- 15 Days -
We're just assembling some amazing activities to choose from - wont be long!
After your morning arrival at Auckland Airport, take the short flight to KeriKeri where you will be met and transferred to your accommodation at The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs. Resting on an unspoilt coastline where high cliffs nestle into three pristine private beaches, Kauri Cliffs is experiential travel at its best. Named the number one resort in Australia and New Zealand by 'Travel + Leisure', Kauri Cliffs is a leisure travellers dream. Activities abound with the David Harman-designed golf course, immersive local heritage tours, bountiful fishing, bush walks, mountain biking, quad biking and a spa sanctuary hidden within native forest.
You might also find time to enjoy one of following optional activities; just add them to your Wish List.
Your chauffeur driven car will be ready for a morning transfer to the Auckland departure point for the Waiheke Island ferry (35 minutes). On arrival you'll be met by your hosts and transferred for your 3 night stay at the luxurious Delamore Lodge.
Waiheke Island is a haven of beautiful vineyards, olive groves and white sand beaches. In landscape, lifestyle and experience it's a world away and is now established as a favorite with international visitors. During your stay you might be tempted to return to Auckland for the day to experience one or more of these optional activities. Or maybe just explore the vineyards and cafes of Waiheke Island from your home at Delamore Lodge.
This morning your driver will be waiting for you at the Auckland ferry terminal to drive you to Huka Lodge the resort that sets the standards for luxury New Zealand accommodation. A long list of past guests includes H.M. Queen Elizabeth II of England, Barbra Streisand, authors Bryce Courtenay & James A. Mitchener, Bill Gates and many more.
On the drive to Huka Lodge you'll have time to enjoy a stop or two along the way at one of the following. If any of these interest you, add them to your Wish List, just so we know.
Today's drive of around 2 hours is all about fantastic scenery with rugged forested hills, beautiful valleys, gentle plains and wonderful panoramic views to enjoy along the way. Your accommodation for the next 2 nights will be at The Farm at Cape Kidnappers, located close to New Zealand's wine growing region of Hawkes Bay.
The Farm at Cape Kidnappers is one of the world’s extraordinary luxury destinations, set on a 6,000 acre sheep and cattle farm with breathtaking views over the Pacific Ocean and the finest standards of accommodation, service and hospitality that New Zealand offers.
Your hosts will take you to Napier Airport for your morning flight to New Zealand's premier destination, Queenstown and for the next 4 nights you will stay at the luxury Matakauri Lodge, overlooking majestic Lake Wakatipu.
Matakauri Lodge offers stunning views from every angle of the Remarkables and Walter Peak mountain ranges. The Lodge is nestled in one of the world's most serenely beautiful landscapes. Originally constructed in 2000 with a contemporary New Zealand design, it was reopened in August 2010 after undergoing extensive refurbishment and new interior design by acclaimed New Zealand Interior Designer, Virginia Fisher. Then there's the many attractions of nearby Queenstown and the many forests, lakes, rivers and hiking opportunities to be explored and enjoyed.
Today you take an afternoon flight back to Auckland in time to connect with your homeward flight to the USA. Kia Ora New Zealand and please return one day soon.
This is New Zealand’s most important historic site where in 1840 New Zealand’s founding document was signed, the Treaty of Waitangi. The Treaty Grounds features the Treaty House, the carved Meeting House and the world’s largest ceremonial war canoe. Be sure to visit the exciting new Te Kongahu Museum of Waitangi opened in February 2016 and telling the story of Maori and European contact and the ongoing development of New Zealand as a nation.
Journey to the very top of the North Island where the Pacific Ocean & the Tasman Sea meet at Cape Reinga. Travel via 90 mile beach and experience the wild beauty of this vast and untouched region, rich in Maori culture and legend.
Cruise the Bay of Islands in search of dolphin on board our purpose built catamaran as well as experiencing the breathtaking 'Hole in the Rock'. Includes an island stopover on beautiful Urupukapuka Island Reserve.
A relaxing cruise to the Poor Knights Islands Marine Reserve, New Zealand's best dive spot; enjoy swimming, snorkeling & kayaking. Visit the world's largest sea cave, see prolific wildlife, including whales, dolphins and sometimes orca. Consider a dive where two New Zealand warships were sunk to encourage marine life to develop. A fun professional crew, delicious food, a fun day.
Small group tours to view the stunning Waiheke Island landscapes, contemporary and traditional Maori art practices and internationally renowned boutique wineries. To really experience the depth and beauty that Waiheke Island has to offer is to experience it with Potiki Tours, the indigenous people of this land.
Closed in 2007 for 4 years of extensive renovations, this wonderful gallery has now re-opened as one of the country's most iconic buildings. Experience world-class touring exhibitions, immerse yourself in the sights, sounds and atmosphere of traditional and contemporary international works of art and discover the largest permanent collection of New Zealand art right in the heart of Auckland City.
Tiritiri Matangi Island in the Hauraki Gulf is one of New Zealand's most important bird conservation projects and one of the few places where you can see and walk amongst rare native birds in their natural habitat. Over the years more than 300,000 native trees have been planted by volunteers and a number of threatened bird species and small animals re-introduced. These include the flightless takahe, one of the world’s rarest species, and the fascinating and ancient lizard like tuatara.
Auckland, also known as 'The City of Sails' is the city that provided the core of the team that first won the America’s Cup in 1995 in San Diego. Here's your opportunity to feel the thrill of sailing an authentic America’s Cup yacht. Take the helm to help steer, work hard on the grinders to hoist the mainsail or simply sit back and enjoy the scenery.
Visit the Hobbiton movie set where scenes from The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit were filmed. In a fascinating two-hour guided tour you will be taken through the twelve acre site recounting fascinating details of how the movie set was created. The Hobbit Holes, Green Dragon™ Inn, Mill and other structures created for these
The Pukorokoro Miranda Shorebird Centre is a great opportunity to see some of New Zealand’s amazing birdlife including the endemic Wrybill bird with it's unique sideways facing beak. With the numbers of shorebirds often exceeding 10,000 the coastline is almost a mandatory stop for anyone who enjoys seeing birds in their natural habitat. The friendly staff at the Centre will advise the best places to view the birds. Read more about the Miranda Shorebird Centre at our blog - North Island Highlights - Miranda Shorebird Centre
This is one New Zealand's iconic visitor attractions. The glow worm, Arachnocampa luminosa is unique to New Zealand and thousands of these tiny creatures radiate their unmistakable luminescent light as your expert guides explains the Caves' historical and geological significance. A highlight of a visit to Waitomo Caves is the river boat ride under the thousands of magical glowworms.
After visiting Hobbiton, instead of driving directly to Rotorua, you have the option of driving for 45 minutes, across the Kaimai Hills to enjoy the beautiful white sand beaches of Mount Maunganui. After a swim in the warm Pacific waters or a pleasant stroll to the summit of Mount Maunganui, it's a just an hours further drive, via a lovely scenic route to Rotorua.
This is a historic natural hot mineral springs spa that for 3 years in a row was selected by the prestigious magazine Conde Nast Traveler as one of the world's top ten Medical & Thermal Spas. There are twenty-seven hot mineral pools in the Lake Spa offering a complete range of body & skin therapies. Visitor options range from family pools to private luxury seclusion. Lie back, relax, enjoy!
This site is a replica of a pre-European fortified Maori village, completely surrounded by a natural thermal area that includes silica terraces, mud pools and the famous geyser Pohutu shooting boiling water nearly 70 feet in the air. End your visit at the Maori Arts & Crafts Institute where you can watch Maori wood carvers at work.
The strange geological formations, the forest and the lakes of Waimangu always create a sense of wonder for visitors. This is a place of constant geothermal activity and tremendous heat, creating steam, geysers and streams bubbling away at 125 degrees! We recommend a cruise on the incredible cobalt blue lake, where stories will be told of the violent eruptions of 1886 that formed Waimangu and the natural beauty that it created. Read more about Waimangu on our blog - North Island Highlights - Waimangu Volcanic Valley
Lake Taupo is New Zealand's largest lake and it empties into the country's longest river, the Waikato River and at this point of its journey, the Huka Falls, between banks just 300ft part. The result is truly spectacular. Don't miss it, just off the main road before arriving at the town of Taupo.
Roughly halfway on todays drive, make a stop at the beautiful Waipunga Falls and the Waiarua Falls. Both waterfalls are clearly signposted and easy accessible with great views from the car park.
In 1931 Napier was almost completely destroyed by a devastating earthquake. An interesting outcome of interest to visitors from the USA is that after the earthquake, a delegation visited Santa Barbara in California which had been rebuilt after their terrible earthquake of 1925. As a result of this visit the city fathers decided that Napier would be rebuilt in the Spanish Mission style of Santa Barbara, but although examples of this style are still to be found, it was the Art Deco style of the 30's that eventually prevailed.
This is the world's largest and most accessible colony of gannets birds where over 6,500 breeding pairs make their homes. Travel from Napier in a specialized air conditioned 4x4 vehicle to these amazing nesting grounds, a 'must see' for any visitor.
'On Yer Bike Winery Tours' offers a great fun one-day cycling experience exploring wineries in the region by bike, following a user-friendly map. Discover some of the regions finest wineries, taste wines and take in the superb scenery of the Gimblett Gravels and Bridge Pa Triangle wine growing regions. The terrain is flat and the cycling easy passing vineyards, olive groves, horse studs, orchards and farmland.
With its ancient rain forests and abundant wildlife Doubtful Sound is quite simply breathtaking. Practically untouched by humans the physical grandeur of towering peaks, outstanding waterfalls like The Browne Falls that cascade 2,000 feet into the fiord, and calm inland seas combine to create a powerful atmosphere of solitude and serenity. Crested penguins, bottlenose dolphins and New Zealand fur seals will among the wildlife that might be encountered. Our blog also explores the adjacent Dusky Sound tours, a very special experience.
Since 1970 over 2 million adrenalin-rushed passengers have enjoyed the thrills of the world's most exciting Jetboat ride, The Shotover Jet. It's a thrilling ride - skimming past rocky outcrops at close range in your Shotover Jet 'Big Red', as you twist and turn through the narrow canyons at breath taking speeds. And hold tight for the world famous Shotover Jet full 360 degree spins!
Begin with an unforgettable coach trip into Skippers Canyon where you meet your river guide and set out on your white water rafting journey through the spectacular Shotover Canyon. Rafting over peaceful waters at first, you'll head towards the exhilarating rapids of the lower canyon before shooting Cascade Rapid to complete your white-knuckle adventure. Before returning to Queenstown, enjoy a sauna and hot shower at Cavell's Rafting Lodge.
This is an ideal way for visitors to enjoy one of New Zealand's famous walking trails, the Routeburn, in just one day. You'll be driven around the shores of Lake Wakatipu to the start of the trail in the Mount Aspiring National Park. As you make your way along the trail your guide will point out native plants and birdlife while providing a real insight into the history and geology of this fascinating region. After a picnic lunch you are returned to Queenstown.
This guided tour is a great way to enjoy the best scenery in the wider Queenstown region combined with a wine tour that is tailored to suit the tastes of everyone on board. There will be many scenic stops to capture the exceptional scenery and 3 wineries will be visited with a platter lunch of local and seasonal delights included. A highlight will be a stunning drive over the Crown Range Alpine Pass. You can see some great shots of vineyards in this region on our blog. Just click here.
Arrowtown is a historic former gold mining town and one of New Zealand’s iconic visitor destinations. The spectacular setting, the distinct four seasons and tranquil atmosphere, make Arrowtown a must do for visitors. The town has maintained its historic buildings and is now a vibrant meeting place with world class food and beverage, shopping and attractions.
Attach your rental mountain bike to your Gondola and enjoy the leisurely uphill Gondola ride. At the summit (1500 ft) detach your bike and take on the challenges of the Queenstown Bike Park. We like the idea that most of your ride will be downhill, just choose from more than 27 world class mountain biking trails of varying terrain suitable for all abilities and don't forget to enjoy the spectacular views. ,