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Shore Excursion: Small Group Bay of Islands Highlights Tour with Glowworm Caves

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Paihia, New Zealand
Book online or call: (888) 651-9785(888) 651-9785

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At a Glance

6 hours (Approx.)
Hotel pickup offered
Mobile ticket
Offered in: English
Spend your Waitangi port day exploring the Bay of Islands best attractions on this jam-packed shore excursion. From natural wonders like Haruru Falls and the Kawiti Glowworm Caves to cultural gems including... More
Spend your Waitangi port day exploring the Bay of Islands best attractions on this jam-packed shore excursion. From natural wonders like Haruru Falls and the Kawiti Glowworm Caves to cultural gems including the historic Te Waimate Mission House and famous Hundertwasser Toilets, make the most of your time on New Zealand's North Island while traveling with a guide and small group.

Highlights

  • 6-hour Bay of Islands shore excursion from Waitangi
  • Sample gourmet chocolates and see New Zealand's oldest building in the town of Kerikeri
  • See where Charles Darwin spent Christmas at the historic Te Waimate
... More
  • 6-hour Bay of Islands shore excursion from Waitangi
  • Sample gourmet chocolates and see New Zealand's oldest building in the town of Kerikeri
  • See where Charles Darwin spent Christmas at the historic Te Waimate Mission House
  • Step inside one of the world's most artful bathrooms at the the famous Hundertwasser Toilets
  • Tour the luminous Kawiti Glowworm Caves with a Maori guide
  • Small-group tour limited to 15 for a more personalized experience

What To Expect

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... More
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
... More
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.

What's Included

Small-group tour with friendly local guide.
Transportation by comfortable, air-conditioned minibus.
Entry to historic Waimate Mission Station.
Visit to the famous Hundertwasser toilets
Visit Haruru Waterfall.
Tasting at Makana Chocolates.
Entry to Kawiti Caves
Food and drinks, however, you can buy your own at the lunch stop in Kerikeri where you will have reserved seating.

Departure & Return

Departure Point

Traveler pickup is offered
The tour starts at the Waitangi Wharf where the ships tenders bring you to shore. The Shore Trips & Tours staff are waiting by the yacht club opposite the wharf. Please arrive
... More
Traveler pickup is offered
The tour starts at the Waitangi Wharf where the ships tenders bring you to shore. The Shore Trips & Tours staff are waiting by the yacht club opposite the wharf. Please arrive 15 minutes prior to the start time to check in. If you have difficulty getting ashore in time please call us so we can inform the guides. Please catch
... More
Traveler pickup is offered
The tour starts at the Waitangi Wharf where the ships tenders bring you to shore. The Shore Trips & Tours staff are waiting by the yacht club opposite the wharf. Please arrive 15 minutes prior to the start time to check in. If you have difficulty getting ashore in time please call us so we can inform the guides. Please catch the earliest tender possible. We will not wait longer than 15 minutes and refunds will not be given if you miss the tour.

Ports
Bay of Islands (Waitangi Wharf)

Departure Time

9:30 AM

Return Details

Returns to original departure point

Before You Book

The fine print

  • Confirmation will be received within 48 hours of booking, subject to availability
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • This tour is not suitable for users of mobility scooters or wheelchairs as there is limited
... More
  • Confirmation will be received within 48 hours of booking, subject to availability
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • This tour is not suitable for users of mobility scooters or wheelchairs as there is limited storage capacity on the minibus.
  • Please note there is limited storage capacity on the minibus for pushchairs or strollers. You must notify us at the time
... More
  • Confirmation will be received within 48 hours of booking, subject to availability
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • This tour is not suitable for users of mobility scooters or wheelchairs as there is limited storage capacity on the minibus.
  • Please note there is limited storage capacity on the minibus for pushchairs or strollers. You must notify us at the time of booking if you are bringing any item that requires storage.
  • Please note on rare occasions we may be required to substitute a different vehicle onto this tour which has 22 seats.
  • Stroller accessible
  • Service animals allowed
  • Most travelers can participate
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 15 travelers

Cancellation Policy

If you cancel within 2 day(s) of the scheduled departure, there is a 100 percent cancellation fee.

If you cancel at least 3 day(s) in advance of the scheduled departure, there is no cancellation fee.


Traveler Photos

Reviews

4.0
15 Reviews
5 Star
9
4 Star
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3 Star
1
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Reviews by Viator travelers
All that was promised
TheaCTravels
, Jan 2019
We made sure to arrive on time for this tour but had to wait half an hour for some people who never showed up. We were eventually assigned to another van.Trevor was an excellent guide. He was pleasant and knowledgeable. I would recommend this tour to others, but we were rushed at some sights because of the poor decision to wait more than 20 minutes for latecomers who never arrived.
It is hard to rate this tour since...
Delray
, May 2018
It is hard to rate this tour since the tour guide never showed up!! After some locals helped us make phone inquiries, Viator managed to find another guide who picked us up. She was extremely nice, giving up a day with family, and her tour was excellent, though greatly shortened since she arrived 90 minutes after the tour was to begin, which of course was not her fault. Since Viator knew about this at the time, is seems they should have sent an apology rather than asking for a rating. But praise to the lovely lady who tried her best to make up for the mistakes of others!
Great tour to see the area. The...
Eran G
, Mar 2018
Great tour to see the area. The natural beauty of the Bay is fantastic. The guide was very knowledgeable and the administrative arrangements were great.
A fun tour with a lot of worthwhile...
Maureen N
, Feb 2018
A fun tour with a lot of worthwhile stops. Each stop was different and we didnt spend a lot of time driving from place to place. Glowworm Cave was amazing to see. All good!
The description and pictures of...
Penny K
, Feb 2018
The description and pictures of excursion looked better than what we actually saw. Tour guide, Felicity was great. Would not recommend this tour.
Off to a bad start when a 10 minute...
ARomantic
, Feb 2018
Off to a bad start when a 10 minute wait - grace period, for other passengers that never showed up, turned into a 35 minute delay of the tour start for all others. This caused shortening of some stops and also delayed our ship boarding time. Other than that issue, the tour was good. The guide was a nice man. Keeping his cool when some passengers were hostile towards him for the waiting.
I am glad we did this tour. Having...
nataharner
, Feb 2018
I am glad we did this tour. Having just a few hours in port during our cruise, we would have never seen this much of the area on our own. The Glowworm Caves were really interesting. We visited some historic sites and tasted chocolates. Terry, our guide, was funny and knowledgeable. A good way of seeing the countryside.
This was the most disappointing trip...
Laura V
, Jan 2018
This was the most disappointing trip that I have ever booked through Viator. It claims to be a small group tour but there were 4 smaller buses 22 on our bus alone. in the group so there were more people touring from this company than a regular coach bus...so much for the small group experience! Although the driver was trying to be accommodating to those travelers that did not have New Zealand currency by stopping at a bank, we ended up chasing the rest of the buses all day. When we arrived at the place for lunch, one of the restaurants said there was at least 35-40 minutes wait for food We only had an hour at the stop. and the other place ran out of food because there were too many people. I ordered food and before they could bring it out, they sold it to someone else. No apology or substitution offered and there wasn't time to wait in the line again. This was not the tour company's fault directly but they knew how many people were coming on their buses and they should have notified the restaurants in advance or not booked so many tours. Fortunately I wasn't that hungry but I didn't have anything to eat on the trip because none of the other stops had food. The time that we did have at the stops was rushed because we made the initial unplanned stop for currency. With the exception of the glow worm site, we were dropped off with no map or clear details of where we were. One stop said that there was someone who would give a tour but she was too busy with others and later apologized for not being available. We showed up late for our scheduled tour of the glow worms and had to wait 45 minutes for the next available show. We wrote the day off midway through the trip which is a shame because we had traveled so far and may not make it back to New Zealand. I have booked numerous tours through Viator without any qualms because I have never been disappointed. I let the tour company know what happened on our tour and included my email allowing them the chance to respond. I have heard nothing from them so I feel that it is imperative that Viator knows this company is not concerned about the quality of their tours...it was all about the quantity of tours that day.
My grandaughter and I spent a most...
silcock6215
, Jan 2018
My grandaughter and I spent a most enjoyable day in and around Bay of Isles we were met by a lovely tour guide Jill who made us feel welcome and as there were only 4 persons on tour in a mimi van we had a relaxed day enjoyable lunch which was not included in price but was very inexpensive and as I am Coeliac and often find it hard to get gluten free I had several choices .We were taken to Chocolate Factory a must for chocoholics like myself loaded up with chocolate and toffees we then wennt next door to wooden shop which had lots of wonderful gifts to buy.Saw 2nd oldest church and mission house in New Zealand with wonderful host who gave us a intrduction as to life of the missionaries and Maori in the early days of settlement .Then onto the Glow worm caves for a wonderful Moari welcome and informative tour of the caves.All in all I would highly recommend this tour.
This was a fantastic tour. Our guide...
Katrin L
, Dec 2017
This was a fantastic tour. Our guide Terry was entertaining and knowledgeable and made us feel very welcome. He was happy to take photos for us. All the sites listed in this tour were really great and scenic. The Toilets were pretty cool and I love how the town has embraced the artistic theme! The Makana chocolate factory has arguably the best chocolate in the world macadamia butter toffee crunch and the glow worm cave was magnificent and truly a highlight. Everything ran smoothly from our cruise ship and back. I highly recommend this tour. Both my son 6 and i loved it. We chose this tour for the sites as many other tours didn't cover all of these. I'm not sure if this is a new tour as there was just one review on Tripadvisor when we booked but we were not disappointed at all! I'm sure this will become highly reviewed very soon!

Product code: 9218P21

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