Day 1 - Welcome to Auckland
Welcome to Auckland, New Zealand’s City of Sails. Flights can arrive any time prior to 4.00pm; you will be transferred from the airport to your hotel. After check-in, you can explore Auckland. Take a walk down Queen Street, to the main shopping precinct or take a bus (leaves from outside the hotel) down to the Viaduct Harbour and the Auckland Waterfront region. This recently developed area of central Auckland has cafes and restaurants galore. Take a seat in the sunshine, enjoy a glass of one of New Zealand’s famous Sauvignon Blanc’s and watch the maritime activity on Waitemata Harbour. This evening, meet your fellow travelling companions and your AAT Kings Travel Director at a welcome reception back at your hotel.
Hotel: Holiday Inn Express
Day 2 - 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. Our travels then take you through Northland’s lush farmland scenery before arriving into the beautiful Bay of Islands. This afternoon discovers the stories, people and events that shaped the past, present and future of Aotearoa New Zealand at the Waitangi Treaty Grounds. During your tour you will view the world’s largest ceremonial war canoe, the historic Treaty House and carved Meeting House. Stand on the spot where New Zealand’s founding document, the Treaty of Waitangi, was first signed in 1840.
Hotel: Copthorne Resort Bay of Islands, Garden Room
Meals: Breakfast and dinner
Day 3 - Bay of Islands
Today is a completely free day for you to experience the beauty of the Bay of Islands. Perhaps take a coach trip up to Cape Reinga – the very top of New Zealand via idyllic Ninety Mile Beach. Experience a day of sailing aboard a historic tall ship, enjoy wine tasting on a wine tour of the region, or join a tour of Russell and learn more about the settling of the Bay of Islands. Tonight, you are free to dine as you wish. Your Travel Director will assist you in booking all your optional experiences.
Hotel: Copthorne Resort Bay of Islands, Garden Rooms
Day 4 - Auckland
Enjoy a leisurely morning before your return to Auckland. Your journey takes you to Whangarei, the northern-most city in New Zealand, where you can wander around the art galleries and through the marina in the Town Basin. Later, enjoy a stop at Parry Kauri Park and take a walk among New Zealand’s native forest giants, the Kauri trees, before arriving into Auckland.
Hotel: Holiday Inn Express
Day 5 - Rotorua
A city sights tour will start your morning in Auckland. Travel to the Auckland War Memorial Museum for views across Auckland City and the Waitemata Harbour. After leaving Auckland you will follow the meandering trail of the Waikato River to Waitomo Caves. Tour the amazing limestone caverns and sail through the still waters 90 of the sparkling Glow Worm Grotto. From Waitomo to Rotorua you will venture through the King Country region which was at the centre of the New Zealand Wars in the 1860s. 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 Maori Village. 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.
Hotel: Ibis Rotorua
Meals: Breakfast and highlight dinner
Day 6 - Rotorua
Today is your chance to experience the scenic wonders of the geothermal wonderland of Rotorua. You could explore Rainbow Springs Nature Park & The National Kiwi Hatchery, take a ‘behind the scenes’ tour through the working kiwi nursery and hatchery. Visit Te Puia and join a guided tour through the Whakarewarewa Thermal Reserve, home to famous Pohutu Geyser and the bubbling beauty of the mud pools. Later, why not spend a little more time experiencing the thermal wonders, with a soak in the hot mineral waters of the Polynesian Spas? Your Travel Director will assist you in booking all of your chosen optional experiences.
Hotel: Ibis Rotorua
Day 7 - Wellington
Say Haere Ra (goodbye) to Rotorua this morning and journey out through pine forests and farmland to a little hidden spot, the turquoise torrent of rapids known as Huka Falls. The road ahead unfolds in a broad panorama of Lake Taupo, New Zealand’s largest lake. The stunningly blue fresh water of Lake Taupo is home to some of the best trout fishing in the world. You will then journey south 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. Pass through several small towns along the road to Wellington, each with their own personality and quirks. Probably the quirkiest of all would have to be Taihape… the self-proclaimed gumboot capital of the world. Travel along the Kapiti Coast, the traditional summer playground of the inhabitants of Wellington city. And as you follow the state highway, the Kapiti Coast becomes New Zealand’s capital city, Wellington.
Hotel: Travelodge Wellington
Day 8 - Farewell from Wellington
Your special packed lunch today won’t only be wholesome, it will also feed a Kiwi child who may otherwise go without, through the charity ‘Eat My Lunch’. This morning enjoy a city tour of Wellington, taking in panoramic views from the summit of Mt. Victoria. There’ll be time to explore the Parliament buildings and the ‘Beehive’, home to New Zealand’s politicians, as well as the many fascinating exhibits at Te Papa Museum of New Zealand. Your holiday ends in the early afternoon.
Meals: Breakfast and lunch
8 day Escorted Tour - from £2060
With flights from £2995
- Add extra nights in Auckland or Wellington, before or after your tour
- Add a 4 night stay in Queenstown after your tour, from £654
- Choose to fly Economy, Premium, Business or First Class
- Add a stopover in Singapore, Dubai or other destination
All prices are per person, based on 2 sharing a twin room, and include meals where shown. Please call Freedom Destinations to confirm departure dates and availability. Itineraries outlined are for departures from 1 April 2023.