Day 1 Arrive Auckland
On arrival at Auckland Airport transfer by private car to your hotel.
Day 2 Auckland – Waitomo Caves – Rotorua (350 km)
This morning make your way to the rental car city depot where you will collect your rental car for your exclusive use. Travel south past rolling green hills and pastureland to the Waitomo Caves region. Beneath the surface of this ancient limestone region lies a labyrinth of caves and underground rivers. Expert guides provide historical and geographical commentary before you drift silently in a boat under the milky way of millions of glow worms on the cavern roof above you. Continue through farmland, lakeland and forest until the distinctive smell of sulphur and constant steam drifts let you know you are in tempestuous, geothermal Rotorua
Day 3 Rotorua
Experience Māori culture at Te Puia and take a tour through a thermal valley full of forceful geysers and bubbling mud pools. View woodcarving and weaving schools and see how these ancient arts are being passed on to a new generation. Explore Rainbow Springs Kiwi Wildlife Park, where you can get up close to the native flora and fauna. Then see New Zealand’s agricultural industry in action at the Agrodome, a working farm where you can view a sheep shearing display and sheep dog trials. This evening enjoy a memorable night of culture, song and dance followed by dinner cooked the traditional Maori way on hot stones underground.
Day 4 Rotorua – Taupo – Napier (219 km)
Travel today is south via Lake Taupo with the three volcanic mountains of Ruapehu, Ngauruhoe and Tongariro dominating the scenery. Enjoy the scenery as the road changes from forest to rugged mountain ranges and then to fertile vineyards as you continue on to the Hawke’s Bay, known for its gourmet food and world-class wineries.
Day 5 Napier
Day at leisure. In 1931 a devastating earthquake resulted in the rebuilding of Napier in the style of the times, and it is now considered the Art Deco Capital of the world. Close by is Cape Kidnappers, home to the most accessible gannet colony in the world.
Day 6 Napier – Wellington (315 km)
Enjoy the clean, green scenery as you travel south to New Zealand’s capital city, Wellington.
Day 7 Wellington
Day at leisure. Wellington is compact, cultured and full of character. Nestled between harbour and hills, the downtown area is ideal for explorations on foot. Wellington is noted for its live theatre, art galleries, restaurants and cultural activities. On the waterfront is Te Papa Tongarewa, New Zealand’s national museum, one of the best interactive museums in the world.
Day 8 Depart Wellington
This morning you will drop off your rental car directly at the airport or ferry depot, where you tour ends.