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|Dedicated Travel Consultant||Detailed Daily Itinerary and Vouchers|
|Full 24 Hour Support||50 Page Essential New Zealand Guide|
Welcome to Auckland / Waiheke Island
Take the Sky Bus directly to the Waiheke Ferry Terminal in downtown Auckland.
Artists and free-spirits mingle with the rich and famous on this blissful island, a haven of beautiful beaches, gastronomical treasures and small wineries. Waiheke Island is to Auckland as the Hamptons are to New York – the former being on a much smaller scale. Home to beautiful beaches and holiday homes, Waiheke Island produces outstanding, award winning wines.
Approximate Ferry Time to Waiheke Island: 35-40 mins
Accommodation Waiheke Island - 2 nights
Island Life - Relax or Explore
Waiheke Island is a place of lazy days and peaceful holidays, vineyards, olive groves and beautiful beaches.The Island is a national taonga (treasure) with many special places. Home to historic sites, wildlife and diverse habitats, the island is an important part of New Zealand’s landscape.
What to Do...
Tour the Wineries
Join a guided tour to experience some of Waiheke’s fabulous wineries. Enjoy tastings of award-winning wines and relax over a scrumptious vineyard lunch.
Stroll the Sands
Wander along the white sand at Oneroa and Onetangi beaches – two of the island’s best beaches – and take a dip in the sheltered waters.
There are lots of activities for adventure seekers on Waiheke – try archery and laser clay pigeon shooting, hire a scooter, take a scenic flight or zoom across the tree tops on a flying fox zipline.
Discover Art for Art’s sake
Check out Waiheke’s fantastic arts scene, from local galleries and studios to an inspiring sculpture park. Look out for regular art events too.
Coromandel Peninsula / Hahei
This morning take the ferry back to Auckland City, collect your rental car and take the scenic route to the beautiful Coromandel.
The Coromandel Peninsula lies east of Auckland, on the other side of the Hauraki Gulf. An impressive, heavily forested mountain range runs right up the middle of this peninsula - it’s bordered on each side by miles of spectacular coastline.
The idyllic seaside village of Hahei, (HA-hey) is a small settlement situated on the eastern side of the Peninsula. Yes there are a couple of restaurants, cafes and fish and chippy, but essentially this is a secret hideaway were Kiwi families take their holidays – its all about the beach, where the waves are generally safe for children and the wide beach is ideal for a game of volleyball or to throw a Frisbee. The bay also provided a location for the filming of the fantasy feature, The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian.
Approximate Distance: 189 kms | 117 miles Total Driving Time: 2 hours 30 mins
Accommodation Hahei - 3 nights
Arguably the Most Beautiful Beach in the World
A Day at the Beach - Cathedral Cove
Cathedral Cove simply has everything you could possibly want from a beach – sparkling clear blue water, world class snorkelling, clean white sand, deserted islands you can see from the beach, The massive naturally formed "Cathedral" archway carved out by the sea and wind over thousands of years and other really interesting rock formations; including one that acts as a great jumping platform. There has been no development at all so the beach has remained as it was thousands of years ago. There are native trees and bush behind the beach with a fresh water waterfall to cool you down and provide shelter on a sizzling hot summer’s day.
Getting There: Only accessible by foot, boat or kayak, we suggest you walk in and boat out. There is a spectacular 2.5 km (1.6 miles) coastal walk which takes you through to Cathedral Cove past the quintessential Coromandel scenery of pohutukawa trees and white sandy beaches.
Hot Water Beach
Fancy a soak, then head to the beautiful Hot Water Beach, you will find hot water bubbling through the golden sand. Families, kids and couples can be seen digging their own spa pool in the sand and relaxing in the natural hot springs - this is one experience that should be on your New Zealand bucket list and a truly unique Kiwi experience.
Leisure Time in the Coromandel
The Coromandel is a renowned outdoor haven 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|
Great Lake Taupo
Undoubtedly Taupo's most magical approach is from the north. Emerging from the roar and steam of Wairakei's geothermal power installations, the road crests a bill to unfold the distant huddled mountain peaks of Tongariro, Ruapehu and the smoking volcano, Ngauruhoe. Lake Taupo - a flooded volcanic crater of immense proportions opens out in broad panorama. On the way into Taupo make sure you stop to look over at the mighty rage of water that is Huka Falls.
Taupo is a quiet peaceful place but there are some really interesting excursions to do.
|Taupo Hot Springs||Kayak to Maori Rock Carvings||Visit Huka Falls|
|Golf at Wairakei||White Island Volcano Adventure||Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland|
Approximate Distance: 280 kms | 173 miles Total Driving Time: 3 hours 38 mins
Accommodation Taupo - 1 night
Fly to Nelson - South Island
This morning make your way to the Airport for a connecting flight 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.
Accommodation Nelson - 1 night
Abel Tasman National Park - an Easy Going Adventure
Golden beaches border the translucent turquoise sea, and sandy estuaries fringed by natural forests. The walking tracks here, both in land and costal, are world famous for their outstanding beauty. Walking and Kayaking and then just kicking back on one of the many unspoilt beaches you will discover along the way is what its all about. Plus you have the added bonus of face-to-face encounters with marine wildlife and birds. The outstandingly beautiful and remote Abel Tasman National Park is home to the ever-entertaining seal colony and who knows you may be lucky enough to spot visiting dolphins and Orcas playing in the Abel Tasman National Park waters.
This tour experiences the best of both worlds, you can kayak for 2 days and try 1 day walking on the Abel Tasman Coast Track (or Visa Versa or One of the Other) while enjoying comfortable accommodations and fine meals at the beachfront lodges each night.
Kayaking: The kayaking is suitable for all levels of experience, you don't need previous sea kayaking experience as you will be accompanied by friendly knowledgeable guides at all times on the water.
Todays Planned Itinerary:
- Scenic drive to Kaiteriteri from Nelson (1 hour)
- Cruise Kaiteriteri to Totaranui – 1.5 hours
- Walk - 2 hours 6 kms (3.7 miles) including tidal crossing
- Maximum elevation 60 m (200 ft)
Included: Lunch, Afternoon Tea, Dinner.
Accommodation - Meadowbank Homestead Awaroa - 1 night
Awaroa to Torrent Bay
Another day, another picture postcard setting. This morning enjoy the short walk over the Tonga Saddle to Onetahuti where you can again relax on another sandy beach; this one however, is flanked by impressive granite headlands surrounded by unusual rock formations - perhaps a side trip to the Tonga Quarry historic site is in order. Bark Bay for lunch – relax or explore, sunbathe or swim. Your afternoon stroll enjoys a succession of magnificent views of headlands, beaches, estuaries, walking through lush native forest and even crossing a classic New Zealand swing bridge at the Falls River.
Kayak and Walk option: Walk to Onetahuti 1.5 hours, 4 kms (2.4 miles), Sea Kayak to Torrent Bay 4 hours 10 kms (6.2 miles)
Enjoy the best of both worlds with the option of both kayaking and walking. Walk from Awaroa to Onetahuti (as above). Kayak to the Seal Colony on Tonga Island where fur seals breed. Kayak through clear waters as you cruise past Tonga Quarry and Arches, A lunch stop at sheltered Bark Bay before continuing you continue beach hopping along the coast into Torrent Bay to be welcomed with refreshments and a hot shower in your ensuite room.
Walking Option: 6-7 hours 17 km (10.56 miles)
Included: Breakfast, Morning and Afternoon Tea, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Torrent Bay Beachfront Lodge - 1 night
Torrent Bay to Kaiteriteri / Nelson
After breakfast depart the lodge by kayak at about 9.30am. We’ll stop for lunch and a rest at any one of the bays, before we continue our journey through azure waters to the famous Kaiteriteri beach, where our driver will be waiting to meet you for the return journey to Nelson - arrival about 5.30pm.
Todays Planned Itinerary:
Sea Kayak Torrent Bay to Kaiteriteri 4.5 hours (12 kms)
Scenic drive Kaiteriteri to Nelson (1 hour)
Included: Breakfast, Morning and Afternoon Tea, Lunch.
Accommodation - Nelson - 1 night
Punakaiki - A Wild Coast & Unusual Rock Formations
Travel through Wakefield, before heading over the Spooners saddle in the Golden Downs forest. Follow SH6 to Murchison, although part of the Nelson Region, this will be your first introduction to the glory and green that is the scenic beauty of the West Coast and Buller Region. Navigate the awesome Buller Gorge, where at Hawks Crag the road has been hacked out of solid rock – you’ll drive under a dramatic overhang. Continue on to Punakaiki, famous for its ancient Pancake Rocks and booming blowholes. It is the centrepiece of the Paparoa National Park, which is packed with a variety of stunning landscapes.
Approximate Distance: 287 kms | 178 miles Total Driving Time: 3 hours 30 mins
Accommodation Punakaiki - 2 nights
Galaxies of Glow Worms
Today take part in a superb eco-cave tour where you travel by the rainforest train through primeval rain forest and explore the enormous Nile River Caves. Explore an ancient wonderland of stalactites, stalagmites in the large dry upper levels and become entranced while under the galaxies of glowworms in the awe-inspiring Ananui entrance series. Discovered only recently, the Metro cave is one of the few caves in the world you can walk through and see in its natural, un-spoilt state, the way it was discovered.
Franz Joseph Glacier
Heading south into the National park known as ‘Glacier Country’ – in parts, huge valleys of ice tumble down almost to sea level. Also blessed with lakes, rivers and wetlands; Westland is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream. Here, the landscapes are highly revered by those kiwis who have lived here for generations, as well as by the local Ngai Tahu tribe who hold this wild place in high spiritual esteem.
Approximate Distance: 218 kms | 135 miles Total Driving Time: 2 hours 48 mins
Accommodation Franz Josef - 2 nights
Helicopter Exploration & Hike - Franz Josef
This is a fantastic introduction to an enthralling world of ice. The Franz Josef Heli Hike starts with a thrilling flight, high above the rugged terrain, you will land on the glacier, ready to undertake a three hour guided glacier hike. Your friendly guide will lead you through some of the most pristine and awe-inspiring glacier scenery in the world. Your guide will choose your route carefully as you go and, with an eye for the most spectacular ice formations, you'll soon be making your way through an extraordinary land of towering peaks and glistening blue ice explaining the dramatic environmental changes over the last few years.
The Ice Explorer hike includes entry into the fabulous Glacier Hot Pools - a perfect location to relax and chat about your incredible day.
Time Hiking: 3 Hours
Fitness Required: If you are moderately fit, you will enjoy this excursion.
Equipment Supplied: We supply ankle supporting hiking boots with crampons. If it is looking like rain you will be provided Goretex rain jackets and waterproof over trousers.
Nestled on the shores of Lake Wakatipu and ringed by towering mountains, Queenstown is one of New Zealand’s ultimate holiday destinations. It may be the adventure capital of the world, but it’s also home to an excellent food and wine scene as well as great shopping, hiking and endless opportunities to relax. It’s just as easy to go fishing, golfing, gold panning or wine tasting as it is to bungy jump or sky dive.
Approximate Distance: 353 kms | 135 miles Total Driving Time: 4 hours 219 mins
Accommodation Queenstown - 2 nights
Queenstown at Leisure
It is well known Queenstown is New Zealand’s ‘four season’ resort town and arguably the adventure capital of the world. However there are plenty of outings to suite all tastes. You may like to take a soak in the fabulous Private Hotpools overlooking the beautiful Shotover River or perhaps take a stunning Scenic Flight over the celebrated Milford Sound would light your fire. One thing is certain you won't run out of things to do.
Some suggested activities and outings.
|Routeburn Day Walk||Highest Bungey Jump||Explore Arrowtown|
|Biking Skippers Canyon||Round at Millbrook Golf Resort|
|Earnslaw Steamboat Cruise||Dart River Jetboat Safari|
"Haere rā" Goodbye! and Bon Voyage!
We know you will enjoy our Relaxing New Zealand Journey 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 our Relaxing New Zealand Journey North and South Island Tour - We Guarantee it will be the Holiday of a Lifetime!