ITINERARY / SCHEDULE
DAY 1 - Auckland (Arrival)
On arrival in Auckland, collect your rental car at the airport and drive to your hotel. Distance 30 mins from Auckland Airport.
Hotel check in time 1400pm. The remainder of the day is at leisure for you to explore Auckland, New Zealand’s City of Sails.
Auckland is a shopaholic's paradise, with everything from top-end designers to open air street markets. Discover the diverse range of cafes and restaurants offering cuisine from around the globe and check out the buzzing nightlife of the central city. Favourite spots include Wynyard Quarter, the Viaduct Harbour, the Britomart precinct and City Works Depot.
Hotel Auckland City Hotel or similar
DAY 2 - Auckland - Waitomo (202km) - Rotorua (166km)
After breakfast, check out hotel and cruise down the southern motorway, suburban scenery gradually gives way to the farmland of South Auckland, an area favoured by bloodstock breeders. You’ll enjoy motorway speeds all the way to Bombay, a major market gardening area.
The Waitomo Caves region is famous for its subterranean splendour. Beneath the surface of this ancient limestone region is a series of vast cave systems decorated with stalactites, stalagmites and glow-worms. Admission included to Waitomo Glowworm Caves 45min guided tour.
*Add - A Hobbiton Movie Set Tour, 2 hour guided tour on the journey to Rotorua*
Your journey from Waitomo to Rotorua will take you through a mixture of farmland, lakeland and forest.
The city of Rotorua sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire and there is evidence of volcanic activity everywhere you look. Rotorua is also the tribal home of the Te Arawa people, who settled in lakeside geothermal areas more than 600 years ago. In any weather and at any time of year, Rotorua offers plenty to see and do.
Hotel Sudima Hotel or similar
DAY 3 - Rotorua Sights
Rotorua Admission includes: Te Puia Thermal Reserve, Rainbow Springs and Agrodome Farm. Discover three of Rotorua's best visitor attractions.
Te Puia - see the famous Pohutu Geyser, which shoots up to 30m in the air. Enjoy the boiling mud pools, authentic Maori cultural performance.
Rainbow Springs - an animal conservation park where you can get up close to New Zealand’s endangered species like the Tuatara and Kiwi.
Agrodome Farm Show - You’ll hear amazing facts and have a few laughs as you’re introduced to 19 breeds of sheep. Then, witness a live sheep shearing demonstration and a fun sheep auction with bidding from the floor and audience participation.
An evening tour to experience Māori culture with traditional ceremonies, cultural performances and an authentic hangi dinner.
Meals Breakfast, Dinner
Hotel Sudima Hotel or similar
DAY 4 - Rotorua - Napier ( via Taupo 266km)
After breakfast, check out hotel and get ready to hit the road to Taupo will keep you entertained with its unusual, volcanic geography. You’ll also drive through large tracts of plantation pine forest.
Lake Taupo is actually a massive volcanic crater. This picturesque playground offers a myriad of water activities and geothermal attractions. Another diversion is Huka Falls, New Zealand's most visited attraction. For an up-close look at the falls with thrills, splashes and spins included, try a Hukafalls jet boat ride.
The major entertainment on the road from Taupo to Napier is the fantastic scenery. There’s a bit of everything - rugged hills, beautiful valleys, gentle plains and huge vistas. At Tarawera you can walk to the hot springs, which are above the Waipunga River. You might also want to stop at the Waiarua Falls lookout, to view the twin waterfalls.
After a massive earthquake in 1931, Napier was rebuilt in pure Art Deco style. Its beautiful buildings, tree-lined streets and interesting shops make for a great day out. More than 40 vineyards are clustered in the area, and many have fine restaurants on-site.
Hotel Scenic Hotel Te Pania or similar
DAY 5 - Napier
This morning is at your leisure to explore Napier.
Napier's city centre has the feeling of a time capsule - the seamless line of 1930s architecture is quite extraordinary. One of the ways to enjoy the streetscape is on a self-guided walk - ask for a map at the information centre or at the Art Deco Trust. Guided walks (optional tours not included in the tour price) around the city are also available every day rain or shine (except Christmas Day!). Every February, Napier celebrates it's heritage with the Art Deco weekend - a stylish celebration of all things 1930's, including vintage cars, fashion and music.
*Add - Art Deco Walking tour of the Napier city*
This afternoon enjoy a Panoramic Country with a Taste of Wine | Depart daily at 1230pm | Returns 1700pm.
A half day wine tour will take you on a journey through gorgeous countryside and into the most famous wine growing regions of Hawke's Bay. We'll visit four internationally recognised wineries, where you'll take part in a series of comprehensive wine tastings, with plain English explanations from your tour guide. Our tours will visit four of the following wineries: Mission Estate, Church Road, Moana Park, Trinity Hill, Ashridge, Abbey Cellars, Ngatarawa Wines, Crossroads, Black Barn, Craggy Range, Elephant Hill, Te Mata Estate, Askerne, Esk Valley.
Your final destination is Te Mata Peak, where you can bask in a vinous glow, and put your day in perspective with a 360° bird's eye view of the entire region – from the Plains to the Pacific Ocean.
Transfer by Prinsy's coach tour
Hotel Scenic Hotel Te Pania or similar
DAY 6 - Napier - Wellington (323km)
After breakfast, check out hotel and head south down on State Highway 2 to the Wairarapa region. Enjoy the Wairarapa scenery as you drive south.
Perhaps make stop in Carterton at Paua World for your kiwi souvenirs. Just out of Carterton is Stonehenge Aotearoa, a modern, working version of England’s Stonehenge. Greytown, a Victorian country village has a mix of boutique shops, art galleries, antique stores, cafes and restaurants making it one of New Zealand’s premier shopping destinations. Schoc Chocolates is a must for any chocolate lover.
Head to Featherston, home to the world’s only Fell Engine. A must-do is C’est Cheese filled with cheese from around the country and a great range of deli treats.
Drive over the Rimutaka Range—great views in every direction. Then you'll wind through the picturesque Hutt Valley then a fast moving motorway will whisk you into the city.
Wellington is compact, cultured and full of character. Nestled between the harbour and the hills, the downtown area is ideal for explorations on foot. Enjoy cafes, restaurants, museums and all kinds of shops. Dance, theatre and musical performances are a Wellington specialty. As New Zealand’s capital, this city is rich in political history.
Hotel West Plaza or similar
DAY 7 - Wellington (Departure)
Your arrangements conclude today. Hotel check out time 1000am.
Your rental car should be dropped off at the airport, by the same time as it was picked up on Day 1, to avoid any additional charges.
*Extend your stay in Wellington, to explore the city by own or add optional activities/tour around Wellington*
Half Day Gourmet Walking Tour
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Standard Hotels & Rental Car of Holden Commodore or similar (FDAR)
Standard Hotels & Rental Car of Kia Carnival or similar (PVAR)