Islands & Thermal Country – Bay of Islands and Rotorua’s Thermal Country
5 Days / 5 Nights
Explore New Zealand by Self-Drive Car. Daily Departures
Combine the history of Northland with the culture of Rotorua to experience the best of both these places of interest. Walk on pristine sand, swim with dolphins, take a coach trip along New Zealand’s longest beach or trek through ancient kauri forests. In Rotorua, lazy drifts of steam are emitted from cracks and crevices in parks, gardens and even residential streets. These constant steam drifts, together with the distinctive scent of sulphur, let you know you are in the geothermal wonderland of New Zealand.
Welcome to Auckland, the ‘City of Sails’. Day at leisure to explore the City of Sails. Visit Kelly Tarlton’s Antarctic Encounter & Underwater World or perhaps a sail on the beautiful harbor. Let us suggest tour options.
Cross the Auckland Harbour Bridge and travel north from Auckland along the beautiful Hibiscus Coast to the Bay of Islands. This afternoon enjoy a guided tour of the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, where the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840 cemented European and Maori into nationhood. Balance of the day is at leisure to enjoy the many activities of the area that was the stage for much of New Zealand’s early history -settlement by Polynesian adventurers, discovery by Captain Cook, and the unruly whaling era.
Board the luxury catamaran at the Paihia Maritime Wharf and cruise to Cape Brett. This most popular cruise in the Bay of Islands will whisk you on a comfortable journey out through game fishing waters to the Cape Brett Lighthouse and the famous “Hole in the Rock”. On the return journey time is taken to meander through the islands. View sandy beaches, beautiful bays and marine wildlife before an island stopover allowing you to enjoy a scenic walk, swim or browse through the local souvenir shop. This afternoon return down the coast to Auckland and beyond to the farming region of Waikato for an overnight Farm or Country home stay. Dinner with your hosts tonight.
After a hearty breakfast, travel south from Hamilton, to Te Awamutu and Waitomo. Visit the famous Waitomo Caves and Ruakuri Caves. Tours to the caves include the magical boat-ride through the Glow-worm Grotto. Continue on via Lake Karapiro to arrive in Rotorua. This evening enjoy a Cultural Experience – Maori Village, Hangi (feast) and Concert.
Rotorua is the centre of the geothermal region of New Zealand and is also the main centre for Maori culture. Boiling mud, geysers and silica deposits surrounding the lake attract visitors from all over the world. We have included entrance fees to visit Te Puia Thermal Reserve, Rainbow Springs, Kiwi Encounter, and Agrodome Farm Show. The afternoon and evening is at leisure. Overnight Rotorua. On the following morning the tour ends.