This itinerary encompasses high points of New Zealand and two-night stays in five areas. The itinerary can be offered in 4 variants, and is priced for a couple. Travelling as 2 or even 3 couples would obviously lower the per-person cost, especially where a guide is used.
Price per couple all-inclusive:
(1) Self-driven. No activities: NZ$7,163 (USD$4,986)
(2) Fully guided. No activities: NZ$12,588 (USD$8,763)
(3) Self-driven, activities included as shown: NZ$11,572 (USD$8,055)
(4) Fully guided, activities included as shown: NZ$16,996 (USD$11,831)
The itinerary can be amended, with days added, removed. More places can be included, or places removed. It can also be tailored to fit a particular budget with more or less expensive activities.
Day 1, 2
You will be met at the door of your aircraft by one of our representatives. They will escort you through customs and immigration and hand you over to your driver/guide. You will be driven in a luxury vehicle to the centre of Auckland where you will be staying in the heart of the waterfront area at Hilton Auckland.
Unwind at Hilton Auckland hotel and admire stunning ocean views 300 meters out to sea. Positioned within Auckland’s city center, the Hilton Auckland hotel is just a five minute walk from Auckland’s central business district, as well as many impressive local attractions.
If you wish, we can arrange a jetlag massage on arrival as well as a private meal if you would prefer not to go out. Your driver/guide remains on call for the rest of your stay in New Zealand, from 8am to 10pm.
On the second day, board your luxury classic launch for an introduction to Auckland's beautiful Hauraki Gulf. The Gulf is full of picturesque islands and volcanoes and your skipper knows them all, particularly a small cove where he likes to stop for lunch. Depending on weather conditions, you may go for a walk on a volcano, pick some wild mussels, or just sit on deck and enjoy the fine food and wine.
Bay of Islands
Day 3, 4
Travel 3.5 hours up to the Bay of Islands, enjoying the beautiful scenery. On arrival in the area, go directly to the Maori heartland of Kaikohe for a natural Maori re-enactment of first contact with Europeans. This is as real as it gets and is not a "show", so your driver/guide will brief you on protocol to ensure that everything goes smoothly! This encounter is the most authentic and passionate in the country. We have been working with local Maori for five years to get this one right.
After your encounter, settle into your luxury suite at Paihia Beach Resort. Apart from superb views, the resort also boasts an excellent restaurant and spa.
We have kept the second day free. You can relax in your suite, go on a cruise, or sailing, or big-game fishing, kayaking, island hopping. Whatever appeals to you.
Day 5, 6
Leave Paihia in the morning and be taken to Kerikeri Airport for a quick flight to Auckland and onto Rotorua. On arrival in Rotorua, enjoy a helicopter experience to active volcano White Island. Your flight will take you north over Hell’s Gate Thermal Valley to the Pacific Ocean coastline and the active volcano of White Island. Land at the crater’s rim and spend approximately one hour on a guided walk of this fascinating natural attraction. Experience the volcanic fury of the main crater, view sulphur deposits, and the remains of the old sulphur mine. Then you will transfer to a boat for a Mokoia Island Maori and nature experience.
Stay at Wai Ora Spa Resort. It has been developed by the owners of Hell's Gate, well known for their cultural massage therapies. The spa is also home to an avant garde Maori restaurant.
We have left the second day free and can set up an activity if you wish. Activities we recommend include a private day with a Maori guide, rafting, fly fishing and hiking.
Day 7, 8
Fly in the morning to Blenheim. Enjoy lunch at the Convent, where you will be staying. The Convent is a historic building which has been wonderfully restored and added to by its owners. It boasts extensive grounds and a swimming pool. A lovely place to stop and relax for the day. If you still have the energy to do something, your driver/guide can take you on a winery tour, finishing with dinner at an excellent vineyard restaurant.
Spend the next day on an eco-cruise through the beautiful Marlborough Sounds. Your hosts are of Maori origin and will explain the area from a Maori perspective as well as an ecological perspective. You may see dolphins and have a chance to try wild seafood on this day.
Day 9, 10
Fly in the morning from Blenheim to Queenstown. On arrival, drive directly into Queenstown for an activity before heading north to Silver Pine. Activities we recommend are a wine tour, four wheel drive tour, rafting, hiking, or sightseeing.
Silver Pine is a lovely modern lodge in an amazing setting on the side of a mountain overlooking Lake Hawea. It has to be seen to be believed. The hosts are a lovely couple and the dinner, which is included with the stay, is always excellent.
On the second day, board a helicopter for a flight up into Mount Aspiring National Park, and hike for two hours before coming back to your base by jetboat. Spend the night at Silver Pine before heading home the next day (Day 11).