Tour 503 AWESOME AUCKLAND
8 days/7 nights Commences Saturday or Sunday and finishes 8 days later.
September 18 or 19, October 2 or 3, 16 or 17, November 6 or 7, 13 or 14, January 15 or 16, February 12 or 13, March 12 or 13, April 2 or 3
LABOUR WEEKEND SUPER SPECIAL EX WELLINGTON October 21- 28. includes, air fare to Auckland, arrival and departure transfers, 7 nights accommodation and breakfast at Airedale Suites, Day tour to Woodlands Homestead, Zealong Tea Estate, Hamilton Gardens, Hobbiton, Labour Day harbour cruise to Tiritiri, Kawau, and Motutapu islands, Auckland walking and mini bus tour, "Northern Explorer" train to Wellington. Just $2,290 share twin. $1,990 excluding travel to and from Auckland.
Auckland is New Zealand's largest and most vibrant city built around 2 harbours and bounded by the Tasman Sea and Hauraki Gulf. Explore the city, cruise the harbour, relax in the parks, take a stroll on the beaches, rainforests, and countryside, take in a show, enjoy the museum and/or Art Gallery, and at the end of the day enjoy one of the hundreds of restaurants and cafes.
Day 1. Saturday or Sunday. ARRIVE AUCKLAND
Arrive Auckland by train or plane and you will be met and transferred to your accommodation. The rest of the weekend is free to explore at your leisure.
Monday. AUCKLAND CITY SUBURBS (B)
9.00am Meet your experienced and passionate local guide at the base of SKYTOWER (328 metres high) in Federal Street and ascend 220 metres to the upper observation deck for a panoramic 360 degree view of the city and harbours while your guide introduces you to the layout of the city and volcanic history. Descend for your walking tour to enjoy the history of the city. Pass the Civic Theatre (1929), Aotea Square, Town Hall (1910), and cross Queen St which used to be the Waihorotiu Stream providing water for the early British settlers in 1840. Continue past the public Library and Enjoy the New Zealand art on display in the Art Gallery. Continue past Auckland University of Technology into Albert Park, originally site of a Maori Pa, and now a vibrant display of flowers and manicured lawn. The area was fortified by Sir George Grey 3rd Governor of New Zealand (1845-1853 and 1860-1868),. Enter the University of Auckland grounds past the Clocktower (1926) and see part of the Albert Army Barracks built in 1846, and old Government House (1856). See also some of the original merchants houses built in 1878 and the first synagogue (1884).
We take a lunch break at the original downtown horse stables now an upmarket food court - lunch own expense.
Join our mini bus for our afternoon tour. Pass the High Court and drive to the Domain. See the Band Rotunda and spend an hour at the Auckland War Memorial Museum. Continue through Parnell and see the Cathedral Church of St Mary (1882), Holy Trinity Cathedral and Selwyn Court. Stop to smell the roses at the Rose Garden (October - April), before descending to the waterfront, passing the container terminal and Mechanics Bay from where the flying boats left for Australia and the Pacific Islands from 1940 to 1960. Continue along Tamaki Drive, a blaze of red from December to late January as our Pohutukawa trees bloom, to beautiful Mission Bay. See the Melanesian Mission House (1859) and enjoy some beach time with panoramic views of Rangitoto Island, our most recently erupting volcano. Visit the Memorial to Prime Minister Michael Joseph Savage (1872-1940) before passing Okahu Bay, once principal village of Ngati Whatua. Cross the Harbour Bridge to the beautiful suburb of Devonport and explore Wynyard Quarter and Viaduct Harbour before the tour ends at the Maritime Museum or your hotel.
Tuesday AUCKLAND AND NATURE - BUSH AND BEACH (B)
Free morning to wander as you wish. You will be picked up early afternoon to discover the West Coast beaches and rainforest - nature at its best close to the metro area. Easy walking tracks and dramatic coastlines are only a short drive from Auckland city centre.
After being picked up at your hotel our first stop is at the Arataki Visitors Centre with dramatic panoramic views across the rainforest and both of Auckland’s harbours as well as views back to Auckland City. The visitors centre is also home to some traditional Maori carvings and your guide will talk about them and explain their significance for the area.
Continue on to the lush native rainforest where you walk the easy tracks among giant tree ferns. See and find out about the famous New Zealand silver fern, manuka and kauri trees as your guide talks about what makes New Zealand nature so unique. We then move on to experience the power of the rugged west coast. Stop at a stunning viewpoint overlooking Piha beach and the Tasman Sea before going down to the black sand beach. There you get the chance to stroll along one of the most awe-inspiring beaches the world has to offer and watch the surf waves rolling in. During the afternoon we also include a New Zealand style afternoon tea including biscuits (cookies), manuka honey and tea and coffee or juice. When time and traffic allow we also go to see an 800 year old kauri tree. As well as keeping you entertained and informed our guides make sure you have plenty of opportunities to ask questions and make sure there are lots of photo opportunities.
Wednesday AUCKLAND - FREE DAY (B)
Thursday AUCKLAND - FREE DAY (B)
Two free days with many optional activities available - see below
Friday. WONDERFUL WAIKATO (B)
9.00am. Pickup from your accommodation.
First visit is to WOODLANDS HISTORIC HOMESTEAD (built 1872) for a short tour of the home and visit to the beautiful garden. Continue to ZEALONG TEA ESTATE New Zealand's only tea plantation. 48 hectares of top grade organically grown Oolong Artisan Tea in 5 grades, Green, Pure, Aromatic, Dark, and Black. Enjoy tea tasting and High Tea with tea infusd savoury and sweet delicacies, with the opportunity to purchase tea if you want. See the personal touches of the developer of the tea estate - with the bronze sculptures and teapots showing the traditional tea making process. Continue to the award winning HAMILTON GARDENS, voted garden of the year 2014, by the International Garden Tourism Network, with over 1 million visitors a year. Hamilton Gardens has been transformed from a rubbish dump into 21 fascinating themed gardens including Te Parapara Maori Garden, Kitchen Garden, Herb Garden, Tudor Garden, Rose Garden, Rhododendron lawn, Camellia Garden, Victorian Flower Garden, Sung Dynasty Chinese scholars Garden, Italian Renaissance, Indian Char Bargh, Japanese Garden of Contemplation, Modernist, and English Flower Garden.
When you have explored the gardens relax in the cafe on the banks of the lake for a wide variety of quality food - extra expense.
Enjoy a brief visit to LAKE KARAPIRO, home of New Zealand rowing, and the Karapiro Hydro dam on the Waikato River.
Just 20 minutes drive away is the magical world of the HOBBITON MOVIE SET, centre of Middle Earth. Enjoy a 2 hour tour. Learn from your local guide how the set was created and see the Hobbit Holes, Gardens, Bag End (Bilbo and Frodo Baggins home), Party Tree, lake, The Mill, Green Dragon Inn, and much more. (Note: exterior of Hobbit Holes only). One cold drink at the GREEN DRAGON INN. Your choice of dark or light beer, apple cider, or non alcoholic Ginger Ale
Return to your accommodation in Auckland about 5.30pm.
You have the option to transfer to Rotorua for 2 nights accommodatiuon and breakfast and half day tour including Te Puia, Redwood Forest, Lake Tarawera, and Skyline gondola. Extra cost $$590 2 per room.
Saturday OR Sunday. AUCKLAND DEPART (B)
You will be transferred to the airport for departure - 8 days after arrival. You are welcome to adjust the arrival or departure days. Tell us what you would like to do and we will give you a quote.
Tour cost per person - September and October 2021
Auckland city hotel: 2 per room $1,690. single room $2,190
Airedale Suites: 2 per room $1,890. Single Room $2,580
Hilton on Queens Wharf - Harbour View rooms. 2 per room $2,380. Single room $3,690
Tour cost per person - November 01 2021 - 31 March 2022.
Auckland City Hotel 2 per room $1,750 Single room $2,350
Airedale Suites: 2 per room $1,990 Single room $2,690
Hilton on Queens Wharf - Harbour View rooms. 2 per room $2,380. Single room $3,780
** Arrival and departure transfers
** 7 nights accommodation at grade chosen
** Full day Auckland City walking and mini bus tour
** Half day West Coast beaches and rainforest tour
** Full day Hamilton Gardens and Hobbiton tour
LABOUR WEEKEND SUPER SPECIAL . October 21 - 28
Thursday 21 October ARRIVE AUCKLAND
Arrive Auckland and transfer to your accommodation.
(Free air fare from Wellington or Chirstchurch for tours reserved before 31 August.)
Friday 22 October AUCKLAND - WAIKATO TOUR
Full day tour to Woodlands Homestead, High Tea at Zealong tea estate, Hamiltn Gardens, Lake Karapiro, 2 hour guided tour of Hobbiton Movie Set.
Saturday 24 October AUCKLAND - Free day
Sunday 25 October AUCKLAND - Free day
Monday 26 October ISLANDS OF THE HAURAKI GULF
Full day cruise to Tiritiri, Kawau, and Motutapu islands including morning and afternoon tea and lunch.
Tuesday 27 October AUCKLAND - Free day
Wednesday 28 October AUCKLAND CIY TOUR
Morning city walking tour and afternoon mini bus tour to Auckland'ds West Coast
Thursday 29 October AUCKLAND DEPART
Transfer to the airport for train station for departure. passengers from Christchurch fly bahome, passengers from Wellington and Palmerston North depart on the "Northern Expoorer"
Tour cost per person 2 per room $2,290 Single room $2,990
Bubble Buster Bargain
Friendly Four" - 4-5 people reserving and travelling together save 10% each.
"Super Six" - 6-8 people reserving and travelling together save 15% each.
'Bubble' Tours. Form your own bubble of 6 to 8 people and enjoy an exclusive tour with our driver/guide.