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Stone Store and STT Minibus Haruru Falls Bay of Islands Cruise Ship Shore Excursion Paihia Wharf Glowworms Makana Chocolates haruru falls in flood mode Kawakawa Main street and steam train Guide Jill at Waimate Mision Station Kawiti glow worm caves 2 Kawiti glow worm caves 1 Kemp House Kerikeri Bay of Islands Cruise Ship Shore Excursion Waimate Mission Station Bay of Islands Cruise Ship Shore Excursion Hunterwasser Toilets Kawakawa Bay of Islands Shore Excursion Glowworms

Bay of Islands Highlights and Caves

Explore the highlights of the Bay of Islands!

New for 2017 this extended tour now adds a visit to the Kawiti glow worm caves. You will also visit historic Kerikeri, Makana chocolate factory, the Stone Store, Waimate Mission Station plus much more.

BOI-11 | 6.00 hrs | Adults NZ $140.00 | Children NZ $100.00


You will see

  • Historic Stone Store & Kemp House
  • Kawakawa's famous Hundertwasser toilets!
  • Kerikeri Township
  • Makana Boutique Chocolates
  • New Zealand's oldest oak tree and pear trees
  • Paihia town and waterfront
  • The Haruru waterfall
  • The Kawiti Glow worm caves
  • Waimate Mission Station

You join our tours at the Waitangi Wharf where the cruise ship tenders arrive. Our first destination is Haruru Falls - its name meaning "big noise". Back in the 1800's, more than 100 Maori villages lined the banks of the Haruru River and Maori legend says that a taniwha [water monster] lives in the lagoon below the falls.

Next it's on to Kerikeri - a town with a rich and colourful history. Kerikeri is the location of the "The Stone Store" and New Zealand's oldest building - the adjacent "Kemp House". The area is well known for its successful horticulture and niche food products, so a visit to the Makana Chocolates factory to try their hand-made chocolates can not be missed. Perhaps grab an ice cream or coffee from their adjacent cafe.

After our scheduled lunch stop, we then head inland through farmland and forests to our next destination - the very significant and historic "Te Waimate Mission House" . Built in 1832, it is the only survivor of three mission houses founded in 1830 by the Church Missionary Society. There is time to enjoy the beauty of the mission house - a simple Georgian building which was the Church Missionary Society's first farm and the forerunner of modern agriculture in New Zealand. It is also where Charles Darwin spent Christmas in 1835 on his visit to New Zealand.

Leaving the mission station we travel south to the town of Kawakawa, through which the railway runs in the middle of the road. It is also location to the now 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 who lived in Kawakawa from 1975 until his death in 2000.

Our last destination will be the Kawiti Glow worm caves where a local Maori guide will lead you through these underground caverns to see the glow worms and tell you how the caves came to be found. Glow worms (which are actually the larval stage of a native gnat) create their own light which looks like the night sky in the cave. After your cave tour its then just a short drive back to Waitangi to board the tenders to your cruise ship. Time permitting we can drop you off in Paihia town to explore on your own.

Please note that on some days the order of the tour may change.

  • Collection and drop off at the ship wharf.
  • Comfortable air conditioned minibus
  • Entry fees to the Waimate Mission House and Grounds
  • Entry to the Kawiti Caves
  • Full commentary throughout
  • Tasting at Makana Chocolates
Not Included
  • Lunch is not included but you can buy your own at our lunch stop in Kerikeri where we have reserved seating.
  • Please be at the designated meeting point at least 15 minutes prior to departure. Details are on your voucher.
  • Please note there is no storage capacity on the minibus for push chairs or strollers.
  • This tour is NOT suitable for users of mobility scooters or wheel chairs as there is limited storage capacity on the minibus.
  • Unless an infant rate ticket has been purchased, then the infant will have to travel on their parents lap. Please note that for safety reasons this is not recommended, so you should bring a suitable baby or child seat with you as these are not available on the day.
  • If you like this tour itinerary but have a group larger then 12 persons then please contact us for a quotation.
  • If you wish to do some additional sightseeing or shopping, the driver can drop you at the Paihia Information Centre. You can then take the free shuttle bus back to the tender wharf at Waitangi, if the ships departure time allows.

Standard Tour Schedule Options

      start time     end time
Day tour 10:00 16:00
Note: Start and end times may be adjusted
to suit ships ETA or ETD in port

Standard Tour Charges

Adult price     NZ $140.00
Child price (4 to 14 yrs)     NZ $100.00
Infant price (0 to 3 yrs)     NZ $80.00
Note: Infant ticket ensures a seat
Without a ticket an infant may have to sit on a parents lap
Family price (max adults 2 max children 2)     NZ $425.00

    How many people usually go on this tour?

We use a 12 passenger minibus so that is the usual limit. On some very busy days we do run 16 or 22 seat coaches though. If you are part of a larger group then see the Group tour option BOI-G1 under the "Groups" tab.

    Our ship is departing at 4pm, can we still do the tour?

Yes, it should be OK as we adjust the tour start and end times to match the ship. This will be confirmed when we accept your reservation.

    Do children under 4 travel free of charge?

Yes, but only if they will sit on their parents lap. If you want to have a seat for an infant then you will need to buy an infant rate ticket. We also recommend that you bring a suitable baby or child seat for their safety. Please also note there is no storage capacity for push chairs on the minibus.

    I want to book this tour but there are not enough seats available?

The tour operates using a number of 12 passenger minibuses, though on some days we may have larger 15 or 20 seat minibuses to cope with demand. The database will advise how many seats are available when you make your booking, but on many days we do sell out in advance.

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Latest News
Latest News

Why not book our new range of "Highlights" tours soon to be available in all of the New Zealand ports of call, great value small groups [12 or less] let you see and do more than the big coach tours.

Latest News