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The Long White Cloud: Wellington to Auckland

Duration
11 Days
Prices From:
US$ 4,215

Unearth cultural treasures and heartfelt moments as you travel the length of the North Island of New Zealand. Experience the wonder of a meal cooked underground in a traditional Maori hangi, uncover a part of New Zealand’s war history and find new friends, both human and animal, on your visit to Shenandoah.


This 11-day motorcoach tour is an intensive exploration of New Zealand’s North Island, taking in all of its major islands and cities.

Wellington is the capital of New Zealand and its second largest city. Ride the red Wellington Cable Car to the Botanical Gardens and look out over Cook Straight. “Windy Welly” is known for its Victorian timber homes on the hillside and a strong arts and cafe culture. It’s also the nation’s museum centre, with the National Archives, National Art Gallery, National Library and Museum of New Zealand all within the city.

Further north, you’ll visit Lake Taupo, and Rotorua, a geothermal marvel. See mud pools, hot springs and Pohutu Geyser, which rises 30 metres high. Rotorua is one of New Zealand’s main tourist hubs, but it also has the country’s highest concentration of Maori. Learn about traditional Maori life at the Whakarewarewa village in the valley and see traditional wares at the New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute.

Coromandel Park used to be home to gold mines and kauri logging, but it’s now the centre of the country’s ecotourism. Stay overnight in a tree-top hut in Puka Park Resort and move onward to Auckland, the largest city in the country with a population of 1,495,000. Auckland is consistently rated one of the most livable cities on the planet. It’s also as picturesque as a city can get, surrounded by two natural harbours which frame the rocky isthmus upon which it stands. Climb the Sky Tower to view the harbours from high above, or visit Auckland Domain to see a park built around an extinct volcano.

End your trip by visiting some of the 140 subtropical islands in the Bay of Islands. Swim off the beaches or enjoy the vast fishing opportunities. The bay is also the site where British and Maori authorities signed the Treaty of Waitangi, which has defined the nation’s race relations to this day.

Return to Auckland for your departing flight, or stay an extra couple of days to enjoy more of the city.


 

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Duration
11 Days
Prices From:
US$ 4,215

Itinerary View Trip Map

Day 1

Welcome to Wellington

Upon arrival at Wellington Airport you'll be transferred to your hotel. Spend some time at leisure to relax or explore on your own. This evening meet your Travel Director for dinner and a welcome drink.

Meal Plan Dinner
Duration2 Nights
Accommodation

Hotel Sofitel Wellington

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Location View map
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    Hotel Sofitel Wellington



    Sofitel Wellington is ideally positioned in the Central Business District and government hub. Within walking distance from the major tourist attractions, with many restaurants and cafes nearby. The hotel provides great views of lush hillsides and the Botanical Gardens. All 129 Guest Rooms are beautifully ...

    Sofitel Wellington is ideally positioned in the Central Business District and government hub. Within walking distance from the major tourist attractions, with many restaurants and cafes nearby. The hotel provides great views of lush hillsides and the Botanical Gardens. All 129 Guest Rooms are beautifully appointed in vintage gold and bronze tones and feature indulgent rain showers.

    Facilities

    • 24 Hour Reception
    • Air Conditioning
    • Babysitting Services
    • Bar
    • Free WiFi
    • Non-Smoking Rooms
    • Non-Smoking Throughout
    • Restaurant
    • Room Service
    • Wheelchair Accessible

    More Details

Day 2

Wellington 'Free Time'

Today is free for you to experience Wellington. Perhaps join a tour of New Zealand's Parliament buildings and the 'Beehive' or take a ride on Wellington's famous cable car from the central business district up to the Kelburn lookout for stunning views of the city. You may want to experience the world of movie special effects with a tour to the Weta Cave - home of the creative wizards behind the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies. Or learn about New Zealand's history and culture with a visit to Te Papa, Museum of New Zealand. Your Travel Director will assist you in booking your chosen experiences. This evening why not venture down to Courtenay Place or Cuba Street and dine at one of Wellington’s tucked away bars or quirky cafes.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 3

Wellington - Taupo

Today travel through the Kapiti Coast, past the dairy farms of Manawatu and over the Central Plateau, New Zealand's main volcanic area. In a country of contrasts, perhaps nothing is more striking than the three peaks of Tongariro National Park rising starkly from the surrounding plateau of tussock and near-desert. The three mountains, Tongariro, Ruapehu and Ngauruhoe that make up the National Park are all active volcanoes, and are popular in winter and summer - skiing and snowboarding on the mountainous ski fields , and amazing walks including the Tongariro Crossing. Later, arrive into Taupo, known to have some of the best Trout fishing in the world, and check into your accommodation for the night. Originally built in 1889, the Hilton Hotel is nestled among the epic scenery of Taupo with impressive views across the lake and Tongariro National Park. Enjoy dinner with wine tonight.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Duration1 Night
Accommodation

Hilton Lake Taupo

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Location View map
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    Hilton Lake Taupo



    The elegant Hilton Lake Taupo hotel is located on the Napier Road, minutes from the town center and 15 minutes from Taupo airport. The hotel features sweeping views over the largest lake in New Zealand and Tongariro National Park. The original Terraces Hotel, built in ...

    The elegant Hilton Lake Taupo hotel is located on the Napier Road, minutes from the town center and 15 minutes from Taupo airport. The hotel features sweeping views over the largest lake in New Zealand and Tongariro National Park. The original Terraces Hotel, built in 1889, forms the Heritage Wing with rooms that feature private balconies offering views of Lake Taupo or the picturesque Thermal Springs. The new Mountain Wing features both Guest Rooms and family sized apartments; all benefiting from wireless internet access and complimentary use of the Fitness Center and naturally heated outdoor swimming pool.

    Facilities

    • Bar(s)
    • Business Centre
    • Concierge
    • Conference Facilities
    • Currency Exchange
    • Gym/Fitness Centre
    • Internet Access
    • Laundry/Dry Cleaning Service
    • Parking
    • Parking (Valet)
    • Pool (s)
    • Restaurant(s)
    • Room Service
    • Wheelchair Accessible Rooms

    More Details

Day 4

Taupo - Rotorua

Enjoy a leisurely start to our day before continuing on our journey to nearby Rotorua. Visit the spectacular Huka Falls, the only outlet of water from Lake Taupo and then it's on to Rotorua. On arrival in Rotorua an orientation tour takes in views of Lake Rotorua. Tonight an evening of culture, history and scrumptious food awaits you at the Tamaki Family Marae. Wander through the ancient forest village and learn about Maori art forms and traditions, followed by a concert featuring local performers. Experience an authentic Maori Hangi meal, steamed underground in the traditional way.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Highlight Dinner
Duration2 Nights
Accommodation

Regent of Rotorua

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    Regent of Rotorua



    An oasis of understated hip contemporary elegance and comfort amidst the exciting attractions and experiences Rotorua has to offer. Step out of the calm of your gorgeous room or suite and stroll to the vibrant restaurant zone or lakefront area or simply stay in, relax ...

    An oasis of understated hip contemporary elegance and comfort amidst the exciting attractions and experiences Rotorua has to offer. Step out of the calm of your gorgeous room or suite and stroll to the vibrant restaurant zone or lakefront area or simply stay in, relax and savor the luxury facilities.

    Facilities

    • 24 Hour Reception
    • Bar
    • Business Centre
    • Concierge
    • Conference Facilities
    • Currency Exchange
    • Gym/Fitness Centre
    • Internet Access
    • Laundry/Dry Cleaning Service
    • Non Smoking Rooms
    • Non-Smoking Property
    • Parking
    • Pool (s)
    • Restaurant
    • Spa

    More Details

Day 5

Rotorua

You're off to the highly entertaining Agrodome Sheep Show. Witness the art of sheep shearing, sheepdog trials, cow milking, bottle feeding of lambs and even a sheep auction. Your next stop is Rainbow Springs Nature Park. Discover native flora that grows around the crystal clear mineral water springs and you might even spot a kiwi or two! To complete your day you'll visit the Whakarewarewa Living Village for an insight into Maori life and how they interact with geothermal activity.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 6

Rotorua - Coromandel

Make your way to the famous Waitomo Caves for an exclusive 5 star Eco Glow Worm experience. Your guide sets the scene for a cave experience where you will see glow worms, cave formations and appreciate the beauty of Footwhistle Cave. Later, travel through the dairy farming district of Waikato, and now you’re off to the Coromandel to Puka Park Resort, where you'll stay in Tree Hut Chalets, set among the native bush.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Duration1 Night
Accommodation

Grand Mercure Puka Park Resort Pauanui

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Location View map
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    Grand Mercure Puka Park Resort Pauanui



    Grand Mercure Puka Park Resort is a secluded hideaway perfect for a leisure holiday. The hotel is situated just 800 metres from a 3 kilometre sandy beach and nestled into the slopes of Mt. Pauanui. The 42 private chalets accommodate guests in comfort and style, ...

    Grand Mercure Puka Park Resort is a secluded hideaway perfect for a leisure holiday. The hotel is situated just 800 metres from a 3 kilometre sandy beach and nestled into the slopes of Mt. Pauanui. The 42 private chalets accommodate guests in comfort and style, with a balance of modern convenience and the relaxed atmosphere of a mountain lodge.

    Facilities

    • Bar(s)
    • Business Centre
    • Currency Exchange
    • Daycare/Babysitting Service
    • Gym/Fitness Centre
    • Laundry/Dry Cleaning Service
    • Pool (s)
    • Reception (24 hrs)
    • Restaurant(s)
    • Sauna
    • Tennis

    More Details

Day 7

Coromandel - Auckland

If you are an early riser, why not take a stroll down to the golden sands of Pauanui Beach and dip your toes in the swirling surf. Later, you will travel over the Coromandel Forest Park towards Auckland. Journey over the Bombay Hills as you make your way into the heart of New Zealand's largest city, you will stop at Bastion Point and the Michael Joseph Savage Memorial, as you will get stunning shots of Auckland, the North Shore and the Waitemata Harbour. After a sightseeing tour, you’re at leisure to explore the town and try out the Auckland restaurant scene.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Duration1 Night
Accommodation

Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour

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Location View map
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    Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour



    Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour is located in the heart of Auckland, a unique maritime experience between vibrant Viaduct Harbour and the new Wynyard Quarter. Inspired by New Zealand's landscape and culture and boasting panoramic views of Waitemata Harbour, this beautifully designed hotel is a true ...

    Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour is located in the heart of Auckland, a unique maritime experience between vibrant Viaduct Harbour and the new Wynyard Quarter. Inspired by New Zealand's landscape and culture and boasting panoramic views of Waitemata Harbour, this beautifully designed hotel is a true landmark destination. The hotel features 172 luxury appointed bedrooms and suites.

    Facilities

    • Bar
    • Business Centre
    • Concierge
    • Conference Facilities
    • Day Spa
    • Gym/Fitness Centre
    • Laundry/Dry Cleaning Service
    • Offsite Paid Parking
    • Pool (s)
    • Valet Parking
    • Wheelchair Accessible Rooms

    More Details

Day 8

Auckland - Bay of Islands

This morning depart Auckland City and travel north over the Harbour Bridge past the sprawling suburbs of the North Shore of Auckland. Then continue to the Waipoua Forest, home to the largest Kauri tree in existence, Tane Mahuta (over 2,000 years old). You'll take a break before a Maori guide walks you through the native bush and explains the history and legend behind the mighty Kauri. Then head to your waterfront resort in the heart of the Bay of Islands and tonight its dinner at the resort.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Duration2 Nights
Accommodation

Copthorne Hotel and Resort Bay of Islands Paihia

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    Copthorne Hotel and Resort Bay of Islands Paihia



    This welcoming Bay of Islands hotel commands a superb waterfront location in the heart of the Bay of Islands, offering uninterrupted bay views surrounded by 60 acres of subtropical gardens as part of the historic Waitangi Treaty Grounds. The hotels 180 non air conditioned guest ...

    This welcoming Bay of Islands hotel commands a superb waterfront location in the heart of the Bay of Islands, offering uninterrupted bay views surrounded by 60 acres of subtropical gardens as part of the historic Waitangi Treaty Grounds. The hotels 180 non air conditioned guest rooms offer individual balconies or patios and offer a serene escape with designs inspired by nature. Onsite facilities include tennis court, spectacular free form lagoon style swimming pool, mountain bike hire and courtesy shuttle to downtown Paihia. Copthorne Hotel and Resort Bay of Islands is the perfect base when you want to play scenic golf courses, participate in some of the best big game fishing in the world, and experience the wonder of the local native bush walks or to simply relax in a picturesque location.

    Facilities

    • Bar(s)
    • Conference Facilities
    • Internet Access
    • Laundry facilities
    • Parking
    • Pool (s)
    • Reception (24 hrs)
    • Restaurant(s)
    • Room Service
    • Spa
    • Spa(Hot-tub)/Jacuzzi
    • Tennis Court
    • Wheelchair Accessible Rooms

    More Details

Day 9

Bay of Islands

This morning you'll take a ferry across the harbour to historic Russell and enjoy a guided tour of the first European settlement in New Zealand. A local guide will also take you on a walking tour of the town. Later, why not visit the historic Waitangi Treaty Reserve, where New Zealand's founding document, the Treaty of Waitangi, was signed. As you stroll through the reserve, you will see highlights such as the Waka - Maori War Canoe and an intricately carved Marae or Meeting House. (Optional Experience - own expense). Tonight you are free to dine as you wish. You may want to experience a 'Kiwi Tradition' - fish and chips on the beach, or glide down the Waitangi River on board the Ratanui for a sumptuous dinner cruise.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 10

Bay of Islands - Auckland

This morning experience spectacular scenery as you cruise through game fishing waters to Cape Brett and, weather permitting, through the famous 'Hole in the Rock' formation. The return cruise to Paihia meanders through picturesque islands - see deserted sandy beaches and secluded bays and keep your eyes peeled for the marine life. Later, you'll have some free time in Paihia before you travel back to Auckland. Celebrate tonight with new-found friends at a farewell dinner.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Duration1 Night
Accommodation

Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour

More Info

Location View map
  • starstarstarstarstar

    Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour



    Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour is located in the heart of Auckland, a unique maritime experience between vibrant Viaduct Harbour and the new Wynyard Quarter. Inspired by New Zealand's landscape and culture and boasting panoramic views of Waitemata Harbour, this beautifully designed hotel is a true ...

    Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour is located in the heart of Auckland, a unique maritime experience between vibrant Viaduct Harbour and the new Wynyard Quarter. Inspired by New Zealand's landscape and culture and boasting panoramic views of Waitemata Harbour, this beautifully designed hotel is a true landmark destination. The hotel features 172 luxury appointed bedrooms and suites.

    Facilities

    • Bar
    • Business Centre
    • Concierge
    • Conference Facilities
    • Day Spa
    • Gym/Fitness Centre
    • Laundry/Dry Cleaning Service
    • Offsite Paid Parking
    • Pool (s)
    • Valet Parking
    • Wheelchair Accessible Rooms

    More Details

Day 11

Farewell from Auckland

Say farewell to your fellow travellers as your Inspiring Journey comes to an end and we transfer you to Auckland Airport for your onward flight.

Meal Plan Breakfast

Other Information

DEPARTURES:

2017: Oct 27; Nov 24; Dec 1, 22, 29
2018: Jan 19, 26; Feb 9, 16, 23; Mar 9, 16, 23, 30

PRICE INCLUDES:

  • 10 nights' accommodation in boutique lodges retreats and resorts
  • Gourmet meals as listed
  • Private car transfers on arrival and departure
  • Wine included with dinner
  • Services of a professional tour director
  • Travel by luxury coach or 4WD vehicles
  • No more than 20 guests

PRICE EXCLUDES:

  • Travel insurance
  • International and domestic airfare & airfare taxes
  • Visa fees if applicable
  • Meals and beverages not specifically indicated
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Gratuities

TERMS AND CONDITIONS:

Prices are "from" per person based on twin/double share accommodation and for travel in low season. Seasonal surcharges and blackout dates may apply. Limited seat/spaces and all pricing is subject to change and availability. Rates for single travellers are available on request - please enquire.

TB AATKINGWEL0117SG: NZNI
30 Mar 2018
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