Volcano-sculpted landscapes, the very vibrant Maori culture, unique architecture and award-winning wines – the experiences on offer in New Zealand’s North Island are as varied as its incredible landscapes so this Journey is designed to give you some time to kick-back in Tahiti too: the perfect combination of rugged discovery and tropical paradise.
Some of the highlights included are:
- Boogie board down towering sand dunes in the Bay of Islands
- Gaze up at the dazzling lights of a thousand glow worms in Waitomo
- Enjoy spectacular views of Lake Taupo
- Swim in the warm waters of French Polynesia
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- International flights
- 17 nights in our bestselling 4-5* hotels
- 18 days' car hire
- Bay of Islands Cape Reinga tour
- Cathedral Cove kayaking
- Waitomo Glowworm Cave
- Wine tasting in Martinborough
- 4 nights in a 4.5* hotel in Tahiti
- All transfers
Need to know+
- Arrives: Auckland Airport (AKL)
- Time difference: GMT+13
- Visa requirements: British passport holders do not require a visa
- Language: English and Maori
- Currency: New Zealand dollar (NZD)
- Flying time from UK: around 27 hours
- Plug type: 3-prong flat blade plug
- Voltage: 240 volts/50 cycles
Fly from UK to Auckland
On arrival to Auckland, collect your hire car from the airport and make your way to your hotel. Once you’ve settled in, get out and explore this sensational city. Explore uptown Auckland on foot and appreciate the area’s rich heritage, take a scenic boat ride around the harbour and ascend the Sky Tower for the best views in town. While you’re here catch the ferry to beautiful Waiheke Island where you’ll find independent boutiques, galleries and wineries as well as sandy beaches and emerald waters. The evening can be spent in one of Auckland’s fantastic restaurants overlooking Viaduct Harbour.
Bay of Islands
The beautiful Bay of Islands is a tranquil bay with turquoise waters, dotted with almost 150 islands. While you’re here, you’ll set off in a Dune Rider, a vehicle purpose-built for off-roading, and explore Gumdigger’s Park, a replica of a 19th century gumdigger’s camp. Driving along 90 Mile Beach, you’ll stop off at a sand dune field, where you can climb the dunes and boogie board back down again. To finish, you’ll call in at the Cape Reinga lighthouse and can indulge in a delicious fish-and-chips lunch.
Look up at the giant kauri trees in Hokianga, a rural haven great for getting away from it all among the rock formations, forests and streams. It’s natural wonders galore here – take a look at the giant Koutu Boulders, smooth rocky spheres up to three metres wide, or check out the nearby sand dunes. For a touch of culture head to the Mangungu Mission House, where the Treaty of Waitangi, declaring British sovereignty over New Zealand, was signed by Maori chiefs on 6th February 1840.
Spend one more night in Auckland, perhaps sampling one of the relaxing eateries along the waterfront, before continuing on your adventure.
Say goodbye to Auckland and drive south to the Coromandel Peninsula. Renowned for its natural beauty, rural farmland and pristine golden beaches, Coromandel is blessed with numerous natural hideaways and idyllic spots. While you’re in town, take to the seas for a fun half day’s kayaking on the clear blue waters, paddling through the sea caves to Cathedral Cove for a cappuccino on the beach..
Drive to the unique geothermal wonderland of Rotorua. Sitting within the Pacific Rim of Fire, Rotorua boasts bubbling mud pools, clouds of steam and natural hot springs, perfect for a relaxing soak. The city is also the centre of Maori culture in New Zealand so take the opportunity to learn more about the traditions and way of life of the Maori people. Your Journey includes a day trip to the fascinating Waitomo Glowworm caves, where you’ll take a boat into the darkness to watch the glittering green lights of the glow worms.
With incredible views across to the volcanoes of nearby Tongariro National Park, the town of Lake Taupo is truly breathtaking. The lake itself was created nearly two thousand years ago by a huge volcanic explosion and its sheer size makes it more like an inland sea than a lake. Lake Taupo is a great spot to try water-skiing, sailing and kayaking while the surrounding forests offer numerous hiking and mountain bike trails. Just north of the lake, you’ll find the magnificent Huka Falls – take a boat ride for a unique view of the tumbling water.
Napier is located in the lush region of Hawke’s Bay, one of New Zealand’s warmest and driest areas, which produces some of the country’s best wines. Follow Hawke’s Bay food and wine trail and discover numerous wineries, visit the traditional farmers market in Hasting and enjoy the beautifully preserved art-deco architecture in Napier.
Located at the heart of the Classic New Zealand Wine Trail, Martinborough boasts excellent restaurants and spectacular local wines. From the picturesque village square you can walk to 30 nearby vineyards, making a fantastic walking-wine trail. Many of the wineries are open year-round for tastings and many have cafes or restaurants serving local food to match your wine preferences. Your accommodation here is located on a pristine country estate with large sweeping gardens and panoramic views.
New Zealand’s capital city of Wellington is your last Kiwi stop. Situated beside a beautiful harbour and surrounded by impressive green hills, this capital city is known for its art, heritage and culture. Take a stroll along Oriental Parade to admire the waterfront, continue up Mount Victoria to enjoy panoramic views over the city or explore the walking trails in the surrounding hills.
Fly from Wellington to Papeete and spend lazy days in this Polynesian paradise, setting your own pace. Papeete, a bustling port town, is the capital of French Polynesia and offers a lively carnival atmosphere. But peace and quiet are in order at your beachside hotel, where you can go kayaking, take a cookery class, browse the onsite artists’ workshop, indulge yourself in the spa, or simply relax and do nothing at all.
Depart Tahiti and return to the UK
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