Historic Stone Store & Glow Worm Caves Tour with Lunch
Bay of Islands, New Zealand
- Old Stone Store: Take a tour of the earliest structure of its kind in the country, imbued with the British colonists' story of how they settled in their unfamiliar new home.
- Mission House: Learn about the structure that's also known as the Kemp House, and its role in the settlement of English, Scots, and Irish living in a beautiful but unfamiliar land.
- Makana Chocolates: Stop by this famous candy factory, witness how these luscious sweet treats are created, and treat yourself to a few samples possibly to take home and enjoy.
- Kawiti Caves: Gaze in wonder at the otherworldly blue-green light from bioluminescent glow worms who inhabit these caverns, and observe the unusual jagged rock formations.
About This Bay of Islands Tour
New Zealand had what may have been the world's first successful marketing campaign for better living. Before 1840, only isolated groups of European whalers and missionaries arrived there and interacted with the native Maori. But with the Treaty of Waitangi signed that year, a flood of British citizens said goodbye to overcrowded conditions and disease and immigrated to this pristine country.
Enterprising businessmen then founded the New Zealand Company, promoting land parcels to Britons desperate for space and rich enough to pay for it. Work prospects, a better climate, bountiful food supply, and healthier living attracted others further down the social ladder. Enticing literature drew all of them in, with the irresistible promise of free or subsidized passage.
On this tour, you'll visit the sites reflecting this often tumultuous history of British colonization, which first began in this part of the country. See the Mission House (also called the Kemp House) and Old Stone Store in Kerikeri – both integral to establishing the Europeans' foothold in New Zealand. Learn the role missionaries played in this new society when you visit the Williams Memorial Church in Paihia. Later, watch how fresh ingredients combine with sinfully rich dark and milk chocolates to make truffles, candies, and other delights at Makana Chocolate Factory. Before you take your leave, witness the natural wonders of the Kawiti Caves and the resident glow worms that emit a blue-green light only in complete silence. It's doubtful that the British settlers from long ago ever saw such a spectacle back home.
Maori and muskets don't mix
New Zealand's oldest surviving building, the Mission House in Kerikeri, miraculously survived the intertribal Musket Wars that occurred amongst the Maori. When the native people learned the mechanics behind these weapons brought by European settlers, it became a brutal game changer in the conflicts between tribes. Over 3,000 battles and raids occurred during nearly four decades, ending around the time of the Treaty of Waitangi, signed in 1840.
Your guide will meet you on your ship's pier. Please look for our GoBe Representative with the displayed logo sign. Staying at a hotel? Be sure to advise the GoBe Crew so we can meet you in the lobby.
This tour involves considerable walking, wear comfortable shoes. Travelers at the Kawiti Glow Worm Caves must negotiate 150 steps. Not recommended for travelers with claustrophobia. Photography and video is not permitted in the glow worm grottoes.
Must be able to walk approximately 0.30 mile over varying terrain with inclines and 200+ steps. Due to the amount of stair climbing involved on this tour, it is not recommended for travelers with walkers or wheelchairs.
Cultural, Bus Tour, Walking Tour, Scenic, Family Friendly
Suitable for all ages.
Full refunds issued for cancellations made 7 full days prior to the date and time of requested services. Cancellations made within the 7-day and 72-hour window will receive a 50% refund of purchase total. Purchases are non-refundable inside of 72 hours.
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