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|Dedicated Travel Consultant||Detailed Daily Itinerary and Vouchers|
|Full 24 Hour Support||50 Page Essential New Zealand Guide|
North to the Beautiful Bay of Islands
The sub-tropical region of the Bay of Islands is a stunning Maritime Park with 144 islands, secluded bays, and an abundance of marine life including marlin, whales, penguins, dolphins, gannets and many other species. Being somewhat sheltered, the area is ideal for yachting, fishing, kayaking and diving. Rolling countryside, tidal estuaries, mangroves, sparkling and long silvery beaches abound. It is an area of considerable historical significance, and is the place where Maori and European signed the Treaty of Waitangi that joined them as one nation. Long considered the cradle of Polynesian and European settlement in New Zealand, the area is rich in history and natural beauty.
After arriving in the Bay of Islands it a 10 minute ferryride to the quaint seaside town of Russell, this small historic seaside village has since the 1700s provided a haven for visitors, offering shelter and hospitality. Because of its relatively remote location it retains an island quality and a charm that reflects the tranquillity of earlier times. Despite this, it is a vibrant, cosmopolitan community that attracts visitors from New Zealand and all over the world. Its hard to believe now but Russell was the first capital of New Zealand.
Next door is the historic Duke Of Marlborough Hotel (the oldest pub in New Zealand) why not pop over and dine only a few feet the from waters edge.
Approximate Distance: 232 kms | 145 miles Total Driving Time: 3 hours 30 mins
Accommodation Russell - 1 Night
THREE DAY SAILING ADVENTURE - BAY OF ISLANDS
This is a sailing paradise and unsurprisingly a favourite cruising ground for many a keen Kiwi sailor. So enjoy the Bay of Islands the way the locals do, on a boat with a small group of like-minded people, spend carefree days in an incredible setting doing the things you enjoy, take in the natural beauty at a leisurely pace.
This is an all-inclusive sailing expedition gives you three magical days of kayaking, snorkeling, fishing and exploring. Enjoy the diversity of the Bay of Islands first-hand and learn about the area’s fascinating history. It’s the perfect start to your New Zealand holiday.
No other trip will let you explore this unique area in quite the same way.
Sample Itinerary Day 1: Depart Paihia wharf at 8am. Spend the morning at sea, catching fish and spotting wildlife. Lunch stop at Roberton Island followed by a walk to a lookout and swimming/snorkelling. Afternoon sail to Oke Bay for our overnight stop. Evening kayak/ beach combing and bbq dinner.
Accommodation: 2 Nights Aboard The Sailing Ship Manawanui
Day 2 of your Sailing Adventure
Sample Itinerary Day 2: 8am breakfast followed by a sail to Cape Brett and the Hole in the Rock. Hike to Cape Brett lighthouse followed by fishing and a sail to Deepwater Cove. Snorkelling in the marine reserve in Deep Water Cove. Sail to Waewaetorea Island. Sunset dinner on deck.
NB: This is a sample itinerary. The routes and activities are entirely weather dependent. Basically, the cruise is best described as island-hopping, with a few hours of passage making followed by an exploration of our destination and a good meal.
Day 3 of your sailing adventure
Sample Itinerary Day 3: 8am breakfast followed by a walk to the top of Waewaetorea for a panoramic view of the Bay of Islands. A few hours spent relaxing on the beach,kayaking, snorkelling. Sail to the Black Rocks to harvest green-lipped mussels for lunch. Fresh seafood lunch followed by a sail in the afternoon seabreeze back to Paihia. Arrive Paihia around 3.30/4pm. Then its a very short 1 hour drive to Tutukaka.
Approximate Distance: 89 kms | 55 miles Total Driving Time: 1 hour
Accommodation: Tutukaka - 2 nights
RAGLAN (OUR LITTLE HAWAII) - BOHEMIAN TRANQUILITY
The ruggedly beautiful West Coast is where the mighty surf of the Tasman Sea tumbles and crashes onto vast black sandy beaches. The untamed natural beauty you’ll find here nourishes the soul; isolated and wild, you’ll feel worlds away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
Famous for surfing, music, artisans, cafés and bohemian lifestyle’s, the Raglan community is set on the beautiful west coast. This is a relaxing isolated place where you can spend time at one of the many beaches swimming, surfing, kayaking and body-boarding. Raglan is home to one of the best left-hand breaks in the world and is the perfect place to sit on the beach, eat fresh fish & watch the sun go down.
Approximate Distance: 381 kms | 237 miles Total Driving Time: 5 hours 20 mins
Accommodation Raglan - 2 nights
SURF, LEARN TO SURF OR RELAX ON THE BEACH
Whether you want to learn surf or you have already master the sport, Raglan is definitely the place for you to come and enjoy surfing. Learn all techniques thanks to an innovative system of dry land surf board model that allow you to experience surfboard dynamics prior to entering the water. Whether in a group or individual lessons, the emphasis is put on fun and safety for a pleasurable and safe ocean experience. In just a few lessons, you can be taken from riding the whitewater to gliding along open faced ground swells!
If you're not a surfing fan then Ocean Beach is a fine place for a swim or a body boarding session. Lifeguards patrol the western end of the beach during the summer months - it's safest to swim between the flags.
Après-beach...And after beach time, the area offers plenty of possibilities, like a zipper line “Flying Fox”, hiking trails on Mt Karioi, mountain biking or glowworm caves or sip a great espresso. This lively surf town has an interesting creative culture and a wonderful choice of cafés and arts and craft boutiques.
LOST WORLD EPIC CAVING ADVENTURE - WAITOMO
We consider this to be Waitomo’s best caving adventure and it’s dramatic! You start with a 100 meter abseil (330ft) into the depths of the ‘Lost World’ – this is considered the world’s longest commercial caving abseil (rappel) and it takes some fifteen minutes to get you down – and that is just the beginning! In the company of a very experienced guide, you start your journey.
Once down, you embark on a journey back to the surface through one of the worlds most incredible cave systems. Climbing upstream you follow a challenging underground river by whatever means, so its: swimming, climbing ropes, wading, exploring vaults the size of cathedrals, up waterfalls and monolithic stalactites, squeezing through tight cracks and jumping into deep black pools!
This is a full on caving experience and you need to be fit and you are going to get very very wet, but fear not you’ll be in the safe muddy hands of some of New Zealand’s most experienced guides. (minimum age is 15 for the Lost World)
Not quite your cup of tea: We have a great selection of alternative caving adventure's from sedate glowworm viewing, black water rafting (floating on an inner tube through a cave) Just ask about our selection of beginner to moderate underground adventures.
Approximate Distance: 102 kms | 63 miles Total Driving Time: 1 hour 20 mins
Accommodation Waitomo - 1 night
ROTORUA RAFTING & NATURAL HOTPOOLS
The great thing about the Kaituna River is that it is not only one of the most popular whitewater runs in the country, with the distinction of being the world's highest commercially rafted waterfall, but it is also very scenic and takes you through the depths of a magnificent bush-lined gorge steeped in Maori history. The exhilarating seven metre drop of whitewater is the ultimate rafting experience in New Zealand! The Kaituna is classified as a grade five river because of its seven metre waterfall, however it is suitable for all people who are reasonably comfortable in water.
Too scary? We have various rafting options available from Grade 2 to 5
Spend your afternoon soaking in Rotorua's Polynesian Spa. Very relaxing thermal hot pools with onsite massage therapies.
Approximate Distance: 137 kms | 85 miles Total Driving Time: 1 hour 50 mins
Accommodation Rotorua - 1 night
GEOTHERMAL ROTORUA / QUEENSTOWN
Wai-O-tapu Thermal Wonderland
Just south of Rotorua lies Wai-O-tapu, a wonderland of stunning geothermal activity and a really exciting place to visit. Wai-O-Tapu means 'Sacred Water' and it is easy to see why as the hot pools range in colour from turquoise blue, rich green and gold to an almost olive/yellow, make the water a dazzling kaleidoscope of natural colour.
The steaming vents with New Zealand’s largest bubbling mud pool while being surrounded by huge volcanic craters make the experience very other worldly - but wait, there is more... the Highlight is the Lady Knox Geyser that spectacularly erupts daily at around 10.15am (ish)
Alternate excursions in and around Rotorua:
|See Geysers & Boiling Mud||Polynesian Hot Springs||Whirinaki Forest Walk|
|Thermally Active Golf||Biking the Mighty Forests||Flight to Volcanic Island|
|Museum of Art & History||Evening Cultural Experience||White Water Rafting|
Fly to New Zealand's Adventure Capital - Queenstown
Accommodation Queenstown - 2 night
FREE DAY IN THE ADVENTURE CAPITAL
It is well known Queenstown is New Zealand’s ‘four season’ resort town and arguably the adventure capital of the world. There are certainly enough crazy activities here to challenge the teens – Sure jump off a bridge, try skydiving or roar down a river in a jet boat, but Queenstown offers much more as you can just as easily go fishing, golfing, gold panning, wine tasting, or boating. One thing is certain your family won't run out of things to do.
Recommended Queenstown excursions:
|Routeburn Day Walk||Highest Bungey Jump||Explore Arrowtown|
|Biking Skippers Canyon||Round at Millbrook Golf Resort|
|Earnslaw Steamboat Cruise||Dart River Jetboat Safari|
MILFORD SOUND OVERNIGHT CRUISE
When the last day-boat ties up in early evening and the visitor’s leave a silence descends... An overnight cruise amidst the spectacular Milford Sound is a "once in a lifetime" experience and certainly one the most beautiful places in New Zealand. It's no wonder it was described by Rudyard Kipling as the 'eighth wonder of the world'.
Cruise the full length of Milford Sound to the Tasman Sea before anchoring for the night in the sheltered Harrison Cove. Then it’s of exploring with the nature guide in the ships tender crafts and kayaks spotting the resident seals, dolphins and penguins, before enjoying a delicious evening buffet meal in the spacious dining saloon, before retiring to your cabin.
Approximate Distance: 289 kms | 180 miles Total Driving Time: 4 hours
Accommodation Milford Sound Cruise - 1 night
PENQUINS, SEALS & DOLPHINS
Dolphins such as Dusky, Bottlenose and Hectors are regularly seen swimming in Milford Sound, while lay about on the rocky shoreline enjoying the sun are the inquisitive New Zealand Fur Seals. Penguins are numerous throughout the fiords. Two species predominate, especially the rare yellow-eyebrowed Fiord-land crested penguin and the Little Blue Penguin.
Once back on land its time to return to Queenstown.
Approximate Distance: 289 kms | 180 miles Total Driving Time: 4 hours
Accommodation Queenstown - 1 night
Mt Nicholas HIGH COUNTRY FARM
Take the Spirit of Queenstown Scenic Cruise to Mt Nicholas High Country Farm, enjoying the stunning scenery with views up the lake towards Glenorchy, with commentary onboard. Join the farm guide on the walking tour - of this truly authentic high country farm - on a stunning lake front setting with stunning mountains behind. Friendly, knowledgeable local guides ensure you have the time to enjoy the whole experience nature has provided. Overnight stay at Mt Nicholas which is one of the most historic and largest stations in New Zealand. It spans 100,000 acres (40,000 Hectares) from the shores of Lake Wakatipu to deep into Southland and is home to 30,000 Merino Sheep and 2,200 Hereford Cattle. While Mt Nicholas has benefitted from the many improvements in farming over the last 150 years, the Station enjoys relative isolation and is still largely self-sufficient. Hydro electricity is produced on-farm, as is much of the food consumed on the station. You will be accommodated in converted shearers quarters. We’ve chosen this overnight experience for its natural history, scenic beauty, remote location and varied terrain.
Accommodation Mt Nicholas High Country Farm - 1 night
THE PERFECT CYCLE TRIP ON A HIGH COUNTRY FARM
This morning you will hop on a mountain bike and travel along the lakeside farm road, to neighbouring high country farm Walter Peak. The ride will take approximately 90 minutes for the 9 mile ride - dont rush! Enjoy stunning panoramic alpine views towards the Southern Alps and the Remarkables range. At Walter Peak, enjoy a bbq lunch before taking the historicTSS Earnslaw steam ship back to Queenstown.
Accommodation Queenstown - 1 night
"Haere rā" Goodbye! and Bon Voyage!
Sadly, your NZ family adventure is at an end. We know you will enjoy our New Zealand Family Adventure and our promise to you is to make your travels through New Zealand as hassle-free and hospitable as possible - ensuring that today you leave with a memory card full of photos, and huge smiles on your faces when recalling your time in New Zealand! Have a great homeward journey, farewell and hope to see you again soon in Aotearoa, New Zealand.
Ready to find out more? Talk to us here in New Zealand about the NZ Family Adventure - We Guarantee it will be the Holiday of a Lifetime!