Day 1, Saturday: Arrive Auckland City and we all meet at Hotel? (TBA). Introductions to your tour party Hosts and Coach Captain. The theme of this tour is “Middle Earth”, we will discuss with you items of special interest and how to get the max out of your tour, light refreshments will be served. The remainder of the afternoon and evening are free for you to explore Auckland City. We will supply an inner city guide map. Accommodation & Refreshments supplied.
Day 2, Sunday: Auckland City Leisure Day - Options:
- Morning Church Service at St Matthew’s or visit The Skytower- the highest tower in Australasia and enjoy the view. Check out the Viaduct Basin- where the America’s cup was hosted or go shopping;
- Take a ferry ride and/or Harbour cruise Take in Kelly Talton’s Underwater World & Antarctic Experience. This is your free day to do whatever you choose. Breakfast & Accommodation supplied.
Day 3, Monday: Travel from Auckland to Tauranga (Kiwi fruit country), en-route we will stop and visit the Ngatea Water Gardens and just across the road is the “Wilderness Gems” factory. Another brief stop at Waihi to gaze at the huge Hole in the Earth that is the Martha Open Cast Gold mine. Time permitting we visit a Kiwi-fruit orchard before arriving at Tauranga. Breakfast and Accommodation supplied.
Day 4, Tuesday: Our travel now takes us over the Kaimai range and then descending into the gentle rolling green hills countryside of the Waikato. We take time to stop at an area that was transformed into the village of Hobbiton a scene from the “Lord of the Rings”. Parts of the set still remain in this rural setting which portrays the peaceful Shire, home of Bilbo and Frodo. We take a short detour for a quick stop at the small town of Tirau which has become a Mecca for Arts Crafts and Souvenirs. Our problem here will be to get you all back on the coach again. Over the Mamaku range then we descend into Rotorua, heart of the Thermal Wonderland. Visit Agrodome and Fairy Springs before arriving at our hotel. The evening is free – Dine out, take a thermal spa, walk the gardens. Breakfast, accommodation entry to the Hobbits set included.
Day 5, Wednesday: Today is a mix of “Middle Earth”, Scenic Wonder and Maori culture. First thing we visit the World-renowned Te Whakarewarewa thermal region, boiling mud pools, steam vents and the awesome Pohutu Geyser spouting up to 20 times a day often to the height of 30 meters. Then your opportunity to take a helicopter flight out to White Island where you can land and examine first hand an active volcano, or alternatively you can visit Hells Gate; Te Puia Maori Arts center, or take in the city shops. This evening you will be welcomed to a traditional Maori evening which will include a Hangi (Feast, cooked in the ground) traditional Maori concert and culture. Breakfast, concert, dinner and accommodation supplied.
Day 6, Thursday: Travel South to Wellington, a brief stop at Taupo –Known worldwide as the Trout fishing center without equal. Taupo has an interesting history as the lake (which is the largest freshwater lake in New Zealand). was formed by the largest volcanic eruption in the past 5000 years. We skirt the eastern side of the lake then across the desert road with the magnificent backdrop of the three mountains – Ruapehu, Tongariro and Ngauruhoe. A stop for lunch at Waiouru and a tour of the Army museum before heading to Wellington. Breakfast and accommodation supplied
Day 7, Friday: Wellington Leisure Day - Options:
- Visit Te Papa Museum of New Zealand, Parliament buildings, Ride the Cable Car, Visit the Observatory and wander around the Botanical Gardens.
- Visit Katherine Mansfield’s house. Walk through Civic Square; see the Michael Fowler Center for performing Arts. Drive along Oriental Bay & up Mt Victoria for splendid views overlooking Wellington. Breakfast & Accommodation supplied.
Day 8, Saturday: A reasonably easy travel day as we drive up the west coast en-route to New Plymouth. A stop-over at Palmerston North for lunch then up through Bulls, Wanganui. Hawera to New Plymouth. Some interesting sites to view and stories to relate on the way. We will take a break at the “Dairyland Café and Display Center” in Hawera. A great illustration of our dairy industry. Breakfast and accommodation supplied
Day 9, Sunday: New Plymouth is the only City to service the Taranaki region. Mt Egmont graces this region with its presence some 8260ft high. Capped in snow during the winter. This region is extremely diverse with Dairy Farming being the main industry, but do not forget the Methanol plant, the Oil rigs off shore, the natural gas corporation transmission, or the educational service providers, or the Performing Arts or the Gardens and bush walks. This area is steeped in Maori History. Breakfast & Accommodation supplied.
Day 10, Monday: Heading north today we stop off to visit Waitomo Caves (where water disappears into a tomo). Enjoy the spectacular amazing limestone formations, along with hidden waterfalls, winding corridors and a romantic boat ride under the glowworms. These caves epitomize the theme of our tour in a way that words cannot express. A brief stop at Otorohanga for a face to face with the real New Zealand Kiwi. We spend the night in Hamilton city. Breakfast, Accommodation, Entry to Kiwi House and Waitomo Caves Supplied.
Day 11, Tuesday: Travel back to Auckland via Number 1 state highway. Tour ends at approx midday at Auckland International Airport.
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Australia and Oceania New Zealand Local Culture Cultural Journey
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