Russell (Bay of Islands), New Zealand
Puketi Forest, Maori Marae & Kawakawa
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Approximately 4¼ Hours
Transfer from Waitangi Wharf to the edge of the Puketi Forest. Join your guide for a short walk through a subtropical rain forest that is alive with rich flora, fauna and colonial and Maori history. If they could talk, the ancient kauri trees here would whisper not just centuries of secrets, but tales of a millennium of standing sentinel over the abundant forest that seems to burst with wildlife. Keep an eye out for New Zealand's unique plants and noisy birdlife-an unforgettable experience. Next you will drive to Otiria. The highlight of this stop is a visit to the traditional Maori marae or meeting place. Enjoy a traditional Maori welcome before entering the carved meetinghouse of this tribe that traces its ancestry back to the Maori voyages to New Zealand from Polynesia just 800 years ago. Continue to Kawakawa, a slice of small-town New Zealand that would be unremarkable except for its much celebrated public restroom designed by internationally renowned artist and architect Frederick Hundertwasser. The now-deceased world-famous reclusive Austrian artist made this remote Northland town his home, and took up the challenge of designing the public restroom here, attracting worldwide media coverage. On your return to Waitangi, pass through Paihia, where one of New Zealand’s earliest missionary stations was established in 1823.