7 Days / 6 Nights – Departing Auckland finishing in Auckland
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Seat rotation plan
When you travel on a Kirra Coach Tour your Coach Captain maintains a daily seat rotation plan to ensure you get to know
all your travelling companions and enjoy the scenery from a different vantage point each day.
All our coach tours are smoke free and are restricted to smoking during the frequent sightseeing, photographic and comfort stops. We request non-smoking hotel rooms for the comfort of our entire tour group. Travellers who prefer accommodation without such limitations are asked to make their preference known when making reservations and again at the beginning of their tour.
Welcome to New Zealand. Please make your own way to the hotel where you will enjoy hosted courtesy welcome canapés & a drink prior to dinner, giving you the perfect opportunity to get acquainted with your fellow travellers. (D)
Begin your journey this morning by heading off to the west coast of Auckland, enjoying the scenery as you drive the one hour that takes you to Muriwai’s gannet colony. A short walking track leads to a viewing platform right above the main colony area where around 1,200 pairs of gannets nest from August to March each year. The views from the colony are also impressive, the beach below extending far to the north – a line of black sand between the thundering surf and the sand hills. Next you will travel north along the Hibiscus Coast and on to Matakohe and the Kauri Museum, a lovely locally created display that tells the fascinating story of the Kauri tree and its role in the region’s early settlement. Continue along the west coast towards Hokianga where, this evening after dinner, your Maori guide will brief you on the protocols for your visit to the mighty Waipoua Forest, a sacred place steeped in mystery and myth. Deep in the forest among the towering trees and surrounded by the sounds of the nocturnal creatures awakening, you will meet Te Matua Ngahere – ‘The Father of the Forest’. At between 3000 and 4000 years old he is the oldest known kauri tree in the world. At the conclusion of your tour you will be returned to your accommodation in Hokianga. (B, D)
Today you will travel across the entire width of New Zealand’s Northland region, passing from one coast to the other, leading you to beautiful Paihia where local guides will escort you on a tour of the famous Waitangi Treaty House and Grounds, providing you with a detailed history and commentary on the area and of the Treaty Of Waitangi itself. This afternoon a launch cruise will take you across the Bay and world acclaimed fishing grounds made famous by Zane Grey, to Cape Brett and the spectacular “Hole in the Rock”. On the way back you will have the option to disembark at historic Russell, instead of heading straight back to Paihia, and explore at your leisure. You will then return to Paihia on a later ferry and make your own way back to the hotel which is located 2 kilometres from the Paihia wharf. Dinner is at your own arrangements tonight. (B)
Journey south through Whangarei and Warkworth today, passing the satellite tracking station until Auckland city and its wide Harbour come into view. Take a tour of this “City of Sails” including a visit to the summit of the Sky Tower, the tallest building in the Southern Hemisphere and a perfect place to marvel at the panoramic views across the city. Enjoy the sight of Auckland’s two harbours, the Domain, the downtown city area and Waterfront Drive with its numerous yacht marinas before continuing your journey to the beautiful Coromandel Peninsula, known for its stunning beaches and natural forests. (B, D)
This morning is a fascinating guided gentle walk into the semi-tropical rainforest, where you will pass under some of the largest tree ferns in the world. See New Zealand’s only native palm tree and explore The Coromandel’s raw beauty. Cross crystal clear streams where you can taste the pure water flowing from the mountains high above, and view the craggy volcanic outcrops. Learn about some of the history of the region, as well as Maori medicines and foods of the forest, before departing this lovely peninsula and travelling to Te Puke, Kiwi Fruit capital of the world, and later arriving into Rotorua, centre of Maori culture and a thermal wonderland. This evening you will enjoy an award winning pre-European Maori Village cultural experience with Tamaki. Arriving into the Marae (village) you will be given a briefing in protocol, before being treated to a display of ancient stories and legends, songs and dances as well as witnessing the famous haka. Next comes the traditionally prepared and cooked hangi (meal), a delicious way to finish an evening steeped in culture and legend. Return to your hotel approximately 9.30pm. (B, D)
Enjoy a tour of Rotorua this morning before visiting Te Puia, the Whakarewarewa Maori Arts and Crafts Centre and Thermal Reserve, with its boiling mud, silica terraces and famous Pohutu Geyser. Witness the students of the traditional arts of carving and weaving at work in this institute which focuses on passing down the Maori culture and traditional values. You will then take the spectacular Skyline Gondola to enjoy wine tasting and a buffet lunch at the Skyline Restaurant which offers superb views over the city, lake and mountains. This afternoon is free to explore at your leisure. Dinner tonight is at your own arrangements. (B, L)
Arrive at Hobbiton Movie Set in Matamata for your guided tour and light lunch at the Green Dragon Inn. Check in at the Shire’s Rest Café to meet your guide who will escort you on a fascinating tour of the set. In September 1998 Peter Jackson and New Line Cinema discovered the Alexander family farm during an aerial search for suitable film sites for The Lord of the Rings trilogy. The fantastic views and rolling countryside of the Alexander Farm closely resembled that of The Shire as described by author, J.R.R Tolkien. The set was rebuilt in 2011 for the “The Hobbit” trilogy and will now remain permanently. After your visit, travel north to Auckland where your Acrossnz Coach Tour concludes in Auckland city centre. (B, L)