Bay of Islands: Full Day Tour from Auckland

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Bay of Islands: Full Day Tour from Auckland
from £143.35
Discover the Bay of Islands by land and explore the historic sites of Waitangi and Russell on a full-day coach tour from Auckland. On this tour from Auckland to Paihia you’ll visit the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, enjoy a ferry ride from Paihia to Russell and take an informative tour of Russell with a local guide. You'll have the opportunity to check out Russell’s bustling shops, cafes and museums at your leisure before returning to Auckland.
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In Brief

Auckland, New Zealand
New Zealand
12 hours
Instant Confirmation
Free hotel pickup and drop-off included
Informative, friendly and professional guide
Important InfoInfo
This is a typical itinerary for this product

Pass By: Auckland Harbour Bridge, Curran St, Auckland Central, Auckland New Zealand

Departing Auckland in the morning, you'll cross the Harbour Bridge and travel north on one of GreatSights' comfortable and air conditioned deluxe coaches. Your local driver guide will point out interesting sights and provide entertaining and informative commentary as you journey through farmland and lush native forest towards the Bay of Islands.

Stop At: Parry Kauri Park, Turdor Collins Drive, Warkworth, Auckland New Zealand

Visit giant Kauri Trees

Duration: 10 minutes

Stop At: Waitangi National Trust & Treaty House, Waitangi National Trust Estate New Zealand

Experience a guided tour of the historic Waitangi Treaty Grounds where in 1840, the Treaty of Waitangi was signed between Maori and the British Crown. Explore the original Treaty House, one of New Zealand's oldest and most visited historic homes and the Te Whare Runanga, a fully carved Maori meeting house, which is representative of all iwi (regional tribes) in New Zealand. The Waitangi Treaty Grounds offer a truly unique insight into New Zealand's early history

Duration: 45 minutes

Pass By: Christ Church, Church Street, Russell New Zealand

Upon arrival, take some leisure time to explore the charming seaside village of Paihia, before taking a short ferry ride across the harbour to Russell, also known by its Māori name Kororāreka. From here you will enjoy the Russell Mini Tour by coach. This intimate one-hour tour is led by an engaging guide who has a fantastic combination of historical knowledge and local insight, really bringing the cultural history of the area alive. Although Russell may seem tranquil today, you'll hear all about its rowdy past in the early 19th century when it was a lawless open port, known as the 'Hell Hole of the Pacific'!

Stop At: Flagstaff Hill, Russell New Zealand

Enjoy amazing views of Russell & the Bay of Islands

Duration: 10 minutes

Pass By: Pompallier Mission and Printery, The Strand, Russell New Zealand

Learn about the features that make Russell so significant in New Zealand's history, such as Christ Church (the oldest church in New Zealand), historic Pompallier House, and even the country's oldest licensed pub. You'll also hear more about the world's second oldest game fishing club – the Bay of Islands Swordfish Club, made famous by American author Zane Grey. The tour visits areas which cannot be easily covered on foot, like Flagstaff Hill (Te Maiki), which offers stunning 360-degree views of the whole Bay of Islands.


  • Lunch (if option selected)
  • Local driver guide
  • Live commentary on board
  • Free on board WiFi
  • Round-trip ferry between Paihia and Russell
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off
  • Entry/Admission - Waitangi National Trust & Treaty House


  • Gratuities
  • Lunch (if option not selected)

Departure Time

7:15 AM

Departure Point

102 Hobson Street, Auckland CBD, Auckland 1010, New Zealand

Traveler pickup is offered
Hotel pick ups need to be requested at least 24 hours prior.

Hotel pick ups in most cases will be earlier. Please check with provider open til 8pm - Toll free within NZ 0800744487

Returns To

Returns to original departure point

Additional Information

  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Infants must sit on laps
  • Departures and itineraries may be subject to sea and weather conditions.
  • The traveling time between Auckland and the Bay of Islands is approximately 4 hours each way.
  • This experience requires a minimum number of travelers. If it’s canceled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 20 travelers

Booking Information

You can present either a paper or an electronic voucher for this activity.

Cancellation Terms

This trip is fully refundable up to 96 hours prior to the commencement of your trip.

Booking Terms and Conditions

When you book this trip, you need to read and accept the terms and conditions for booking our day trips in excursions.

Hotel Pickup

When you book, we will ask you to select a hotel to be picked up from. Once your booking is confirmed, we'll send you a confirmation voucher with full contact information (phone number, email address) for our local operator in case you need to update or change your hotel pick-up details.

Here are answers to some commonly asked questions about hotel pickup:

What if my hotel is not listed?
That's okay. When you book you can select an hotel from our list and make your way there on the day of departure; or you can contact our local operator directly to make alternate pick-up arrangements.

What if I have not yet booked a hotel?
Once your hotel arrangements are finalised, you can contact our local operator directly with your hotel details.

What if I live locally, am staying with friends or relatives, and/or don't require pick-up?
Once your booking is confirmed, we'll send you complete details and directions to the tour/activity departure point.

Scoring an average traveller rating of 5 out of 5 based on the last 24 recent reviews

This tour is a very brief tour of a beautiful part of the North Island. It is a long drive, but for those with only a limited time, it packs in two very interesting sights with the vistas of the countryside. The guide/driver was extremely knowledgeable and helpful.
• Submitted 08 Nov 2019
I really enjoyed my trip. The tour guide was very knowledgeable, entertaining, and helpful when directing us where to go after we arrived. I enjoyed everything about the trip.
• Submitted 25 Oct 2019
Excellent, informative guides. Exquisite vistas....must do if visiting the north island.
• Submitted 04 Oct 2018
This was a great way to have a glimpse of the Bay of Island when you have limited time in New Zealand, it takes a whole day but really worthwhile and very informative.
• Submitted 31 Jan 2018
Loved this tour! Paihia is so beautiful. I want to go back and stay there for a few days. Our driver, Ben, was funny, engaging and very knowledgeable. The entire tour was so well choreographed. It was an easy and nice flow and we didn't feel rushed and could just enjoy the locale. Book this tour!
• Submitted 24 Jan 2018
This tour is long a lot of driving and only one hour to enjoy the beach so it only if you gonna stay a couple days over the island
• Submitted 12 Jan 2018
Russell is my favorite island. Amazed how friendly people were.
• Submitted 01 Jan 2018
This was a great trip! The guide was great, the stops were fantastic, and Everywhere was just beautiful. A long day, but worth it. Also, the lunch option is a great way to go.
• Submitted 17 Dec 2017
Very scenic
• Submitted 17 Dec 2017
This was great tour, our tour guide Rachael was really knowledgeable and kept us entertained during the long journey to the bay of islands.
• Submitted 10 Dec 2017
A wonderful day. An experienced, knowledgeable driver. A good variety of activities.
• Submitted 04 Dec 2017
This tour was amazing!
• Submitted 23 Nov 2017
Comfortable bus, although we miss having a pocket for our guide book and a tablet for our tea/coffee cup! Knowledgeable and pleasant driver, Polite and attentive. Although it is a long drive, the scenery along the way makes it worthwhile. As we cannot plan the weather well in advance, we chose the Russell Tour, not the cruise. It proved to be the right choice because those who were on the cruise had a miserable time. Pouring rain throughout!. We did not see much of the islands, but our time in Russell was most pleasant!. Was it worth 12 hours of driving from Auckland? Some will say yes, some will say no...It depends on what one is looking for... Martha and Nathalie Blouin, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
• Submitted 18 Nov 2017
Really nice!
• Submitted 16 Oct 2017
It is a bit of a ride from Auckland to the Bay of Islands - however our wonderful bus driver/ tour guide kept our attention with his dry humor and excellent storytelling skills about the land and the various groups who have touched it over time. There is a wonderful new museum displaying the changes to the land made by the first people of the Pacific Islands great cultural perspective and the side by side impact of the Europeans and their view of land and the people. We spent time across the bay in Russell as well.
• Submitted 09 Oct 2017
What an amazing day we had. Would recommend this tour highly.
• Submitted 09 Jun 2017
We had a great full day trip to The Bay of Islands from Auckland with our driver/guide Ben. Ben had so much local knowledge but also had some fun facts, and if you like fishing, then Ben is your guy to talk everything fish with. Unfortunately on this tour, there was no wifi on the bus, but that was okay because Ben was easy to listen too, and we had a couple of stops along the way. The Waitangi Treaty was amazing, and Fuller do a wonderful job with their organization and ferries etc. The ferry across to Russell is a must, and if you can, you should do the guided mini bus tour with John. John was very informative, seemed to know everyone, and everyone seemed to know him. Russell has many shops and a few restaurants but without the tour, I think Russell would be just like any other town. You need to tour to know what all of the places were and the history behind them. It's a long day, but thank you Ben and John for your wonderful knowledge, and also the lovely talkative man at Waitangi sorry I can't remember his name for the great history lesson.
• Submitted 13 May 2017
Excellent tour - very efficient excellent commentary - a thoroughly worthwhile day out
• Submitted 24 Apr 2017
This may have been a long day but it provided a great flavour of what the Bay of Islands has to offer. The tour of the Waitangi Treaty Grounds was the perfect length and really interesting and the little tour around Russell was also a great introduction to the area. Our driver Rachel was always really clear about what we were doing and somehow managed to keep up an interesting commentary for the 3.5 hour journey there, telling some great stories in amongst lots of interesting facts. All-in-all, a very enjoyable day
• Submitted 15 Mar 2017
My husband and I had a few days to spend in Auckland, and wanted to enjoy some sightseeing. This was a great choice! We enjoyed a full day of beautiful scenery, knowledgeable guides, and no worries about time details, all was welll explained. Just a note that the two tours we did book all start from downtown, which was a little challenging for us, since we stayed out by the airport. Taxi for two downtown was 35 though, and cheaper than a bus. I would do this again!
• Submitted 01 Mar 2017
Wonderful day.
• Submitted 20 Feb 2017
Our only complaint was with the weather of that day, we had light rain and leaden skies and sea. But we especially enjoyed the Council House, the Maori guide was incredibly knowledgeable, the history extremely enlightening, the war canoes most impressive. The lunch that was provided was perfect. Russell was most interesting and we had a great guide there. We got shopping in, too! The sun did come out on the way back to Auckland. Our driver on the long runs back and forth was informative and took breaks from talking at times so we felt a good balance was held. We'd do it again on a nicer day!
• Submitted 10 Feb 2017
A great day visiting the birthplace of New Zealand. The Bay of Islands is picturesque.
• Submitted 04 Feb 2017
The place is totally worth the visit!! The driver was great!!!
• Submitted 30 Jan 2017

In Brief

Auckland, New Zealand
New Zealand
12 hours
Instant Confirmation
Free hotel pickup and drop-off included
Informative, friendly and professional guide

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