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Tailor Made Highlights of New Zealand (2016)
Days: 11 | From: $11,225
Luxury Tailor Made Journeys depart on the dates that work for you and feature expert local guides throughout your journey. The itinerary below can be customized to your interests.
Day 1: Arrive Auckland, New Zealand
Arrive in Auckland and transfer to your hotel.
Day 2: Auckland | Sublime Scenery
Embark on a private, full-day tour of Auckland. See verdant gardens and walk the vibrant, restaurant and bar-lined waterfront. At the Viaduct Basin, board an America’s Cup sailing yacht and cruise around the Hauraki Gulf. In the hands of your experienced crew, trim the sails, steer the yacht or sit back and absorb the serene beauty of Waitemata Harbour. After lunch at a local restaurant, visit the Auckland War Memorial Museum, which offers insight into New Zealand’s people, flora, fauna and landforms through a series of fascinating exhibits and Polynesian artifacts, including an 80-foot-long Maori war canoe from 1836. Spend the evening at leisure.
Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour | Meals: B L
Days 3-4: Rotorua | Journey to Middle-Earth
Travel south through the lush pasturelands of Waikato to rural Matamata, where you discover the real Middle-Earth. Visit the Hobbiton movie set, where The Lord of the Rings was filmed. Take in the bucolic landscapes and see key movie sites before pausing for lunch. Then, proceed to Rotorua — New Zealand’s cultural heartland — where the earth’s crust is so thin that it bubbles and steams at the surface. Spend the following day enjoying the activities on your private, 2,500-acre estate, perhaps walking to one of its seven streams, fishing for trout at one of four lakes, hiking along 40 miles of trails or exploring the area on horseback or mountain bike.
Treetops Lodge and Wilderness Estate | Meals: B L D (Day 3); B D (Day 4)
Days 5-7: Napier | Wine Country
Travel to the modern seaside city of Napier, with its lush gardens, orchards and vineyards. Check in to your wine district hotel, situated in Hawke's Bay. Spend the remainder of this day and the next discovering Napier’s Art Deco buildings; visiting with local artists and viewing their paintings, sculptures and pots; and meeting local food and wine producers, who let you sample their products. Enjoy lunch at a local winery; then, meet your Maori guide and visit a rural coastal settlement, where you gain insight into residents’ spirituality and rich culture. Spend your last day in Napier golfing or exploring the property and surrounding area. Other options include clay target shooting, horseback riding and hikes along coastal walking trails. You may also opt to kayak, go whitewater rafting or sunbathe on local beaches.
The Farm at Cape Kidnappers | Meals: B D (Day 5); B L D (Day 6); B D (Day 7)
Days 8-10: Queenstown | Activities Abound
Fly to Queenstown on the shores of Lake Wakatipu. Spend the next day touring the breathtaking region, beginning at the historic settlement of Arrowtown. Proceed to the Gibbston Valley, stopping briefly at the Kawarau Bridge, where you can visit the home of the world’s first commercial bungee jump. Sample local vintages at Gibbston Valley Winery before returning to Queenstown. Later, ascend the Skyline Gondola to Bob’s Peak for spectacular panoramic views. On your final full day, drive to Lake Wakatipu, where you take to the braided channels of the Dart River in a jet boat. Absorb views of stunning snow-capped mountains, ancient native forests, waterfalls and glacial valleys. Then, set out on a Funyak experience, during which you paddle and drift downstream in an inflatable canoe. Return to Queenstown, driving through beautiful countryside that inspired many films, among them The Lord of the Rings.
Sofitel Queenstown Hotel & Spa | Meals: Meals: B (Day 8); B, L (Days 9 & 10)
Day 11: Depart Queenstown
Transfer to the airport and board your homebound flight.