"Hobbiton & Natural Wonders"
7 NIGHTS / 8 DAYS
7 nights 4 star accommodation that includes 1 farm stay
6 days vehicle rental - Toyota Corolla Hatchback + Super Protection
Auckland City Sights Tour
Waiheke Island Tour & Cruise
Hobbiton Evening Banquet
Polynesian Spa admission
Agrodome Farm Show admission
Rainbow Springs Nature Park admission
Waimangu Thermal Park admission
Maori Cultural Show on Marae & Hangi Feast
Waitomo Glow Worm Caves admission
Kiwi House & Native Bird Park admission
1 dinner at farmstay + 1 breakfast
Total Ground Package: $US 1,495 pp
Arrive early am into Auckland International airport and
you will be met by your shuttle driver and transferred to
your boutique hotel accommodation nestled on the very
heartbeat of the city. Incredible location!
Auckland is the largest Polynesian city in the world and
the most multicultural, with over 180 different ethnic
groups, all of which adds to its cosmopolitan vibrance.
This is no ordinary city! It is considered one of the
world’s most livable cities, with a population of over
You will also notice that although it is a bustling city, nature hugs it.
Settle into your lovely room with ensuite, and freshen up before you are picked up for your afternoon Auckland Highlights Tour. It will take you by the vibrant Wynyard Quarter and the Westhaven Marina and up over Auckland’s iconic Harbour Bridge to the seaside village of Devonport. Here you will find cafes and galleries set within colonial architecture. You will visit Mt Victoria, one of Auckland's 47 extinct volcanic cones, for breathtaking views over the city and Waitemata Harbour. Then, Cornwall Park and One Tree Hill, and afterwards drive along Tamaki Drive for views out to the Hauraki Gulf and see the inner city’s best beaches.
This tour will really make you feel like you have become informed and familiar with this fascinating and beautiful region. Afterwards, you will be delivered back to your hotel.
This evening, you could opt to have dinner at the lovely restaurant in the hotel, or you could seek out somewhere to eat in the city. If so, just follow your nose, there will be many delicious aroma’s drifting passed you.
Fine dining, ethnic cuisine, Celebrity chef creations, or just relaxed eats, it's all here in abundance!
We, however, would encourage you to head up to the top of the SkyCity Hotel and have dinner in its revolving restaurant, with the sight of Auckland glittering beneath you and far out into the darkness under a moonlit sky. It is breathtaking.
And, the nightlife is exciting here if you want it!
We will give you a map of the city and all the places you need to know about will be on it.
But, remember, early to rise!
Today you will venture out into the spectacular Hauraki Gulf on a 40 minute mini cruise to what is rated as one of the top island escapes in the world, the beautiful Waiheke Island.
It is an island with miles of golden sand beaches, stunning coastal headlands, vineyards, olive groves, and seaside villages.
With more than 30 boutique vineyards it is known as New Zealand’s ‘island of wine.’ So, sip your way through the wineries, and sample fresh pressed olive oils.
You will have a pass for the Hop on Hop off Explorer coach that circles the island and allows you to get on and off at each attraction.
You might also enjoy to hire a scooter and zip around the island!
Waiheke offers it all, great eateries and restaurants, wineries, and you will get the best oysters you have ever tried here, farmed on the island.
Here too is where you can go ziplining through the vineyards! This is how to get a great view of the island and feel the thrills! It is geared for ‘any’ age.
You could also opt to cycle or hike the scenic tracks to get up close to nature.
As the sun goes down, you will make your way back toward the Auckland lights on your return cruise, feeling very fulfilled, we promise.
Tonight, your last dinner in Auckland. Choose your memory.
This morning following breakfast you will be picked up by private shuttle and begin your journey southward. No worries about driving and city traffic, just sit back and relax and your trusty Kiwi driver who is competent and knowledgeable will deliver you safely to your destination.
It is an approximately 2 hour drive to Hamilton that is mostly green pasturelands and round green hills dotted with livestock, and most definitely sheep. Every curve of the road presents a view that was different a second before it, and much of the way is driving along side of the Mighty Waikato River.
When you arrive into Hamilton your driver will take you to the Hertz depot where you will pick up your rental vehicle. This will be easy and hassle free.
Now, you are all set to be on the road and on your way to bigger adventure!
From here take the route via Cambridge-Ohaupo/Kaipaki Road. The Hertz attendant will direct you. This will take you into Cambridge, a town that is
set on the banks of the Waikato River and known as ‘The Town of Trees & Champions.’ This is because it is an equestrian area with a long standing history of thoroughbred horse racing.
It is also memorable for its leafy streets, heritage buildings and antique shops.
Why not stop for lunch at ‘The Lily Pad Cafe’ on Kaipaki Road on your way through? It offers a delicious array of food, great coffee. It also has an interesting Garden Art studio.
Then, turn right on Cambridge Road and left onto Lamb Street which goes into Maungatautari Road. This will take you passed the Karapiro Hydro Power Station, and across an interesting bridge. Finally you will surface onto the Thermal Explorer Highway where you turn right.
A short drive will bring you to Karapiro Road where you will turn left. This road will eventually bring you to Taotaoroa Road which will take you through to State Hwy 29, where you will turn left again. This will take you to State Hwy 27, where you will turn left once more, and soon arrive at your beautiful lodgings for the next two nights.
Arriving at your charming farmstay, you will be met at the end of a tree-lined driveway with open arms by your gracious hosts. This is a tranquil haven set against a backdrop of the stunning Kaimai Ranges. This is a quintessential New Zealand stay!
Settle into your perfect room that has views of rich green paddocks, and then enjoy a nice lunch before going out on a tour of the farm.This is a hands on experience at a New Zealand working farm that is going about its daily business.
Tonight, enjoy a truly delicious home cooked dinner that is prepared for you by your hosts. They use organic produce and ingredients sourced from their farm, and locally.
A nice wine, maybe a hot soak? Then sink into your scrumptious bed.
Wake to a totally different feel around you. Simply marvelous. Enjoy a continental or cooked breakfast and then off you go to see downtown Matamata.
You also want to see the lovely Wairere Waterfall. Your hosts will set you on the perfect path to see what needs to be seen.
But, be ready for your 4:45pm pickup from The Shires Rest to be transported to your Hobbiton adventure!
What awaits you next, for the duration of the evening, is magical to say the least. It is over-the-top good and will bring you up in goosebumps.
You will get the best of Hobbiton, not just an afternoon tour. You will feast like a Hobbit! And you will marvel at the detail put into this entire experience.
At the close of the day they will deliver you back to your accommodation, and you will sink into your wonderful bed, and sleep well, and, dream of Hobbits!
Today following breakfast you are moving on, and you will really feel like you are leaving friends, we promise!
You will be heading for Rotorua.This is a little less than a 1 hour drive, but, a quick stop enroute at Tirau we recommend. It is a quaint little town. It’s known for its dog and sheep shape corrugated metal buildings. Hard not to stop and take some pictures! Great items to buy here too.
A 30 minute drive from Tirau will bring you to the Agrodome, in time to see the 11am show. Turn left off Hwy 5 onto Western Road.
It is a 1 hour farm show that will thoroughly entertain you with 19 breeds of sheep, a sheep shearing demo at its best, and some amazing work dogs.
Afterwards, back on your way into Rotorua.
You may notice the smell of sulphur in the air, and see little wafts of hot steam rising from cracks in the concrete. You are now in the one place closest to the earth’s core, a geothermal wonderland.
Settle in to your lovely downtown hotel accommodation and maybe enjoy a recommended nearby cafe for lunch.
Afterwards, a visit to the Rainbow Springs Nature Park set amongst the native trees and beautiful forests of Rotorua.(You could even do lunch here if you prefered) Hand Feed the trout, see the hundreds of varieties of native birds, and even New Zealand’s own little Tuatara ( the last link to the dinosaur)
The flora and fauna here is like a small piece of paradise.
Afterwards, go nextdoor to take a ride up to the top of Mt Ngongotaha by way of the Skyline Gondola and take in the breathtaking view all around you. If you seek excitement, then ride The Luge to the bottom and then return back up on the gondola. Do this as much as you want! It’s a blast!
Have dinner up here at the lovely Skyline restaurant if you would like, and then take the gondola back down.
Before retiring, take a hot soak in thermal waters across the road at The Polynesian Spa. You will sleep well.
A day of adventure lies ahead of you. If you have elected for high adventure then perhaps you have opted to go White Water Rafting to plunge over the highest commercially rafted waterfall in the world.
Or, maybe Off Roading, or horseback riding, or cycling through rain forest? Or, maybe driving a quad bike across rolling green farmlands, or a helicopter ride into the crater of a volcano?
Or, is it to be paragliding, or aiming heavenward in a Tiger Moth? It’s up to you!
But, in our opinion it doesn’t get much better than soaring through the rainforest on ziplines for hours!
But, there are other options for those of you that like to keep your feet on the ground, well, sort of anyway. Try a walk above ground, way up in fact, in the treetops of the redwoods on a boardwalk that will take you through the incredible rainforest! This can also be done at night with the trees lit up. It’s amazing!
Experience Hells Gate, you will be astounded at what goes on beneath your feet. Also, why not indulge in a mud bath here?
Visit Te Puia Maori Arts and Crafts Institute. Here you will learn the way of the local Maori people, and learn of their culture.
Ahh, but tonight, you will enjoy a special evening of entertainment by a local Maori tribe. A spine tingling welcome, then song and dance and introduction to the early Maori way of life - up close and personal. This is followed by Hangi, a traditional earth oven feast so delicious you will not soon forget it!
After breakfast it is time to begin your journey onward south on Hwy 5 toward Taupo. It is a 1 hour scenic drive, be sure to stop enroute and see earth’s natural geothermal wonders close up, at Waimangu or Wai Tapu.
Wai O tapu and Waimangu are both spectacular in their own way, with their jaw dropping bright colors and geysers and boiling mud, so you must decide which one you will visit.
Wai O Tapu is more condensed and a shorter walk with more vivid pools in terms of colors, including the Champagne pool. But, probably a few more people.
Waimangu is an easy but relatively long walk taking you to the main lake at the foot of the volcano. It is a nice walk within nature and volcanic wonders, and probably a more remote feel to it.
Neither one will disappoint you!
Wai O Tapu will take about 1 hour, and Waimangu will take 2 hours (a bit longer if you do the lake cruise, which is lovely)
As for directions: Driving south from Rotorua on Hwy 5 watch for the Waimangu Volcanic Valley signs, after about 15-20 minutes of driving. 14 kms. Turn left into Waimangu Road then drive 6 kms.
For Wai O Tapu bypass and go on 6 more minutes.
Back on the road and your journey continues down the Thermal Explorer Highway and will take you passed pastures of farmlands and through the Tahorakuri Forest.
Soon you will arrive into Wairakei, your destination, and you might want to make a stop at Huka Falls Jet if it is before 5pm. This is a jet boat ride of your life, to get up close to the beautiful Huka Falls. This is truly exhilarating!
But, if that sort of thrill is not what you seek then check in to your close by accommodation at the famous Wairakei Golf Resort. You might want to play a round of golf?
But, after getting comfortable, take a drive to see these incredible Huka Falls. The hotel desk will direct you where to go, just a short drive.
It is New Zealand’s most visited attraction, so not to be missed. A thundering 37 foot high waterfall with a volume of water flowing over that amounts to almost 60,000 gallons per second. Enough to fill 1 olympic size swimming pool in 11 seconds.
The water appears as crystal clear turquoise in color. It is enthralling to watch. Enjoy the walking tracks along side the river and wander around the different viewing platforms.
Afterwards, you might want to do the 8 minute drive into the resort town of Taupo that is located on the shores of the beautiful lake Taupo. The vast waters of this lake, a volcanic caldera, drain into the Huka Falls.
Visit DeBretts Hot Springs, practically right here in town, and go in to one of the indoor private pools for a soak you will never forget. Select the one with the temperature that suits you.
Taupo is one of New Zealand’s most active thermal regions, and this right here is a hot spot! A geothermal spring known as ‘Onekeneke’ For more than a century people have flocked here for medicinal benefits. These are way-too-hot volcanic waters cooled down to a temperature you can stand, all the while preserving the abundance of health-enriching mineral components. Don’t miss this!
These waters are ‘different’ from the sulphur waters you experienced in the Spa in Rotorua.
Afterwards, you could have fish & chips or a big juicy burger from Burger Fuel and eat it on the banks of Lake Taupo, or go back to your hotel and enjoy dinner in the Pavillion Restaurant, or the cafe, or eats in the bar.
You will be relaxed and soon sleepy after your thermal soak today!
Today, early, you will be back on the road and leaving the thermal pleasures behind you as you head to the Waikato region and the Waitomo Caves.
Driving north west on Hwy 32 and then left onto Hwy 30 and passed the Whakamaru Hydro-dam and Mangakino, passing farmlands and exotic forests until you come to Te Kuiti. Then onto SH3 for a short distance to the Waitomo caves turnoff. A total of 2 hours driving.
You will be there before noon. So, try lunch at the HUHU Cafe, most all their ingredients are locally sourced.
The Waitomo Caves tour is an extraordinary experience of underground glittering worlds.The whole area of Waitomo is world renowned for its underground cave systems, and thousands of glow worms light up the caves like galaxies of tiny living lights.
You will glide through this starry wonderland of the glowworm grotto in a boat.
Afterwards, get back on the road and head to Otorohanga, a north King Country town that is just a 12 to 15 minute drive. It is known as New Zealand’s ‘Kiwiana’ town.
Here you will stop for a visit to the Otorohanga Kiwi House and Native Bird Park where kiwi have been carefully bred since 1971, and you can get up close to see feedings of the Great Spotted and Brown Kiwis in their special nocturnal houses.
Walk through New Zealand’s largest free-flight dome aviary and view many native birds. This is a magical place and one of the top highlights of the country.
Otorohanga is a quaint little town out of yesteryear. It has a huge Maori history with intense battles fought between the British and Maori.
It was originally a traditional Maori village. After the King Country was opened to European settlement in the 1880s it became the home of government services and the Native Land Court. The railway line arrived in 1887, and in the early 1900s many of the towns businesses were established by local Maori people.
It is predominantly a dairy, sheep and beef farming district. It has a population of 3,000.
You will enjoy a look through some of the shops here, to buy last minute souvenirs, it is a step back in time.
On the road again for your last lap to arrive into Hamilton, a 49 minute drive.
Drop your vehicle at the depot at the airport where you picked it up.
You will board your domestic flight here, that will take you back to the Auckland International Airport in plenty of time for your international flight home.
Haere ra (Farewell)