North Island Adventure

Itinerary

Day 1Welcome to New Zealand! Your first excursion is aboard “The Pride of Auckland,” a sailing ship for the sites of Auckland by water. Keep your camera handy for pictures of Mount Eden, Auckland Harbor Bridge, Tamaki Drive, Parnell Road and the Auckland Museum. Lunch on board is perfect after a long flight! After checking in to the hotel, look forward to a hearty welcome dinner featuring your first taste of New Zealand cuisine.

Day 2Are you ready for New Zealand wine tasting? Indulge in fantastic wine, excel-lent cuisine and amazing coastal scenery while visiting four vineyards near Matakana and historic Kumeu. The Puhoi Cheese factory is the lunch stop today, and naturally a glass of wine is in order to compliment the cheese pairing. Unwind at your hotel for a quiet evening and lovely sunset.

Day 3The day begins with an elk farm visit en route to Rotorua. Roturua sightseeing includes the Kiwi Encounter and Rainbow Springs art gallery, with a leisurely afternoon, followed with a dinner reservation at the authentic Maori concert and Hangi dinner show.

Day 4Napier is best known as the “Art Deco” capital and its proximity to the Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, where you will visit the famous Champagne Pool, bubbling mud, steaming earth and of course, Geysers! Grab lunch at a Napier restaurant while enjoying the local art scene.

Day 5Hawke’s Bay wine district is the focus for the day, which is known for a Mediterranean climate creating a rich bold wine. Your evening includes a winemaking dinner at the Mission Estate Winery. This is New Zealand’s oldest wine producer, founded in 1851 by the French Priest Father Lamila.

Day 6Off to beautiful Martinborough, home to some of New Zealand’s most stunning wines. En route, stop at the Mount Bruce Wildlife Centre to view an endemic and native New Zealand bird sanctuary, before visiting the historic town of Greytown, famous for its charming Victorian architecture. Stay the night at the Margrain Vineyards and Villas, in the heart of wine country.

Day 7Today is all about private tastings which include Ata Rangi, Alana Estate, Te Kairanga and the James Murdoch Wine Estate. A picturesque winery will be selected for your gourmet lunch. The night is yours to explore, or you may want a nice quiet dinner back in the privacy of your villa.

Day 8It’s off to the gorgeous harbor city of Wellington. Visit Stansborough Mill, to learn about textiles. Stansborough fabric was used to make clothing for many major motion pictures, such as Lord of the Rings and The Chronicles of Narnia. The Wellington Gardens are a perfect consideration for free time this afternoon. Or perhaps visit “Te Papa,” the museum of New Zealand, shop, or absorb some of the many natural attractions of this splendid area.

Day 9A trip to New Zealand is hard to conclude. Today begins your journey back to the U.S. or consider extending this trip with time in Blenheim and Nelson. If tropical beaches are your fancy….a sun and sand stop in either the Cook Islands or Fiji might be just the ticket.

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