Islands of the Hauraki Gulf:

Hauraki Gulf & Bay of Islands with Kennedy Warne & NZGEO

Islands of the Hauraki Gulf: Hauraki Gulf & Bay of Islands with Kennedy Warne & NZGEO

DAYS 8 / SHIP Heritage Explorer

DEPARTURES 7 Jan 2022

PLACES VISITED

PRICES FROM $6,325 NZD (More Rates)

Join New Zealand Geographic co-founder and former editor, explorer, marine biologist and celebrated author Kennedy Warne as we expedition cruise the famed waters, islands and coastlines of the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park and Bay of Islands on this exclusive 8-day partner voyage.

Enjoy lectures, learn about life both above and below the water and pick up pro tips during a photography masterclass with one of New Zealand Geographic's award-winning photographers as we delve into the region's early history, visit island sanctuaries and learn about the region's conservation success stories.

Spanning 1.2 million hectares of scenic glittering ocean between Auckland and the Coromandel Peninsula, five marine reserves and more than 50 islands, the Hauraki Gulf is a veritable aquatic wonderland and lays claim to having some of the country's most beautiful beaches and hidden coves, perfect for exploration by kayak.

The union of three channels, Colville, Cradock and Jellicoe, connect Hauraki Gulf with the Pacific Ocean putting it on the 'whale super highway' with almost a third of the world's marine mammal species living in or visiting the marine park with Orca, Bryde's Whales and Bottlenose and Common Dolphins regularly observed here.

Below the surface, numerous conservation efforts are underway to help restore the balance to the Gulf which is still recovering from industrialised overfishing and the impacts of the surrounding farming.

The island hopping and national history continues in the subtropical haven of the sheltered waters of the Bay of Islands. Once a raucous seafaring centre with a wild past, this now low-key stretch of paradise is widely regarded as the birth place of the nation and aptly named with some 144 islands ranging from rugged outcrops through to impressive oases.

Join New Zealand Geographic co-founder and former editor, explorer, marine biologist and celebrated author Kennedy Warne as we expedition cruise the famed waters, islands and coastlines of the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park and Bay of Islands on this exclusive 8-day partner voyage.

Enjoy lectures, learn about life both above and below the water and pick up pro tips during a photography masterclass with one of New Zealand Geographic's award-winning photographers as we delve into the region's early history, visit island sanctuaries and learn about the region's conservation success stories.

Spanning 1.2 million hectares of scenic glittering ocean between Auckland and the Coromandel Peninsula, five marine reserves and more than 50 islands, the Hauraki Gulf is a veritable aquatic wonderland and lays claim to having some of the country's most beautiful beaches and hidden coves, perfect for exploration by kayak.

The union of three channels, Colville, Cradock and Jellicoe, connect Hauraki Gulf with the Pacific Ocean putting it on the 'whale super highway' with almost a third of the world's marine mammal species living in or visiting the marine park with Orca, Bryde's Whales and Bottlenose and Common Dolphins regularly observed here.

Below the surface, numerous conservation efforts are underway to help restore the balance to the Gulf which is still recovering from industrialised overfishing and the impacts of the surrounding farming.

The island hopping and national history continues in the subtropical haven of the sheltered waters of the Bay of Islands. Once a raucous seafaring centre with a wild past, this now low-key stretch of paradise is widely regarded as the birth place of the nation and aptly named with some 144 islands ranging from rugged outcrops through to impressive oases.

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Islands of the Hauraki Gulf: Hauraki Gulf & Bay of Islands with Kennedy Warne & NZGEO
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Day 1: Auckland
Join Heritage Explorer, your home away from home, in Auckland this afternoon where your Captain and Expedition Leader and Kennedy Warne will be waiting to welcome you on board (times will be confirmed with your voyage documents). When all are aboard, we will set sail from Auckland through the Hauraki Gulf to our anchorage for the night as our adventure begins.

Day 2: Tiritiri Matangi & Great Barrier Islands
Plan to rise early this morning for a landing on the world renowned Tiritiri Matangi Island – one of the country’s most successful conservation projects. Once completely cleared of forest, the island has been revegetated and rejuvenated thanks the tireless efforts of volunteers planting around 300,000 native trees between 1984 and 1994. Now home to 11 species of threatened native birds in addition to more common species, be on the lookout for Saddleback, Kokako, Stitchbird, Brown Teal and Takahe among others. During lunch we cross the Hauraki Gulf sailing towards Great Barrier Island, during this time guests will benefit from being out on the deck as whales and dolphins are regularly seen in these waters. Arriving at Great Barrier Island Heritage Explorer will navigate to the sheltered waters of Port Fitzroy where there will be time to take the kayaks for a paddle, head ashore by Zodiac or perhaps even spend some time fishing with the Captain.

Day 3: Great Barrier Island
Today we have a full day dedicated to exploring Great Barrier Island. Existing entirely off grid through solar power and rainwater collection, 60 per cent of the island’s 285 kilometres is public land managed by the Department of Conservation where spectacular towering cliffs meet white surf beaches, wetlands, fiords and bays home to Spotless Crake, Fernbird, Brown Teal, Banded Rail, North Island Kaka and more than 13 species of lizard including the Chevron Skink. For the more active there are forest walks to explore, while those preferring to stay on, or near, the water there is the opportunity to take out the kayaks or join a Zodiac safari. If conditions are favourable, there may be an opportunity to visit Arid Island – one of the most beautiful, remote and rarely visited outer islands in the Gulf.

Day 4: Mokohinau, Hen & Chickens Islands & Whangaruru
An exploration of the outer islands of the Hauraki Gulf starts early this morning as we sail over to the archipelago of predator free Mokohinau Islands. The size of these tiny islands and outcrops, positioned uniquely at the edge of the continental shelf, belie their importance as a refuge for some of New Zealand’s most endangered species found nowhere else on the planet. Continuing northwards there is the option to set our course, depending on the prevailing conditions, to either the Hen and Chickens Islands or Poor Knights Islands. Both of these island groups have been vitally important in the story of New Zealand conservation and we will delve into this history today as well as marvel at the abundance of life both above and below the water on these remarkable island outposts.

Day 5: Whangamumu Harbour & Cape Brett
This morning we plan to visit the old whaling station at Whangamumu Harbour, this beautifully protected cove to the south of the Bay of Islands hides a dark past as the site of one of the earliest European whaling bases in New Zealand. The only whaling station in the world which caught whales with nets, Whangamumu was Northland’s longest running and most successful whaling station operating from the 1800s to early 1900s. The beautiful scenery continues as Heritage Explorer sails northwards past spectacular Cape Brett and the iconic Hole in the Rock at Piercy Island. The more adventurous on board may wish to take the opportunity to walk some of the Cape Brett Lighthouse Walk, the exertion rewarded by stunning coastal scenery.

Day 6: Whangaroa Harbour & Cavalli Islands
Wake this morning to the breath-catching scenery of Whangaroa Harbour. North of the Bay of Islands, this dramatic harbour is defined by both its narrow entrance, gravity defying volcanic spires, sheltered bays and tranquil sandy beaches. Head out on the water and explore by kayak or Zodiac, or head ashore and enjoy a morning hike to one of the vantage points that provide epic panoramas over these unforgettable surrounds. We then sail to the Cavalli Islands where there is the opportunity to explore nature reserve and diving hotspot Motukawanui Island. Swimming and snorkelling opportunities abound, explore powdery white sand beaches or tackle the Island track along the ridge of the island where spectacular views over the forest-clad coastline and scattered islands await.

Day 7: Bay of Islands
We have the whole day set aside to explore and enjoy the Bay of Islands. Opportunities include exploring predator free Urupukapuka Island fringed by Pohutukawa forest, where Project Island Song has successfully released North Island Robin, Saddleback and Whitehead, and the dramatic, unrestrained beauty of Roberton Island which is also rich in New Zealand history. Later in the day there is an opportunity to explore historic Russell, a town of New Zealand firsts including first seaport, European settlement, capital and licensed hotel. Perhaps enjoy a drink at the iconic The Duke of Marlborough and brace yourself for one of Russell’s famed sunsets.

Day 8: Paihia/Auckland
Following breakfast and final farewells we head ashore at Paihia where there is the opportunity for you to stay and spend some additional time or join our complimentary shuttle transfer to Auckland. We expect to arrive in central Auckland around 12 noon this afternoon.

Our ship: Heritage Explorer

New Zealand-built expedition yacht Heritage Explorer joins Heritage Expedition's small ship fleet creating new opportunities of discovery around the shores of New Zealand. Setting a new standard for discovery travel in New Zealand, Heritage Explorer combines the ultimate in comfort with unique itineraries and a personalised experience with a maximum of just 18 guests on board. Heritage Explore...

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Pricing

Islands of the Hauraki Gulf - 7 Jan 2022 to 14 Jan 2022 - Heritage Explorer

Cabin Category Price NZD Description Availablity
Buller's image Buller's $6,325 Located on the Lower Deck, the Buller’s cabin features one bunk (one upper and one lower berth), ample storage with wardrobe and drawers, TV, PABX satellite telephone, private en suite and a porthole. Available
Salvin's Double image Salvin's Double $7,025 Located on the Lower Deck, Salvin’s Double cabins feature a double bed, ample storage with wardrobe and drawers, TV, PABX satellite telephone, private en suite and a picture porthole. Available
Salvin's Twin image Salvin's Twin $7,025 Located on the Lower Deck, Salvin’s Twin cabins feature two lower berths, ample storage with wardrobe and drawers, TV, PABX satellite telephone, private en suite and a picture porthole. Waitlisted
Wandering image Wandering $7,375 Located on the Lower Deck, Wandering cabins feature one lower single berth, ample storage with wardrobe and drawers, TV, PABX satellite telephone, private en suite and a porthole. Waitlisted
Royal image Royal $8,545 Located on the Bridge Deck, our Master Suite features a spacious bedroom with a queen-sized bed, ample storage with wardrobe and drawers, mirror and washbasin, private en suite, personal climate control, TV, PABX satellite telephone, window and French doors opening out on to the covered Bridge Deck. Waitlisted
Includes:

Landing fees, pre or post coach transfers, all on board ship accommodation with meals and all shore excursions and activities. GST, house drinks and expert on board naturalist guides. Pricing per person in NZ$.

Excludes:

All items of a personal nature, laundry, domestic flights, extensions and travel insurance.

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