Your Private Driver/Guide
When you touch down in New Zealand you will be met at the airport by Your Private Driver/Guide.
Our guides have been with us for a long time and are seasoned professionals. Our aim is to give ‘you’ our guests a memorable experience of New Zealand and its stunning scenery. With years of experience in tourism in New Zealand, we guarantee that you will receive a first-class service!
The best part about our guides is that they are local and chances are they have their go-to destinations that only locals know about. Whether it’s a hole-in-the-wall restaurant, a favourite local pub, or a fantastic attraction that most tourists overlook, our guides can help recommend authentic experiences that you may not discover on your own.
Documents and 24/7 Support: We've got you covered!
Your detailed documentation pack will be hand-delivered by your guide. You'll find everything you need in one handy place: your personalised itinerary, clear instructions and maps, and reservation details for your accommodation and activities.
24 Hour Assistance: We’re just a free phone call away if you encounter any issues while you're on the road - at any time of day or night. Don’t waste your precious vacation time stressing - First Light Travel are here to help you quickly when every second counts.
What's also included?
|Dedicated Travel Consultant||Detailed Daily Itinerary and Vouchers|
|Full 24 Hour Support||50 Page Essential New Zealand Guide|
Auckland to the Hokianga
THE SACRED KAURI FOREST
Meet your guide this morning and travel along the North Islands magical west coast.
Skirting the Kaipara Harbour, continue to the excellent Matakohe Kauri Museum to learn the history and significance of the mighty kauri tree. The perfect launch pad as you continue into the ancient Waipoua Kauri forest to meet our friends from Ngapuhi, the northern most Maori tribe in New Zealand. Ngapuhi are the guardians of the most symbolic places in the New Zealand story, the Hokianga harbour, the spot where Kupe 'the great navigator’ ended his epic voyage to become the first human being to set foot on land in Aotearoa, and the magnificent kauri tree 'Tane Mahuta’ in Maori legend, which represents the creation of the universe, where the sky father ‘Rangi’ and earth mother ‘Papa’ were prised apart to bring light to the world.
Approximate Distance: 271 kms | 168 miles Total Driving Time: 3 hours 45 mins
Accommodation: Waipoua Forest - 1 night
HOKIANGA HARBOUR - BAY OF ISLANDS
Our day starts with a harbour cruise with another of our Ngapuhi friends, Pete (a real hard case!). He’ll tell you why all Kiwis have heard of Opononi and take us on our first foray ‘off the beaten track’, across the harbour for a walk along the deserted beach and for the adventurous, the chance to try sandboarding!
Northland is one of the narrowest spots in the whole North Island, which makes for an easy day from the Hokianga to the Bay of Islands, on the ‘other side’. We’re in no rush, so there’s time for plenty of stops along the way, like the famous Stone Store in Kerikeri, New Zealand’s oldest stone building. We’re now in the beautiful Bay of Islands, where we continue onto our home for the next 2 nights, Paihia. Visit the Waitangi Treaty House for a guided tour. You’re standing on the spot where, In 1840, Maori chiefs and Queen Victoria’s representatives signed the treaty which gave birth to the nation of New Zealand.
Approximate Distance: 70 kms | 43 miles Total Driving Time: 1 hour
Accommodation Paihia - 2 nights
BAY OF ISLANDS - AUCKLAND
Today’s another chance to get off the beaten track, one of the real advantages of travelling privately with a local expert. Our first port of call are the Kawiti Glowworm Caves, a one-two punch of scenic beauty and Maori history. The caves are named after the famous Maori chief of the area, Kawiti, and still belong to his family, after great grandson Te Tawai Kawiti showed the first visitors through the caves in the 1950s. Our guide through the caves will be one of the descendants of Kawiti too.
Glowworms are something most Kiwis grew up with, but are surprised to learn that they’re extremely rare in other countries. In the glowworm world, New Zealand is the centre of the universe! The ancient limestone caves are home to millions of twinkling glowworms including the famous Milky Way cavern, you’ll learn all about them from your friendly guide.
This afternoon we’ll head back to Auckland where you bid your guide farewell.
Approximate Distance: 228 kms | 142 miles Total Driving Time: 3 hours 15 mins