new zealand tiritiri matangi island hobbs beach

Auckland and the Islands of the Hauraki Gulf Extension

Tiritiri Matangi, Rangitoto, and Waiheke Island


Considered to be some of the best cruising grounds in the world, the islands of the Hauraki gulf lie within close proximity to Auckland, but offer experiences that are a world away from bustling city life. You'll explore this diverse range of islands as well as Auckland's vibrant waterfront on this five-day extension before or after one of our New Zealand adventures. Based from your Auckland waterfront hotel and accompanied by one of our fantastic Trip Leaders, visit the Auckland War Memorial Museum, sample some of the city's fabulous "kai moana," or seafood, at lovely restaurants, and take day trips by ferry to three distinct islands. Spend a day on Tiritiri Matangi, a wildlife sanctuary and successful conservation story with prolific birdlife, climb to the top of Rangitoto, a volcanic island that juts dramatically from the sea, and walk along gorgeous sandy beaches on Waiheke Island, a haven for artists and winemakers.

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1
Arrive in Auckland / Viaduct Basin

Arrive at the Auckland International Airport where you'll be transferred to your hotel at the Viaduct Basin, Auckland's vibrant waterfront. Your guide can recommend a place to grab a bite to eat in one of the area’s many restaurants, and you can stretch your legs on a stroll through the harbor after your long flight. Overnight at Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour…Meals on your own.
Driving Time: 30 minutes

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Day 2
Rangitoto Island

After breakfast, visit the great Auckland War Memorial Museum, renowned for its unique collection of Maori and Pacific treasures. The exhibit “Scars on the Heart” tells the story of New Zealand at war, while “He Taonga Maori” is a collection of thousands of priceless Maori artifacts, including the last great Maori war canoe carved from a giant totara tree. Then wander along the waterfront to watch yachts from New Zealand's America's Cup yacht racing campaign and learn about the history of the race. New Zealand currently holds the America's Cup trophy and will host the next battle for the cup in 2022. Board a ferry for a short trip to Rangitoto Island, the looming volcanic island that stands guard over Auckland. Evidence of previous eruptions from this dormant volcano can be seen in the landscape as you hike to the top of the volcano for outstanding views of the city and islands of the Hauraki Gulf. The trail to the summit climbs 850 feet above sea level through the world's largest pohutukawa forest. Return to your hotel in the late afternoon. Dinner is on your own tonight—you’ll find wonderful choices near the hotel, from local seafood and wine to lively rooftop bars and gourmet European cuisine...BL

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Day 3
Tiritiri Matangi Island

This morning you’ll meet your guide and enjoy breakfast at a harbor-front café before ferrying across the gulf to Tiritiri Matangi. Meaning “looking to the wind” in Maori, Tirtiri Matangi is now one of the most successful conservation projects in the world. It’s also rich in Maori and European history. Accompanied by a ranger from the Department of Conservation, you'll tour this impressive wildlife sanctuary before setting off on a hike around the island. Today, unwanted predators that once decimated the island have been eradicated, and the previously pastoral land has been replenished with native plants and trees. Rare native birds and reptiles like the unique tuatara lizard have reclaimed their habitats. Look for some of New Zealand’s most endangered birds on your hike including the takahē, a large, flightless bird, and the saddleback, a glossy black bird with a chestnut-shaped saddle. In the afternoon, return to Aukland for dinner on your own and overnight at Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour…BL

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Day 4
Waiheke Island

Take a ferry today to Waiheke Island, known for its wineries, Bohemian artists, and white sandy beaches. Its diverse microclimates create a wide range of soils resulting in a large variety of wines including reds like Merlot and Malbec, and whites from Chardonnay to Pinot Gris. You’ll walk around the coastline through vineyards and forests to white sand and surf. In the quaint beach town of Oneroa, stroll into galleries, book stores, gift shops, and quirky cafes, and enjoy lunch at the local Mud Brick Winery where sweeping views stretch across the water. Return to the city to enjoy your last night in Auckland…BL
Driving Time: 15 minutes

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Day 5
Depart Auckland

After breakfast transfer to the airport for your flight home or your New Zealand hiking adventure…B
Driving Time: 30 minutes


Length: 5 days
Cost From: $3295  
Arrive: Auckland, New Zealand
Depart: Auckland, New Zealand
Lodging: 4 nights hotel in Auckland
Meals: Breakfast and lunch included each day
Activity: Walking, Wildlife and Natural History
Trip Level:

Walking, hiking, and cultural tours