Driving Creek Rail Tour
Te Puia – Rotorua Premier Attraction
Te Puia Cultural performance
Te Puia-Hangi Meal
Agrodome Sheep Show
Kiwifruit Orchard Experience
Local Fish & Chip Meal
Hobbiton Movie Set Tour & Free Beer / Cider
Hobbiton Buffet Lunch
4 Star Accommodation + breakfasts
Tours by Local guides
Morning – 7.30AM
The dramatic coastlines and rugged landscape of the Coromandel Peninsula combined with the beauty and diversity of the Bay of Plenty & Rotorua regions. You will see and experience the following attractions…Coromandel Coastline, Cathedral Cove, Hot Water Beach, Driving Creek Railway, the seaside resort of Mount Maunganui – voted New Zealand’s best beach, the region of Rotorua where you experience Maori Culture & Geothermal activity up close. We will leave the best until last – a visit to the world renown attraction called Hobbiton Movie Set – a “Must See” on everybody’s bucket list when coming “down under”-
We will guarantee you experience the Must See attractions + much more within each region before returning you back to Auckland.
We can even meet you at the airport and host you around Auckland prior. We will personally look after you every step of the way. This is a fully escorted tour and all your needs will be taken care of. This is NOT a coach tour where you look after yourself independently – we will ensure there is no wasted time, just 5 days of enjoying the sights and sounds of this unique area at your pace – we guarantee to look after you very well.
We depart Auckland and travel east to Thames – the remains of the Gold Rush of the 1800’s are obvious here. A historical town featuring hand-crafted Kauri timber heritage buildings, artefacts, and mineralogy. We continue up the coast road to Rapaura Watergardens where you can wander freely as they boast 64 acres of native trees and lily ponds to a cascading waterfall and enjoy some local fare for your lunch in their quaint Koru tearoom cafe.
NB: If the ferry is operating from Auckland on your travel date we can offer you to ride the ferry from downtown city centre across the beautiful Hauraki gulf and our team will meet you in Coromandel at the wharf. This is a 2 hour cruise and another stunning way to enjoy a totally different vista of which we can offer you.
Travelling further north along this picturesque coastline, we will arrive at historic Coromandel where the town’s gold mining past is still also very visible today, and again where beautifully restored buildings line the main street. Tourism and fishing are the main stay for this little village today. This is where you will spend your evening and we later dine at Pepper Tree Restaurant, where there is something for everybody to enjoy.
Accommodation – 4 Star – includes breakfast.
Sit back as we explore the heart of the Peninsula. This morning you visit Driving Creek Railway & Potteries to ride the narrow-gauge mountain railway train up through the native bush/rainforest to the pinnacle – the Eyeful Tower which lives up to its name – the views are nothing short of breath-taking.
We then leave the West Coast and head to the white, sandy East Coast beaches of Matarangi and Kuaotunu which are two small modern seaside resorts – with a very limited permanent population which swells dramatically over the summer months – late December to February. Once you see these regions you will understand why. Today is all about enjoying the vistas as we journey across the mountains and along the coasts until we arrive into Whitianga – the main town in what’s known as Mercury Bay. Whitianga and Mercury Bay offer an endless choice of activities. Take a trip in the Glass Bottom boat, or take a sea kayak adventure and be fascinated by the amazing seascapes and fish life both on top and under the waters of our marine reserves or reflect in one of our museums on the heritage of a region first discovered by the two great navigators, Kupe and Cook. Discover a tranquil oasis nestled in the heart of the scenic Coromandel Peninsula, and bask in the revitalising serenity of one of New Zealand’s most unique destinations – The Lost Spring. Luxuriate in the therapeutic waters of our Geo-Thermal mineral pools, surrounded by lush native bush and the peaceful sounds of running water and birdsong. Experience the pure decadence of having delicious cocktails and dining delivered directly to your poolside while you soak, or pamper yourself with a massage or one of the many other tempting treatments offered at our indulgent day spa. The Lost Spring is the perfect getaway for a day of relaxation and indulgence after a day’s travel and offers the perfect opportunity to retreat from the world and enjoy a truly transformative experience.
We stay overnight in Whitianga with the option of free time to visit the Lost Spring Geothermal hot pools before or after you dine in town tonight.
Accommodation – 4 Star – includes breakfast
Starting your day totally refreshed – we check out the popular holiday spots of Cook’s Beach. Hahei & the famous Hot Water Beach. If the tide is right we will allow you to dig your own spa on the beach and let if fill with hot water, this is a truly unique Kiwi experience. An underground river of hot water flows from the interior of the earth to surface in the Pacific Ocean at Hot Water Beach – a long beautiful white beach located between Tairua and Whitianga. The stunning beach overlooks the Pacific Ocean and offshore Castle Island, with Pohutukawa lined cliffs at either end of the beach. Two hours either side of low tide visitors flock to the usually deserted Hot Water Beach to find hot water bubbling through the golden sand. Families, kids and couples can been seen digging their own spa pool in the sand to lie back in and relax while the steam from their hot pool envelops them. If the tide is not right for us you may wish to take the Kayak tour and land at Cathedral Cove. As time allows we will visit Doug at Cathedral Cove Macadamias orchard before driving south to Tairua and on to Whangamata then Mount Maunganui – New Zealand’s most popular seaside resort and is also major residential, commercial and industrial suburb of Tauranga city. It was an independent town until Tauranga city completed the build of their harbour bridge back in 1988 at which time they joined forces to become one city. Mount Maunganui is also the name given to the extinct volcanic lava cone which stands proudly at the headland of the land mass and entrance to the massive harbour. This mountain is a historic Maori pa (fortified village) site and held in revere of local iwi (Maori tribes) today but is open access to all on its walking tracks.
Overnight here and enjoy fresh fish and chips for dinner by the sea.
4 Star accommodation – dinner & breakfast included.
Departing Mount Maunganui this morning will be your introduction to local iwi (tribal) Maori history of both the Bay of Plenty & Rotorua region. It is just a 60 minute drive to Rotorua but we will stop enroute to discover the Manuka honey story & visit a local Kiwifruit Orchard to comprehend the importance of our bees in the region. Both these products are a major export earner for the Bay.
On arrival to Rotorua you will visit three or 4 of the local lakes within the region, the Redwood forest, take a look inside our native forest, and you can choose to visit either Rainbow Springs to see our native bird life, trout and unique reptile called the Tuatara, Go behind the scenes in the Kiwi bird enclosure. Maybe you are more adventurous and would like to ride the Gondola up Mount Ngongataha and ride the Luge karts or Zipline or maybe the unique sheep show is more to your liking. This show has been entertaining visitors for over 40 years and I still enjoy watching it. Do you know New Zealand has more sheep than people. There are 7 sheep to every one New Zealander, making it over 30 million – so the sheep show is a must see, it’s fun for everyone.
We will check you in at your hotel, then early evening you will be hosted at Te Puia – Rotorua’s premier attraction situated within the Whakarewarewa geothermal valley. You will embark on a guided tour of the park with opportunity to get up close to Pohutu geyser as it erupts, see bubbling mudpools & steaming fumaroles, see traditional Arts & Crafts Institute and the nocturnal Kiwi bird enclosure for viewing. When your tour ends you will witness the following – – – – –
Accommodation – 4 Star Hotel – includes dinner (hangi) & breakfast.
Today we let you sleep in a little before departing the region for the famous Hobbiton Movie Set situated in the middle of a sheep & beef farm in the region called Matamata. When you arrive you embark on a 2 hour guided tour around the movie set used for the trilogy of films – The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. You can stand under the party tree, walk past the many Hobbit houses and imagine yourself amongst the characters. Nestled deep in the rolling hills of the Waikato, this location was chosen for its unblemished landscape. Bilbo Baggins was no typical hobbit and here you will understand why. This is the only filming set left intact after filming ceased – so you really need to come & visit – this is a memory making tour and all your friends and family will be totally envious. As you meander through the pathways and gardens & gates of the Shire you will put yourself in the movie and every way you look there is just one more photo opportunity. At the end of the guided tour you will have time to enjoy a free beer or cider or gingerbeer in the Green Dragon Inn whilst listening to music fit for such a pub and a step back in time. You will have time to peruse the gift shop should you wish before venturing into the party tent for a full buffet lunch – Hobbit style.
Sadly you will need to bid farewell to the Shire as we begin the last stage of your journey back towards Auckland.
Drop off can be at the airport or hotel of your choice.