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Cities, Volcanoes and Vineyards Luxury Tour 

11 days from Auckland to Auckland

Explore the Central North Island's jewels. You'll be met by your private transfer at Auckland Airport and whisked to meet your ferry to the idyllic Waiheke Island.  Delamore Lodge is the perfect spot to recover from a long flight and the included wine tour will introduce you to the delights of this charming island retreat.  Returning to Auckland you pick up your car and travel south to Rotorua and Solitaire Lodge.  Here you’ll encounter the fascinating Maori Culture and enjoy a fabulous day trip to the volcanic White Island by helicopter.  Next stop is Lake Taupo, where you try your hand at trout fishing and relax at the world renowned Huka Lodge.  The final stretch of your North Island experience takes you to the Hawkes Bay, New Zealand’s oldest wine region and the impeccable Farm at Cape Kidnappers, here you have time to explore the wineries or play a round of golf or simply relax.  You’ll be flow back to Auckland to meet your departing international flight.

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 This suggested tour costs from per person (twin share, low season) (get instant quote here)
 11 days/10 nights from Auckland to Auckland
 Accommodation suggested on this tour is: Luxury Lodges & hotels (Can be customised? YES )
 Rental car insurance included: Fully inclusive with variable excess/deductible
 Rental car inclusions: GPS navigation, unlimited kms, airport/ferry terminal fees, additional drivers
 Tour pack: Includes detailed driving instructions, maps, guide books and much more
 This tour can be customised to suit you precisely - just request here

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Auckland city, New Zealand
Maori culture, New Zealand
 

Cities, Volcanoes and Vineyards Luxury Tour - at a glance (See detailed itinerary)

Day 1: Welcome to New Zealand, you'll be transferred to your Waiheke Island ferry
Accommodation: The Boat Shed

Day 2: Explore the boutique vineyards of Waiheke Island
Accommodation: The Boat Shed

Day 3: Return to Auckland, then drive to Rotorua and your lakeside retreat at Solitaire Lodge
Accommodation: Solitaire Lodge
Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 220 kms / 136 miles : 2.6 hours

Day 4: Discover the unique Maori cuisine and culture, then spend the rest of the day exploring
Accommodation: Solitaire Lodge

Day 5: A fascinating helicopter tour to the volcanic White Island off New Zealand's East Coast
Accommodation: Solitaire Lodge

Day 6: From Rotorua follow the geothermal highway to Taupo
Accommodation: Huka Lodge
Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 75 kms / 47 miles : 0.8 hours

Day 7: Try your hand at fishing for trout on New Zealand's largest lake, Lake Taupo
Accommodation: Huka Lodge

Day 8: From Taupo head to the Hawkes Bay wine region
Accommodation: The Farm at Cape Kidnappers
Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 131 kms / 81 miles : 1.5 hours

Day 9: Explore the Hawkes Bay or spend the day golfing at Cape Kidnappers
Accommodation: The Farm at Cape Kidnappers

Day 10: Fly from Napier back to Auckland, where you have the rest of the day to explore the City of Sails
Accommodation: Hilton Hotel Auckland

Day 11: Depart for home

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Cities, Volcanoes and Vineyards Luxury Tour - Day 1

Day 1 - Welcome to New Zealand, you'll be transferred to your Waiheke Island ferry

Private transfer Auckland airport to Fullers Ferry Terminal

A private transfer will meet you from your flight and drive you to the Fullers Ferry Terminal.

Your tour documentation pack and support

Once you touch down in New Zealand your detailed tour pack will be hand delivered by one of our trusted representatives. The pack contains everything you need for the duration of your stay. It will include a comprehensive, printed and bound version of your itinerary as well as clear driving instructions and maps for each leg of your journey. It also contains all the reservation details for your accommodation and activities - along with relevant brochures and information. While in New Zealand we offer 24 hour support - details on how to contact us at any time will be well documented.

Fullers Ferry Auckland to Waiheke Island

A scenic 40 minute (approximate depending on departure time/route) cruise through the Hauraki Gulf between the Auckland down town ferry terminal and Matiatia Wharf on Waiheke Island.

Explore Waiheke Island

Waiheke Island is the most visited island in the gulf. A delightful 45 minute ferry ride from downtown Auckland will find you standing at Matiatia Wharf set to enjoy a multitude of diverse attractions. The island is home to around 7,000 people but during the summer weekends there can be as many as 35,000 people enjoying the vineyards, restaurants, cafes, arts and the idyllic scenery. Among the two dozen or so vineyards on the island, Mudbrick, Goldwater Estate, Stoneyridge and Te Whau are some of the best known. The beaches are pristine and the countryside provides many interesting walks. Most notable is the trip to Stoney Batter where you can enjoy breathtaking views of the Hauraki Gulf. The area also has the remains of gun emplacements and a series of tunnels and chambers, protected by the historic places trust.

Your accommodation: The Boat Shed

This chic boutique luxury hotel embodies everything that Waiheke Island is, a relaxed intimate island style luxury hotel. Designer suites, each with panoramic views, are luxurious and spacious; an elegant and contemporary take on the classic seaside retreat.

Meals included: Dinner

The Boat Shed

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Cities, Volcanoes and Vineyards Luxury Tour - Day 2

Day 2 - Explore the boutique vineyards of Waiheke Island

The Essence of Waiheke Wine Tour

Enjoy the stunning scenery of Waiheke Island as you are entertained by the commentary of your experienced local guide. Visit 3 of the islands top wineries for tastings and relax during a two-hour lunch stop before heading back to the ferry. Lunch is an additional cost, but your guides can reserve a table for you in advance at at a beachside cafe or, for a memorable gourmet experience at one of Waiheke's top vineyard restaurants.

Your accommodation: The Boat Shed

This chic boutique luxury hotel embodies everything that Waiheke Island is, a relaxed intimate island style luxury hotel. Designer suites, each with panoramic views, are luxurious and spacious; an elegant and contemporary take on the classic seaside retreat.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

The Boat Shed

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Cities, Volcanoes and Vineyards Luxury Tour - Day 3

Day 3 - Return to Auckland, then drive to Rotorua and your lakeside retreat at Solitaire Lodge

Fullers Ferry Waiheke Island to Auckland

A scenic 40 minute (approximate depending on departure time/route) cruise through the Hauraki Gulf between Matiatia Wharf on Waiheke Island and the Auckland downtown ferry terminal.

Private transfer Auckland ferry terminal to Rental Car Depot Auckland City

You will be met at the Auckland City ferry terminal and transferred to your rental car depot in Auckland City to collect your rental car.

Choose from our great range of late model rental cars for your driving holiday

Today you’ll take to the road for your New Zealand Self Drive holiday, so take a look through the great selection of late model vehicles available and take your pick.  To help you on your way GPS is included with all rentals.

GPS navigation system

Use the latest GPS technology as you tour New Zealand. Your portable GPS features a simple touch screen interface with automatic route calculation and turn-by-turn voice-prompted directions including street name announcement. The automotive-grade GPS unit is easy to use and has multiple language options.

Auckland to Rotorua

The drive south from Auckland takes you past the Bombay Hills and into the rolling farmland and rich dairy pastures of the Waikato. The Bombay Hills mark the outer boundary of greater Auckland area and it's here you turn inland to central Waikato. You’ll soon go through the town of Matamata where you can visit the fully intact Hobbiton film set used in the shooting of the Lord of The Rings and Hobbit trilogies. Continuing on, you’ll pass several small farming communities before telltale signs of steam and other geothermal activity signal your arrival into Rotorua.

Solitaire Lodge

Nestled on the shores of lake Tarawera, Solitaire Lodge offers guests the ideal blend of indulgence and adventure from a picture perfect setting. Luxurious and elegantly appointed with floor to ceiling windows and stunning panoramic views across the lake, guests can choose to relax in front of an open fire with a book from the library, enjoy the bar facilities or take a stroll in the expansive herb garden. Nearby is the Lodge’s private jetty with complimentary use of the lodge’s kayaks, motorised dinghies and trout fishing gear.

Each of the suites are styled for comfort and feature panoramic views of the lake and volcano. Bringing the outdoors in, you are invited unwind and soak up the peace and quiet of this tranquil setting.
 

Your accommodation: Solitaire Lodge

Solitaire Lodge combines luxury and indulgence with impeccable service and attention to detail in everything they do. It also enjoys a reputation for exquisite and innovative New Zealand cuisine and an excellent wine cellar showcases some of the country's finest wines.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Solitaire Lodge

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg is: 220 kms / 136 miles : 2.6 hours

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Cities, Volcanoes and Vineyards Luxury Tour - Day 4

Day 4 - Discover the unique Maori cuisine and culture, then spend the rest of the day exploring

Te Puia - Steambox Interactive Maori Experience and Lunch and Cultural Performance

Begin this unique cultural experience by viewing a traditional performance in the Marae, a Maori meeting house. Listen to beautiful harmonies, see the seductive poi dance and experience the powerful Haka - a fearsome Maori war challenge. You will then choose from a variety of meats and vegetables for your Steambox lunch. The Steambox cooking method utilises the steam and hot water naturally available within thermally active landscape. Historically, this method has been used by early Maori settlers, and is a traditional way of preparing a meal. While your food is being cooked in the Ngā Whā steam vent, You will be taken on a guided tour of Te Puia thermal reserve. Beginning with an interactive flax weaving session, you'll learn to weave flax before exploring the geothermal valley including the Kiwi house, mud pools and bubbling hot springs. Return in time for your steaming lunch - eaten as you enjoy an impressive view of the geyser terrace.

Explore Rotorua

Peppered with natural hot springs, boiling mud pools and steaming geysers, Rotorua sits within one of the worlds most active volcanic regions. But geothermal landmarks aside, this city of sulphur has a rich indigenous history. Home to several prominent Maori tribes, a visit to the Mitai Maori Village should be high on your agenda, as should an excursion to the Polynesian Spa for an invigorating soak in its natural mineral hot springs.
Live on the edge when you hop aboard a helicopter bound for White Island, New Zealand’s most active volcano. Spike your adrenaline at Agroventures on stomach-dropping attractions such as static skydiving, or a giant swing reaching 130 km per hour. Go up the Gondola for soaring lake views, and ride the luge at night for an extra thrill.
Fans of Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit should drive to nearby Matamata and experience the actual movie set ‘Hobbiton’. Make the most of your time in Rotorua with an excursion through the Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, one of the area’s most colourful volcanic attractions.

Your accommodation: Solitaire Lodge

Solitaire Lodge combines luxury and indulgence with impeccable service and attention to detail in everything they do. It also enjoys a reputation for exquisite and innovative New Zealand cuisine and an excellent wine cellar showcases some of the country's finest wines.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Solitaire Lodge

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Cities, Volcanoes and Vineyards Luxury Tour - Day 5

Day 5 - A fascinating helicopter tour to the volcanic White Island off New Zealand's East Coast

White Island Helicopter tour with Volcanic Air Safaris

Today take an exhilarating helicopter flight north over Hell's Gate Thermal Valley to active volcano, White Island. Land inside the crater and enjoy an hour long guided tour. See the main erupting crater, active steam vents known as 'fumaroles', hot streams and vibrant sulphur formations. You'll also be able to view the remains of the old sulphur mine and see the deposits left behind.

Your accommodation: Solitaire Lodge

Solitaire Lodge combines luxury and indulgence with impeccable service and attention to detail in everything they do. It also enjoys a reputation for exquisite and innovative New Zealand cuisine and an excellent wine cellar showcases some of the country's finest wines.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Solitaire Lodge

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Cities, Volcanoes and Vineyards Luxury Tour - Day 6

Day 6 - From Rotorua follow the geothermal highway to Taupo

Rotorua to Taupo

Your drive today takes you through the heart of the Central North Island volcanic plateau. Make time to visit geothermal regions Wai O Tapu Thermal Wonderland and Waimangu Volcanic Valley, before arriving into Taupo, which sits on New Zealand's largest lake - Lake Taupo. Take a short detour to view the Huka Falls - the largest volume waterfalls in New Zealand and choose to ride the Huka Jet for an added thrill. See nearby Craters of the Moon geothermal reserve with great walking tracks around its many boiling pools and steaming vents.

Huka Lodge

Enter a world where elegant and generous hospitality meets sophistication and style - creating a welcoming haven. Founded in the 1920s, Huka Lodge is considered to be the iconic New Zealand retreat.  The rooms are harmonious and deliberately simple in approach, designed to allow the beauty of the landscape to dominate, while providing soft light and layers of luxury.

Activities available within the Lodge include tennis, petanque and croquet.  There is a swimming pool and two spa pools and for the adventurous mountain bikes and helmets are available for your use.  There are a range of spa treatments available, please enquire at reception for current prices.

Dining at Huka Lodge
Cuisine continues to define the iconic nature of the experience at Huka Lodge. Over the years Huka Lodge has been fortunate to have had many outstanding chefs, cooking superb food for its guests. The tradition of generous and fine hospitality is deeply embedded within the Huka Lodge philosophy and the quality of this bears testament to our commitment. Current Executive Chef, Michel Louws, comes from a prestigious history of Michelin ranked restaurants, including his last role as Head Chef of T-Veerhuis in the Netherlands which achieved 1 Michelin star during his tenure.

Your accommodation: Huka Lodge

Situated in seven hectares of park-like grounds Huka Lodge has only 20 Lodge Rooms all just 20 metres from the river amongst mature trees. The Lodge Rooms are spacious, light and very well appointed.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Huka Lodge

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg is: 75 kms / 47 miles : 0.8 hours

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Cities, Volcanoes and Vineyards Luxury Tour - Day 7

Day 7 - Try your hand at fishing for trout on New Zealand's largest lake, Lake Taupo

Half Day Lake Taupo Fishing Charter

Fish for Trout on lake Taupo with the experts. Chris Jolly Outdoors have been taking clients fishing in Taupo for more than 30 years. Lake Taupo offers excellent trout fishing all year round; there is no closed season on the Lake. Most fishing takes the form of trolling either lures or flies. You do not need any experience or fishing gear, your experienced hosts are there to help. Trout averages about 4 pounds and a typical excursion on the Lake will see your crew prepare your catch for a delicious snack either barbequed or sashimi style. You can even have your catch smoked and couriered to your destination in New Zealand at a small cost. Your half day charter includes a 4 hour private charter on stunning Lake Taupo. fishing licences and a delicious luncheon on board with wine and beverages. Try your hand at trout fishing and stop and see the Maori rock carvings - only accessible by water. Swimming is available during the summer months and clay target shooting is available on request if conditions are suitable.

Your accommodation: Huka Lodge

Situated in seven hectares of park-like grounds Huka Lodge has only 20 Lodge Rooms all just 20 metres from the river amongst mature trees. The Lodge Rooms are spacious, light and very well appointed.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Huka Lodge

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Cities, Volcanoes and Vineyards Luxury Tour - Day 8

Day 8 - From Taupo head to the Hawkes Bay wine region

Taupo to Napier

The road from Taupo climbs high onto the plateau crossing the Ahiminawa Range before arriving onto the Pacific Coast just north of the worlds finest art deco city of Napier.
Napier, the city by the sea, is renowned for its 1930s Art Deco architecture, events such as the Art Deco Weekend in February, stately Norfolk pines, surrounding wineries and local fresh produce. Supported by a Mediterranean climate and over 2,200 hours of sunshine a year this popular year-round destination boasts a vibrant cafe culture amongst the splendour of the Art Deco buildings. Around 30 cafes are within walking distance of the central city area, while Ahuriri, just over Bluff Hill, is home to a further cluster of up market establishments. Marine Parade overlooks the Pacific Ocean and out towards Cape Kidnappers, home to the world's largest mainland gannet colony. A full day can be taken visiting Ocean Spa hot pools and swimming complex, the Hawke's Bay Museum and the National Aquarium of New Zealand.

A landmark of Napier is Bluff Hill, which is home for many Napier residents and provides views of the town,  beaches of Perfume Point and Westshore and out towards Whirinaki. Bluff Hill also overlooks the Port of Napier, one of New Zealand's busiest ports, transporting timber, local fruit and meat products to worldwide destinations.

In 1931, New Zealand's greatest natural disaster struck Hawke's Bay. At 10.47am on Tuesday February 3rd, an earthquake of magnitude Richter 7.8 struck. In a minute and a half, in two separate shocks, the centre of Napier was almost totally destroyed. Fires quickly broke out and reduced to ashes or gutted what the tremors had left standing. Damage in Hastings was also devastating, although the fires were contained. Wairoa and the smaller towns to the south as far as Dannevirke were affected. There were 258 deaths - 162 in Napier, 93 in Hastings and 3 in Wairoa along with many injuries. The reconstruction of Napier and Hastings were costly but the benefit was two modern cities and the Ahuriri Lagoon, or Inner Harbour as it was usually known, was raised over 2 metres, creating the land, which Napier desperately needed to expand.

The Farm at Cape Kidnappers

With spectacular panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean, nestled among 6,000 acres of rugged  coastal farmland, The Farm at Cape Kidnappers offers a multitude of activities within a five-star luxury setting. Offering many comfortable spaces to relax and unwind, including an intimate snug, stylish lounges, outdoor conservatory areas - there is no better way to take in this picturesque landscape.
Choose from a range of leisure facilities such as: a heated infinity pool and jacuzzi, spa treatments with beautiful forest and ocean views, a world class  golf course and clubhouse and a  fully equipped gym, offering yoga, pilates, golf specific fitness and personal training.
The Farm is also home to some of the best trails in the north island, from independent forest walks to ocean stroll or guided farm tours - pack a picnic and set off on an afternoon of outdoor fun. Also on offer are mountain, bikes, quad bikes and horse treks for the more adventurous traveller.

Your accommodation: The Farm at Cape Kidnappers

Located in Hawke's Bay, one of New Zealand's most important wine districts, Cape Kidnappers has a rich history. The Farm is a five-star experience set on a 6,000-acre sheep and cattle farm which encompasses land reminiscent of Montana but plunges 800 feet straight into the sea. A championship golf course designed by Tom Doak is just one reason to experience The Farm.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

The Farm at Cape Kidnappers

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg is: 131 kms / 81 miles : 1.5 hours

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Cities, Volcanoes and Vineyards Luxury Tour - Day 9

Day 9 - Explore the Hawkes Bay or spend the day golfing at Cape Kidnappers

Explore Napier and the Hawke's Bay

With is mediterranean climate and Art Deco style, Hawke's Bay is an attractive holiday prospect. As the nation's first winemaking region, a visit to one of its 30 wineries is a must. A trip to Mission Estate, touted as the the birthplace of NZ wine, can't be missed. For the truly enthused, head out on a tour of the vines. We recommend the to make the most of what's on offer. Those into Gatsby will enjoy the chance to view prominent Art Deco landmarks on a 1930s Vintage Car Tour. Passengers will spend just over an hour learning about the history of the city's architecture - including the Napier Municipal Theatre, one of the top ten Art Deco Buildings in the world. If you're after some fresh air, hire a bike and take your pick of one of over 200km of cycling trails or head on down to one of the many beaches that ring the area. Ocean or Waimarama beach are good choices, and both are patrolled by surf lifeguards during the summer. Indulge in some local produce and head out on a cheese, chocolate, honey or orchard tour. End on a high with another ride, this time in comfortable trailer pulled by a tractor en-route to Cape Kidnappers Gannet Colony - the largest of its kind in the world.

Your accommodation: The Farm at Cape Kidnappers

Located in Hawke's Bay, one of New Zealand's most important wine districts, Cape Kidnappers has a rich history. The Farm is a five-star experience set on a 6,000-acre sheep and cattle farm which encompasses land reminiscent of Montana but plunges 800 feet straight into the sea. A championship golf course designed by Tom Doak is just one reason to experience The Farm.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

The Farm at Cape Kidnappers

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Cities, Volcanoes and Vineyards Luxury Tour - Day 10

Day 10 - Fly from Napier back to Auckland, where you have the rest of the day to explore the City of Sails

Air New Zealand flight Napier to Auckland
Personal meet and greet, and private transfer to your accommodation

On arrival you will be met by one of our team and driven to your Auckland accommodation.

Explore Auckland City

Surrounding a natural harbour, New Zealand's largest metro area offers the best of both worlds. Sandy beaches, native bush and lush rainforests meld with a lively urban culture. Grab a coffee downtown and watch the sailboats glide from the Viaduct or head harbourside and take the helm of an America's Cup Yacht.

Catch the Quickcat to nearby Waiheke Island for a gourmet food and wine experience. Clear the cobwebs with a little exercise and hike the summit of Mt Eden -  Auckland's highest volcano. Pack a picnic and choose one of 800 regional national parks to explore. Hunua Falls - located within the Hunua Ranges - is one not to be missed. If relaxing is more your style, find a good book and head out to a deserted beach. Try Orewa - located an hour north of the city - or stay a little closer and head to Cheltenham Beach in Devonport.

Make time to ascend the Sky Tower or The Harbour Bridge and spike your adrenaline by bungy jumping off either (or both!). Finish on a high with dinner at one of the many trendy eateries to be found on Ponsonby Road.

Your accommodation: Hilton Hotel Auckland

Hilton Auckland is a boutique-style deluxe hotel, located 300 metres out to sea on Princes Wharf and is just 5 minutes walk from the city's main shopping precinct, the ferry terminal and the Viaduct Basin.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Hilton Hotel Auckland

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Cities, Volcanoes and Vineyards Luxury Tour - Day 11

Day 11 - Depart for home

Transfer to Auckland airport

You will be collected from your Auckland hotel and transferred to the airport to meet your departing flight.

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