineyard Tour provides the ideal opportunity to sample these exquisite nectars while simultaneously learning more about their production and history.
If you prefer the ease and comfort of being guided on your tour by someone else, several companies on the island offer wine tours which include tastings as well as lunch and other activities.
Waiheke Island boasts not only vineyards but also olive groves that produce award-winning extra virgin olive oil, making this destination essential for foodies visiting Waiheke.
Waiheke Island is an expansive one, so reliable transport is necessary for getting around. Luckily, Fullers hop-on hop-off bus provides an easy and comfortable means of doing just that.
Departing from Matiatia Ferry Terminal, this bus makes stops at major points of interest such as Oneroa Village, Palm Beach, Onetangi Beach, Batch Winery Mudbrick Vineyard & Cable Bay Vineyard for passengers’ convenience.
2. Tiritiri Matangi
Begin your adventure in Auckland, the ‘City of Sails’. Make the most of its ideal conditions for sailing and water sports activities in Hauraki Gulf before exploring Maori culture at Auckland Museum before wandering along Devonport Beach by foot and stopping in one of its numerous excellent eateries for lunch or snacks.
Tiritiri Matangi is an exquisite bird sanctuary and successful conservation project dedicated to New Zealand’s native birds. Due to its remoteness and lack of pests, this island serves as an incubator for hatching kiwi eggs – this project forms a key part of Save the Kiwi’s efforts in order to save our national bird from extinction.
Take a ferry over to Rangitoto Island – known as ‘Volcano in the Harbour’ due to its sudden appearance 600 years ago – and climb its slopes for spectacular views! For those not up for such strenuous treks, this island also provides numerous walks suitable for all skill levels.
Visit Waiheke Island and try some of the finest Kiwi wines, as this region is famous for its “Pacific Fusion” cuisine. Or hike to One Tree Hill – an active volcano with special significance in Maori history – then end your day in Russel for delectable green-lipped mussels and bluff oysters while sailing around its 144 subtropical islands. Or kayak full-day tours between multiple islands while discovering hidden beaches, historic Maori sites and even Hole in the Rock!
Auckland may be an energetic South Pacific city with a bustling lifestyle, yet you are never too far from finding a sheltered yacht anchorage in Hauraki Gulf. Home to numerous beautiful islands and protected bays teeming with white sandy beaches that invite adventure, the Hauraki Gulf provides yachtsmen and sailors countless sheltered anchorages with plenty of space to explore and anchor safely.
Rangitoto Island is an Auckland highlight, featuring its 260-meter-tall cone with its iconic dormant volcano known as Te Rangi i totongia a Tamatekapua (The Blood of Tamatekapua). Lava fields and scoria cones serve as natural playgrounds and cultural heritage sites, making for an unforgettable visit.
Lace up some comfy hiking shoes and follow the easy Coastal Track to its summit. Or take an extended trek and visit a volcano’s crater, twisting tunnels of lava caves, historical baches and spot saddleback/tieke/popokatea birds as well as NZ parakeet/kakarikis among its lush vegetation!
Once atop, take in panoramic views of Auckland and its surrounding islands before returning downhill to the wharf. Here, board either a public ferry or private boat from Westhaven and cruise out to neighboring bays for picnicking and swimming; adventurous types may even kayak to Rangitoto with Auckland Sea Kayaks offering guided tours for all ages.
4. Great Barrier Island
The Great Barrier Island is a spectacular marine protected area located off of New Zealand’s Hauraki Gulf that serves to defend against ocean surface waves and currents from the South Pacific Gyre. Additionally, this beautiful marine oasis serves as an important wildlife refuge and wonderful destination for nature enthusiasts to discover either on foot, boat or plane. Captain James Cook first gave it its English name due to its role as a barrier against Hauraki Gulf waters; in Maori it’s called Aotea (meaning ‘old island”).
Great Barrier Island offers travelers looking for an escape an oasis. The interior boasts walking paths, natural hot springs and historic kauri dams while its beaches provide perfect spots for rest and relaxation and surfing enthusiasts alike can take advantage of it all.
Visitors looking to experience the sights and sounds of the Great Barrier Reef can do so through a day trip to Whitsunday Islands and Whitehaven Beach, complete with coach transfer from their Cairns CBD accommodation, snorkeling experience, island walk guide services and buffet lunch service.
Visitors looking for an intimate boutique-style experience may prefer joining a day trip that visits Lady Musgrave Island, an idyllic coral cay just off of the Whitsundays. This tour features a two-hour high speed catamaran cruise with plenty of time to sunbathe, swim and snorkel in its protected lagoon or on one of its private beaches.