26 April - 2 May
Day 1: Arrival in Whakatane, Bay of Plenty. Stay and relax at Ohope Beach, walking, swimming, boogie-boarding kayaking or surfing.
Day 2: White Island Marine Volcano expedition. This is spectacular. Taking a 1.5hr boat ride out to the island with experienced guides for one of the most exciting natural experiences in NZ. Return to Whakatane township, and part walk Nga Toi Tapuwae (‘in the footsteps of Toi’) route along cliffs back to your accommodation at Ohope Beach.
Day 3: Horse Trekking 2hrs through native bushland with a good variety of beach, bush, river and farmland, on hills and flat. Expansive views of surrounding country and Pacific Ocean with offshore Islands. Soak away the saddlesore in the mineral hot springs at Awakeri. Late afternoon Surf-casting (fishing) instruction at Matata beach.
Day 4: Jet boating on the Motu River through the last significant area of untracked bush in the North Island. Barbecue riverside lunch. Walk along cliffs and coves. Afternoon Powhiri (traditional Maori welcome) we’ll take you further east to rural Opotiki to be traditionally welcomed on to a Maori Marae, your guide’s tribal meeting place. Stay at Ohiwa Coastal Retreat with wonderful views over the natural harbour and spit.
Day 5: Te Waiti Valley hike for 4-5hrs along a well-formed recreational bench track alongside the Te Waiti Stream passing through Nikau Groves and Tawa forest, to the Te Waiti Hut. A very picturesque valley with waterfalls, picnic spots, safe swimming and the option of a riverbed walk for the return trip. Kayaking down the Waioeka River (classed category 1 & 2) - numerous trout can usually be seen in the crystal clear spring water as well as an abundance of native birds.
Day 6: Old Motu Coach Road round trip, mountain-biking, bush-walking, picnic by the Motu Falls, drive back through the Waioeka Gorge.
Day 7: Hukutaia Bush Reserve walk – this reserve of only native plants is one of the finest in NZ. 80 species of plants natural to this area with several hundred other plants introduced from other parts of NZ. Within the Domain is the ancient burial tree, Taketakerau, a 2,000yr old puriri once sacred to Maori. Opotiki township visit for shopping and lunch. Return to Whakatane for a mid-afternoon departure.
Fitness rating: easy
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