This itinerary was deisgned on request. Our brief was to put together the very best New Zealand had to offer for a family of four. Cost was immaterial and quality and exclusivity were paramount as were comfort, relaxation and privacy. Final cost depends significantly on options selected - as a guideline we think this would come in at NZ$200,000 (USD$157,700)+.
Arrival at Auckland International Airport. We meet our clients airside, escort them through priority exits, and deliver them to their guide and helicopter. The helicopter overflies Auckland city and the scenic Hauraki Gulf before touching down at your private accommodation on Waiheke Island twenty minutes later. Enjoy a massage on arrival and then rest until dinner which will be prepared by one of our top catering teams.
Our clients usually arrive tired, after a long international flight and a very busy time at work getting everything done which needs doing before their holiday. For the first full day in-country we recommend a day on the water. The Hauraki Gulf is beautiful, and the fishing and diving are excellent. Select from a traditional 46ft Kauri wooden launch from the 1930s, or a sailing boat from the same era (previously owner by General George Patton), or modern sailing boats or launches from small to extra-large.
Time for some adrenaline! Take the helicopter from your villa and fly 20 minutes to the Maramarua Forest, south of Auckland. Here we have set up a private 4.5km closed loop, part of the official New Zealand rally circuit. Here we will have two full-specification rally cars set up, together with flame proof suits, intercom and instructors. Spend the morning learning to drive a rally car. After an excellent lunch, fly 10 minutes north to Ardmore. Here the family will meet four experienced pilots from the Wardbirds Society. They will be introduced to their aircraft, four two-seater fighter-bombers from the 1930s. They will fly a simulated formation dive-bombing mission over an island off Kawakawa Bay. After this mission, it's back in the helicopter and over to central Auckland to walk through the centre, bungy jump from Sky Tower, and enjoy dinner at a restaurant of your choice. As it will be dark after dinner, we will return to your villa by boat. (helicopters are not allowed to carry passengers after dark)
After a relaxing morning visit some wineries just before lunch and have lunch at one of them. Then board your helicopter for a one hour flight north to the Bay of Islands. Land at your private island in the Cavallis. The adults can stay in one cottage and the children in another. There is a launch at your service, as well as a Sealegs amphibious boat, argo all-terrain vehicle, kayaks, snorkelling and fishing gear. We can also arrange jetskis. The area is well know for its game fishing (world records), light tackle fishing, diving (a number of wrecks and the Poor Knights islands - rated by Jacques Cousteau as the top sub-tropical diving in the world). We can also arrange for surfing, windsurfing , kitesurfing and spearfishing. The island has a masseuse there full time as well as a top chef and has a kiwi protection programme. Just across on the mainland is one of the country's best golf courses.
Enjoy the island.
Meet local Maori. We will arrange an ambush by local Maori warriors by waka (canoe) at the island. Enjoy a traditional fierce challenge when the chief will present the family with a notable taonga (treasure). Understand the Maori culture, be welcomed by Maori to their land, and eat a traditional lunch with the warriors. After lunch the warriors can demonstrate traditional carving, weaving, healing, combat or fishing.
Either spend the day enjoying the island or discover the area by helicopter. We recomend going north and seeing the coastline, then cutting across to the West Coast and driving quad bikes on the beach and dunes.
Depart the island and fly south. After 80 minutes the helicopter will land at Waitomo. This area is famous for its glow-worm caves and has become a popular destination for tourists. We have developed an exclusive day where our clients spend time on private land with an interesting character who has spent much of his life exploring the local cave systems. Enter into private caves with this individual and enjoy an informative guided walk of a lovely area of bush. Then continue onto Rotorua, the geothermal region of New Zealand, overfly significant lakes, geothermal areas and land for lunch on a boat on Lake Tarawera. The boat will cruise to Hot Water Beach where you can bathe in naturally hot springs. It will also have a water sports boat in attendance so you can indulge in watersports on the flat water of the lake. Re-board your helicopter, and after a short flight land at Wai o Tapu, for a one-hour walk around this geothermal park. Then continue 20 minutes to Taupo where you will land at your lodge, Huka Lodge, the longstanding number-one lodge in the country. Your accomodation will be the private 4-bedroom owner's cottage. Alternatively, we can offer a private house on a 16,000 acre estate.
Rest in the morning. In the afternoon, take a helicopter out to sea to White Island, an active volcano. Land on the island and walk around.
Select from a number of options:
- guided walk of the Tongariro Crossing, a long, hard walk acknowledged as New Zealand's best one-day walk
- jetboat up the mysterious Whanganui River. Hike into the absurd "Bridge to Nowhere"
- combination wilderness rafting/jetboat adventure
- wilderness flyfishing
Depart Huka Lodge and fly 30 minutes east deep into the mountains. Land on a 5,000 acre high-country wilderness block. Meet your guide, a renowned Maori outdoorsman and chef. Spend the day with him understanding, finding and preparing food. This can range from roots and plants to fish as well as hunting for wild pigs or clever Sika deer. Enjoy the fruits of your labours and reboard your helicopter to continue east to Hawkes Bay. Stay at lovely colonial Greenhill Lodge or at sister property Glen Aros.
Select from a number of options:
- horseriding along the beach
- river kayaking
- fly fishing
- cycling from winery to winery (or a motorised wine tour)
- golf at the country's top course
- wilderness hiking
Fly, either by scheduled airline or charter aircraft to the South Island. Stay at the old, colonial Convent in Blenheim. Eat that evening in a top local winery restaurant.
Spend the day in the beautiful Marlborough Sounds on a classic launch. This launch was deisgned for the area with a special keel which can be run aground on various beaches and islands. Your hosts are knowledgeable about the area's history, plants and animals. Hike parts of the Queen Charlotte Track and visit significant locations.
Drive south 90 minutes to Kaikoura where you can take an aircraft or helicopter up to view the whales. Then continue another 90 minutes to Claremont Estate, a lovely high-country estate.
Spend the morning on a fascinating tour of the estate - from a farming and geological perspective. The estate is beautiful, is a working sheep and deer farm, has the first truffles in the country, and is so interesting from a geological perpective that it is used by university students. In the afternoon we can set up a number of activities around the farm based on your requirements.
Your helicopter will pick you up and take you on a scenic flight high into the Southern Alps and over to Mount Cook. Then land in some ancient forests for a walk before continuing south to a West Coast river. Transfer to a jetboat for a wild and fast 30-minute run down to the sea. Meanwhile the helicopter will be supporting two divers on a nearby island who will be gathering your lunch - fresh crayfish. Enjoy the crayfish on the beach before re-boarding your jetboat and back into the helicopter for a 30-minute flight to Silver Pine lodge.
Spend a day flyfishing and hiking the local (wild and remote) rivers. If you are interested in hunting, that can be arranged.
Drive south towards Queenstown. Meet an award-winning local winemaker who has been largely credited with esablishing winemaking in Central Otago. Understand his art, his passion, and his wines. Then continue onto Queenstown with time to stop at the centre, in historic Arrowtown, and onto your lodge at Punatapu.
The Queenstown area is well known for having many adventure options available. We suggest four nights here with the possibility of selecting a number of different options, both tailor-made or off-the-shelf. If you wish, we can divide the family up, with each family member doing what they want to do. Options are:
- a day exploring Fiordland by helicopter. This is something not to be missed. We have developed a special day with Lydia Bradey, the first lady to climb Everest with no additional oxygen. She takes our clients to her favourite places, gaining one-off permission to land from the Department of Conservation. The walking can either be light or as extreme as mountaineering.
- a four-wheel drive tour of local high-country farms
- a day-trip by aircraft to visit the penguins, seals and sealions on the East Coast
- rafting, jetboating, bungy jumping, parapenting, tandem skydiving, extreme downhill mountain biking
- game fishing for Bluefin Tuna off the West Coast (big fish, big seas - hard fishing).
- skiing, heli-skiing (in season)
More Queenstown activities.
More Queenstown activities.