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All New Zealand Kakapo (Small Group Tour)

22 nights from €6,259 per person

  • Included:
  • Accommodation
  • In resort assistance & 24 hour contact centre
  • Internal travel
  • Sights and excursions
  • Tour guide throughout
  • 21 breakfasts, 3 lunches and 2 dinners
  • No credit card fees for Visa and Mastercard
Click here for Pricing & Dates

Overview

This encompassing New Zealand small group tour explores some of the most extraordinary locations and attractions for a 22 night adventure that will instil a life-long love affair with this country. With only 10-18 people in your group, your trip will be personalised to you and your new travel friends, offering an intimate ambience. In addition to the anticipated names such as Auckland, Mt Cook and Queenstown, you’ll also be treated to some of the lesser-explored but equally inspiring destinations such as Whitianga, the Kaikoura peninsula and Punakaiki which are home to some truly remarkable sights and experiences. (MOA)

Highlights

  • Visit the Waipoura forest with Maori guides to come face to face with the mighty kauri trees
  • Take a dolphin-spotting cruise in the Bay of Islands
  • Visit some of the beautiful beaches of the east coast
  • Go sightseeing in Rotorua, with a visit to the museum to learn about New Zealand’s heritage
  • Take a city tour of Napier
  • Embark on a wine tasting tour in Marlborough
  • Explore the picturesque Kaikoura coast
  • Make a stop at Mt Cook National Park
  • Cruise across the Milford Sound, finished off with a scenic flight back to Queenstown
  • Explore Franz Josef Glacier
  • Witness the unique and renowned Pancake Rocks in Punakaiki

Details

Day 1

Auckland

Arrive into Auckland, where you’ll be met and transferred to your hotel. The remainder of the day is at leisure, with plenty of shops, cafés and attractions within easy reach of your accommodation. The Auckland Museum is one of the best places to explore the culture of this country, being home to the best collection of Maori treasures in the world. Alternatively, why not take a trip to the top of the Sky Tower for incredibly views or take a ferry to Waiheke Island.

Overnight: Sebel Suites

Day 2

Hokianga

Leave Auckland this morning for Muriwai Beach on the West Coast – just a short walk from here brings you close to the gannet colony which nests on the cliffs, and views of the beautiful Tasman Sea. Continue on to the Matakohe Kauri Museum to learn more about the mighty kauri trees. Just north of Dargaville, you’ll enter the primeval forest of Waipoua where you can accompany a group of young Maori guides who are dedicated to preserving the traditions and customs of Ngapuhi – the northern Maori tribe – to visit the Hokianga Harbour and Tane Mahuta - the largest standing kauri tree known to exist and a magnificent sight to behold.

Overnight: Copthorne Hotel Resort (Breakfast and dinner included)

Day 3

Bay of Islands

Take a cruise across the Hokianga Harbour to explore the sand dunes of the deserted Opononi beach – if you’re feeling particularly active, you may want to body board down the dunes as well. Afterwards you’ll travel across the island to the East Coast to visit the Stone Store in Kerikeri – New Zealand’s oldest stone building, nestled in an area known for its citrus orchards and arts. From here, you’ll be guided through Waitangi Treaty House to discover where local Maori signed a treaty with Queen Victoria’s representatives in 1840.

Overnight: Copthorne Hotel Resort (Breakfast included)

Day 4

Bay of Islands

From Paihia you have a choice of boarding a catamaran to swim with dolphins, or taking a more relaxing cruise out to a maritime park of 144 islands, ending at Cape Brett and the ‘Hole in the Rock’, before going ashore at Otehei Bay on Urupukapuka Island.

Disembark at Russell – this is a destination with a colourful past, once the haunt of whalers and sealers in the 19th century. Take some time to wander along the waterfront and admire the colonial buildings, or climb Flagstaff Hill for amazing views of the town. Later on you’ll catch the ferry back to Paihia and back to your hotel.

Overnight: Copthorne Hotel Resort (Breakfast included)

Day 5

Auckland

Today you’ll discover the incredible Kawiti Glowworm Caves. You’ll be taken on a guided tour through these limestone caves with a friendly Maori family to witness the thousands of twinkling glowworms in the Milky Way cavern, whilst your guide explains the fascinating life cycle of the New Zealand Glowworm - don't forget to visit the Kawakawa Hundertwasser toilets while you're here! In the afternoon, head back to Auckland, right in the heart of it all in the viadcut for the evening.

Overnight: Sebel Suites (Breakfast included)

Day 6

Rotorua

You’ll start your day with a leisurely drive through the dairy farmlands of the Waikato, before exploring the dramatic Karangahake Gorge and strolling along the Ohinemuri River to the relics and ruins of the region’s gold-mining past.

Soon after you’ll pass through Te Puke; the Kiwifruit capital of the world, and discover the colourful landscape dotted with Kiwifruit orchards, before continuing to Rotorua, a geothermal wonder. Along the way you’ll board Tiua – a 53ft catamaran – for a tranquil sail on the beautiful Lake Rotoiti, ending at gorgeous secluded coves and natural hot pools - a memorable end to an awesome day.

Overnight: Novotel Rotorua Lakeside (Breakfast included)

Day 7

Rotorua

Enjoy a day at leisure today in this lakeside town, where you may want to stroll down to Lake Rotorua, or explore one of the town’s unique attractions. Afterwards you can relax over lunch at the Pounamu Lodge with your hosts David and Karen who will regale you with stories of their ancestors and how they coped when Mt Tarawera erupted in 1886. Afterwards, take a walk around the village, learn about the national icon (the kiwi) and see one for yourself - you'll be amazed how big they are!

Overnight: Novotel Rotorua Lakeside (Breakfast and lunch included)

Day 8

Tongariro National Park

Today offers a special visit to Wai-O-Tapu, an exciting geothermal reserve, to witness its bubbling mud pools and vivid silica terraces. You’ll then discover the Huka Falls; where the Waikato River cascades through a narrow gorge, before seeing the three active volcanoes from Taupo – Tongariro, Ngauruhoe and Ruapehu. The afternoon will be spent exploring the rugged terrain of the World Heritage Tongariro National Park, perfect for wandering around before dinner time.

Overnight: The Chateau Tongariro (Breakfast included)

Day 9

Napier

Enjoy a delicious breakfast at the historic Chateau Tongariro, nestled at the base of Mount Ruapehu, before marvelling at beautiful ranges on a drive to the seaside town of Hawke's Bay. Later continue on for an afternoon in the lovely town of Napier. It is well known for its Art Deco architecture, rebuilt in this style after an earthquake in 1931, and you’ll slowly amble amongst them with a local guide before taking time to wander or relax overlooking the ocean with a cocktail.

Overnight: Scenic Hotel Te Pania (Breakfast included)

Day 10

Wellington

Today you’ll travel to the arty town of Greytown, passing Norsewood, Dannevirke and the Wairarapa Plains. You’ll have some time to explore the picturesque main street, lined with antiques, arts and crafts and gift shops, before crossing the Rimutaka Ranges to Wellington – New Zealand’s capital city.

The afternoon will be spent touring the city’s main sights and attractions, before driving up Mt Victoria for spectacular views over the harbour.

Overnight: The Bolton Hotel (Breakfast included)

Day 11

Cook Straight, Picton, Blenheim, Nelson

The morning will start with a scenic three hour cruise on the Interislander ferry, sailing across Cook Strait and up the pretty Queen Charlotte Sound to Picton. Once there, you’ll visit Allan Scott’s vineyard, nestled in the heart of Marlborough’s premier wine region, to wine taste their renowned sauvignon blanc and enjoy lunch here.

After lunch you’ll slowly saunter to St Arnaud village and Lake Rotoiti, located in the forested mountains of Nelson Lakes National Park, before driving along to Nelson where you'll unpack and relax, this is your home for the next 2 nights.

Overnight: Trailways Hotel (Breakfast included)

Day 12

Abel Tasman National Park

This area is a highlight for many on the tour - everyone has seen the stunning photos of Abel Tasman Park and now you're here! Choose between a full cruise or a cruise and walk combo this morning from Marahau along the pristine Abel Tasman coastline. Abel Tasman National Park is New Zealand’s smallest park, protecting 23,000 hectacres of the country’s natural beauty. The afternoon will be free to enjoy the golden sandy beaches and brilliant blue sea, before making your way back to Nelson.

Overnight: Trailways Hotel (Breakfast included)

Day 13

Kaikoura

Today you'll pass through Pelorus Bridge and River (Scene of the Barrel Run from the Hobbit) before leaving the orchards and artisans behind for the foothills of the Southern Alps at the Lewis Pass and continuing on to Methven at the foot of the mountains.

Overnight: Skitime Lodge (Breakfast included)

*Due to long term road closures after the Nov 2016 earthquake in Kaikoura, we have amended the itinerary and will stay in Methven until we have full and safe access to Kaikoura.

Day 14

Akaunui Farm homestead, Mt Cook

Today you’ll venture over the Hunderlee Hills to the Canterbury plains, stopping for a special lunch at Akaunui, a 100 year old farm surrounded by large, luscious gardens. Your lunch will be a delicious dish created with fresh produce straight from the vegetable garden of your hosts, Di and Ian Mackenzie.

After, you’ll drive through Burke’s Pass to the brilliant Mackenzie Country, encountering panoramic views of the Southern Alps along the way. The day will end with a visit to the Church of the Good Shepherd, nestled on the edge of the unreal turquoise blue waters of Lake Tekapo.

Overnight: The Hermitage Hotel (Breakfast and lunch included)

Day 15

Queenstown

Awake at the foot of Mt Cook today – New Zealand’s highest mountain and known as Aoraki, ‘the cloud piercer’, in Maori. There will be time to take an early morning walk in the neighbouring valleys or enjoy a scenic flight over the Tasman Glacier or cruise on the glacial lake, before heading towards the mountain-rimmed Mackenzie Basin, over the Lindis Pass and through the Kawerau Gorge into Queenstown. In Queenstown - the adventure capital of New Zealand, ride the Skyline Gondola to the top of Bob’s Peak for an amazing panoramic vista of the resort below, truly breathtaking. In the evening, pick from the best of Queenstown's restaurants and bars - all an easy walk from your home for the next 3 nights.

Overnight: Scenic Suites (Breakfast included)

Day 16

Milford Sound

Journeying alongside Lake Wakatipu to Te Anau and Milford Sound in the Fiordland National Park, you’ll be struck by the sheer beauty of this area. The Milford Road is world-famous and a panorama of deep glacier-studded valleys, stark mountain ranges and reflective lakes. Board a cruise upon arrival at Milford, looking out for the playful seal colonies and pods of dolphins where the sound meets the Tasman Sea. You’ll return back to Queenstown via a magical scenic flight over the Southern Alps for spectacular views of the landscape.

Overnight: Scenic Suites (Breakfast included)

Day 17

Queenstown

Spend the whole day at leisure today, exploring this wonderful resort town for yourself. There’s something for everyone here, from the extreme to the sedate. Why not take a jet boat ride along the Dart River or visit some of the locations used in the Lord of the Rings films? White water rafting down the Shotover or Kawarau River is an unforgettable experience. While there are plenty of activities, if you're looking to unwind, wander the boutique shops and walkways or visit the Botanic Gardens.

Overnight: Scenic Suites (Breakfast included)

Day 18

Wanaka

Begin today with a visit to the village of Arrowtown, a destination with a rich gold mining history. You’ll then follow the road over the Crown Range where you’ll be rewarded with beautiful views of the Gibbston Valley. There will be a stop at the historic Cardrona Hotel, with a history dating back to the gold mining era, before enjoying a relaxed and memorable lunch at a Wanaka lakeside homestead with fine local wines and the chance to meet some of the locals. Make the most of some free time after lunch to explore the lovely Wanaka for yourself. Opt to bike the waterfront trail, kayak in the lake, or head next door to the Rippon Vineyard for wine!

Overnight: Edgewater Resort (Breakfast and lunch included)

Day 19

Franz Josef Glacier

The journey takes you past Lakes Wanaka and Hawea today as you venture into unspoiled mountain scenery of the Haast Pass in Mt Aspiring National Park, where you’ll be led via tracks in the native beech forests to clear blue pools and cascading waterfalls where trout lurk, there's plenty of time to wander and take photos of the natural beauties. In the afternoon you’ll head north through the Westland World Heritage Park rainforests, stopping en-route to Ship Creek to wander along the beach - keep your eyes out for dolphins feeding in the shallows! You’ll view Fox Glacier as you make your way further into the rainforest and Lake Matheson which is famous for its reflections of the Alps.

Overnight: Punga Grove (Breakfast included)

Day 20

Okarito Lagoon

Today offers a special visit to the settlement of Okarito which is located between the Okarito Lagoon and the Tasman Sea. You can either take a gentle kayaking excursion or a boat cruise along the shallow waters of the lagoon, which is the feeding ground for the rare white heron which breeds in the nearby reserve. This World Heritage Park is incredibly picturesque and tranquil – perhaps you may wish to take a helihike on the glacier or a flight over the Alps to Mt Cook. Alternatively, take a dip in the hot pools which are fed by pure glacier water.

Overnight: Punga Grove (Breakfast included)

Day 21

Punakaiki

Head north today as you pass the Southern Alps to reach Hokitika which is known for its artisan crafts, such as glass blowing, wood carving and pounamu (greenstone) carving - here you'll stop for coffee and have the chance to visit the commercial areas. The coastal road takes you along part of the ancient route used by Maori and offers up unique coastal flora along the way. The Punakaiki Pancake Rocks are along this route and are unique attractions that you won’t want to miss. Celebrate the trip with dinner at the hotel this evening - a stunning spot right on the beach, perfect place to enjoy the sunset with a drink on your final evening here.

Overnight: Punakaiki Resort (Breakfast and dinner included)

Day 22

Christchurch

Today sees you retrace your steps down the coast as you journey up the Otira Gorge on an amazing cantilevered road to Arthur’s Pass National Park. Upon reaching the summit, admire the views and watch the keas (alpine parrots) as they fly between the mountains. There is the opportunity to stretch your legs in the beech forests at Arthur’s Pass village and again at the massive limestone rocks rising out the bare pasture at Castle Hill. Descend into Porter’s Pass to the Canterbury Plains before reaching Christchurch in the late afternoon. 

Overnight: Chateau on the Park (Breakfast included)

Day 23

Christchurch

After a leisurely breakfast this morning, transfer to the airport for your departing flight.

(Breakfast included)

  • Airport transfers
  • Internal travel: Coach; Ferry/Catamaran; Scenic flight
  • Hotels (22 nights)
  • 22 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 2 dinners
  • Kauri Museum, guided walk with Maori guides to Tane Mahuta, exploring Hokianga Harbour, exploring Stone Store, Waitangi Treaty Houde, dolphin cruise and swim at the Hole in the Rock and Cape Brett, Kawiti Caves, cruise along Lake Rotoiti on the luxury yacht ‘Tiua’, Rotorua Museum, Wai-O-Tapu, guided tour of Napier, scenic cruise across the Cook Straight on the Interislander ferry, wine tasting in Marlborough, cruise to Abel Tasman National Park, skyline gondola in Queenstown, 1.45 hour nature and wildlife cruise, scenic flight above to Southern Alps from Milford Sound to Queenstown, guided kayak or cruise around Okarito Lagoon.
  • Tour guide throughout

Please note - International flights and domestic flights throughout New Zealand are not included in the price shown.

2017 Local Departure Dates: Oct 11, Oct 25, Nov 01, Nov 08, Nov 15, Nov 22, Nov 29, Dec 13, Dec 20, Dec 27

2018 Local Departure Dates: Jan 06, Jan 10, Jan 14, Jan 17, Jan 21, Jan 24, Jan 27, Jan 31, Feb 03, Feb 07, Feb 10, Feb 14, Feb 17, Feb 21, Feb 24, Feb 28, Mar 03, Mar 07, Mar 14, Mar 21, Apr 04, Apr 11, Oct 24, Oct 31, Nov 07, Nov 14. Nov 21, Nov 28, Dec 5, Dec 12

2019 Local Departure Dates: Jan 02, Jan 05, Jan 09, Jan 12, Jan 16, Jan 19, Jan 23, Jan 26, Jan 30, Feb 02, Feb 06, Feb 09, Feb 13, Feb 16, Feb 20, Feb 23, Feb 27

 

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Dublin 01 6649930

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