Escorted Coach Touring
This suggested tour costs from NZD$3,790 per person (twin share, low season)
Starts in Auckland, finishes in Wellington
8 days/7 nights
Hotel 3 star
Pre and post tour options? YES
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Auckland is known as the ‘City of Sails’. And you’ll discover why when exploring its two harbours at your leisure. Pick a waterfront precinct and find a perch to while away the afternoon with a glass of Central Otago sauvignon blanc and a backdrop of yachts darting the water. Should you need a closer look, take a cruise out to the wineries of Waiheke Island. Meet fellow travel companions over a few local tipples tonight.
Your journey north on a Bay of Islands tour from Auckland is not short of drama – discover 140 droplets of land ringed by turquoise sea at the top of the country. It’s undeniably beautiful, but it also holds a special historical secret: this is where the Treaty of Waitangi was signed in 1840, between Captain William Hobson and Māori chiefs. Your guide, likely an ancestor of one of the original signatories, will explain the significance of the site, while pointing out the world’s largest ceremonial war canoe and a carved meeting house.
If there’s a travel destination that inspires wanderlust, the Bay of Islands is it. And today, you can do just that. At your leisure, venture up to Cape Reinga/Te Rerenga Wairua, the very top of New Zealand, via idyllic Ninety Mile Beach. Or glide around on an historic tall ship, enjoy local drops on a wine tour of the region, or join a tour of Russell and learn more about the settling of the Bay of Islands. The choice is yours.
Northern exposure is a thing today, when you journey toward the top of the country to visit Whangarei – NZ’s northern-most city, and a place where waterfalls meet beaches, galleries meet museums. It’s like the country in a tantalising snapshot – a union of nature and forward-thinking culture. Explore at your leisure before sinking back into your seat for the mesmerising commute back to Auckland.
There’s no bad day in Auckland – today, your Auckland tour is filled with expeditions to the War Memorial Museum and Waitemata Harbour, before you set your GPS for the Waikato River and a Waitomo Caves tour. This place is radiant – quite literally. While cruising cavernous waterways, your route is cast in a magical light by thousands of glowworms. It’s a landscape almost as otherworldly as Rotorua, where mud pops and jettisons from bubbling geysers, and steam rushes skywards from cracks in the Earth. Tonight, delve deep into Māori culture and traditions at Te Puia. Your dinner, a hangi cooked underground, is served while you overlook the spectacular geothermal valley. The highlight is a Maori cultural performance in the beautifully carved meeting house, Te Aronui a Rua.
Explore at your own pace today, but with plenty of tips from your Travel Director. Want a bit of down time? We wouldn’t blame you for simply blissing out at in the steamy thermal springs at Rotorua’s Polynesian Spa. Animal lover? Go behind the scenes on a working kiwi nursery and hatchery. Hobbit fans will want to take advantage of the opportunity to tour the sights featured in The Lord of the Rings movies at Hobbiton. These beautiful landscapes are not only a bucket list tour for Hobbit fans, but a gorgeous countryside getaway.
You’ll hear Huka Falls well before you see it – at this natural wonder, a staggering 220,000 litres of water thunder over an 11-metre-high waterfall every second. The road ahead unfolds in a broad panorama of Lake Taupo, its waters so vivid and blue you’ll think someone has taken the glasses off your nose and cleaned them for the first time. Traverse the Kapiti Coast to New Zealand’s cool little capital, Wellington, where there are so many restaurants and bars to choose from, you’ll need a guidebook. Wait, you have an in-the-know Travel Director to talk to.
The best way to begin a Wellington day? With a coffee. The city is known for its uber-cool cafés, designed to fuel you through a session at Te Papa, the Museum of New Zealand. Then it’s time to bid farewell to your NZ crew. What a week.