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Inspiring New Zealand 2019-2020

10 days with Luxury Gold by Insight   Rating: Deluxe

Itinerary
Click for Dates and Prices Day 1 Welcome to Auckland.
On arrival at Auckland airport, you are welcomed and driven to your hotel. Spend the rest of the day at leisure, relaxing or exploring the city. At 19:00, meet your Travelling Concierge and travel companions for drinks and a Welcome Dinner served with wine at your hotel. (Dinner with Wine)

Day 2 Highlights of Auckland.
Surrounded by rainforests, hot springs and glistering waterways, Auckland is the ultimate urban gateway to outdoor thrill. Explore the city centre, as you embark on a journey by waterway headed for Mission Bay. Enjoy panoramic views of the bay from Bastion Point and marvel at the Michael Joseph Savage Memorial, which commemorates the country’s first Labour Prime Minister and the founder of the welfare state. Step aboard a ferry for a voyage to picture-perfect Waiheke Island where you’ll embark on a scenic drive to your first stop, Stonyridge Vineyard. Known for producing award-winning Cabernet blends, Stonyridge Vineyard lies in a lush valley and boasts a French-style caeé where you will taste delicious blends and enjoy a light seasonal lunch. This afternoon head to Rangihoua Estate, famous for producing some of the island’s best olive oils, and enjoy a privately-hosted tasting experience. In Mediterranean style, visit the lakeside Casita Miro and the beautiful Mudbrick Vineyard for your final wine tastings and take in spectacular views of the Hauraki Gulf. Return to the mainland by ferry and enjoy an evening at leisure. Your Travelling Concierge is a treasure trove of local knowledge and will happily make restaurant recommendations and reservations on your behalf. (Buffet Breakfast / Lunch with Wine)

Day 3 The Cultural Capital of Rotoru.
Journey along the Waikato River, the longest river in the country, towards the home of retired champion horse jockey, Lance O’Sullivan and his wife, Bridgette. You’re invited for a private lunch at their Red Barn, which overlooks Lake Karapiro. Continue on to Rotorua, the cultural capital of New Zealand and home to Lake Rotorua, geo-thermic geysers and bubbling mud pools! Orientate yourself, as you embark on a city tour and appreciate spectacular vistas of the lake. In the evening see a privately-hosted Maori show at the Tamaki Maori Village and gain insight into local Maori traditions and history from your Local Expert. Witness the heart-pounding wero challenge from a Maori warrior during a ceremonial Maori welcome, known as Powhiri, and learn traditional customary phrases and greetings such as the Hongi. Chat to the Maoris and discover how they lived prior to the arrival of European settlers. Gather round for a feast of succulent meats and vegetables, cooked in a Hangi and prepared using the traditional Maori method of cooking over geothermal steam coming from the earth. (Buffet Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner with Wine)

Day 4 Wellness & Adventure in Rotorua.
Relish a relaxed start in the morning and spend the rest of the day either enjoying a wellness, film-interest or adventure experience. The wellness option allows you to submerge yourself in the mineral-rich baths of The Polynesian spa, followed by a soul-rejuvenating massage. Nestled on the shores of Lake Rotorua, this unique spa draws on the geothermal waters of the area to offer you an invigorating experience. Alternatively, explore the magical film set of The Hobbiton, as you enter the lush pastures of Middle Earth and hear stories about the making of the film from a knowledgeable guide. Your final option is a treetop ziplining adventure that sees you gliding through an ancient native forest. Hear stories about the local plants and birds from your guide, as you fly like a bird. All logistics and bookings are handled and made by your Travelling Concierge. In the evening enjoy dinner of your choice at one of Rotorua's many restaurants. (Buffet Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)

Day 5 Rainbow Springs Nature Park and Wellington.
Set in the indigenous forests of Rotorua near crystal-clear mineral water springs, the Rainbow Springs Nature Park is home to a fascinating collection of birds, reptiles and plants. Wander among exotic flowers and see New Zealand's most successful kiwi hatchery in action. Travel to the living Maori village of Whakawerawera where a Local Expert, a resident, will take you to see New Zealand's biggest geyser, bubbling mud pools and thermal springs. This afternoon, you are driven to the Rotorua Airport for your onward flight to Wellington. Settle into your hotel and enjoy an evening at your leisure. Perhaps head down to Courtenay Place or Cuba Street to dine at one of Wellington's tucked-away bars or quirky cafes? (Buffet Breakfast)

Day 6 The Culinary Capital of New Zealand.
Wellington, the trendy seaside capital of New Zealand, is packed with natural beauty, picture-book architecture and vibrant urban culture. Embark on a tour of the city, as you venture out into leafy laneways towards an array of cafes, boutiques and galleries. Your Travelling Concierge will introduce you to passionate locals who will share stories about the city’s legendary culinary scene, history and culture. Embark on a walking tour alongside a knowledgeable Local Expert and food connoisseur to foodie hotspots dotted around the city. Taste home-brewed coffee, gourmet chocolate, gelato, cheeses and other local specialties, as you discover why Wellington is known as the culinary capital of the country. In the afternoon, visit Wellington’s famous urban eco-sanctuary, Zealandia. Known for being the first of its kind in the world, Zealandia is the most biodiversity-rich square mile in the country and has successfully reintroduced 18 species of native wildlife back into the area, six of which were previously absent from mainland New Zealand for over 100 years. Learn about the country’s fascinating ecological history, as you wander through a lush indigenous forest. For dinner, take your pick from a selection of hand-picked local restaurants. (Buffet Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)

Day 7 Te Papa Museum in Wellington on to Queenstown
Enjoy exclusive VIP entry into the famous Te Papa, the Museum of New Zealand, before it opens to the public. Embark on a guided walk through fascinating exhibitions, as you learn about the people, places and ideas that shaped New Zealand and the Pacific. Travel on to Queenstown, New Zealand’s adventure capital situated on the South Island. On arrival at Queenstown Airport, travel to the delightful gold rush village of Arrowtown. Situated on the sparkling Arrow River, this heritage village once attracted fortune seekers from afar. Wander along its historic main road and marvel at the soaring surrounding mountain ranges and forests. Return to Queenstown for an exploration of the city. See Lake Wakatipu, the Remarkables mountain range and the world-famous bungy jump at Kawarau Bridge. (Buffet Breakfast)

Day 8 Wonders of Fiordland National Park and the Doubtful Sound.
Beyond the adrenaline-seeking crowds of Queenstown lies a vast and mystical wilderness. Travel to an untouched world deep in the heart of Fiordland National Park. The beauty and sheer scale of Doubtful Sound will take your breath away. Cruise across Lake Manapouri and marvel at plummeting waterfalls and ancient rainforests, while keeping an eye out for bottlenose dolphins, fur seals and the rare Fiordland crested penguin. After your cruise, cross over Wilmot Pass and pause to appreciate views of the Sound glistening far below. Enjoy dinner this evening at your hotel. (Buffet Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner with Wine)

Day 9 Choices of Queenstown.
After a relaxed start to the day, choose between a boutique wine tour, guided walk and canyon tour. The half-day wine tour option showcases some of the best wines in Central Otago, taking you to four top vineyards with a delicious meze lunch served with wine included. Visit Old Cromwell Town and enjoy a drive through the Kawarau Gorge, as you learn about the early pioneering history of this rugged region. Enjoy spectacular views of the lake and mountains and learn about medicinal plants that were once used by Maori and European settlers.Alternatively, enjoy a gentle ranger-guided walk along the shores of Lake Wakatipu and through an ancient beech forest. Stop and take in unrivalled views across the lake of The Remarkables mountain range and Cecil Peak, as you enjoy specially-prepared coffee and tea. Your final option is to explore Queenstown's wilderness, as you venture into the backcountry of Skippers Canyon on a 4WD minibus tour. All logistics and bookings are handled and made by your Travelling Concierge. In the evening, join your travel companions and Travelling Concierge for a spectacular Celebration Dinner, hosted at one of the best restaurants in the city. (Buffet Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)

Day 10 Depart Queenstown.
Bid farewell to your travel companions, as you are driven to Queenstown airport for your onward journey. (Buffet Breakfast)
Map
All This Included
Discover nature’s bounty, as you wander through ancient rainforests, cruise on spectacular Lake Manapouri and marvel at geothermal phenomena. Great film epics such as Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit were filmed in the vast wildernesses and enchanting landscapes of New Zealand. This inspiring journey showcases New Zealand’s natural splendors, culinary flair and fascinating indigenous cultures. See how you travel like a VIP with Luxury Gold

Exceptional Dining
  • Waiheke Island: Step aboard a ferry for a voyage to picture-perfect Waiheke Island where you’ll embark on a scenic drive to your first stop, Stonyridge Vineyard. Known for producing award-winning Cabernet blends, Stonyridge Vineyard lies in a lush valley and boasts a French-style café where you’ll taste delicious blends and enjoy a light seasonal lunch.
  • Rotorua: Gather round for a feast of succulent meats and vegetables, cooked in a Hangi and prepared using the traditional Maori method of cooking over geothermal steam coming from the earth.
  • Dining Summary: 9 Buffet Breakfasts (BB), 2 Lunches (L), 1 Lunch with Wine (LW), 1 Dinner (D) and 5 Dinners with Wine (DW).
VIP Experiences
  • Lake Karapiro: Journey along the Waikato River, the longest river in the country, towards the home of retired champion horse jockey, Lance O’Sullivan and his wife, Bridgette. You’re invited for a private lunch at their Red Barn, which overlooks Lake Karapiro.
  • Wellington: Enjoy exclusive VIP entry into famous Te Papa, the Museum of New Zealand, before it opens to the public. Embark on a guided walk through fascinating exhibitions, as you learn about the people, places and ideas that shaped New Zealand and the Pacific.
Inclusive Luxury Gold Services
  • You will be escorted by one of our fine Travelling Concierges, handpicked to serve as your expert guide, consummate organiser, and friend overseas.
  • Relax in comfort on Luxury Gold’s air-conditioned, 40-seat coach with double the standard legroom, onboard restroom and and complimentary bottled water for you to enjoy while travelling.
  • Personal radio headsets give you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights, without missing any of your Local Expert's fascinating commentary.
  • We carry your bags for you and promptly deliver them to your hotel door.
  • Hotel and restaurant tips are included - you'll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency. We also include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels.
  • Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi (where available).
  • From time to time, your Travelling Concierge will enchant you with a Luxury Gold Flourish, which is a local specialty representing the destination.
  • At every hotel, you'll be treated to seamless baggage handling, with prompt delivery inside your room.
  • Included complimentary, private transfers are available on start and end dates, and when additional accommodation has been booked through Luxury Gold.
Highlights
Journey Highlights
  • Tamaki Maori Village: See a privately-hosted Maori show and the heart-pounding Wero challenge at the Tamaki Maori Village and gain insight into local Maori traditions and history from your Local Expert.
  • Rotorua: Choose between a wellness experience in the mineral-rich baths of The Polynesian spa, a visit to the film set of Hobbiton or a treetop adventure through an ancient native forest.
  • Whakawerawera: Join a Maori Local Expert to see New Zealand’s biggest geyser, bubbling mud pools and thermal springs.
  • Wellington: Embark on a private walking tour alongside a Local Expert to foodie hotspots dotted around the city and taste home-brewed coffee, gourmet chocolate, gelato, cheeses and other local specialties, as you discover why Wellington is known as the culinary capital of the country.
  • Fiordland National Park: Embark on a cruise on Lake Manapouri and marvel at the plummeting waterfalls and ancient rainforests of the Fiordland National Park.
  • Queenstown: Choose between a boutique wine tour to four of the region’s best estates plus a visit to Old Cromwell Town; a guided walk along the shores of Lake Wakatipu and through an ancient beech forest or a 4x4 tour through the backcountry of Skippers Canyon.
Accommodations
Auckland: Sofitel Auckland
Rotorua: Princes Gate Hotel
Wellington: Sofitel Wellington
Queenstown: Heritage Queenstown
Notes
  • Please ask your Vacations To Go travel counselor for more information.
Terms and Conditions
For Luxury Gold by Insight terms and conditions, please click here.

* The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines.