11 Day Birds of the North

11 Day Birds of the North

This 11 day self-drive tour is a birder's delight. A guided walk with a legendary conservationist, volcanic island sanctuary, gannet colony, kiwis at the National Birding Centre and finally a trip to Kapiti Island where you encounter Maori culture and stories whilst visiting this very special island reserve.

Book your self drive tour this month and receive an Earlybird Discount of 10%. Make full payment by 31 July 2018 to qualify or receive a discount of 7.5% if you pay by 30 September 2018.

Tour Info

Tour Type: Self Drive Tours
From: Auckland to Wellington
Departures: May 2018 to March 2019
From (NZD) $4225 per person
Tour Operator: Relaxing Journeys
Pace: Comfortable
Duration: 11 Days
Tour Code: GJBN


10 nights accommodation
2 night stays at Coromandel Peninsula, Gisborne, Napier and Wellington
Full day guided walk with Kiwi Dundee
Choice of White Island or Moutohora Island cruise and tour
Gannet Colony Safari Tour
Self-guided tour at Pukaha Mt Bruce
Kapiti Island day tour
Travel wallet, comprehensive customised itinerary, bound map book, accommodation & activity vouchers and local travel guides

Book your self drive tour this month and receive an Earlybird Discount of 10%. Make full payment by 31 July 2018 to qualify or receive a discount of 7.5% if you pay by 30 September 2018.

Click on the prices below to enquire.

* Prices shown are per person (based on two people travelling).
* 2 Bedroom Motel pricing also available with Exclusive Specials. Please request a quote for prices.

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Day by Day Tour Itinerary

Day 1
Arrive Auckland

On arrival at Auckland airport, you will be personally met by our representative & transferred to your accommodation. The afternoon is yours to relax or to explore the ‘City of Sails’. Auckland is New Zealand’s largest and most vibrant city, offering an exciting array of cosmopolitan experiences. Family attractions abound and the city has plenty of adrenaline for adventure lovers. Indulge in Auckland’s shopping, nightlife and unrivalled cuisine. Discover why Auckland is one of the best places in the world to live – and visit. Add an extra night in Auckland if you have time and take a day tour out to Tiritiri Matangi Island bird sanctuary.

Day 2
Auckland - Coromandel

The scenic drive from Auckland takes you along part of the Pacific Coast Highway. Stop at the Miranda Shorebird Centre and you may like to visit the hot pools there too. Arrive at the seaside town of Tairua. (2 nights)

Day 3

Today you will experience a delightful sample of Coromandel Peninsula’s natural heritage and scenic beauty. Enjoy the flora & fauna of the semi-tropical rainforest with giant ferns, kauri trees and crystal clear streams. Visit stunning coastal scenery with white sand beaches, magnificent cliffs decorated with ancient Pohutukawa trees & old Maori pa sites. Your hosts are active conservationists, keen botanists and fountains of knowledge.

Day 4
Coromandel - Whakatane

Depart the Coromandel area this morning and head south along the coastal highway. Visit the gold mining town of Waihi and drive through the mural town of Katikati, before arriving at the popular beachside resorts of Tauranga & Mt Maunganui. Continue the drive along the East Coast to Whakatane, the base for boat trips to White Island, an active volcanic island off the coast.

Day 5
Whakatane - Gisborne

Your choice of the White Island Tour or Moutohora (Whale Island) Tour. Cruise to White Island to explore New Zealand’s only live marine volcano. Trained tour guides will take you through the old sulphur mining factory and up to the main crater’s edge. Back on board the launch, enjoy lunch before cruising back to Whakatane. Moutohora Island is a dormant volcano five nautical miles off Whakatane. A wildlife sanctuary, it provides refuge for endangered birds (including kiwi) and plants.

Drive past Ohope Beach to Opotiki before heading inland and across to Gisborne. The scenery here is nothing short of spectacular. A string of remote rural communities dot the unspoilt Eastland coastline & pounded by the wild surf of the Pacific Ocean, this region embraces one of New Zealand’s most beautiful & historic areas. Maori culture is strong in this part of the country, so be on the lookout for carved gateways and meeting houses (Maraes). (2 nights)

Day 6

A day at leisure to relax or explore the region. At your luxurious hide-a-way you can take a leisurely stroll around the lake through our well tracked forest, feed the animals or pick oranges for your breakfast juice. Or you can just relax and enjoy the superb food while enjoying award winning Gisborne wines overlooking a stunning landscape.

Day 7
Gisborne - Napier

Continue south along the Pacific Coastal Highway. Follow the sweeping coastline into Napier, widely regarded as one of the best Art Deco cities of the world, the result of a thorough rebuilding after a massive earthquake destroyed the town in 1931. Your host, Malcolm, is an accomplished chef. We suggest you make a dinner reservation for at least one evening. (2 nights)

Day 8
Gannet Safari

Drive along the scenic coast from Napier to Te Awanga and join Gannet Safaris Overland to visit the world’s largest, most accessible gannet colony at Cape Kidnappers, New Zealand. The 20,000 gannets at the cape are members of the Booby family, with distinctive black eye markings and a pale gold crown. Visitors to the colony will see adults and young nesting in serried rows carrying out their daily routine.

In the air above your heads these amazing birds with their six foot wing span (2 metres) the birds swoop and dive as they bring back fish. On the ground, just a few feet away, the pairs preen and perform the dance of the gannets’ recognition ritual. After being driven to the Cape in your air conditioned 4 x 4 vehicle there’s absolutely no walking required. You are taken right to within a few feet of these remarkable birds.

Day 9
Napier - Wellington

Today’s route has you driving through some of New Zealand’s rural heartland with a mixture of sheep, dairy and crop farming. Make your way south to Pukaha Mount Bruce Nature and Wildlife Reserve. Experience some of New Zealand’s endangered wildlife up close and in the wild. Learn about what is being done to save kiwi, tuatara, kokako, kaka and return them to our forests. Make your way down the Wairarapa through the farming towns of Masterton, Carterton and Greytown to Wellington. If you have time when you arrive in Wellington, visit the Botanical Gardens and take the evening Zealandia tour. (2 nights)

Day 10
Kapati Island

Today a full day tour to Kapiti Island is included. Kapiti Island offers one of New Zealand’s premier nature experiences, interacting with highly endangered wildlife in a predator and pest free island environment. Visitor numbers are restricted – wildlife has top priority. An unsurpassed range of endangered birds, pristine native forest-guided walks with experienced and knowledgeable guides over a range of easy to demanding tracks and trails. Your guide will bring the island to “life’ with stories of the Maori and whaling history-the conservation story of Kapiti Island is the foundation of NZ’s conservation history. After a delicious lunch at Kapiti Nature Lodge, options available for additional independent walking-or just relax around the Lodge. (L)

Day 11
Depart Wellington

After breakfast this morning, please make your way to the airport where you will return your car in time for your onward flight.

Enquire about our 11 Day Birds of the North

11 Day Birds of the North
Self Drive Tours
Tour Code: GJBN
From (NZD) $4225 per person
Save (NZD) $422 per person
Enquire Now
Departures: May 2018 to March 2019

This 11 day self-drive tour is a birder's delight. A guided walk with a legendary conservationist, volcanic island sanctuary, gannet colony, kiwis at ... Read More

Itinerary Map

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11 Day Birds of the North
Regions Visited

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