Documents and 24/7 Support: We've got you covered!
When you touch down in New Zealand your detailed documentation pack will be hand-delivered by one of our trusted representatives. You'll find everything you need in one handy place: your personalised itinerary, clear instructions and maps, and reservation details for your accommodation and activities.
24 Hour Assistance: We’re just a free phone call away if you encounter any issues while you're on the road - at any time of day or night. Don’t waste your precious vacation time stressing - First Light Travel are here to help you quickly when every second counts.
What's also included?
|Dedicated Travel Consultant||Detailed Daily Itinerary and Vouchers|
|Full 24 Hour Support||50 Page Essential New Zealand Guide|
WELCOME TO NEW ZEALAND!
Welcome to Auckland, our City of Sails.
Situated amongst a cluster of extinct volcanic cones, Auckland is a large harbour that bustles with life, both on water and on land. It straddles a slim piece of land with the coastline facing both the Pacific Ocean and, on the wild West Coast, the Tasman Sea.
After checking into your hotel, relax and stretch your legs with a stroll around our beautiful city. Explore the highly acclaimed Waterfront Restaurant Quarter or choose one of the many activities available for a more in-depth understanding of Auckland and the surrounding area.
Tonight enjoy our city to your heart's content! Tomorrow you'll get up close to our feathered friends for the first time on a remarkable predator-free island.
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|
Accommodation: Auckland - 1 Night
Sail to Tiritiri Matangi Island Sanctuary
Spend a full day wandering beneath the lush forest canopies of Tiritiri Matangi Island, a beautiful reserve where the birds definitely rule the roost.
Tiritiri Matangi Island Sanctuary Tour
This precious jewel set in the Hauraki Gulf is home to many of New Zealand's most endangered plant and bird species. A glorious safe haven free from pests and predators, it's home to our most common birds many of our rarest too.
When you arrive, take a 90-minute tour of the island with experienced guides to show you all the best spots to find each species of native birds.
You can hunt for our huge, clumsy Kereru (NZ Wood Pigeon) wobbling on branches that strain under their massive bulk. Hear Tui singing their robotic melodies, proudly puffing up their throats as if performing on stage. Search for endangered, prehistoric-looking Takahe on the grassy plains. Peek in on Little Blue Penguins in their nesting boxes. Or simply relax and enjoy the symphony of songbirds, seabirds, honeyeaters, parrots and so many more.
Beautiful views of Auckland harbour await you on the ferry ride home - a perfect way to end your day.
Some birds to look out for: Tui, Kereru, Bellbird, Kokako, Takahe, Pukeko, North Island Robin, Little Blue Penguin, Fantail, Grey Warbler, Stitchbird, Kaka, Tomtit.
Auckland to Otorohanga: A Kiwi Encounter
Leaving Auckland behind, your road trip begins with a drive to Otorohanga to visit our beloved national bird, the Kiwi.
Otorohanga Kiwi House and Native Bird Park
The Otorohanga Kiwi House and Native Bird Park have been helping to save our endangered Kiwi since 1971. It's the best place in New Zealand to see our fluffy, flightless national icon up close!
Specially designed nocturnal enclosures allow you to watch Kiwi going about their lives without disturbing them. It's a rare chance to encounter three different species all in one place: Brown Kiwi, Greater Spotted Kiwi, and Little Spotted Kiwi.
As well as Kiwi, the Native Bird Park houses New Zealand's largest dome aviary and the largest private collection of native birds and reptiles in the country. Check out their Tuataras basking in the sun - these reptiles are even older than dinosaurs!
After meeting the birds who brighten up our skies, you'll love tomorrow's encounter with some rather special creatures who brighten our underground caves: the Waitomo Glow Worms.
Approximate Distance: 184 km | 114 miles Total Driving Time: 2 hours 23 minutes
Accommodation: Otorohanga - 1 night
Otorohanga to Hawkes Bay via Waitomo Caves
Today you'll visit Waitomo's Glow Worms in their subterranean world, before heading across country to the stunning coastlines of Hawkes Bay.
Waitomo Glow Worm Cave Tour As you gently float along an underground river, a spectacular light show unfolds before your eyes. Your local guide will tell you all about these fascinating creatures and the secrets of their underground home.
Emerging into daylight, take a gentle walk along a gorge path to Te Ana o te Atua, the Cave of the Spirit. Here you will find a treasure-trove of history including evidence of past explorers and the fossils of extinct giant Moa birds.
Driving east to Hawkes Bay, you will stay in the coastal city of Napier, whose exquisitely preserved 1930s Art Deco architecture gives a unique feel and atmosphere - it's like stepping back in time.
Sir David Attenborough on the BBC series 'Life in the Undergrowth' described the spellbound Cave as an “Astonishing Cave” And “one of natures most Magical Illuminations!” - This is an easy adventure everyone will enjoy.
A Gross Fact... about the New Zealand Glowworms
Approximate Distance: 289 km | 179 miles Total Driving Time: 3 hours 45 minutes
Accommodation: Napier - 2 nights
Hawkes Bay: The Gannets of Cape Kidnappers
See majestic gannets in their natural habitat today on a 4WD adventure to remember.
Cape Kidnappers Gannet Reserve 4WD Safari
The craggy cliffs Cape Kidnappers boast the largest mainland gannet nesting site on the planet. In peak breeding season up 20,000 gannets make their home here at any one time.
Today's 4WD safari will give you unparalleled close-up access to these magnificent birds and their young. Watch in amazement as they swoop overhead, conducting spectacular high-dives into the sea. With their huge six foot (2 metre wingspan) they are impossibly elegant in flight.
On land, you'll see them nesting, preening, and performing their trademark courting dances while you watch from just a few feet away.
Your guide will be on hand to provide insights into gannet behavior and the environmental pressures faced by these beautiful birds worldwide.
Hawkes Bay to Martinborough: A One-of-A-Kind Encounter
Your journey takes you to Martinborough today, where you'll meet a truly remarkable New Zealand native: Manukura, the world's only known white Kiwi.
Pukaha Mount Bruce National Wildlife Centre
Manukura resides at the Pukaha Mount Bruce National Wildlife Centre. This wonderful wildlife reserve aims to ensure that all of the area's original bird species can return and thrive here so that the sound of birdsong will remain for future generations to enjoy.
Another special resident here is Kahurangi, a rare North Island Kokako. She loves people, and if you hear wolf-whistling around the park, it's likely to be her!
You'll also encounter the cheeky wild kaka parrots as they swoop out of the forest for their feed. You may also find them outside the cafe, trying to charm you into giving them snacks.
With insightful talks and six daily feeds of takahe, kiwi, eel, kaka, gecko, and tuatara, there is ample opportunity to learn about this outstanding conservation project and the natives who thrive from it.
Approximate Distance: 273 km | 169 miles Total Driving Time: 3 hours 25 minutes
Accommodation: Martinborough - 1 night
Martinborough to Wellington - Zealandia wildlife sanctuary
Drive south to Wellington and discover Zealandia, where some of New Zealand's rarest native animals are thriving and living freely, right on the doorstep of our nation's capital.
The Karori Sanctuary at Zealandia
Nowhere else in New Zealand can you experience many of New Zealand's rarest birds, insects, and reptiles in their natural environment.
The Karori Sanctuary is protected by a unique 8.6 km predator-proof fence specially designed to exclude non-native mammals such as hedgehogs and possums. With 17km of lush forest walking trails to explore, take your time, walk quietly, and watch in amazement as the sanctuary's residents peep out at you and reveal their presence.
Approximate Distance: 220 km | 136 miles Total Driving Time: 2 hours 48 Min
Accommodation: Wellington - 1 Night