From 05/04/2022 to 03/04/2023
1 Be My Guest.
1 Welcome Reception.
1 Regional Dinner.
First class travel Highlights.
All land transport shown.
All transfers shown.
All porterage and restaurant gratuities.
An expert Travel Director and professional Driver.
Breakfast daily and up to half of your evening meals.
Cherry-picked hotels, all tried and trusted.
Luxury air-conditioned coach with Wi-Fi in most countries or alternative transportation (such as rail journeys).
Must-see sightseeing and surprise extras.
Optional Experiences and free time.
Itinerary / more information
Day 1 - Welcome to Auckland Hello Auckland! Begin your New Zealand north island tour in the gorgeous "City of Sails." (Flights to arrive prior to 4pm). At a Welcome Reception meet your Travel Director and travel mates. Then it's off to dinner at Eight, an interactive restaurant named for its eight kitchens where you can choose from international cuisine options including sushi, fresh oysters, Indian curry and Italian pasta. Get an introduction to the city's Maori history and melting pot of cultures from your Travel Director and get ready to start your adventures of the North.
Day 2 - Explore the Sights of Auckland Start the day getting to know New Zealand's passion for the water / sailing and Auckland's maritime history on a private and exclusive America's Cup tour at the New Zealand Maritime Museum with a Local Specialist. Then it's off to experience more of this seafaring city on a sightseeing tour beginning at the Auckland Waterfront. You'll visit Mission Bay, historic Bastion Point, and the Michael Joseph Savage Memorial with views of the Auckland skyline, North Shore, and Waitemata Harbour at every turn. You have the rest of the day free to explore the city as you like. Amble down Queen Street to Viaduct Harbour's main shopping precinct and relax with a glass of New Zealand's crisp Sauvignon Blanc. Or, if you're looking for a different view from outside of the city, join an optional ferry trip to Rangitoto Island, the youngest volcano in New Zealand. You're treated to a scenic ferry ride as well as expansive views as you climb this icon up through lava fields to the highest point on the island.
Day 3 - Tauranga on the Stunning Coast Go from city to farm life today as you travel to the countryside for a dose of local hospitality at a Be My Guest experience in the Red Barn at the home of Lance and Bridgette O'Sullivan. On this working dairy farm, you'll Connect With Locals and discover New Zealand's horse-racing traditions. Learn about Lance's career as a famous jockey over your farm-to-table lunch before getting a feel for farm life rolling up your sleeves and making your own butter - butter churners, tiny mason jars and all! After a fun and insightful morning, head out to Tauranga's beautiful beaches in the Bay of Plenty. You have a free afternoon to explore Mount Maunganui, an extinct volcano, or kick back on its secluded beach, considered to be one of the best in New Zealand. More stunning waterfront awaits as you make your way to your Stays With Stories accommodation at the family-run Trinity Wharf. From your perch on the water's edge, you'll indulge in panoramic views of the water while enjoying a group dinner of seasonally inspired dishes.
Day 4 - Rotorua, Rich in Maori Culture Kick off your day in Kiwifruit Country in Te Puke, the kiwifruit capital of New Zealand. Join a Local Specialist to learn about kiwi's seasonal production cycle, how it's grown, and finally harvesting and exporting the fruit as you tour this family-owned 60-hectare working orchard. After trying fresh kiwifruit and even kiwifruit ice cream, you're off to Rotorua for an orientation tour of the town and lake. Join in your first of two MAKE TRAVEL MATTER(R) Experiences contributing to the important work of preserving Maori culture for future generations. Your first stop is Te Puia to see the steaming Whakawerawera Thermal Reserve's hot springs and geysers as you learn about the education program for Maori students to train in Maori arts and culture. Dive Into Culture at your second immersive experience is at Tamaki M?ori Village where you'll be welcomed by a powerful 'Powhiri' ceremony before learning the Poi and Haka dances (you can even have a try yourself) before enjoying an authentic Hangi dinner cooked under the ground, and live music under the stars.
Day 5 - Rotorua, Yours to Discover With a full free day in Rotorua, you'll have plenty of options of how to explore. If you'd like to adventure by land and water, see the area in an amphibious WWII-era Duck. These land and water vehicles used during the war will take you to three of Rotorua's most stunning lakes (splashdowns included!) for views and commentary on the beautiful scenery. Or, see the area from above on an ancient forest zipline adventure, zipping through the trees while learning about local flora and fauna as well as New Zealand's conservation efforts. Another option is to experience the natural beauty underground on a guided tour through the world-famous Waitomo Glowworm Grotto. Descend an illuminated staircase of curving limestone to caverns lit by twinkling blue and green glowworms. Lastly, Hobbit fans will want to take advantage of today's opportunity to tour the sights featured in the Lord of the Rings movies at Hobbiton. These beautiful landscapes offer not only a bucket list trip for Hobbit fans, but a gorgeous countryside getaway. Wherever you venture today, there's something for every traveller and plenty of memories to be made.
Day 6 - Wellington Capital of Cool Venture out of Rotorua this morning through pine forests and farmland, to the rushing rapids of Huka Falls where the Waikato River pours into a pool 11 metres below. Then you're on your way to the heart of the North Island and New Zealand's largest lake, Lake Taupo. Have a look strolling the shoreline and basking in the gorgeous freshwater lake that's home to geothermal valleys with hot springs, alpine deserts, and world-class trout fishing. Journey south over the volcanic Central Plateau to the town of Taihape. This quirky little town is known for its yearly gumboot throwing competition, proudly celebrated since 1985. Get in the spirit and take a photo in front of the massive metal boot before joining in a friendly gumboot throwing game on the lawn with the group. After a full day of sightseeing and plenty of fun, you'll arrive in Wellington with time to explore its laneways, street art, and music or one of its many eclectic restaurants.
Day 7 - Farewell Wellington Make the most of the last day of your New Zealand North Island tour and Dive Into Culture at the waterfront Te Papa Museum of New Zealand exploring the culture and heritage of the New Zealand people with exhibits featuring artworks, traditional dress, and photography. These interactive exhibits join science with nature highlighting the unique wildlife, volcanic land, and efforts to protect the environment. It's been a week of epic sights and adventures in the North Island, but sadly all good things must come to an end. Enjoy one last breakfast with your travel mates before your transfer to the Wellington airport (flights to depart after 2pm). Sightseeing Highlights Discover Rotorua Explore the America's Cup exhibition at the Maritime Museum in Auckland, and a kiwifruit orchard with a Local Specialist View Huka Falls, Mt. Ruapehu, farming lands, and spectacular scenery along the Kapiti Coast Visit a kiwifruit orchard in Te Puke, a geothermal valley at Whakarewarewa in Rotorua, and Te Papa Museum of New Zealand in Wellington Connect with Locals Retired champion jockey Lance O'Sullivan and his wife Bridgette are your hosts for a Be My Guest lunch on their dairy farm in the North Island. Dive into Culture Delve into New Zealand's national identity, exploring an expansive collection related to this country's culture and history at Te Papa, Museum of New Zealand. MAKE TRAVEL MATTER(R) Your visit to Te Puia helps fund the Arts and Crafts Institute, enriching the lives of the local Maori attending. MAKE TRAVEL MATTER(R) Learn how your visit to Tamaki Maori Village contributes to the sustainability and resiliency of its indigenous community. Stays With Stories This hotel is owned by a local family whose dream it was to highlight the spectacular beauty and spirit of the Tauranga harbour.
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