New Zealand Discovery
Known as a land of natural wonders and old world charm, New Zealand is a traveler’s dream destination.
It is how we dream the world should be: uncrowded, safe, with clean air and full of fresh, natural food products and friendly, smiling locals. Our sample itinerary highlights the icons of New Zealand: Auckland’s Harbour, Rotorua’s thermal wonders; Christchurch’s charm and Queenstown’s alpine beauty! With your group of fellow paddlers, friends and supporters, take the time to discover this wonder Downunder.
Fly Hometown to Auckland
Cross International Dateline
Welcome to the land of the “long white cloud.” New Zealand is a country like no other: soaring alps, glacier fed rivers, lush green valleys dotted with sheep combined with a relaxed, easy-going lifestyle that harkens back to a simpler time. On arrival, we are met and transferred to our hotel where our rooms will be ready for our early morning arrival.
Auckland is one amazing city, boasting three harbours, two mountain ranges, 48 volcanic cones and more than 50 islands. With a population of approximately 1.3 million, it has one third of the country's entire population. This afternoon we enjoy a tour of this “City of Sails.”
Auckland to Cabridge - Lake Karapiro District
This morning we transfer by private coach south to Cambridge and our hotel for the next
8 nights during the festival.
Accommodation: Own arrangements
Cambridge to Rotorua
Our journey south today starts with a coach pick up from your festival hotel. Our sightseeing today will include an underground tour of the Ruakuri Caves that form part of the greater Waitomo Cave complex. Set beneath the rugged hillside, these enormous limestone caverns feature cathedral caverns, stalagmites and stalactites as well as the famous glow worm grottos…and all this natural wonder viewed from a small boat travelling across an underground lake! The ceilings of the caves are dotted with millions of small glow worms, each one providing its own small light to attract the insects they feed on. After our tour, we continue south to world-famous Hobbiton where many scenes from both the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies were filmed. Our private, exclusive tour will show us the rolling hills of ‘the Shire’ while our private guide recounts fascinating details on how the movie was created and used. Our tour ends at the Shires Rest Café where a delicious BBQ lunch will be served.
From here it is on to the thermal city of Rotorua. New Zealand is a country located on the “Ring of Fire” where the earth is always in a state of upheaval. This phenomenon is no more evident than in Rotorua on New Zealand's volcanic plateau where geothermal activity is pronounced including erupting geysers, steaming fumaroles, mud pools and hot geothermal springs.
Morning Waiotapu Thermal Wonderland
After a leisurely breakfast, we take a short drive to visit the Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, New Zealand’s most colourful geothermal attraction where the landscape has been sculptured over thousands of years by volcanic activity. We have time to walk at our own pace following clearly defined tracks and take in the steaming ground, huge volcanic craters, hot and cold coloured pools, sinter terrace formations and expansive vistas. Watch your clocks because at 10:15am daily the Lady Knox Geyser erupts - a sight not to be missed! At the end of our visit our coach will transfer us back to the hotel where we have the rest of the afternoon and evening at leisure.
Fly Rotorua to Queenstown
We transfer to the airport this morning for flight across the Cook Strait to the mountain resort town of Queenstown on the South Island. Tonight we enjoy we take the cable car up to the Skyline Restaurant for a delicious dinner overlooking stunning Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkable Mountains.
|Meal Plan||Breakfast and Dinner|
Milford Sound Sightseeing
We are up early today for our full day excursion by road into Fiordland National Park and a cruise on famous Milford Sound. A journey by road into Milford is an awe-inspiring trip through deep-cut valleys with sheer rock cliffs rising on each side, lush, green meadows and forests dotted with rivers and lakes and, looming over it all, hanging valleys and mighty mountain peaks. Our lunch cruise will take us up and down the Sound getting close to waterfalls and rock walls and, if we are lucky, we may even see a penguin or two. After our cruise, the adrenelin doesn’t stop as we board our sightseeing planes (weather permitting) for our jaw-dropping scenic flight back to Queenstown. Our evening is free to explore Queenstown and its lively nightlife on our own.
|Meal Plan||Breakfast and Lunch|
A free day to enjoy all the Queenstown has to offer: jet boating, bungy jumping, white water rafting, lake cruising, golfing, nature walking or join the Safari of the Scenes Tour or a tour to the historic town of Arrowtown
Queenstown to Christchurch
A full day of sightseeing today and we drive from Queenstown to Christchurch crossing the Southern Alps and across the Canterbury Plains to the historic and stately city of Christchurch. Enroute we will stop to visit the Church of the Good Shepherd with its stunning lake and mountain views. Christchurch. On arrival, we have a brief orientation tour before arriving at our hotel. Tonight we enjoy a farewell dinner on Christchurch’s historic tramcar.
|Meal Plan||Breakfast and Dinner|
Fly Christchurch to Hometown
Morning at leisure until our transfer to the airport for our flights home.
For further details on this itinerary or for more innovative group ideas for your Dragon Boat group…
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