New Zealand is a country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean consisting of 2 main islands, both marked by volcanoes and glaciation. Capital Wellington, on the North Island, is home to Te Papa Tongarewa, the expansive national museum. Wellington’s dramatic Mt. Victoria, along with the South Island’s Fiordland and Southern Lakes, stood in for mythical Middle Earth in Peter Jackson’s “Lord of the Rings” films.
|PLACES TO VISIT||Aukland – Wellington|
Day 1: Arrival In Auckland
Day 2: Auckland – Full Day Discover The Bay Including Dolphins With Lunch
After being picked up from your hotel, we’ll leave Auckland over the spectacular Harbour Bridge. Just sit back and enjoy the magnificent scenery of the Hibiscus Coast as we head northwards towards Paihia, traditional point of departure for the Bay of Islands.
On arrival at Paihia, you’ll visit the Waitangi Treaty House and grounds where the Founding Treaty of the Nation was founded and see a traditional Maori meeting house and a huge waka (war canoe).
Next you’ll board a catamaran for a memorable sightseeing cruise to Cape Brett and the Hole in the Rock. You’ll sail past secluded sandy beaches and rugged rocky outcrops as we head for Cape Brett Lighthouse. Remember to bring your camera because the variety of marine wildlife in these waters has to be seen to be believed. Whales, seals, dolphins, penguins are all common sights. Weather permitting we’ll pass through the famous Hole in the Rock at Motukokako Island and travel on to view the majestic Grand Cathedral Cave.
Conditions permitting, you will have the chance to get up close and even swim with dolphins in their natural habitat – a wonderful opportunity to experience these magnificent and friendly mammals at play.
A packed lunch is included. On completion of your cruise, rejoin the coach for the return journey to Auckland.
Meeting/ pick-up point: Hotel pick up in selected Auckland central city hotels.
Start/opening time: 7.30am.
Day 3: Auckland - Half Day Auckland City Highlights
The trip will start with a drive across the iconic Harbour Bridge as we head for the famous Auckland landmark of Mount Eden, a dormant volcano whose summit offers excellent panoramic views of the city and harbours. From this fantastic vantage point you will see evidence of Auckland’s volcanic history; the city is set on 52 dormant volcanic cones, the most significant being the youngest volcano of Rangitoto Island at the entrance to the Waitemata harbour.
From here we’ll head down to the Auckland Domain, the city’s oldest park, which is situated on a 62,000-year-old volcano. The sightseeing tour also includes the trendy shopping area of Parnell Village with its many historical buildings now transformed into boutiques, antique, craft and specialist shops. The tour will then return to Downtown Auckland along the scenic waterfront route of Tamaki Drive.
A perfect introduction to New Zealand’s largest metropolitan area, especially for those visitors with little time on their hands.
Meeting/pick-up point: Hotel pick up in selected Auckland central city hotels.
Duration: 3 hours.
Start/opening time: 9.45am.
Day 4: Auckland - Full Day Auckland To Rotorua Via Waitomo
After an early start we’ll head southwards through the lush, rolling farmland of the Waikato and King Country regions. There’ll be time for a morning snack as you drive past Rangiriri, the location of a historic Maori Land Wars site.
On arriving at the township of Waitomo you can enjoy a magical guided tour through the world famous Glow Worm Caves with their amazing stalactites, stalagmites and other limestone formations, formed over thousands of years by the constant dripping of water. The highlight of the tour has to be a silent boat ride through the Glow Worm Grotto – a subterranean cavern lit up by the lights of thousands of tiny glow worms.
The tour continues in the afternoon with a pleasant drive to Rotorua. En route we’ll pass through the beautiful Fitzgerald Glade where the roadside trees arch overhead to form a tunnel of natural greenery. Once at Rotorua you will have plenty of time to explore this lakeside town for yourself. Don’t miss the Whakarewarewa Thermal Reserve with its silica terraces, bubbling mud pools and unique geothermal vegetation, not to mention the world-famous Pohutu Geyser. The Maori Arts and Crafts Institute is also well worth a visit with its fascinating exhibition of carvings and weaving.
This tour is available with lunch (which is served on the coach).
Meeting/ Pick up point: Hotel pick up in selected Auckland central city hotels.
Duration: 6 hours.
Start or opening time: 7.30am.
Drop-off location: Central Rotorua accommodation
Day 5: Rotorua - Wellington
Day 6: Wellington - Full Day Rover LOTR Tour
Meeting point: Wellington city accommodation.
Start time: 8.30am.
Duration: Eight hours. Dress code: We recommend to wear comfortable shoes and bring a bottle of water.
Passengers must call 24 hours in advance to reconfirm pick-up time.
Day 7: Wellington – Day At Leisure
Day 8: Kaikoura – Christchurch
Day 9: Christchurch - Half Day City Sightseeing - Discover Christchurch
The tour then continues into the central city, through Hagley park, the boat sheds, Botanical Gardens Arts Centre in the historic Buildings that were once Canterbury University, past the Museum, Art Galley and Victoria Clock Tower before moving on to the Catholic Basillica, then onto the seaside suburb of Sumner, then to Lyttleton Harbour, a volcanic crater which is now the port of Christchurch.
The tour then ends with a visit to the Sign of the Takahe, situated on the volcanic ridges of the cashmere hills, provides spectacular views of the Canterbury Plains and Southern Alps, you will be then returned to your accommodation.
Meeting/pick-up point: Christchurch city hotels.
Duration: 3 hours.
Start/opening time: At 9am.
Opening days/period: Daily except December 25th.
Others: Included: return transportation, commentary, Botanical Gardens, the Bridge of Rememberence and Hagley Park, visit to the sign of Takahe (which offers views over the city), to Canterbury Plains and to the Southern Alps.
Passengers must reconfirm tour 1 day prior to departure to avoid possible cancellation.
Please wear suitable outdoor clothing and comfortable shoes, and bring a bottle of water.
Please present your voucher to the local guide at the beginning of the tour.
Day 10: Christchurch – Christchurch Botanic Gardens Tour with Optional Hop-On Hop-Off Tram, Gondola and Avon River Punting
While you ride, listen to entertaining commentary from the onboard guide, and hear fun facts like which trees make the best bows and arrows. The full tour of the gardens takes about one hour, with frequent stops along the way. Disembark at any point to take a closer look at specific areas, such as tropical plants in glass conservatories, 250 different types of roses in two rose gardens, or herbs with culinary and medicinal value.
Reopened after the city’s last earthquake, the revamped Visitor Centre houses a cafe, gift shop and interactive exhibit about the history of plants and gardening in New Zealand. Check out photos of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, who visited for the center’s ribbon-cutting ceremony in April 2014.
Upon booking, you will be able to choose the option to access to the elegantly restored Christchurch Tram, a heritage vehicle and hop-on hop-off tour that travels between 17 destinations in central Christchurch, including Cathedral Square, Avon River, Hagley Park, Canterbury Museum, Re:START Mall and New Regent Street. A knowledgeable driver provides commentary about the city’s history and landmarks during the ride. Hop on and off the tram at any of the 17 stops; your ticket is valid for the entire day and you can disembark as many times as you like. The entire circuit without hopping off takes about 50 minutes
Day 11: Christchurch – Day At Leisure
Day 12: Christchurch – Departure
Arrive home with wonderful memories of your New Zealand Vacation to cherish for a lifetime. We hope to see you soon on another Exotic Destination.