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North to South Kakariki (Small Group Tour)

17 nights from €5,269 per person

  • Included:
  • Accommodation
  • In resort assistance & 24 hour contact centre
  • Internal travel and airport transfers
  • Tour guide throughout
  • 18 breakfasts, 3 lunches and 1 dinner
  • No credit card fees for Visa and Mastercard
Click here for Pricing & Dates

Overview

Take this small group tour to experience New Zealand on your own terms. You’ll enjoy 18 days of exploration on a private air-conditioned bus taking you across both the North and the South Islands. With only 10 to 18 people in your group, this tour will be sure to feel personalised and special.

Starting in the bustling city of Auckland you’ll explore beauty spots including the Bay of Islands, Waipoua Forest and the Kawiti Glow-worm Caves before heading south. Next you’ll visit the often-missed beauty of the Coromandel Peninsula and the hot-springs of Rotorua. You’ll then head further down to the capital city of Wellington where you’ll cross to the South Island. Here you’ll see the towering peaks of Mt Cook, cruise on the Milford Sound and choose your own adventure in Queenstown. (MOA)

Highlights:

  • Cruise with a nature guide on the impressive Milford Sound
  • Choose your own adventure in thrill-seeking Queenstown
  • Explore the Bombay Hills and the Hauraki Plains of the Coromandel Peninsula
  • Take a relaxed boat trip around the Bay of Islands
  • Visit the unique Hot Water Beach

From 1st October 2016 this will be a 17 night tour and Itinerary will be adjusted - please call for details and prices.

Details

Day 1

Arrive in Auckland

On arrival you’ll be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel in the centre of Auckland. The rest of the day is yours free to relax or explore the city. Some options include taking a look around the Auckland Museum, visiting the cafes and restaurants of Viaduct Harbour or taking a ferry to Waiheke Island.

Overnight: Sebel Suites

Day 2

Waipoua Forest/Omapere

Today you’ll depart from Auckland and head to Muriwai Beach on the West Coast. Here you’ll take a short walk to allow you close up views of a gannet colony which nests on the cliffs. You’ll then continue northwards to the Matakohe Kauri Museum which looks at the history of New Zealand’s towering kauri trees.

Next you’ll head north to the impressive Waipoua Forest. Accompanying a group of young Maori who are dedicated to preserving the traditions and culture of their tribe, you’ll be given a full understanding of this unique forest. In the evening you’ll reach Omapere where you’ll be welcomed with a special 'Karakia' from your hosts before relaxing over dinner in your beach side accommodation.

Overnight: Copthorne Hotel and Resort Hokianga (Dinner and breakfast included)

Day 3

Bay of Islands

In the morning of day three you’ll cross Hokianga Harbour on a cruise with one of our Ngaphui friends, Pete! You'll arrive in the deserted area where you can explore the sand dunes. These impressive dunes are up to 500-foot high and if you’re feeling the need for a little adrenaline you can ride a body board down the sand.

Arriving in Kerikeri, you'll visit the historic Stone Store known for its orchards and artisans. In the Bay of Islands you'll be met by a local guide at the Waitangi Treaty House, a significant spot in New Zealand's colonial history. Here in 1840 Maori signed the treaty with Queen Victoria's respresentatives and New Zealand became a British colony. Here you will spend the next couple of nights in your new home.

Overnight: Copthorne Hotel and Resort (Breakfast included)

Day 4

Cruise the Bay of Islands

Today you’ll take a cruise from Paihia into the truly stunning aquatic landscape of the Bay of Islands on a catamaran that is purpose-built to make it ideal for dolphin viewing, or alternatively you can cruise out to the Hole in the Rock. Afterwards you’ll disembark at Russell, the first capital of New Zealand and take in the pretty colonial buildings before re-boarding your coach and driving Flagstaff Hill for some unforgettable views. Finally you’ll head back on the ferry to Paihia.

Overnight: Copthorne Hotel and Resort (Breakfast included)

Day 5

Waitangi/Kawiti Glow-worm Caves

In Kawakawa you'll check out the famous Hunterwasser toilet block which has put Waitangi on the map. You’ll then head onwards to the Waiomio Valley where you’ll take a guided tour through the Kawiti Glow-worm Caves with the descendants of the famous Maori chief, Kawiti. Kiwis grew up with glowworms and so are surprised to find out they're extremely rare in other countries, in glowworm world, New Zealand is the centre of the universe. You'll learn all about the famous Milky Way cavern from your friendly guide! End the day with the journey back to Auckland where you’ll have a little more free time in the heart of the viaduct.

Overnight: Sebel Suites (Breakfast included)

Day 6

Rotorua

After driving through the dairy farms of the Waikato region, you’ll reach the gigantic and dramatic Karangahake Gorge and stop by the Ohinemuri River for a stroll through native bush and tunnels to the Victoria Battery a relic of the early gold-mining days.

Afterwards, you’ll arrive in the Bay of Plenty region near Te Puke, to discover the home of the New Zealand kiwifruit industry, visit a working Kiwi orchard before continuing on towards the geothermal wonderland of Rotorua and stopping at Lake Rotoiti to sail to secluded coves and natural hot pools on a catamaran called ‘Tiua’.

Overnight: Novotel Lakeside (Breakfast included)

Day 7

Rotorua

You’ll have the morning free to relax, stroll down to the lakeside or take an optional excursion such as a flight to the volcanic White Island, or a lovely spa treatment. In the early afternoon you’ll drive to Pounamu Lodge above Lake Tarawera to join David and Karen Walmsley, two local hosts, for lunch.

The afternoon will be spent walking around the village at Rotorua Museum, housed in the Bath House which opened in 1908, with beautiful gardens and lots of Maori history and culture. Learn all about the national icon (kiwi bird) and the amazing efforts that go into ensuring their survival at the Kiwi Encounter - you'll be amazed how big they are!

Overnight: Novotel Lakeside (Breakfast and lunch included)

Day 8

Tongariro National Park

Your first stop this morning is Wai-O-Tapu, a geothermal marvel of vibrant silica terraces, mud pools, and the Lady Knox geyser. Journey to the Huka Falls, where the Waikato River cascades through a narrow gorge, and look out across Lake Taupo to three soaring volcanoes – Ruapehu, Ngauruhoe and Tongariro.

Tonight you’ll be staying at the foot of Mt Ruapehu in the World Heritage Tongariro National Park, with stunning landscapes and easy walking trails from your hotel – the Chateau Tongariro.

Overnight: Chateau Tongariro (Breakfast included)

Day 9

Napier

Today you’ll enjoy breakfast at the historic Chateau in the base of the mountains. Make your way through the high country down through to the idyllic Hawke's Bay and view the orchards, pasture, vineyards and of course the sweeping coastline.

Drivie on towards the coast and to the seaside city of Napier, where you will have free time to go on a walking tour of the Art Deco buildings – built in this style after an earthquake in 1931, there’s definitely a ‘Great Gatsby’ feel to the place! On arrival, take your pick of a guided walking tour of the Napier's impressive Art Deco buildings, or you may prefer a cocktail overlooking the ocean, we’re in the best spot possible tonight!

Overnight: Scenic Hotel Te Pania (Breakfast included)

Day 10

Wellington

This morning you’ll drive across the Hawkes Bay plains and through to Norsewood and Dannevirke – two Wairarapa farming communities named for their early Scandinavian settlers. Once in Greytown, you’ll have time to stretch your legs in the historic main street, filled with wooden buildings dating back to the 1880s. As centre of the premium wine-growing region, sit back and enjoy a glass over lunch.

Continue on an hour drive to Wellington, driving over the beautiful Rimutaka Ranges before travelling up Mt Victoria for the lovely harbour views. This gorgeous city is the third largest in New Zealand, with a great film industry and an eclectic café scene - your hotel is right in the centre of the museums, theatres, boutiques, galleries and cafes so you won't be short of choice for the evening.

Overnight: The Bolton Hotel (Breakfast included)

Day 11

Nelson

The day will start with a cruise on the Interislander ferry, sailing across Cook Strait and up Queen Charlotte Sound for three and a half hours – offering beautiful views of high mountains and sheltered bays. The first point of call will be Forrest vineyard for wine tasting and lunch - right in the heart of the sauvignon blanc region.

Afterwards, you’ll travel onwards to Nelson, sunshine capital and gateway to the Abel Tasman National Park. Cross the Pelorus River bridge (Scene from the Hobbit movies) and finally arrive to unpack and relax, this is home for 2 nights.

Overnight: Trailways Hotel (Breakfast included)

Day 12

Abel Tasman National Park

Spend a glorious day today exploring the stunning National Park - choose between a full scenic cruise or a cruise and walk combo from Marahau along the pristine Abel Tasman coastline this morning. 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. You'll have time to lie on the beach, go for a swim and keep an eye out for the dolphins that often make an appearance.

Overnight: Trailways Hotel (Breakfast included)

Day 13

Kaikoura

Today you’ll drive to the famous Pelorus Bridge (scene from the Hobbit) before venturing on, leaving the orchards and artisans behind for the foothills of the Southern Alps and Canterbury. Travel through the picturesque countryside of the upper South Island onto the Southern Alps at Lewis Pass, continuing on to Methven located at the foot of the mountains for your nights stay.

Due to long term road closures to Kaikoura the overnight stay will be in Methven until it re-opens

Overnight: Skitime Lodge (Breakfast included)

Day 14

Mt Cook

Head over the hills to the Canterbury Plains today for your first views of the Southern Alps. You will visit Akaunui Farm homestead to meet Di and Ian Mackenzie, where you'll enjoy sipping on wine and having a lunch of fresh produce from their huge gardens, whilst talking farming tips with Ian and exxploring their Canterbury heritage building.

After lunch continue onto the Mackenzie Country - making plenty of stops en route to the Church of the Good Shepherd at Lake Tekapo and the unreal turquoise waters!

Overnight: The Hermitage Hotel (Breakfast and lunch included)

Day 15

Queenstown

Either enjoy a leisurely morning, or take an early morning walk up the valley towards Mt Cook. You could even choose the optional flight over the Alps, or a boat ride to the terminal face of the Tasman Glacier. Later on, you’ll drive down the Mackenzie Basin and over the rolling tussock hills of the Lindis Pass, through the Kawarau Gorge, and into Queenstown.

Once arriving in Queenstown, you’ll hop on the Skyline Gondola to the top of Bob’s Peak for amazing views of the Remarkables Range, Walter Peak and Lake Makatipu.

Overnight: Scenic Suites (Breakfast included)

Day 16

Queenstown

Wake up early to drive alongside Lake Wakatipu and through the farmland to Lake Te Anau. During the journey you’ll travel along the Milford Road in Fiordland National Park, one of New Zealand’s most beautiful roads with views of forests, mountains, waterfalls and alpine valleys.

Once at Milford Sound, you’ll step on a small boat to cruise past Mitre Peak and out into the Tasman Sea to see seals lounging on the rocky islets, pods of dolphins and the array of bird life in the area. On the return, you’ll fly back to Queenstown over the breath-taking panorama of the Southern Alps and Lake Wakatipu - great end to a fantastic day of land, sea and air!

Overnight: Scenic Suites (Breakfast included)

Day 17

Queenstown

Enjoy a day at leisure in Queenstown itself, known as New Zealand’s Adventure Capital. Here you’ll find a huge range of activities for all ages including tours to the Lord of the Rings movie locations, thrilling white-water rafting, wine tasting in the boutique vineyards, golf on a spectacular course, walking on the famous Routeburn Track, jet boating on Shotover River or a visit to the placid Botanic Gardens, to name a few. You definitely won't be stuck for things to do!

Overnight: Scenic Suites (Breakfast included)

Day 18

Depart Queenstown

After a breakfast at leisure you’ll be picked up from your hotel and transferred to the airport for your flight home. Ka kite ano - 'See you again'.

(Breakfast included) 

 

  • All transportation by coach (with air-con) plus airport transfers
  • Services of a knowledgeable kiwi tour guide throughout
  • All accommodation (17 nights)
  • All breakfasts, two lunches and one dinner
  • Maori guides to Tane Mahuta, Cruise the Hokianga Harbour to explore the impressive sand dunes, Dolphin cruise to Hole in the Rock and Cape Brett (chance to swim with dolphins), Kawiti Caves, Scenic ferry cruise across Cook Straight, Fresh produce and wines in Marlborough, Cruise to the Abel Tasman National Park, ride on the Skyline Gondola, explore Milford Sound with a 2.5 hour nature and wildlife cruise, great scenic flight from Milford Sound over the Southern Alps

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 1, Nov 8, Nov 15, Nov 22, Nov 29, Dec 6, Dec 13, Dec 20, Dec 27

2018 Local Departure Dates: Jan 6, Jan 10, Jan 14, Jan 17, Jan 21, Jan 24, Jan 27, Jan 31, Feb 3, Feb 7, Feb 10, Feb 14, Feb 17, Feb 21, Feb 24, Feb 28, Mar 3, Mar 7, Mar 14, Mar 21, Mar 28, Apr 4, Apr 11, Oct 10, Oct 24, Oct 31, Nov 7, Nov 14, Nov 21, Nov 28, Dec 5, Dec 12, Dec 19, Dec 26

2019 Local Departure Dates: Jan 2, Jan 5, Jan 9, Jan 12, Jan 16, Jan 19, Jan 23, Jan 26, Jan 30, Feb 2, Feb 6, Feb 9, Feb 13, Feb 16, Feb 20, Feb 23, Feb 27, Mar 2, Mar 6, Mar 13, Mar 20, Mar 27, Apr 3, Apr 10, Apr 17

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Tralee 066 7164440

Dublin 01 6649930

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