9 Day Coastal and Cultural Cruiser – THE NORTH ISLAND EXPERIENCE
This is the tour for travelers who may not have the time or budget to indulge in a full 18 day experience but want to taste the North Island of New Zealand.
The North Island is where New Zealand began. Here you will find rich Maori culture, sprawling farmlands and endless jaw dropping coastlines. The volcanic history of this area leaves us with rich, fertile soils, bubbling geysers and natural hot springs. Enjoy the fresh air on a harbor cruise in New Zealand largest city, the “City of Sails”.
We will show you the best New Zealand has to offer and will ensure your needs are met at every step along the way. These tours are specifically tailored for seniors, travelers with facing challenges and those who may need a slower pace or a helping hand along the way. Let us show you all we have to offer as we invite you to experience our beautiful country.
Arrive Auckland – Depart Wellington
14th January 2017 – 21 January 2017
11 February 2017 – 18 February 2017 11 March 2017 – 18 March 2017
Day 1 – Auckland
Welcome to New Zealand! Today we will be meeting you at Auckland airport and taking you to your accommodation in the heart of Auckland City. Once you’re checked in and settled in, you can decide what you want to do. If you just want to relax and catch up on some sleep if you have travelled a long way, then please do. We will do a bit of a drive around Auckland for those who are up to it so you can see how one of New Zealand’s major cities functions and how the locals make their way in this ‘city of sails’. If someone feels like bungy jumping off the sky tower, not a problem, we can organize that too.
Dinner will be at the Auckland Sky Tower orbiting restaurant which was the tallest building in the Southern hemisphere until Melbourne built a monster, however you can still imagine the views. Enjoy your perfectly cooked New Zealand meats or enjoy one of the many vegetarian options all while enjoying 360 degree views across the city. This is a day for you to settle in and prepare for the adventure ahead. Dinner provided.
Day 2 – Auckland and Coromandel Town
This is the first day of your adventure through New Zealand. This morning we will meet at around 9am to indulge in a harbor cruise which will give you a fantastic view of Auckland city while you breathe in that refreshing ocean air. Auckland has more boats per capita than any other city in the world, hence where it got its name as being the “City of Sails”.
Following this we will be slipping into “cruise” mode and heading south. The Coromandel coast is a favorite NZ location and you will see why. From now on we will be switching to “beach time”. You will feel it immediately. Time just slows down as the white sandy coasts just roll on by. Arriving around 5pm and get checked into you accommodation to sit back and watch the sun go down.
Day 3 and 4 – Tauranga/Mount Maunganui
9am Start. Today is just about sitting back and enjoying the ride. We will be heading south to Tauranga and Mt Manganui where we will be relaxing for 2 nights. Your luxury beach side accommodation will enable you to be in the center of everything with the main shopping area, hot salt water pools and accessible boardwalk lining the beach right at your doorstep.
Watch the sun go down each night with the locals. This is one of New Zealand premier holiday destinations with white sandy beaches as far as the eye can see, continuous surf rolling in, and a lifestyle for locals which makes it the fastest growing city in New Zealand.
The “Mount” boasts numerous summertime activities, hosting everything from surf lifesaving events to beach volleyball, national surf contests to sandcastle-building.
Mount Maunganui, or Mauao, is also the name of the extinct volcano which rises above the town. Shrouded in history and legend, the mountain is a dominant feature of the landscape, and a climb to the summit offers amazing views of the surrounding city and ocean.
For those that are interested we can arrange activities such as kayaking, blokarting, if some would like to swim with dolphins we can organize that too The Mount is a fantastic place to people watch, which is what a lot of people tend to do. Sit out and have a coffee and watch the people go by.
Day 5 & 6- Rotorua
10am Start. We will leave the Mount in the Morning as our journey leads us further South to Rotorua. Rotorua is NZ’s most dynamic thermal area. From the moment you enter Rotorua you know you are somewhere like nowhere else. This is nature’s spa of the Pacific. Spiritual home of the Maori. Throughout this hugely volcanic area, natural geysers and mud pools are found all over the city and are often found popping up in local’s back yards. Yes they are dangerous due to the heat and pressure however locals are used to it now and it’s just a natural part of the surroundings. The area is made up of over 16 lakes and a lot of native bush which you will see.
This evening where we will be attending Tamaki Cultural Experience. Here you will taste a traditional Maori meal, the Hangi, and watch the traditional Maori dance and haka. The Maori locals will welcome you in a traditional Maori way on to their land and believe me you will love it. We get shivers every time we see the Haka performed and this is an evening of culture and good food. You will leave smiling with a full belly, a warm heart and cultural experience never to be forgotten.
On the second day here you will have some free time to look around the shops, the government gardens or have a soak in the hot pools or a relaxing massage.
In the afternoon we will visit Te Puia and experience the unique environment of geothermal wonderland. See firsthand the geothermal activity with hot springs and steam vents used for cooking (natural cooktops and ovens) and the natural mineral waters used for communal bathing.
The natural environment here in the central North Island is so varied, as you will experience, with something new and natural around every bend.
Day 7 & 8- Wellington
9am start. The capital of New Zealand here we come! We are heading down to the bottom of the North Island to NZ’s capital city. Wellington is known as New Zealand’s art city and has a name of being a little alternative. Its nickname is “Windy Wellington” and it generally never fails to live up to its name. Wellington is draped around bushy hillsides encircling a magnificent harbor with super lookouts on hilltops, golden sands on the promenade and spectacular craggy shores on the south coast.
Today’s journey is one of the longest being a 6 hour drive. We will stop along the way to the Huka falls among other scenic points. The Huka falls mark the spot where NZ’s largest river, the mighty Waikato, is forced into a narrow chasm making a dramatic 10metre drop into a surging pool. There are great viewpoints for all ability levels.
On your next day in Wellington you will have a 9am Start. Today we will do a bit of a “Tiki tour” (Little tour) around Wellington city past The Beehive (NZ Parliament building- It’s shaped like a beehive). The tour will continue round the coast to Mount Victoria which generally allows you to experience why Wellington has such a reputation for its wind. Hold on to the rails so you don’t get blown away and take time to enjoy the views right across the city.
We will visit Zelandia if weather permits. This is 80 million years of natural history in a fascinating Exhibition and 225ha of remarkable nature in a beautiful sanctuary valley. This is the world’s first fully-fenced urban ecosanctuary – a conservation success and safe haven for some of New Zealand’s rarest native animals. Remarkable species of birds, reptiles, insects and more are living wild within a beautiful 225ha (one square mile) valley.
Day 9 – Wellington – Depart
Sad goodbyes today, you will be accompanied you to the airport for your journey home. Departures from Wellington airport.
- All accommodation which is 4-star in most places including beach front and central city. All accommodation is fully wheel chair accessible and we can adjust rooms to suit your needs.
- Activities are included: Auckland Harbour Cruise, Auckland Sky Tower Observatory and Orbiting restaurant, War memorial Museum, Tamaki Cultural Experience, Te Puia, Zelandia, Te Papa National Museum.
- (Activities are optional and weather dependent and refunds will not be given if whether does not permit)
- All breakfasts and 3 evening meals where specified
- All transportation; including airport transfers; using our wheelchair accessible vehicles with hoists and transfer seating available. Transport is complimentary as part of your package.
- A knowledgeable, experienced and friendly, local guide to escort you personally throughout your stay. Our guides are available to offer a helping hand along the way, however if a carer is needed we ask that this be provided by yourself or we can organise one here.
- All reservations included
- Optional activities: These activities are not included in the price. Kaikoura whale watching, Bungy jumping, Jet Boating, Jade carving, Agrodome, Blokarting, Milford Sound, and any other activities not specified above.