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Northern Choice (Wellington to Auckland Winter - From Jul 2018)

New Zealand's the land of stunning natural beauty, action-packed activities & laid back culture. Kick off this trip in the land of "The Lord of the Rings", Wellington. Take in a dinner sunset cruise on Lake Taupo and brave the Rock'n Ropes course. In Rotorua try the 'Zorb' or skyline gondola & end the day relaxing in a Polynesian thermal pool. Black water raft the underground caves of Waitomo & in the Bay of Islands go sand dune surfing. Finally, the good times must come to an end in the country's biggest city, Auckland.

Australasia

Duration: 10 Days Guaranteed Departure: Yes
For lovers of: Physical rating: Easy
Accommodation standard:   Budget% Traveller Tour Rating: 0%  
Your Guide: English speaking Tour code: 167346
Starts: Wellington, New Zealand Finishes: Paihia, New Zealand
You will visit
  • Wellington
  • Mount Ruapehu
  • Rotorua
  • Auckland
  • Paihia

Itinerary

01

Day 1: Arrive Wellington

Check into the Abel Tasman Hotel, then the rest of the afternoon is free for you to explore. Meet your fellow travelers & Tour Manager this evening.

02

Day 2: Wellington

You’ve got a full day to discover Wellington – its compact centre is perfect for exploring on foot. Walk alongside the harbour or visit the innovative Te Papa Museum for a look into New Zealand history and culture. You could take a walk around New Zealand’s political heart by visiting some of its government buildings. Take in the iconic ‘Beehive’ building & its distinctive shape, which was specially designed to cope in case of an earthquake. You could hang out on alternative Cuba Street, watch street performers or rummage through some of the surrounding retro stores. If you’re hungry, try out some of the great ethnic foods you can find in this multi-cultural city, like sushi, Thai, kebabs and Italian gelatos. For something different, learn about the age-old art of tattooing at the Tattoo Museum. From traditional Maori moko (face tattoos) through to colourful contemporary designs. There’s even a tattoo parlour on site if you’re game!

03

Day 3: Wellington to Mt. Ruapehu

We wave goodbye to Wellington and its beautiful scenery and we prepare ourselves for our next adventure – and trust us, this one is bucket-list worthy. Known as the après-ski capital of the North island, Ohakune is a tranquil town with stupendous view. Spend the day bettering your skills on the slopes or generally treating yourself to all the snowy based activites on offer, then tonight snuggle down in our Special Stay ski lodge, located in prime position at the base of Mt. Ruapehu.

04

Day 4: Mount Ruapehu

Known as the après-ski capital of the North island, Ohakune is a tranquil town with utterly unreal views. Spend the day bettering your skills on the slopes or generally treating yourself to all the snowy based activities on offer, then tonight snuggle down in our Special Stay ski lodge, located in prime position at the base of Mt. Ruapehu.

05

Day 5: Mt. Ruapehu to Rotorua

MOUNT RUAPEHU Our adventures don’t end at Mt. Ruapehu. We still have plenty more to see and today, but first a stop at Taupo. TAUPO Take a gander at its colossal lake before we head towards enticing sights such as the wonderous Huka Falls. ROTORUA When you catch your first whiff of that… ‘unusual’ sulphur smell, you’ll know we’ve arrived in Rotorua. Upon arrival in Rotorua we get to learn some fascinating info on NZ's national birds, as well as watch new lives hatch right in front of our eyes! Feeling impressed yet? Don’t let the cold keep you indoors, because this place is full of natural Jacuzzis and makes a great winter hiking destination. There's plenty of time for you to make the best of this town.Tonight we enjoy a Maori dance performance and feast on a Hāngi dinner that is sweetly roasted in the ground."

06

Day 6: Rotorua

This morning, get an insider look at New Zealand’s unique Maori culture & history as we tour Rotorua’s famous Te Puia Maori Arts and Crafts Institute. You’ll learn all about the history of the Maori people, their customs & traditions, plus have the opportunity to ask questions & learn as much as possible about this amazing spot – it’s the perfect way to get in the know. With the rest of the day free to explore the way you want, you can advantage of the city's awesome thermal environment & treat yourself to a spa treatment or massage. Our tip: With so much buzz around the amazing thermal mud treatments found here, we love picking up some products to take home as a gift (or for ourselves!). There are loads of other ways to spend your time too if adrenalin is more your thing, like getting views of the city from a gondola, then speeding down a hill on a luge, or getting a splash as you raft the Kaituna River – the options for things to keep you busy in Rotorua are endless. Or, if chilling out is more of what you’re into, then or hit up a café for a flat white coffee or make tracks to the shops for a spending spree.

07

Day 7: Rotorua to Auckland

Famed for its spurting geysers, boiling mud pools & hot springs, gondola and speeding luge rides, Rotorua is a natural wonderland and then some. But don't let the allure of this place consume you, for there's a fun stop at Hobbiton village we must complete. Join us at our short visit at the land of 'Lord of the Rings', before we head to Auckland. That's right, it wouldn't be a complete experience without a stop at the "Shire".

08

Day 8: Auckland to Paihia

This morning we’ll cross the iconic Auckland Harbour Bridge. There are full-blown vistas of the harbour, Rangitoto, and other neighbouring volcanic islands on the way. With a stop at Parry Kauri Park, there’s time to walk through this famous reserve and see many of New Zealand’s ancient Kauri (a native tree). Some of the Kauri are 50m high and over 1000 years old. The final stop today is the small coastal town of Paihia. It’s the gateway to the Bay of Islands, one of New Zealand’s photogenic natural playgrounds. Your Tour Manager will point out the colonial style Treaty House at Waitangi. This is where modern-era New Zealand was born when the British Crown and Maori signed a treaty in 1840. You’ll also find out about local Maori culture as you check out the Nga Puhi tribal lands. Tonight you'll get to experience a typical ‘Kiwi’ dinner – fish 'n' chips – where you can eat outdoors under the night sky if the weather is good. After dinner, head out to a local music venue in Paihia with the group.

09

Day 9: Paihia

With a full free day here, you’ll really get to enjoy the laid-back, natural beauty of the Bay of Islands. Chill out, or choose from loads of activities on offer here. There’s a catamaran cruise where you can stop off at remote islands, swim and feast on a tasty BBQ lunch. If you’re lucky, you’ll even spot some dolphins. Or you could use your free time to head off with some friends to learn about New Zealand’s settler history. Jump on a ferry out to New Zealand’s former capital, the pretty township of Russell. Grab an ice-cream, relax in its cute cafés and walk past some of the town’s historic cottages. We also offer you the option of a day trip to Cape Reinga, New Zealand’s most northern point where the Tasman Sea and Pacific Ocean merge. Our Local Guide can tell you all about the Maori beliefs associated with this site. Then it’s off to the sand dunes of Ninety Mile beach and a drive through the Northland Region. Lastly, for the adrenaline-junkies, there’s a chance to go parasailing – perfect for getting views of the awesome surrounding bay scenery.

10

Day 10: Paihia to Auckland

Head back south to Auckland today, where your tour winds up in the city centre mid-afternoon.

Inclusions:
      Accommodation
    • 9 nights multi-share accommodation: 7 nights in hotels, 2 nights in Special Stopover Modern, air-conditioned coach with powerpoints for charging Hotel tips, local taxes & service charges
      Staff
    • Experienced & Professional Trip Manager & Driver team
    • Sightseeing tours of all major cities
      Food
    • 11 meals:
    • 10 breakfasts
    • 1 dinners
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Tour Highlights:
  • See more of the sights made famous in the "The Lord of the Rings"
  • Locally Guided Tour of Te Puia Maori Arts and Crafts Institute
  • Cross Auckland's Harbour Bridge
  • Walk through native Kauri Forest
  • Check out Whangarei & Kawakawa's famous Hundertwasser toilets
  • Tuck into a true Kiwiana fish 'n' chips dinner