Upon arrival at Auckland Airport you'll be transferred to your hotel. Spend some time at leisure to relax or explore on your own. This evening, join your Journey Director for a Welcome Reception and dinner.
Following a city sights tour of Auckland this morning we board the ferry to Waiheke Island. With pristine beaches, world class wines, and fantastic cuisine it’s easy to see why Waiheke Island is considered the jewel in the Hauraki Gulfs crown. Just 35 minutes by ferry from downtown Auckland you’ll feel like you’re a world away as we embrace the essence of Waiheke with our local guide. Enjoy wine tasting at some of Waiheke’s award-winning vineyards, including a light lunch before we cruise the Hauraki Gulf back to the city. Tonight, enjoy a free evening; why not try one of the many restaurants in Wynyard Quarter or the Viaduct.
Your leisurely discovery of New Zealand’s North Island continues as you follow the meandering trail of the Waikato River to the famous Waitomo Caves for an exclusive 5-star Eco Glow Worm experience. Your guide sets the scene for a cave experience where you will see glow worms, cave formations and appreciate the beauty of Footwhistle Cave. Journey to the volatile landscapes of Rotorua, where Maori culture takes centre stage. Visit the Tamaki Maori Village for insights into the local rituals and traditions of this fascinating culture. Embrace their gracious Hongi greeting, experience the heart-pounding wero challenge and enjoy a Local Dining Experience, the delicious flavours of the Hangi cooked in the earth with geothermal steam.
Today, visit Whakarewarewa Living Village where you’ll be accompanied by a Local Guide to view New Zealand’s biggest geyser, bubbling mud pools and thermal springs. Later, the day is all yours to explore the sacred lands, thermal marvels and Maori traditions of Rotorua. You could indulge in a spa treatment at the Polynesian Thermal Spa or if you’re up for a challenge, take the native forest zipline adventure tour with Canopy Tours.
This morning visit Rainbow Springs Nature Park for a guided tour of the National Kiwi Hatchery Aotearoa, the national leader in kiwi husbandry. Learn about the work being done to save New Zealand’s national bird, see kiwi eggs being incubated, the hatching process and newly hatched kiwi chicks. Later, fly to Wellington. Spend the evening at your leisure, enjoying dinner at one of the quirky cafes at Courtney Place or Cuba Street.
A harbourside city, Wellington is rich in natural beauty, but the wild wind has driven an exciting indoor life too, there’s a world-leading café culture, great multicultural restaurants, contemporary art and live music. This is your chance to know it like a local on a guided walking tour. Discover the stunning waterfront to the hidden laneways in the bohemian area: the heritage Cuba Street precinct. Once dimly-lit back alleys, these newly rejuvenated laneways are now home to some of the country’s funkiest bars, boutiques and breweries. Experience premium batch peanut butter tasting from an artisan supplier, and a taste of the Capital’s very own chocolate and you’ll see for yourself that Wellington really is the coffee and craft beer capital of New Zealand! This afternoon, we continue to the urban eco-sanctuary of Zealandia, admiring the extraordinary efforts of conservationists who have reintroduced 18 species of native wildlife that were absent from mainland New Zealand for over a century.
This morning, explore New Zealand’s fascinating culture, nature, heritage and art at Te Papa Museum of New Zealand, Then it’s time to prime yourselves for a few days of adventure, flying to Queenstown, New Zealand’s adventure capital. On arrival, journey to the goldrush village of Arrowtown. Enjoy a tour of Queenstown, and gaze at the natural splendour in its midst – from the peaks of the Remarkables to beautiful Lake Wakatipu.
Travel along the shores of Lake Wakatipu, over the Devil’s Staircase and along to Manapouri on the edge of Fiordland National Park. Here your journey to the breath-taking pristine wilderness scenery of Doubtful Sound begins. Cruise across Lake Manapouri then take a coach trip over Wilmot Pass before you immerse yourself in the beauty and vastness of remote Doubtful Sound on a Wilderness Cruise. Keep a look out for wildlife including dolphins, fur seals and even occasionally penguins. Later enjoy dinner at your hotel.
Explore exciting Queenstown your way! Perhaps take a minibus tour through spectacular Skippers Canyon or immerse yourself among the boutique vineyards and spectacular scenery of Central Otago on a Boutique Wine tour. Your Journey Director will assist you in booking all of your chosen optional experiences. As your final day ends enjoy a Celebration Dinner at one of the local restaurants with your Journey Director and new-found friends.
For now, all that’s left to say is a fond farewell as your inspiring journey comes to an end after breakfast. Throughout today you will be transferred to Queenstown Airport for your onward flight.