For your Bay of Islands and Treaty House from Auckland you will be picked up from your hotel in downtown Auckland at around 0745h (07:45am).
Your route takes you across Auckland Harbour Bridge and north along the Hibiscus Coast with its beautiful beaches past Kaiwaka to the Bay Of Islands. The journey takes around 3 hours and 50 minutes.
Bay of Islands lies very close to the extreme north of New Zealand. Seven hundred years ago it was the landing point for one of the large Maori migration canoes bearing members of the Ngapuhi Iwi (tribe). In 1769, it was visited by Captain Cook, who gave the area its name. Later the Bay became the first part of New Zealand to be settled by Europeans.
With its azure sea and beautiful islands the Bay is one of New Zealand’s most popular tourist spots, famous for its game fishing and other water sports such as parasailing. In a 2006 study, the Bay of Islands was found to have the second bluest sky n the world, after Rio de Janeiro.
You will visit Paihia, one of the earliest New Zealand towns, first settled in 1823. While much of the town is modernised there are still several historic buildings along the waterfront.
A five-minute drive from Paihia is Waitangi, the “birthplace of the nation”. It was here that the Treaty of Waitangi was signed here in 1840. The Treaty was an agreement between the early European Settlers and the indigenous Maori people to establish New Zealand as a British Colony.
You will visit the Waitangi Treaty House and Grounds and enjoy a guided walk. Features of interest here include:
• The Treaty House – one of New Zealand's oldest historic homes – built for the first British Resident, James Busby and his family.
• Te Whare Runanga – fully carved Maori Meeting House, representative of all Iwi (regional tribes) in New Zealand
• Ngatokimatawhaorua – one of the world's largest Maori ceremonial war canoes
• The Naval Flagstaff marking the place where the Treaty of Waitangi was signed
• Waitangi Visitor Centre with an audio visual show outlining the history of Waitangi and the Bay of Islands and live cultural performances
You can spend about an hour at Waitangi. Then, at the end of the tour, you will be dropped at your chosen hotel in Bay of Islands.