The Full Monty - South to North Itinerary

 

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1

Welcome to Christchurch

‘Haere Mai’ and welcome to New Zealand!

Welcome to Christchurch, New Zealand’s Garden City.  A transfer has been arranged from the airport to your hotel in Christchurch. After you check-in, head out and explore Christchurch.

Step back in time to a grand era of transport and relax as the Christchurch Tram takes you around the 'must-see' central attractions. The tram drivers provide a live commentary throughout the loop, identifying points of interest, historic architecture and the changes the city is under-going since the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes.

Some Suggested Activities Options for Christchurch

Easygoing Cycling Tour   Punting the Avon River   Lyttelton Harbour Wildlife Cruise
Māori Cultural Evening French Akaroa Tour Southern Alps Ballooning
Christchurch Gondola Clearwater Golf Arthur's Pass TranzAlpine Hike


Accommodation: Christchurch - 1 Night

Accommodation:
Stay in the heart of Christchurch, the Rendezvous Hotel Christchurch offers chic accommodation with city views. Just 10 m from New Regent Street, the Rendezvous Hotel offers easy access to the Avon River as well as local restaurants and cafés. Christchurch Botanic Gardens is 3 minutes’ drive away.
The Heritage Christchurch

2

Christchurch - Greymouth - Punakaiki

This morning you will board the TranzAlpine to Greymouth. The TranzAlpine Train, renowned as one of the great train journeys of the world. Descend through spectacular gorges, river valleys and over massive viaducts before completing your journey at Greymouth. From here collect your car and drive to Punakaiki.

Check out the famous Pancake Rocks of Punakaiki. Nowhere have the effects of Tasman Sea heaving swells had such a dramatic effect on the West Coast landscape than at the beautiful seaside village of Punakaiki. These rocks are a truly remarkable piece of natural sculpture that have been created when a series of stratified limestone stacks have been eroded over thousands of years to give the effect of large piles of Stacked Pancakes. Another prominent feature are the blowholes that at high tide force columns of spray high out of these holes with a bone shaking roar.

Approximate Distance: 289 kms | 180 miles  Total Driving Time: 4 hours

Accommodation: Punakaiki - 1 Night

Accommodation:

Surrounded by the Paparoa National Park and with stunning views of the Tasman Sea, Punakaiki Resort is a great location. The resort is situated only 300m from the famous Punakaiki Blowholes and has been designed in harmony with the local environment.  Evenings are spent relaxing in a standard resort room with views of the sea or an Eco Suite with rainforest and distant seaviews.


 

Punakaiki Resort

3

Glacier Country

Today drive from Punakaiki to the Franz Josef Village – and here, you’re in for a real treat. The Franz Josef Glacier tumbles down from the Southern Alps almost to the sea, its ancient icy faces contrasting spectacularly with the surrounding rainforests. Stay 2 nights in Glacier Country.

Approximate Distance: 218 kms | 135 miles  Total Driving Time: 3 hours

Accommodation: Franz Josef - 2 Nights

Situated on the very edge of the Westland World Heritage Park, the Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier will welcome you in true New Zealand style. The Hotel makes the most of its alpine location and is only moments from spectacular Franz Josef Glacier. The highly regarded Hot Pools are within walking distance. Featuring patios or balconies, the simple, warmly decorated rooms and suites include free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs and mini-fridges, plus tea and coffee making facilities. Suites add living areas. (formerly known as the Scenic Circle Franz Josef Glacier Hotel) has quality rooms with balcony views and special access.
Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier

4

Franz Josef at Leisure

Today is a free day to explore the region around Franz Josef. You are in the heart of the Westland National Park, considered to be the most diverse and beautiful areas in New Zealand and the home of the Kea, a protected native parrot that thrives in the chilly environment and is infamous for its inquisitive and often destructive behaviour! 

Simply relax in the Glacier Hot Pools or if you are feeling adventurous take a Glacier Heli Hike and land on the glacier with an experienced guide to explore the towering peaks and ice formations.

Excursions available in and around the Franz Josef area:

Kayak Okarito Lagoon 

   Glacier Hot Pools       Glacier Scenic Flight

Horseback Riding  

   Walk to Glacier Face    Glacier Heli-hike

 


5

Franz Josef - Wanaka

Continue your journey and travel along the rugged West Coast Road and over the Haast Pass. Discover the rich alpine rainforest, as you journey through this historic region. Behind the Gates of Haast is a lost world that’s so spectacular and remote UNESCO designated it a World Heritage area. After this breathtaking drive you will arrive in the lakeside city of Wanaka, where you will stay for the next two nights.

Approximate Distance: 285 kms | 177 miles  Total Driving Time: 3 hours 40 minutes

Accommodation: Wanaka - 2 Nights

Accommodation:

Situated on the lake shores, a stroll across the lawn will have you gazing across Lake Wanaka to the spectacular Southern Alps. Choose between one bedroom suites, studios and two bedroom apartments. Savour the lakeside atmosphere while you are treated to a fresh and contemporary menu in Sargoods Restaurant and Wineglass Cafe.

The Edgewater Resort Lake Wanaka

6

Wanaka at Leisure

A compelling mix of spectacular alpine scenery, fine food and wine and boutique shopping, the lakeside resort town of Wanaka is surrounded by some of New Zealand’s most wild and beautiful places. On the doorstep of the very 'Inspiring' Mount Aspiring National Park, Spectacular walks & hikes, skiing, water sports and boating options are available here delight those passionate about the outdoors. Wanaka is a destination that’s charming in all seasons. Staying around town is just as enjoyable; delight in the many delicious eateries and bustling pubs and enjoy a stroll on the lakeside walkway or a swim in the refreshing waters. 


7

Wanaka - Queenstown

Today you will make your way from Wanaka to Queenstown. Travelling through the Crown Range, there will be a possibility to enjoy some unique views en route. There is a bounty of vineyards, cafes and restaurants scattered throughout the wider district of QueenstownArrowtown and the Gibbston Valley. You don’t have to be an adrenaline junkie to enjoy Queenstown and part of its charm is the array of less hectic quality activities on offer – but if interested Queenstown is home to the ultimate adventure bucket list!

Approximate Distance: 69 kms | 43 miles  Total Driving Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Accommodation: Queenstown - 3 Nights

Offering a variety of one and two bedroom apartments set in a relaxing garden setting, you are only a five-minute walk to Queenstown's bustling centre. These quality suites and apartments have courtyards, balconies with alpine views and are self-contained and are complemented by high quality facilities and services to enhance your personal experience. A breakfast restaurant serves a continental breakfast.
Queenstown Appartments

8

Cruise on the Majestic Milford Sound

This morning, you will drive by coach to Milford Sound. With camera batteries fully charged, you set out on an unforgettable journey into a World Heritage Site of absolute majesty. The Milford Road takes you from Te Anau to Milford Sound on one of the most scenic drives on the planet. A glorious labyrinth of soaring peaks is punctuated by unspoiled rainforest, plunging valleys, azure lakes, waterfalls and glaciers. 

The light at the end of the Homer Tunnel marks the final reaches of this amazing roadway and our arrival at Milford Sound. Following a boat cruise of the sound, you will understand why this place was once described as the '8th natural wonder of the world'. From the spectacular scenes of Milford Sound, you will travel back by coach to Queenstown


9

Queenstown at Leisure

Today is fully at your disposal and a great opportunity to discover Queenstown at your own pace. From thrills to relaxed sightseeing; the lakeside town offers something for everyone.

If you want to enjoy spectacular scenic views, you can sit back and relax in the Skyline Queenstown Gondola (cost of Gondola included). The steepest cable car lift in the Southern Hemisphere and one of the must-do activities in Queenstown. 

Recommended excursions in Queenstown:

Routeburn Day Walk Highest Bungey Jump Explore Arrowtown

Wine Tasting Central Otago      

Biking Skippers Canyon       Round at Millbrook Golf Resort
Earnslaw Steamboat Cruise   Dart River Jetboat Safari      

Gibbston Valley Wine Trail


10

Queenstown - Dunedin

Todays journey takes you from the dry-land region of Central Otago to eastern costal climate.

Say goodbye to the tussock covered schist Block Mountains of the Central Otago dry lands and leave hilly country and winding river valleys behind. The vegetation will begin to change, while you cross the farmlands of the Taieri Plains and arrive at todays destination: Dunedin. The name comes from Dun Eideann the Scots-Gaelic name for Edinburgh, founded largely by Scottish immigrants, who raised the impressive buildings which now add much to the city's charm. These buildings incorporate a diverse array of styles from Tudor, Jacobean, Georgian, Carpenter, Gothic and Arts and Crafts styles also feature - to some very fine examples of Neo-Gothic. Dunedin is regarded as one of the best preserved Victorian cities in the Commonwealth. 

Approximate Distance: 280kms | 174 miles  Total Driving Time: 3 hours 40 minutes

Accommodation: Dunedin - 2 Nights

Accommodation:
Centrally located in Dunedin, Victoria Hotel is a 5-minute walk to The Octagon and St. Paul’s Cathedral. It offers spacious studios and apartments with satellite TV and private balconies. There are 2 on-site restaurants. Guest rooms offer city views and are equipped with refrigerator, radio, telephone, hairdryer, and a work desk. Ironing and tea/coffee-making facilities are available.
Victoria Hotel Dunedin

11

Otago Peninsula Wildlife Cruise

Today cruise the length of the Otago Harbour. Experience an unforgettable half day cruise and peninsula tour and explore Careys Bay historic fishing village, Port Chalmers’ busy wharves and the harbour’s beautiful bays, hills, farmland and forest. Enjoy Monarch’s fascinating Wildlife Cruise around Taiaroa Head and the surrounding coastline of dramatic cliffs. Watch the NZ Furseals play and swim near their breeding colonies, out at sea you can spot rarely seen ocean birds including other albatross species and petrels, and you may see penguins, dolphins and other marine mammals.


12

Dunedin - Mt Cook

Leave the east coast and drive into the centre of the south island. Arrive at Mount Cook National Park. 

New Zealand's Mt Cook National Park is known for its exquisite alpine beauty and is home to our highest mountain, Mt Cook. Its Maori name, ‘Aoraki’ means ‘cloud piercer’ and at 12,016ft (3,755m) it towers above the surrounding snow-covered peaks in the park.

Approximate Distance: 294 kms | 182 miles  Total Driving Time: 3 hours 34 minutes

Accommodation: Mount Cook - 2 Nights

A stunning destination surrounded by the silent splendor of the Southern Alps and with spectacular views of Aoraki/Mount Cook and the surrounding National Park World Heritage area. There is a selection of properties within the Terrace Road campus from Hotel to Chalet and Mountainview Motels - all budgets and standards can be catered for.

Hermitage Hotel Mount Cook

13

Mt Cook at Leisure

Enjoy a full day in the Mount Cook National Park. A third of the park is covered in permanent ice and snow and the mighty Tasman Glacier is the longest glacier outside of the polar regions. Glacial melt gives the lakes their beautiful milky, turquoise colour and there are many walks in the area to take in the dramatic beauty. This is the very heart and soul of a World Heritage and National Park wilderness playground.

Suggested activities for MT Cook National Park:


14

Mt Cook - Christchurch

Today continue your journey to Christchurch. You will pass by the charming 'Church of the Good Shepherd', which sits alone on its shores and the views to our highest mountain, Aoraki Mt Cook are remarkable. After enjoying these amazing sceneries you will continue to your final destination of the day - Christchurch

Approximate Distance: 334 kms | 207 miles  Total Driving Time: 4 hours 25 Minutes

Accommodation: Christchurch - 1 Night

Accommodation:
Stay in the heart of Christchurch, the Rendezvous Hotel Christchurch offers chic accommodation with city views. Just 10 m from New Regent Street, the Rendezvous Hotel offers easy access to the Avon River as well as local restaurants and cafés. Christchurch Botanic Gardens is 3 minutes’ drive away.
The Heritage Christchurch

15

Christchurch - Kaikoura

Today, you leave the garden city and head up the rocky shoreline to Kaikoura. The Kaikoura peninsula has a mild microclimate and is overlooked by majestic snowcapped mountains. This unique proximity of ocean and mountain range offers a host of eco-tourism oriented activities, including whale watching, dolphin and seal swimming, kayaking, fishing and hiking.

This afternoon we have included a whale watch cruise for you. 

Approximate Distance: 182 kms | 113 miles  Total Driving Time: 2 hours 40 mins

Accommodation: Kaikoura - 1 Night

The White Morph Motor Inn is situated on the waterfront with an easy stroll into the township for convenient dining, shops and bars (there is also a restaurant on site). Choose between the deluxe spa rooms with ocean view balcony, or the 4 star studio rooms & family apartments with garden views. 

White Morph Motor Inn - Kaikoura

16

Marlborough - Wine Country

Today drive to Blenheim. Blenheim is situated in the Marlborough Region, on the north east corner of the South Island, due west of Wellington city. Blenheim's attractions include its wine industry, the Marlborough Sounds, gourmet foods and adventurous activities. For centuries Blenheim has offered safe harbour to travellers sailing to the spectacular South Island: first the Maori traders and war parties; then explorers like Captain James Cook and Dumont d’Urville; and now, to visitors seeking a retreat from city pressures, as they discover the unspoilt haven and foodie heaven that is Marlborough today.

Approximate Distance: 129 kms | 80 miles  Total Driving Time: 1 hour 50 minutes

Accommodation: Blenheim - 1 Night

The Scenic Hotel Marlborough is only a few minutes walk from the centre of Blenheim. It offers guests the ultimate in modern comfort and service and puts some of New Zealand's finest food and wine virtually on the doorstep. 

Scenic Hotel Marlborough

17

Nelson

From Blenheim your journey continues to Nelson. Nelson has a large creative community of working artists that gives the town a laid-back, bohemian feel. Passionate wine makers and craft beer brewers in the area mean that sitting in the sun with the tipple of your choice is a lovely way to enjoy the town centre.

Receiving some of the highest sunshine hours in New Zealand, the Nelson district it the perfect destination to visit year round. Located in the North-West corner of New Zealand, the Nelson region is surrounded by sheltered mountain ranges, golden beaches, national parks and boutique wineries and breweries. From Nelson, it’s easy to access any of three distinctly different National Parks.

Approximate Distance: 115 kms | 71 miles  Total Driving Time: 1 hour 40 minutes

Accommodation: Nelson - 2 Nights

Accommodation:

The Rutherford Hotel  is an icon of the region standing next to the Cathedral steps and an easy stroll into the city of Nelson.  Nelson is a haven for art enthusiasts, and has a reputation for excellent produce, craft beer and fine wines. The Rutherford Hotel features restaurants and bars and caters for all room categories from studios, interconnecting rooms and suites.

Rutherford Hotel Nelson

18

Abel Tasman National Park - Cruise & Walk

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.


19

Interisland Cruise - Wellington

Leave the sunny city of Nelson and head over to on Picton, where you will board the Interislander Ferry for your journey through the Marlborough Sounds and across Cook Strait to Wellington.

Embraced by a natural amphitheatre of ocean and hill, Wellington merges big city culture with small town charm. A lively energy pulses through what is celebrated as New Zealand’s arts, film, coffee, culinary, craft beer, events and political capital.

Wellington is also known as a socially and environmentally conscious city. Declared nuclear weapon free over 30 years ago in 1982, it was also the first capital city in the southern hemisphere to gain Fair Trade status, and is home to the world-leading Zealandia sanctuary.

Approximate Distance: 135 kms | 84 miles  Total Driving Time: 1 hour 50 minutes

Accommodation: Wellington - 2 Nights

Accommodation:
Located right in the centre of Wellington the Ibis is only a short walk away from the bustle of Lambton Quay with its restaurants, cafes and walking distance to Parliament, TSB Arena, Westpac Stadium and New Zealand's National Museum, Te Papa. All guest rooms are contemporary with all expected mod-cons. Visit Vivant Restaurant and Bar for breakfast, lunch and dinner; situated on the ground floor.
Ibis Wellington.

20

Wellington at Leisure

Renowned for its eclectic, arty atmosphere, Wellington is a real kiwi cultural treat and numerous galleries and character-filled shops line its colourful streets. The Museum of New Zealand 'Te Papa' is full of national treasures and sits beside the water in the downtown area of the city centre - well worth a visit. Wellington is also famous for having some the New Zealand's best restaurants - gourmet dining experiences here are truly world class. Culture, cuisine and scenic beauty abound in New Zealand’s iconic capital.

Some suggestions to enhance your stay in Wellington:

National Museum - Te Papa    

   Visit Cuba Street

   Weta Workshop Tour
Zealandia Wildlife Reserve 

   Wellington Cable Car   

   Carter Observatory 


21

Art Deco Napier City

Leaving the capital you are soon travelling through rolling farm land as you travel into the rural heartland of the Waiarapa region. Stop at historic Greytown to view excellent examples of Victorian colonial architecture. The village has a mix of art galleries, boutique shops, cafes and restaurants making it one of New Zealand’s premier shopping destinations.

Nowhere else can you see such a variety of buildings in the styles of the 1930s - Stripped Classical, Spanish Mission, and above all Art Deco- the style of the 20th Century - in such a concentrated area.  Napier is the world’s finest example of the Art Deco age and your guide will bring Napier's fascinating architecture to life for you as you take an easy stroll through the compact Art Deco Quarter in the vibrant city centre. 

Approximate Distance: 324 kms | 200 miles  Total Driving Time: 4 hours 15 mins

Accommodation: Napier - 2 Nights

Styled to complement its remarkable location on the edge of the beautiful Hawke's Bay, Scenic Hotel Te Pania boasts design awards for its style and offers an unmatched level of service to leisure travellers with a high four star accommodation rating. Enjoy the central waterfront location and the extensive sea views that all rooms share. Te Pania is just a short stroll from Napier’s main art deco style street with many shops, cafes and restaurants.

Scenic Hotel Te Pania - Napier

22

Grape Escape Wine Tour

The Hawkes Bay is one of New Zealand's premier wine producing regions. It is a veritable treasure trove of vineyards, offering wines of superlative quality, many of which have won both national and international acclaim.

Join a fun filled wine tasting afternoon in the sun driving through absolutely stunning scenery. Meet like-minded people and share an appreciation of this regions fantastic wine. We will visit four to five wineries and enjoy a cheese platter in the grounds of Ngatarawa Vineyard beside the lily pond. You will taste around 30 different wines including the main varieties, Merlot, Syrah, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc, as well as Pinot Gris, Viognier and the lesser known aromatics such as Gewurztraminer and Riesling.


23

Geothermal Rotorua

Depart Napier and travel to Taupo. Lake Taupo is the southern hemisphere's largest crater lake (in fact, it is the size of Singapore!) and the Taupo Eruption (also known as the Hatepe eruption) that occurred about 1,800 years ago, represents the most violent eruption in the world in the last 5,000 years. View the mighty Huka Falls and the Wai-O-Tapu geothermal wonderland before arriving at the thermal resort of Rotorua.

Approximate Distance: 414 kms | 257 miles  Total Driving Time: 5 hours

Accommodation: Rotorua - 2 Nights

This 4.5 star deluxe property is perfectly situated next to mystical Lake Rotorua and is just a brief stroll from the City centre, close to many restaurants and bars. The hotel offers world class residential style accommodation that is suitable for those travelling on business and for leisure. Restaurant Nikau offers a good range of evening menu choices, from the Restaurant's famous Nikau Burger to fine dining options, while the Brassiere Poolside Restaurant is the perfect place to start your day with an alfresco style breakfast beside the geothermal heated pool.
Millenium Hotel Rotorua

24

Te Puia & Hangi Concert

Discover the heart of Maori culture in New Zealand at Te Puia. This is also one of the most geothermally active environments in the country and Te Puia's 70 hectare park in the beautiful Whakarewarewa Thermal Valley is right in the heart of the action. Restless forces boil to the surface in the enchanting, superheated mud pools and hot springs and geysers gush hot steam and water in spectacular fashion. The famous Pohutu Geyser erupts approximately every 20 minutes and bursts reach heights of 30m (100ft). Silica terraces, native bush and birdlife and a wonderful insight into Maori culture and tradition rounds off a fascinating and memorable experience.

In the evening, you will experience an entertaining Maori Cultural Performance. Enjoy a traditionally cooked hangi meal steamed under ground. During the cultural performance, you'll learn about the Maoris past, see their carvings and ta moko (tattoo art).


25

Hobbtion Movie Set Tour - Coromandel

An exciting day awaits this morning. Journey to the emerald pastures and rolling hills of The Shire, where Hobbiton was brought to life on a private farm in Matamata. This idyllic village blurs the line between fantasy and reality. Set to the scale of a 3ft Hobbit you’ll feel like you’ve walked into a magical world of smoking chimneys, bluebells, and the Green Dragon Inn. Visit Bag End as well as the other 43 Hobbit Holes on this fully guided 2.5hr Hobbiton tour. Learn about the production of the movies – how did they make Gandalf appear so tall? Why was this exact site chosen to build Hobbiton? The passion and knowledge gleaned from your guide brings this authentic Middle-earth experience to life.

On to Pauanui beach in the beautiful Coromandel, a favourite New Zealand holiday beach resort for our overnight stay.

Approximate Distance: 229 kms | 142 miles  Total Driving Time: 2 hours 50 minutes

Accommodation: Coromandel - 2 Nights

Accommodation:
11 Cosy wooden cottages with leadlight windows and French doors opening onto sunny verandas and beautiful gardens, scattered throughout 1.5 acres of native bush and gardens with all cottages landscaped for their individual peace and privacy with a range of unique self-catering accommodation options. Onsite a reconstructed 1916 Methodist Church is an independently run restaurant offering our guests to Hahei an unique and tasty dining experience, just a stroll from your cottage.
The Church

26

Coromandel at Leisure

The Coromandel is a renowned outdoor heaven where rugged terrain meets idyllic coastline. These natural features provide inspiration for the creative works and unique attractions hidden around every corner. The laid back culture, locally known as ‘Coromandel time’, encourages a relaxed atmosphere that is better understood once experienced. Have a relaxing day to choose to do as much or as little as you wish.


Recommended excursions in and around the Coromandel:

Dive the Aldermans    Soak in the Lost Springs    Visit Cathedral Cove
Soak in Hot Water Beach    Rainforest Rail Journey Explorer Cruise
Water Works Park Guided Sea Kayaking  Kauri Forest Guided Hike

27

Coromandel - Auckland

Leave the beautiful nature of the Coromandel Peninsula behind and head to New Zealands biggest city - Auckland.

The city of Auckland is situated amongst a cluster of extinct volcanic cones, next to a large harbour that bustles with life, both on water and on land. The Auckland isthmus straddles a slim piece of land with coastline facing both the Pacific Ocean, and, on the wild West Coast, the Tasman Sea. Take a stroll around our beautiful city, explore the highly acclaimed Waterfront Restaurant Quarter or choose one of the many activities available to give a more in depth understanding of Auckland and the surrounding area.

Some Activities and sightseeing options if you have time:

Explore Waiheke Island     Island Kayaking Adventure     America’s Cup Sailing
Auckland's Sky Tower Relax on the Beach Rangitoto Island Cruise & Walk
West Coast Wine Tour Whale and Dolphin Safari Muriwai Surf Beach


Approximate Distance: 150 kms | 93 miles  Total Driving Time: 2 hours

Accommodation: Auckland - 1 Night

Accommodation:
Ideally situated in central Queen Street, the Airedale Boutique Suites is a beautiful four-star hotel with an elegant art deco apartment style accommodation. Enjoy shopping, eating and the city entertainment precinct right at your doorstep. Guests are welcome to enjoy stylish inner-city accommodation that offers space and convenience. A lavish renovation of this heritage building blends its fabulous art deco architecture with a contemporary feel and modern comforts.
Old MLC Building

28

Beautiful Bay of Islands

A three-hour drive north following the beautiful Hibiscus Coast, you arrive in Paihia, the touristic centre of the Bay of Islands. The ‘Bay’ encompasses 144 islands between Cape Brett and the Purerua Peninsula, a maritime adventure playground with an abundance of wildlife including penguins, dolphins, marlin, whales, gannets and more. Many of the islands here have walking tracks and have regular ferry’s to get you there. On land, enjoy beautiful river and seaside walking tracks or encounter the mighty Kauri Tree in pristine subtropical rainforest.

Approximate Distance: 228 kms | 142 miles  Total Driving Time: 3 hours 

Accommodation: Paihia - 2 Nights

Commanding a memorable situation on the waterfront only 100 metres from Paihia wharf, near the township and close to the main attractions. Kingsgate Hotel Autolodge Paihia offers views across the Bay's brilliant blue green sea to famous Russell. This welcoming Paihia hotel is an ideal base from which to explore the scenic and historic Bay of Islands.

Kingsgate hotel Autolodge

29

Bay of Islands Dolphin Cruise

Enjoy your day in the Bay of islands and board the Hole in the Rock Dolphin Watching Cruise. See the historic Cape Brett lighthouse, as you explore some of the 144 islands in the bay. Spot some dolphins and other wildlife of the Bay. Skip through the majestic Hole in the Rock and take in the Grand Cathedral Cave before returning to the inner islands of the Bay. 


30

Hokianga - West Coast

Northland is one of the narrowest spots in the whole North Island, which makes it an easy drive from the Bay of islands to Hokianga, on the 'other side'.

Meet the 'The Father of the Forest' - Twilight Encounter Tour

The spiritual environment of the Waipoua Forest provides a natural stage for an unforgettable encounter with some of the largest remaining kauri trees in the world. 'Step into our World' and let our local guides take you on a memorable journey through nature's stages of evolution, whilst providing a mythological and interactive interpretation of life in the forest. Meet our ancestors; the mighty Te Matua Ngahere ('The Father of the Forest') estimated to be between 3,000 and 4,000 years old, his mighty girth is over 5 metres (15ft) in diameter. 'The Four Sisters' are a graceful collection of kauri trees that have grown close together in sibling harmony and finally, Tane Mahuta ('The Lord of the Forest') who stands an impressive 51 metres (150ft) tall. Join us for an intimate encounter to learn how these trees are intertwined with the lives of local Maori and the important role they play in the eco-system that is the Waipoua Forest.

Approximate Distance: 75 km | 47 miles  Total Driving Time: 1 hour

Accommodation: Hokianga - 1 Night

The Copthorne Hotel & Resort is a waterfront hotel situated in Omapere on the Hokianga Harbour. It offers with stunning views towards huge sand dunes across the harbour and is just a one minute stroll to the shore, providing a picturesque and relaxed atmosphere, and quite laid back compared to Russell and Paihia. They offer you stylish accommodation with warm, hospitable service, contemporary ease and attention to detail.
Copthorne Northland

31

Hokianga - Auckland

Head back to the 'City of Sails', simply relax or take this opportunity to explore the many sights of Auckland. Afterwards, we suggest you head down to the viaduct to spend your last evening in one of the many bars and restaurants.

Some Activities and sightseeing options if you have time:

Explore Waiheke Island     Island Kayaking Adventure     America’s Cup Sailing
Auckland's Sky Tower Relax on the Beach Rangitoto Island Cruise & Walk
West Coast Wine Tour Whale and Dolphin Safari Muriwai Surf Beach


Approximate Distance: 274 kms | 170 miles  Total Driving Time: 3 hours 40 minutes

Accommodation: Auckland - 1 Night

Accommodation:
Ideally situated in central Queen Street, the Airedale Boutique Suites is a beautiful four-star hotel with an elegant art deco apartment style accommodation. Enjoy shopping, eating and the city entertainment precinct right at your doorstep. Guests are welcome to enjoy stylish inner-city accommodation that offers space and convenience. A lavish renovation of this heritage building blends its fabulous art deco architecture with a contemporary feel and modern comforts.
Old MLC Building

32

Bon Voyage!

"Haere rā" Goodbye! and Bon Voyage! Today we say farewell. We take care of your transfer to Auckland Airport where you will board your onward flight, taking with you the magical memories of a truly exceptional New Zealand holiday.


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