Explore the main attractions in the Bay of Islands on this 6-hour, small-group tour with a local guide. Visit the historic Waimate Mission Station, the Kawiti Glowworm Caves, Haruru Waterfall, and more. Your tour will include port pickup and drop-off as well as a chocolate tasting at Makana Chocolates.
Departing from Waitangi Wharf (where the tenders arrive), our first destination is the Kawiti Glowworm Caves where a local Maori guide will lead you through underground caverns to see the glow worms and tell you how the caves came to be formed. The magic of these amazing insects will blow you away. Then, a short drive to Kawakawa, location of the world famous "Hundertwasser Toilets" one of the few public toilets seen as an international work of art, designed by the expatriate Austrian artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser. Next to the historic "Te Waimate Mission House". Built in 1832, it is the only survivor of three missions founded in 1830 by the Church Missionary Society and is a simple Georgian building, the Mission Society's first farm, and forerunner of modern agriculture in New Zealand. After a short introduction by the volunteer guide, you are free to explore the Mission House, Church and Churchyard, then wander the extensive grounds with magnificent trees. For lunch (your cost) we have reserved tables at a local cafe (also part of a garden centre) which offers a wide range of light lunch options. A short drive after lunch to the Makana Chocolate factory to sample their hand made chocolates and time to visit the adjacent wood crafts shop and exhibition. Passing through Kerikeri, we stop at the Kerikeri Inlet, where the river meets the sea. This is the location of the original Mission Station which was established here in 1819. There are two significant buildings, "The Stone Store" built in 1832, originally used as a Missionary Society warehouse and the adjacent "Kemp House", New Zealand's oldest building completed in 1821/22 by missionary carpenters and Maori sawyers. Kemp House was a family home of simple, Georgian design. It has changed little over time, despite bearing witness to many historically significant events. Our last stop is at the Haruru Falls, a breathtaking waterfall, its name meaning "Big Noise". Please note, on some dates we may use larger 22 seat mini-coaches and also change the order of the itinerary.