On arrival you will be met by one of our team and driven to your Auckland accommodation.
Auckland, New Zealand’s self-proclaimed ‘City of Sails’ is the country’s largest metro area. Resting between the Pacific Ocean and the Tasman Sea, this urban paradise has something for everyone. Surrounded by native bush, rainforests and an abundance of beaches, Auckland is a playground for both the city savvy and those with an eye for adventure. Explore the central museums and galleries on foot, or take a drive through one of over 800 regional National Parks to see deserted beaches, waterfalls and native forest.
Discover first-hand why Auckland is regarded as one of the best places in the world to live, with a half-day tour of its scenic highlights. Travel through the city centre, including Auckland's famous Queen Street, Karangahape Road with its chequered past and eclectic vibe and fashionable Ponsonby. Cross over the Auckland Harbour Bridge, enjoying views of the Hauraki Gulf and city skyline, and visit the Viaduct Harbour and the revitalised Silo Park waterfront precinct. See historic buildings around the University of Auckland before continuing over Grafton Bridge to the Auckland Domain. The Domain is the city's oldest park and, at 75 hectares, one of its largest. Developed around an extinct volcano, it features tropical gardens, duck ponds and public art, and is also home to the Auckland War Memorial Museum. After visiting the Domain, the tour continues through the boutique shopping area of Parnell Village, where you'll stop for a short afternoon tea break and along the scenic waterfront route of Tamaki Drive. Your Auckland city tour ends with a trip back along the waterfront, finishing in downtown Auckland.
This unique on-water dining experience is not to be missed while you're in Auckland. Enjoy smooth sailing on the Waitemata Harbour - then watch this photogenic city come alive with twinkling lights. Your experienced crew will talk about Auckland's highlights and there will opportunity try your hand at steering. Enjoy your meal as you sail around the beautiful Auckland Harbour taking in the view as the sun slowly sets. You'll be treated to canapés and a drink as you set off towards Westhaven Marina. Choose between a formal dinner in the downstairs cabin or take in the iconic sights of the Auckland Harbour while you eat on the deck. A decadent dessert will then be yours to savour as you set sail. You can choose from a delectable three-course menu catered for by Degree Gastrobar, a renowned Viaduct Restaurant.
Enjoy a tour from Auckland to Rotorua including a guided tour of the fascinating Waitomo Glowworm Caves. Leaving Auckland in the morning you travel through the lush farmland of the Waikato and King Country regions. Your experienced local driver guide will provide a commentary as you travel to Waitomo and point out sites of interest including Rangiriri, the location of a historic Maori land wars battle between forces loyal to the Maori King and the Colonial Government in 1863. On arrival in the small town of Waitomo enjoy a guided tour through the world famous Waitomo Glowworm Caves with their amazing stalactites, stalagmites and other limestone formations. We finish the tour with a silent boat ride through the Glowworm Grotto - a subterranean cavern lit up by the lights of thousands of tiny glowworms. Continue your tour this afternoon by driving to Rotorua, passing through the beautiful Fitzgerald Glade where the roadside trees arch overhead to form a tunnel of natural greenery. You will also enjoy a delicious picnic style lunch on board the coach.
Take the Thermal Land Shuttle to Wai O Tapu thermal wonderland. This thermal area around 30 kilometres south of Rotorua has many walking tracks to take you through this strange landscape. Bubbling mud pools, simmering waters rising from the depths and colourful sulphurous pools make this a fascinating insight into the geothermal activity that goes on below Rotorua's surface. Lady Knox Geyser can be seen erupting at 10:15am daily, shooting water up to 10 metres into the air. There are 3 well signposted walking tracks and an informative brochure tells you about each feature. A gift shop and cafe are also on site.
Rotorua's Polynesian Spa offers a unique thermal spa experience on the shore of Lake Rotorua. You'll enjoy tranquil bathing and lake views in four shallow alkaline rock pools, each with different temperatures (36˚C to 42˚C). Here you are surrounded by revitalising native New Zealand flora, natural rocks, the sound of two waterfalls and a grotto. The pools are filled with soothing alkaline mineral water leaving your skin soft and supple. Relax in the outdoor relaxation area overlooking the four hot mineral pools and Lake Rotorua, here you can further unwind on the five geothermally heated recliners set in the stunning backdrop of New Zealand's lush and natural greenery. A large indoor relaxation lounge also overlooks Lake Rotorua, where as a Lake Spa guest, you are welcome to move from the pools to the lounge once dried off and return to bathe in the Lake Spa pools as you wish. The Lake Spa is a unique thermal pool environment, where the atmosphere changes from day to night, and from winter steam to summer sparkle.
An evening at Mitai will give you an awe-inspiring introduction to the indigenous Maori culture. Marvel at the beautiful bush setting and see warriors in traditional dress who paddle an ancient warrior canoe (waka) down the Wai-o-whiro stream while trout and eels swim beneath the surface. Enjoy a traditionally cooked hangi meal and round your evening off with a spectacular cultural performance that tells the story of the Maori people, their past, carvings, and ta Moko -Tattoo art. Be captivated by the displays of weaponry and combat and be amazed by the spine tingling Haka finale. Truly an experience to remember.
Your full-day tour begins with a morning sightseeing tour around three of Rotorua's iconic visitor attractions. Visit the cultural centre at Te Puia and gain an insight into Māori traditions and ways of life, before entering a geothermal wonderland of impressive geysers and boiling mud pools. Then see New Zealand's agricultural industry in action with a sheep-shearing display and sheep dog trials at the Agrodome, and explore Rainbow Springs, a nature park which showcases native flora and fauna including the famous New Zealand kiwi. Following these Rotorua highlights, enjoy a scenic drive across the Kaimai Ranges to the Hobbiton Movie Set - a picturesque 1,250 acre farm near Matamata where scenes from the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies were filmed. Take a guided tour and learn how this working farm was transformed into The Shire from Middle-earth. Your guide will show you Hobbit holes, the Green Dragon Inn, the Mill and many other structures from the movies. After your Hobbiton Movie Set tour, continue your journey to Auckland with GreatSights.
You will be collected from your Auckland hotel and transferred to the airport to meet your departing flight.