Auckland to ROTORUA
Sailing Lake Rotoiti, Natural Hot Pools & Rotorua
We head southeast through the lush dairy farmlands of the Waikato. Touring New Zealand’s dramatic Karangahake Gorge we take a stroll alongside the Ohinemuri River through native bush to the relics and ruins of this region's gold-mining past. We pass through Te Puke, the Kiwifruit capital of the world, the landscape dotted with Kiwifruit orchards before continuing on to the geothermal wonderland of Rotorua.
Along the way, at Okawa Bay, we board "Tiua", a 53ft catamaran for a relaxing sail on serene Lake Rotoiti to secluded coves and natural hot pools reached only by boat - a great way to finish your day.
Accommodation Rotorua - 2 Nights
ROTORUA AT LEISURE / LODGE LUNCH
Because we’ve got two nights in Rotorua, take it easy this morning! Perhaps stroll down to the lakeside, just minutes from your hotel, or enjoy one of Rotorua's many guided tours and attractions. Don’t miss nearby Ohinemutu marae, one of only two living Maori villages left in New Zealand. We'll head to the famous 'Buried Village of Te Wairoa' for a hosted lunch with our friends David and Karen, you’ll love them and their stories from their Maori and European histories.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
GEOTHERMAL WONDER / TONGARIRO NATIONAL PARK
Today we visit the surreal, geothermal reserve, Wai-O-Tapu. The bubbling mud pools and incredibly colourful silica terraces are unforgettable.
On the road to Lake Taupo we view the turbulent Huka Falls where the Waikato River thunders through a narrow chasm. From Taupo there are magnificent views across the lake to the three active volcanoes - Tongariro, Ngauruhoe and Ruapehu (2,797 metres), the highest mountain in the North Island.These mountains of the volcanic plateau are our next destination, the World Heritage Tongariro National Park. Take a walk in the park this afternoon.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: National Park - 1 Night
TONGARIRO NATIONAL PARK - WELLINGTON
Our day starts in style, with breakfast at the historic Chateau Tongariro nestled at the base of the mountains. You can chose from a variety of activities such as taking a chairlift to New Zealand's highest cafe 2020m above sea level with spectacular views over the upper slopes of Whakapapa or a choice of beautiful New Zealand walks through the Silica rapids or Taranaki Falls.
From there, we are on to Wellington, New Zealand's capital where the afternoon is yours to explore at your leisure.
Accommodation Wellington - 2 Nights
WELLINGTON at Leisure
The day is yours to enjoy, you are at the heart of all the action at The Bolton Hotel, a short walk to the waterfront, Te Papa National Museum and all the eateries and boutique breweries that Wellington is famous for.
Wellington is also the spiritual home of "The Lord of Rings" where you can visit Weta Workshop and see how all the props are made or drop into the Embassy theatre which hosted the world premier back in 2003.
Here are some sight seeing and activity suggestions while in Wellington:
|National Museum - Te Papa||Visit Cuba Street||Weta Workshop Tour|
|Zealandia Wildlife Reserve||Carter Observatory|
Interisland Ferry Crossing - NELSON
Loading up the car and heading across to ‘the mainland’ is what we all used to do on holiday as kids, it’s a Kiwi rite of passage! We cruise on the Interislander ferry for three hours across Cook Strait and into beautiful Queen Charlotte Sound to Picton to plant our feet firmly on “Te Waka a Maui”, the South Island. Our first port of call is Allan Scott's vineyard for wine tasting and lunch, right in the heart of the world famous Marlborough sauvignon blanc region.
From wine country we head to through the heart of Marlborough toward Nelson, the sunshine capital of New Zealand and gateway to the Abel Tasman National Park. Along the way we cross the Pelorus River bridge, scene of the Barrel Run scene from the Hobbit movies. In Nelson relax and unpack, this is home for 2 nights.
Accommodation: Nelson - 2 Nights
CRUISE & WALK ABEL TASMAN NATIONAL PARK
Today you have a choice of a full Scenic Cruise or a cruise and walk from Marahau along the stunning Abel Tasman coastline. Abel Tasman National Park is our country's smallest national park. It protects 23,000 hectares of the most natural stretch of easily accessible coastline in New Zealand. The coastline is characterised by islands just offshore, sheltered waters, estuaries and golden, sandy beaches. Lie on a beach, or even go for a swim if the weather is warm. The park is sheltered from ocean swells, and enjoys a mild climate. After your cruise or walk we return to Nelson.
HANMER SPRINGS - Natural Thermal Pools
We depart Nelson for the famous Pelorus River (scene of the Barrel Run from the Hobbit) before leaving the orchards and artisans behind for the foothills of the Southern Alps and Canterbury. The road travels through the picturesque countryside of the upper South Island before traversing the Southern Alps at the Lewis Pass and continuing on to the picturesque alpine village of Hanmer Springs!
In the evening relax and wind down in the world renowned Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools and Spas set amongst breath taking alpine scenery!
Accommodation Hanmer Springs - 1 Night
Farmstead Lunch - High Country Lakes & MOUNT COOK
We continue south today, following the coast before heading inland over the hills and down into the Canterbury Plains. Lunch today is very special. We are hosted by Di and Ian Mackenzie at beautiful Akanui Farm Homestead where we enjoy fresh produce from their veggie garden and pick up a few kiwi farming tips.
After lunch, we continue on our journey through Burke's Pass to New Zealand’s spectacular Mackenzie Country, for sweeping vistas of tussock lands and the backbone of the South Island, the Southern Alps. We’ll make plenty for stops en route, we can’t miss the Church of the Good Shepherd at Lake Tekapo and the unreal turquoise blue of Lake Pukaki.
In the evening, enjoy spectacular Star Gazing at Mt Cook at one of the darkest sky reserves in the world! It’s even better at winter time as the skies get darker earlier giving you more time to enjoy this incredible experience!
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation Mt Cook - 1 Night
AORAKI / MOUNT COOK - QUEENSTOWN
Always a memorable time on tour, your day in Mount Cook, New Zealand’s highest mountain and ‘home ground’ of the most famous Kiwi of all, Sir Edmund Hillary. Take your pick from exploring the dramatic landscape on one of the many easy walking tracks around the village, or make it an experience you’ll never forget with a boat cruise on the glacial lake, a scenic flight or a heli hike high up on the Tasman Glacier!
After lunch we’ll head south, over the Lindis Pass and through the rugged scenery of the Kawarau Gorge onto the renowned world class alpine village of Queenstown. In winter, Queenstown transforms into a winter wonderland, attracting snow sports enthusiasts, with its finest ski and snowboard terrain and vibrant après ski scene. Queenstown buzzes with its annual Winter Festival full of street parades, fireworks, entertainment, live music and so much more.
Accommodation Queenstown - 2 Nights
MILFORD SOUND CRUISE & FIORDLAND SCENIC FLIGHT
Today promises to be one of the highlights of your time in New Zealand. Travel to Milford Sound along the Milford Road – winding deep into the heart of Fiordland National Park, this is one of the most visually spectacular roads in the country. Arriving in Milford Sound itself, take a boat cruise to explore the inky blue waters. The onboard nature guide will help you to spot the unique wildlife that call this place home. Afterwards, return by stunning scenic flight to Queenstown.
QUEENSTOWN at leisure
Today, experience Queenstown exactly as you want to. From extreme adventure to more relaxing activities, your driver/guide will assist you with your plans. Dont forget it's winter and there are no less that 4 fantastic ski fields handy if you are keen to get on the snow.
Recommended excursions in Queenstown:
|Routeburn Day Walk||Highest Bungey Jump||Explore Arrowtown|
|Biking Skippers Canyon||Round at Millbrook Golf Resort|
|Earnslaw Steamboat Cruise||Dart River Jetboat Safari|
If you would prefer something a little more relaxing, enjoy wandering the boutique shops or strolling through the pretty Botanic Gardens. Whatever you choose to do, you’re guaranteed to be surrounded by stunning scenery.
- All transport provided in comfortable, air-conditioned coach (maximum of 18 travellers).
- Services of your MoaTrek Kiwi guide who is passionate about showcasing the best of New Zealand.
- Wonderfully appointed accommodation, chosen for its location and accessibility to attractions.
- All breakfasts(B).
- Two special lunches (L) - Te Wairoa Buried Village Lake Tarawera, Rotorua; Akaunui Farm homestead, Canterbury.
- Three special dinners (D) - Dinner at the Chateau Tongariro; Dinner at the Hermitage Aoraki Mount Cook; TSS Earnslaw BBQ Gourmet Dinner Cruise
Included Activities and Entrance Fees
- Visit a working Kiwifruit orchard, meet the growers and taste the fruit fresh off the vine.
- Cruise Lake Rotoiti on the luxury yacht “Tiua” and soak in the mineral hot pools on the edge of the lake, only reached by boat.
- Te Wairoa Buried Village Museum and grounds.
- Learn about geothermal history with a visit to Wai-O-Tapu.
- Visit New Zealand's world-class national museum and art gallery Te Papa in Wellington
- Cross the Cook Strait from the North to the South Island on the Interislander ferry.
- Enjoy a wine-tasting tour in Marlborough, New Zealand’s premier wine-growing region.
- Take a cruise to the golden sands of the Abel Tasman National Park.
- Relax in the world-renowned Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools and Spas set amongst breathtaking alpine scenery.
- Experience Milford Sound, once called the ‘eighth wonder of the world’ on a scenic 2.5-hour nature cruise.
- Take flight over the Southern Alps with a scenic flight from Milford Sound to Queenstown.
Included Sightseeing & Exploring
- Travel the dramatic highway through the Karangahake Gorge.
- Discover Rotorua’s impressive lakes of Rotoiti and Tarawera.
- Explore Maori cultural connections in Rotorua.
- Watch in awe as the powerful Huka Falls surge and visit the Wairakei geothermal power station, the first of its kind in the world.
- Enjoy views of three active volcanoes from across Lake Taupo.
- Take a gentle walk in the wilderness of the Tongariro National Park in the central North Island.
- Explore the eclectic café scene, bars, and restaurants in Wellington, New Zealand’s capital city.
- Visit the exquisite Lake Tekapo and the stunning Church of the Good Shepard located on the edge of the lake.
- Explore the diverse the flora, fauna, and sights of the Aoraki/Mt Cook region.
- Learn more about New Zealand’s gold-mining history as we pass through the beautiful Kawarau Gorge.
- Explore Lake Wakatipu, one of the Great Southern Lakes.