This 5-night tour starts on Monday morning in Paihia and finishes back in Kerikeri the following Friday night. A mixture of biking and hiking.
The tour follows Pou Herenga Tai -The Twin Coast Cycle Trail but goes much further East and West to take in some of Northland's finest scenery and destinations. We have a great variety of walks on the tour to choose from - some are standard in the itinerary and others are optional extras when we are at our destinations. Rainbow Falls in Kerikeri is a lovely riverside walk through native bush, there is a selection of walks at Wairere Boulders, beach walking to see Koutu Bouders, the South Heads Walk in Hokianga which is seriously off the beaten track - this is only naming a few, the options are plentiful and we can help you plan if you want to get in some extra walking.
This is a fully supported, fully inclusive tour, except those extra activities on day 3. Everything is organised for you and one of our experienced Tour Leaders will be with you all week. Our tour has been designed for all abilities with a mixture of dedicated cycle trails, gravel roads and quiet tar seal roads for the cycling. The stunning hikes are either on dedicated walkways, including parts of Te Araroa, or on the rugged, wild, west coast roads.
Our bikes are top quality e-bikes guaranteeing a comfortable and very enjoyable riding experience. We cater for most abilities and have options for those very keen riders who like the extra challenge.
Northland is known as “the birthplace of New Zealand” and our tour immerses you in the rich history and culture of the area. You will visit many of the historic sites that formed the history of NZ such as the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, where the treaty that made New Zealand a British colony was signed. The tour is Cook to Kupe – as in 1769 James Cook came to New Zealand and extensively charted both North and South Island and gave the Bay of Islands its present name. This tour takes you across from East to West Coast to the mythical Hokianga Harbour – which has a fascinating history of both Maori and European. Hokianga-Nui-A-Kupe means “the place of Kupe’s great return”. Many iwi (Maori tribes) trace their ancestry back to the legendary Polynesian explorer Kupe who, with his crew, voyaged deep into the Southern Ocean to find New Zealand and Northland iwi claim the first landfall of Kupe’s waka was on the shores of the Hokianga Harbour.
Northland has a strong Māori population you’ll find plenty of opportunities to learn about and experience this local culture and discover our rich heritage. The stories are captivating as you tread in the footsteps of our ancestors and explorers.
We deliberately keep our tours small in number limiting them to 10 people. Our transport is a luxurious 14-seater minibus.
Sunday | Arrival
We advise that you stay in Paihia Sunday night as the tour stars at 8am on Monday morning. There are plenty of options are can help you out with recommendations or bookings.
Monday | Day 1:
- Travelling from Paihia to Horeke
- 42km cycling
- Meet your tour leader and your bike at 8am in Paihia
- Spend some time on your bike, enjoying the views around Paihia – some awesome photo shots
- Following the whizz round on the bikes and getting the blood pumping, we set the scene for the tour by taking the opportunity right on our doorstep to visit Waitangi Treaty Grounds. It takes you on a journey of discovery through Aotearoa New Zealand’s most important historic site. Waitangi offers an authentic and interactive cultural experience. The cultural performance is spellbinding. Discover the story of New Zealand’s history and the story of two peoples coming together as one under the Treaty of Waitangi, Te Tiriti o Waitangi, at this award-winning national attraction.
- Following this we continue our Cook to Kupe Journey, joining the Twin Coast Cycle Trail, which takes you off road and through some stunning scenery.
- Arriving at the absolutely magnificent Horeke Harbour, untouched and untamed
- Accommodation is at Horeke Hotel sitting right on the waters edge, best known for being the first pub in NZ and its glorious sunsets.
Tuesday | Day 2:
- Travelling from Horeke to Omapere
- Minimum 30km cycling
- Options for more cycling and hiking
- Enjoy breakfast at the Hotel before cycling to the wonderland of Wairere Boulders for a hike and then on to Mangungu Mission House. This is where the largest signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in the country took place, with over 70 chiefs adding their assent before a crowd of up to 3,000 people.
- The beautiful boat the Ranui then takes you and your bike across the Hokianga Harbour to the quirky villages of Kohukohu and Rawene, which have art galleries, a heritage trail and cafes. With the aid of your e-bikes you will head up hill and take a 16km loop track off the beaten track where you can see the entire Hokianga Harbour and the surrounding maunga (mountains), providing a breathtaking view.
- Our destination for the afternoon ride is the dramatic South Heads at the Hokianga Harbour mouth, where you will experience a magical sunset and feel the cultural significance of this area.
- Overnight on the waters edge of the Hokianga Harbour, with stunning views across to the sand dunes the Hokianga is famous for.
Wednesday | Day 3:
We stay 2 nights in Omapere – a chance to soak up the Hokianga. This day is options day where you can choose to bike, hike or do one of the other wonderful activities the area has to offer, or just relax and do your own thing.
Finishing the day off with a magical experience and one that gets continuous rave reviews. The Award-winning Footprints Waipoua Forest Twilight walk. Your guide will share thought-provoking information, humorous banter, stories and legends before respectfully greeting the oldest and largest known kauri trees in the world with spine-tingling chants and song. Be mesmerised by Te Matua Ngāhere -The Father of the Forest; who at 3,000 years is the oldest giant. Be Enchanted by the largest giant, Tane Mahuta, a national icon
- Short rides through to long rides up to 80km. Wind your way through the Waipoua Forest or cycle to the Koutu Boulders.
- Huge variety of walks that take you to hidden places!
- Visit a café or grab your book and chill. The pool area, the beach and the gardens are a perfect spot to just take a breath! If it is chilly there is always the fireplace inside the bar at the Hotel
Optional activities at an extra cost
- Join a jetski guided safari – hear the stories of this majestic region from a local, or even gather your own seafood – this is a truly unique experience. You can be a novice on the jetski, and there can be 2 people per jet ski.
- Paddleboard, kayak, kayak fishing, sandboarding – the list is extensive and can be an hour to an all day activity.
- Bone carving. Learn from a master carver and take a piece of art you create with you as a reminder of your Northland Experience.
Thursday | Day 4:
- Travelling from Omapere to Russell
- Minimum 45km cycling
- Options to cycle an extra 9km cycle or 7km hike on Te Araroa Track
- Buffet breakfast at the Hotel.
- Re-join Pou Herenga Tai Twin Coast Cycle Trail at Kaikohe heading east to Kawakawa - famous for its Hundertwasser Public toilets and the vintage steam train that chugs down the main street. It also boasts the largest art gallery in Northland.
- The last bit of the trail takes you to Opua – beautiful waterside riding along the estuary
- From Opua you catch the car ferry to Okiato, the first capital of NZ
- Cycle, walk or stay in the minibus to Russell.
- This charming village tells many stories – Kororāreka (as Russell was formerly known) was originally a Māori settlement and it became a base for European traders, whalers, and missionaries in the early 1800s. By 1836 the settlement was dubbed the ‘Hell Hole of the Pacific’, notorious for its drinking, fighting and prostitution.
- You will be pleased to know it is now called Romantic Russell and full of great eateries and beautifully restored buildings.
- Once in Russell there are many options – bike to beaches and lookouts, swim, visit the museum or the French printer Pompallier Mission House.
- You will be spending the night at the recently renovated historic Duke of Marlborough Hotel. It’s the perfect place to enjoy a drink and the sunset.
Friday | Day 5:
- Buffet Breakfast at the Duke.
- Travelling from Russell to Kerikeri
You decide what you would like to do
- Early morning ride Russell to Rawhiti 60km return or just one way
- Afternoon cycling in Paihia or Waitangi Mountain Bike park or 6km walk along Haruru Falls Track
- Explore Kerikeri – the Stone Store Basin, Rainbow Falls walk
- After a week of outdoors fun relax in the spa bath at your motel!
- Your last night will be spent in Kerikeri. And a celebratory end of tour meal at an award winning vineyard!
You’ve retraced the steps of the greatest voyagers Cook and Kupe!
Saturday| Day 6:
There is plenty to more to explore on Saturday morning as well, your motel on Friday night is located in park like grounds right next door to the hub of Kerikeri’s Saturday morning rituals. You are next door to the famous Makana Chocolate Factory and its very decadent Galleria. Directly across the road from you is “The Old Packhouse Market” which is open on Saturday morning and is a feast of food, local produce, incredible coffee, arts and crafts, and live music.
Drop offs can be made for either Kerikeri airport, or for alternative accommodation if you are staying on locally.
For those wanting to stay longer and explore the area we can help with your accommodation and designing a fun itinerary to suit your requirements. These can include sightseeing, golf, fishing, sailing, arts and crafts, markets and of course more cycling and more hiking! We will drop you at the airport on whatever day you choose to fly out.
Included in your C2K Tour
- 5 nights accommodation in a range of local lodges, taverns and hotels.
- All rooms are twin or double ensuite rooms. Single Supplement available.
- Fully supported tour with Tour leader escorting you with a luxury minibus.
- All meals – breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks.
- All transfers during the tour as well as ferry fares.
- Top quality E-bikes with gel seats or bring your own seat if you would prefer. Traditional Mountain bikes available on request.
Cook to Kupe Tour
1st September onwards $2800
Options to upgrade to even more luxury on the Sunday night, to include your own private deck with a hot tub, and indoors a fireplace, luxury bath and monsoon shower for two. Just ask!
Introductory price is until end of August 2019 $2599.00 per rider
We encourage you to stay a while in this amazing part of the world. We can arrange accommodation and activities for you at competitive rates.
- Day trip on the Tall Ship “R Tucker Thompson”
- A scenic helicopter ride out to the famous Hole in the Rock.
- Scuba dive in the marine reserve of Deep Water Cove where HMS Canterbury lies, or the Rainbow Warrior not far away in the Cavalli Islands
- See the bay from up high – with a Parasail or Skydive
- Swim with the dolphins
- Explore the Bay of Islands by yacht, kayak or motor boat
- Hook a snapper and have it cooked for dinner at a restaurant in town or go for that TROPHY FISH & catch a Marlin!
- World class golf courses
- Walk the islands
- Day trip to Cape Reinga where the Tasman Sea meets the Pacific Ocean in a spectacular swirl of currents and where Maori spirits begin their final journey.
- Enjoy a traditional hangi and cultural show
- Take a vineyard tour with detours to a boutique chocolate factory and cheese factory OR cycle some more!
We are passionate about the region and making sure that visitors have the best experience!