Duration: 8 Days
From the iconic city sights of Auckland and Wellington, to the gastronomical delights of Waiheke Island and the Hawkes Bay, discover the best of New Zealand’s North Island on this 8-day Cosmos getaway.
Nature-lovers will find plenty to get excited about on this tour, from the unique thermal mineral pools at Hot Water Beach to the stunning native forests found at Karangahake Gorge. As you make your way down the island, pay a visit to the mighty Huka Falls with its turbulent turquoise-hued rapids, and be sure to have your camera at the ready for the dramatic coastal views of Cape Kidnappers, home to the world’s largest mainland gannet colony.
You’ll also get a taste of New Zealand’s finest food and world-class wines throughout your tour. Savour lunch overlooking magnificent ocean views at Stonyridge Winery on Waiheke Island; enjoy a craft beer tasting at Coromandel’s Hot Water Brewery; sample local specialities at Hawkes Bay Brewing Co. and Mission Estate Winery; and delight in a celebratory progressive farewell dinner showcasing Wellington’s vibrant food scene.
Kia Ora and welcome to New Zealand! Please meet your Tour Director at your leisure in the hotel lobby from 2.00pm - 5.30pm to complete the tour check-in process. Later, join your Tour Director and travelling companions for a welcome meeting and drink featuring New Zealand wines and spirits.
Take a short ferry ride to stunning Waiheke Island, home to beautiful beaches, boutique vineyards, and olive groves. Sightseeing includes tastings at a local vineyard, brewery and olive oil distillery. Lunch is served overlooking the vineyard at Stonyridge Winery. The remainder of the day is at leisure. Return to Auckland or you may also choose to explore more of Waiheke Island on your own. Your Tour Director will have suggestions for additional sightseeing, shopping, and dining. (B,L)
Start the day with a ride on New Zealand's steepest railway. Enjoy a captivating journey and be inspired by the story of one man's passion to bring art, conservation and engineering together to create the Driving Creek Railway. Afterward, visit the pottery studio of artist, Barry Brickell, for a demonstration. Next, experience the unique thermal mineral pools at Hot Water Beach. Here's your chance to relax and experience the natural phenomenon of creating your very own "hot tub" in the beach sand. Before arriving at your hotel, stop for a craft beer tasting at Hot Water Brewing Co. Dinner is at a local restaurant this evening. (B,D)
Enjoy a walk at the Karangahake Gorge, take in the stunning views of the Waitawheta River and learn about the gold mining history of the area. Arrive in Rotorua and visit Te Puia to see bubbling mud pools, soaring geysers, and Maori craftwork. Be treated to a traditional Maori concert. Spend this evening just steps from the shores of beautiful Lake Taupo. (B,L)
Start the day with a visit to a glass blowing studio where you'll witness a demonstration and have time to wander the sculpture garden. Next, enjoy a walk at Huka Falls, New Zealand's most visited natural attraction. In Napier, join a Local Guide for a tour of the city's famous art deco sites and learn how a tragic earthquake in 1931 resulted in Napier being one of the purest Art Deco cities in the world. Later, sample local specialties at Hawkes Bay Brewing Co. and Mission Estate Winery, New Zealand's oldest winery and the birthplace of New Zealand wine. Your evening is at leisure. (B)
This morning, take a walk along the Ahuriri Estuary Boardwalk past Maori totems and the home of over 70 species of water birds. Afterward, enjoy high tea at a heritage cafe overlooking the spectacular Hawkes Bay. The remainder of your day is at leisure. You may wish to cycle or take a stroll on the Marine Parade, hike to Bluff Hill to enjoy panoramic views of the sea, take a swim at Sandy Bay, or hear the fascinating stories at the historic Napier Prison. (B)
This morning, enjoy dramatic coastal views at Cape Kidnappers, home to the largest and most accessible mainland gannet colony in the world. Arrive in Wellington and enjoy an orientation tour of this capital city. Join your Tour Director for a celebratory progressive farewell dinner this evening. The perfect ending to your holiday! (B,D)
Your holiday ends with breakfast this morning. You may also choose to extend your time in Wellington and explore more on your own. Extra nights are available for purchase. (B)