No 8. Dream Holiday

 

NO 8. Dream Holiday

24 Day Itinerary

Day 1: Auckland *(D)

 Welcome to Auckland famous city of sails, where 1 in 6 residents have a boat!!! This is New Zealand’s largest city, and an international meeting place for travelers from all around the world. Here your tour guide will meet you at arrivals, then off to the busto the Copthorne Hotel in Parnell, for a quick freshen up, then off to experience first-hand some of our southern oceansunique marine life at Kelly Tarltons Underwater World. After your evening meal it is a free evening to relax or to sample Auckland’s exciting night life.

Accommodation: Copthorne Hotel, Auckland 

Day 2: Auckland - Paihia *(B, D)

This morning we head towards the beautiful “jewel of the Bay of Islands” Paihia, where the sub-tropical paradise awaits you. Stopping on the way at the stunning Whangarei falls, considered one of New Zealand’s most picturesque waterfalls. Here you can take a short stroll through lush bush around and to the bottom of the waterfall, to experience its beauty and power close up. Next stop is the Whangarei Museum and Kiwi House for lunch and then get chance to meet New Zealand’s famous flightless bird the Kiwi, unique to New Zealand. When we get to Paihia we check into the hotel, then down to the sea front to take a relaxing ferry ride over to Russell, where you can explore this delightful little town at your own pace, after its back on the ferry and back to the hotel for dinner.

Accommodation:  Copthorne Hotel, Bay of Islands.

Day 3: Paihia - Cape Reinga *(B, D)  

After an early breakfast, we head for Cape Reinga the most northern tip of the North Island.  This is where the Pacific and Tasman seas collide. Discover the ‘leaping-place of the spirits', where Maori spirits begin their final journey. Take in the sites of the world famous 90 mile beach and maybe get your toes wet, this is a full day. Back to the hotel for evening meal.

Accommodation:  Copthorne Hotel, Bay of Islands. 

Day 4: Paihia - Auckland *(B, D)

Visit the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, where the Treaty of Waitangi was first signed back in 1840.  Then we jump aboard Dolphin Cruises and cruise out to the iconic ‘Hole in the Rock’ where you are almost certain to see the playful dolphins, enjoy close up the of the Bay of Islands, Then a relaxing drive back into Auckland, back to the hotel to freshen up.  Tonight we take you up the famous Skytower, the highest spot in Auckland, offering breathtaking views of Auckland, enjoy dinner at the Skytower Restaurant.  

Accommodation:  Copthorne Hotel, Auckland

Day 5: Auckland - Rotorua *(B, D)

This morning we travel south heading for Rotorua, travelling down though the beautiful Waikato.  Stopping at Ngaruawhahia Marae for an unforgettable Maori welcome, next stop the geo-thermal city of Rotorua, right in the heart of the North Island.   You will travel up Rotorua’s Skyline Gondola for stunning panoramic views over the lakes and towns and for the adventurous take a luge ride down 1 or all 3 tracks.  Enjoy a late lunch at the Gondola Restaurant at the top of the mountain.  Afterwards we visit Te Wairoa 'The Buried Village', showing you first hand the chaos and mayhem that transpired on the night Mount Tarawera erupted.

Accommodation: Millennium Hotel, Rotorua.   

Day 6: Rotorua *(B, D)

This morning is a free morning, to do as you please, catch up on some shopping, take in the sites or just have an extra hour in bed, it’s your choice, after lunch everyone is to meet back at the hotel to get aboard the bus for an exciting afternoon at the Agradome, where you can get an insightinto the world of New Zealand agriculture, plus much more, after an early dinner just to top the day off, it’s a nice relaxing evening at the Polynesian Spa guaranteed to relax you.

Accommodation: Millennium Hotel, Rotorua.   

Day 7: Rotorua-Taupo

A short drive away is Taupo, on the way we visit Wai-o-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, thousands of years in the making.  This is one of New Zealand’s most colorful volcanic environments, it’s a bubbling hive of thermal activity (literally). We come by the famous Orakei Korako, also known as the Hidden Valley, is possibly the best thermal area left in the world.  Visit New Zealand's only prawn farm and the Huka Honey Hive to sample some of their tantalizing liquid gold.   We cruise the mighty Waikato River, getting up and personal to the colossal Huka Falls.  New Zealand's highest volume waterfall, we also take a walk and view 220, 000 litres of water per second go through a 20 meter crevice that make up the falls. 

Accommodation: Lakeland Resort Hotel, Taupo

Day 8: taupo-wellington *B,D) 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Today we head for Wellington. Travelling down past Lake Taupo and Mt Ruapehu, New Zealand’s largest active volcano and also is the scene of Mount Mordoor from the famous Lord of the Rings Trilogy. Visit the National Army Museum in Waiouru which has a unique collection of military exhibits and memorabilia.  We stop at Route 66 to an American style diner in Foxton to enjoy a late lunch. Then pop around the corner to see the quaint Windmill.  Enjoy dinner in the hotel restaurant before taking a night drive up Mt Victoria to take in the bird’s eye view of our capital city.

Accommodation:  Copthorne Hotel, Wellington....   

 Day 9: Wellington - Blenheim *(B, D)

After an early breakfast we leave Wellington for Picton via the ‘Cook Strait’, onboard the Interislander.  This ferry links the North and South Islands together described as “one of the most beautiful ferry rides in the world”.  On arrival in Blenheim you will visit a local vineyard and winery, and maybe have a sample or two, this is the heart of New Zealand’s wine industry.

Accommodation:  Copthorne Hotel, Blenheim.   

Day 11: Blenheim – Hanmer Springs *(B, L, D)

Leaving Blenheim we head for Hanmer Springs, travelling south towards Kaikoura, which is a famous destination for whale watching.  You may also see seals, dolphins and albatross too. Enjoy fish and chips on the beach (weather permitting).  We view the majestic Mt Tapuae which is higher that Mt Ruapehu. Here you can get a chance to view the birth of the greatSouthern Alps which makes up the back bone of the South Island, sightseeing on way. Once in Hanmer Springs we take an exciting jet boat ride withThrillseekers Adventures. After your evening meal it is a free evening to relax and to have a look around.

Accommodation:  ScenicHotel, Hanmer Springs

Day 12: Hanmer Springs - Franz Joseph *(B, D)

This morning we have to get up rather early to head towards Springfield to catch the Transalpine Express, rated as one of the top ten scenic railways in the world.  It is a spectacular three and half hour journey to Greymouth, so sit back relax and take in the some of the most amazing scenery you will experience. From Greymouth our bus will take you to Franz Joseph, stopping to look at the Punakaiki Rocks.  Then we head to Shantytown, widely recognised as one of New Zealand’s leading culture and heritage attractions.

Accommodation:  Franz Joseph Hotel, Franz Joseph.

Day 13: Franz Joseph – Wanaka *(B, D)
 

Today we head down the West Coast which is home to two world famous glaciers, The Franz Joseph Glacier and the Fox Glacier.  They descend from the Southern Alps deep into the lush rainforest of Westland’s National Park.  From here you’ll take a flight (weather permitting) over Mt Cook and Mt Tasman.  Nearby here is one of the most photographed lakes in New Zealand, Lake Matheson with its mirror-like reflections, which are truly spectacular.  You will continue to travel via the towns of Lake Moeraki and Haast and past beautiful Lake Wanaka before arriving in Wanaka.

Accommodation:  Grand Mercure Oakridge Hotel, Wanaka.

Day 14: Wanaka - Queenstown *(B, L, D)

Enjoy the stunning scenery on the drive through to Queenstown,surrounded by majestic mountains you'll be blown away by the natural beauty and with its four seasons adventure play ground there is plenty to do here for everyone.  We hop aboard the historical steamship the TSS Earnslaw, one of the last remaining coal fired passenger carrying vessels operating in the Southern Hemisphere, enjoy a delicious lunch aboard the ship while you take in the alpine scenery. Once we return to the hotel, the rest of the evening is yours to take in the spectacular Queenstown as you please.

Accommodation: Copthorne Hotel, Queenstown.

Day 15: Queenstown *(B, D)

Your day begins with a spectacular flight in a helicopter or plane to the Milford Sound’s (weather permitting). This flight will take your breath away.  Known as the eighth wonder of the world, you’ll gaze upon alpine lakes, lush rainforests and fly past rugged peaks before landing and joining an exploratory nature cruise on the sound.  View cascading waterfalls, sheer rock faces and unique wildlife, before re-boarding your helicopter.  Back in Queenstown you’ll ride up the mountain for some of the most spectacular 220 deg views that you could ever see via Skyline Gondola Queenstown.

Accommodation:  Copthorne Hotel, Queenstown.

Day 16: Queenstown - Dunedin *(B, D)

This morning we head for Dunedin sightseeing along the way.  First stop Arrowtown a historic gold-mining town in its day.  Now Arrowtown has more recently drawn worldwide attention for its idyllic appearance in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy.  Visit Larnach Castle, New Zealand’s only castle, built 1871 by William Larnach for his wife.

Accommodation:  Kingsgate Hotel, Dunedin.     

Day 17: Dunedin *(B, D)

Your day begins with a visit to Cadbury World, Dunedin’s yummiest tourist attraction and to wash the chocolate down you’ll visit Dunedin’s biggest icon the Speight’s Brewery.  See, smell, touch and taste the ingredients which go into making the “Pride of the south” beer.  Visit Otago Museum and also the beautiful butterfly garden and the Chinese Gardens.

Accommodation:  Kingsgate Hotel, Dunedin.

Day 18: Dunedin – Ashburton *(B, D)
Today we head north for Ashburton.  On the way you’ll visit Lake Tekapo, which provides exquisite views of New Zealand, naturally.  Visit the Earth and Sky Observatory, take a short guided tour of the fully functional observatory.  Also visit the beautiful Church of the Good Shepherd, built to commemorate the pioneers of the Mackenzie Country. 

Accommodation:  Hotel Ashburton, Ashburton

Day 19: Ashburton – Hanmer Springs*(B, D)

Today we visit the International Antarctic Centre in Christchurch, where you can view the nocturnal ‘Little Blue Penguins’ and survive an Antarctic storm! We head inland to the spectacular village of Hanmer Springs, made famous for its all year round hot springs, so whether, its hot or cold enjoy the tantalizingly relaxing hot natural spring water, we spend the rest of the evening in Hanmer Springs, so you can stay in the pools, or enjoy some of the other delights Hamner has to offer.

Accommodation:  Scenic Hotel, Hanmer Springs

 Day 20: Hanmer Springs - Blenheim *(B, D)

Today we make our way back up to Blenheim.  View the whale and seals if missed and visit the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre which houses a display like no other. View some of the little towns along the way.

Accommodation: Copthorne Hotel, Marlborough.

Day 21: Blenheim – Wellington *(B, D)
After an early breakfast you’ll depart Blenheim for Wellington onboard the interislander.  Back in Wellington, you’ll visit the ‘Bee Hive’, New Zealand’s Parliament Building before catching the famous Wellington Cable Car, where you will be taken on a picturesque ride to enjoy the magnificentlookout over the city and harbor - Te Whanganui-a-Tara, enjoy the walk back through the lovely botanical gardens and around Wellington. 

Accommodation:  Copthorne Hotel, Wellington.

Day 21: Wellington - Taihape *(B, D)
After breakfast you will depart for Taihape. Passing through Levin and on to Foxton, have lunch at Route 66 at the American style diner.  Drive through Palmerston North, next stop ‘Gumboot Capital of the World’ Taihape, for the ‘New Zealand at its Best’ gumboot throwing competition, where you can get to test out your throwing skills, and for those of you that like a bit of competition, there is something special for the winner.

Accommodation: Aspen Court Motel, Taihape.       


Day 22: Taihape - Waitomo *(B, D)

Today we head for Waitomo, stopping at Ohakune and the famous Raurimu Railway Spiral, a unique railway spiral and loop system with two tunnels, fitting in lunch along the way. Next stop the spectacular limestone landscape of the Waitomo Caves, which has been artfully sculpted by water and time, see glow-worms light up the caves like constellations in the night skies.

Accommodation:   :    Waitomo Caves Hotel, Waitomo.

Day 23: Waitomo – Auckland *(B, D)
After breakfast you’ll depart for Auckland stopping at Otorohanga, New Zealand’s ‘self-made’ kiwiana town where you can sample 100% kiwi made everything from Pavalova to the All Blacks. Visit Hamilton’s Lake Domain and view Huntly Power Station. Back in Auckland you’ll have a free night to relax and pack your bags.

Accommodation:   : Copthorne Hotel, Auckland.

Day 24: Auckland *(B)

Meet after breakfast today for your last day in Auckland. Depending on time we have one more treat for you,discover some of the great names of New Zealand's aviation and motor history at the Museum of Transport and Technology (motat for short).

(Flight times are required, to liaise with the flight from Auckland to your destination depending on time).

 

Total: $10749

 

Approximate distance 4700 km

If a single room is required for accommodation an extra $1650 cost is added to the tour.

*Breakfast (B), Lunch (L), Dinner (D) provided, where stated.  


 

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