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Kaipara: Art and Cultural Tour

Tuesday 10 October 2023, 11:00 am - Sunday 15 October 2023, 11:00 am

This tour is sold out.

The area north of Auckland, the Kaipara District, Hokianga Harbour and Whangarei, offers much Taonga Maori and early settlement history, as well as modern art. On this tour you will see the cultural highlights of this region with visits to the Sculptureum in Matakana, the famous Kauri Museum, the Dargaville Museum, the new multi sensory experience of Manea Footprints of Kupe in Opononi, Footprints Waipoua’s Twilight Encounter as well as the amazing Hundertwasser Arts Centre in Whangarei. This tour has been especially designed for Friends of Te Papa and all visits include experienced guides to give you a deeper insight into each place you visit.

Tane Mahuta (Lord of the Forest). Image provided by K. Kuiper

Day 1 – Tuesday 10 October
This morning you will be picked up either from Auckland domestic airport (11am) or Auckland CBD (11.45 am). Arrive in Mangawhai approx. 1.30pm. After some lunch at the museum cafe, visit the Mangawhai Museum and the Daring (ship from 1863 excavated from the Kaipara harbour in 2018) for a guided tour. After the museum visit there is the opportunity for a short beach walk before we head to the historic Mangawhai Tavern for dinner. After dinner drive to Matakana where we stay the night at the Matakana Motel.
Meals included: Lunch, Dinner

Day 2 – Wednesday 11 October
Today, after you get your own breakfast, we leave at 9.30am and drive to Morris & James pottery for a short visit before driving to Brick Bay Wines and Sculpture trail in nearby Snells Beach. Visit the sculpture gardens and discover a dynamic exhibition of large-scale sculptures set in a stunning natural environment of native bush, wildlife and ponds bursting with waterlilies, followed by lunch and wine tasting. After lunch we drive back to Matakana to visit the amazing Sculptureum with three sculpture filled gardens and six art galleries. We finish our visit with some more wine tasting before heading back to our motel.

Today you can enjoy a delicious dinner with fresh local ingredients across the road at the Matakana Market Kitchen. Stay one more night at the Matakana Motel.
Meals included: Lunch, Dinner

Day 3 – Thursday 12 October
This morning we depart at 9am and drive to Matakohe to visit the famous Kauri Museum. On your guided tour you will learn about NZ’s largest native tree, kauri gum, European pioneers, gum diggers and farmers, foresters and saw millers and much more. After lunch at the museum cafe (at own expense) we drive to Dargaville for a guided tour of the Dargaville museum, a fascinating museum with a large variety of displays and a very knowledgeable guide.

Omapere Hokianga Harbour Heads. Image provided by K.Kuiper

After the museum visit we drive up the west coast to the Hokinga Harbour. Dinner and overnight at The Heads Hokinaga in Omapere.
Meals included: Dinner

Day 4 – Friday 13 October
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel restaurant and a morning at your leisure, The bus and driver will be available this morning for some ad hoc activities and sightseeing in the area.

At 2pm we will visit Manea Footprints of Kupe, a 75-minute multi sensory journey of guided storytelling – through art, taonga, film, performance, digital interaction, and the splendour of Hokianga’s natural surroundings. After this experience we have an early dinner (we suggest Fish & Chips at Opononi Beach Takeaways) before we get picked up from our hotel at 6pm by Footprints of Waipoua for a 4-hour guided tour of the Waipoua forest, the Twilight Encounter. Experience the affinity that Maori have with the forest and the deep spiritual respect they have for these sentinels who have stood silently witnessing the passing of time.

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. Transfer back to The Heads Hokianga for another night.
Meals included: Breakfast

Day 5 – Saturday 14 October
After breakfast today we depart about 9.30am for our drive from west to east to Whangarei. Enjoy some lunch at one of the cafes at the Town Basin before check in at Distinction Hotel Whangarei. Walk 8 minutes from the hotel to the new Hundertwasser Arts Centre and Wairau Maori Art Gallery for a guided tour. Experience art and architecture in harmony with nature and individual creativity. Discover the life and the legacy of visionary, painter, ecologist and architect, Friedensreich Hundertwasser. After the tour you have still time to re-visits the parts you liked best before walking back to the hotel in your own time. Farewell dinner at the hotel,
Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 6 – Sunday 15 October
The tour ends after breakfast today. Make your own way back home from Whangarei.
Meals included: Breakfast

Cost: Price per person twin share: $2,490 or Price per person single occupancy: $2.950 (includes gst)

To book and register your interest on this Friends of Te Papa Tour to Kaipara and surrounding areas, please email [email protected] or phone
09 431 5899. 
Registrations of interests will be recorded on a first come, first serve basis.

Read more about Terms and Conditions

Feature images (top and bottom banners): All images (ex inserts) provided by and reproduced courtesy of Claudia Moir – NZ Travel Broker Mangawai


Tuesday 10 October 2023, 11:00 am
Sunday 15 October 2023, 11:00 am
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Kaipara District, Hokianga Harbour and Whangarei
New Zealand


Friends of Te Papa in association with Claudia Moir – NZ Travel Broker Mangawai
09 431 5899