Kakapo 22-Day Tour

Kakapo – New Zealand

Welcome to the ultimate New Zealand small group tour. Experience a colourful kaleidoscope of country life, Maori culture and leisurely touring with four two-night stopovers and one three-night stopover. Explore the beautiful Northland, Coromandel and Kaikoura coastlines. You’ll see Aoraki (Mt Cook), Milford Sound and the West Coast rainforests.

10 Nights/11 Days:

Christchurch – Aoraki/Mt Cook – Queenstown – Wanaka – Franz Josef Glacier – Punakaiki – Christchurch

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CLASS 1

Bronze (Standard)      Silver (Superior)       First Class

Twin Share     $3,069.00              $3,215.00                   $3,915.00
Single                $3,640.00               $3,935.00                  $4,695.00

CLASS 2

Bronze (Standard)     Silver (Superior)      First Class

Twin Share    $3,325.00             $3,400.00                  $3,375.00
Single               $4,049.00            $4,170.00                   $4,350.00

Ultimate Vacations
650 Iwilei Road, Suite 400
Honolulu, Hawaii 96817

Open Monday thru Friday
7:30 AM – 5:00 PM (Hawaii Standard Time)
Phone: (808) 949-8100
Toll Free: (800) 284-0440
Fax: (808) 941-5177
Email: info@ultimate-vacations.net

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“What a wonderful trip. Stunning scenery, amazing adventures and great company. Thanks for safely and knowledgeably getting us around.”

RACHEL MOLD – UK 
KAKAPO TOUR 
– FEBRUARY 2013

  • All transport is provided in comfortable, air conditioned coaches (maximum of 18 travellers)

  • Let your knowledgeable MoaTrek kiwi guide help you enjoy the perfect New Zealand vacation

  • Relax in quality accommodation chosen for its scenery and proximity to prominent landmarks

  • Airport transfers Pre and Post Tour

All Breakfasts Are Included (B).

-A selection of special lunches (L) – Rapaura Water Garden, Coromandel Peninsula; Pounamu Lodge, Lake Tarawera, Rotorua; Akaunui Farm homestead, Canterbury, private Wanaka homestead, Wanaka.
-Two special dinners (D) – Copthorne Hotel and Resort, Hokianga; celebratory final dinner at Punakaiki Resort.
  • Learn about the history of Northland and the mighty Kauri tree at the Kauri Museum, Matakohe.
  • Enjoy a spiritual journey with Maori guides to Tane Mahuta, the ancient ‘Lord of the Forest.’
  • Explore the glistening waters and towering sand dunes on the Hokianga Harbour.
  • Explore Kerikeri’s historic Stone Store.
  • Learn about the history of New Zealand at the Waitangi Treaty House.
  • Enjoy a dolphin cruise out to the famous Hole in the Rock and Cape Brett, with the chance to swim with the dolphins in the Bay of Islands.
  • Visit thousands of twinkling glowworms at Kawiti Caves.
  • Learn about native New Zealand birdlife at the Native Bird Recovery Centre in Whangarei.
  • Cruise across Lake Rotoiti on the luxury yacht “Tiua” before soaking in mineral hot pools on the edge of the lake.
  • Visit Rotorua Museum and learn about the rich history of the region.
  • Wander New Zealand’s most colourful geothermal park at Wai-O-Tapu.
  • Meet unique native New Zealand wildlife at Pukaha Mt Bruce Wildlife Centre.
  • Explore Napier with a private guided tour of this famous Art Deco town.
  • Enjoy a scenic cruise across the Cook Straight and Queen Charlotte Sound on-board the Interislander ferry.
  • Taste a selection of wines in Marlborough, New Zealand’s premier wine-growing region.
  • Explore Russell, the first capital of New Zealand.
  • Travel the dramatic coastal highway from Thames to the Coromandel.
  • Pay a visit to the stunning Coromandel beaches – Whitianga, Hot Water Beach and Hahei.
  • Discover the bush-fringed lakes of Rotorua’s Lake Rotoiti and Lake Tarawera.
  • Experience the geothermal wonderland of Rotorua.
  • Visit the thundering Huka Falls and Wairakei geothermal power station.
  • Take in the expansive views of three active volcanoes from Lake Taupo.
  • Explore New Zealand’s creative capital, Wellington.
  • View seals in their native habitat on the Kaikoura Coast.
  • Take a memorable photograph of the Church of the Good Shepard on the shores of the turquoise-hued Lake Tekapo.
  • See New Zealand’s highest mountain in the Aoraki/Mt Cook region.
  • Drive through the diverse beauty of the Lindis Pass and Kawarau Gorge.
  • Experience pure New Zealand at its finest with a visit to Fiordland, Mt Aspiring, Tai Poutini Westland and
  • Arthur’s Pass National Parks.
  • Learn about Arrowtown’s place in New Zealand’s gold mining history.
  • Explore the shores of the Great Southern Lakes of Wakatipu, Wanaka and Hawea.
  • Take a walk through thick beech mountain forests in Haast Pass.
  • Get up close and personal with the breath-taking Fox Glacier and Franz Josef Glacier.
  • Walk through native New Zealand rainforests and experience the powerful blow holes at the Punakaiki Pancake rocks.
  • Drive the dramatic Otira Gorge highway to Arthur’s Pass and say hello to New Zealand’s cheeky mountain parrot, the Kea.

ITINERARY

Day 1: Arrive in Auckland

Rangitoto Island, Auckland Harbour
Auckland Viaduct and Skytower
On arrival you will be met at the airport and transferred to your waterside hotel in central Auckland. The rest of the day is at leisure to explore the “City of Sails”. Your hotel is close to the central city shopping district.The cafes and restaurants on Viaduct Harbour, Wynyard Quarter, Princes Wharf and the Britomart Precinct are all within easy walking distance.
Ferries depart nearby for Devonport, a seaside village 15 minutes across the harbour. For great views of the city catch the lift to the top of the Sky Tower or take a five minute taxi ride to the Auckland War Memorial Museum where there is an outstanding collection of Maori and Polynesian cultural exhibits.
HIGHLIGHTS
Auckland Museum is home to the finest collection of taonga(Maori treasures) in the world
Take a ferry to one of the many restaurants in Devonport or perhaps journey a little further to Waiheke Island

DAY 2: Auckland – Matakohe – Waipoua Forest – Omapere, Hokianga (B, D)

Tane Mahuta

Omapere
This morning we cruise across the Hokianga Harbour to explore the sand dunes and, if you are feeling adventurous, ride a body board down the dunes.
Later we catch the vehicular ferry from Rawene to Kohukohu on the northern side of the harbour.
We drive over to Kerikeri, the fastest growing town in the North, known for citrus orchards, arts and crafts before heading for Waitangi in the Bay of Islands. The sparkling blue waters of this maritime park are dotted with islands – paradise for beach lovers and sailors.
HIGHLIGHTS:
Matakohe Kauri Museum is dedicated to the mighty native Kauri tree
Footprints Waipoua – walk with Maori guides to Tane Mahuta, the giant Kauri tree in the Waipoua Forest and hear their stories and legends

DAY 3: Omapere – Bay of Islands (B)

Hokianga Harbour

Sand Tobogganing
This morning we cruise across the Hokianga Harbour to explore the sand dunes and, if you are feeling adventurous, ride a body board down the dunes.
Later we catch the vehicular ferry from Rawene to Kohukohu on the northern side of the harbour.
We drive over to Kerikeri, the fastest growing town in the North, known for citrus orchards, arts and crafts before heading for Waitangi in the Bay of Islands. The sparkling blue waters of this maritime park are dotted with islands – paradise for beach lovers and sailors.
HIGHLIGHTS:
Journey across the Hokianga harbour to the magnificent 500-foot high sand dunes which are still in their untouched state
Bodyboard down the slopes of the sand dunes and out over the clean, clear waters of the Hokianga Habour

DAY 4: Cruise the Bay of Islands – Dolphin Swim – tour Russell township (B)

Hole In The Rock

Duke of Marlborough Hotel, Russell
Cruise out from Paihia to a maritime park of 144 islands on a catamaran purpose built for dolphin viewing and swimming (gear provided) or alternatively cruise out to the Hole in the Rock. Disembark at Russell, the first capital of New Zealand and a town with a rollicking past. It was known as the “hell hole of the South Pacific” in the 19th century when it was a favourite haunt of whalers and sealers.
Stroll the Russell waterfront and the colonial buildings then rejoin the coach to drive up Flagstaff Hill for the great views before catching the vehicular ferry to Opua and driving back to Paihia and Waitangi.
HIGHLIGHTS:
Take a cruise out to the Hole in the Rock and Cape Brett in the Bay of Islands or explore the bay with an opportunity to swim with the dolphins
Stroll along Russell’s historic waterfront and drive up to Flagstaff Hill for expansive views over the maritime park of 144 islands

DAY 5: Bay of Islands – Auckland (B)

Meeting house at Waitangi

Kawiti Glowworm Caves
We visit Waitangi Treaty House where local Maori signed the treaty with Queen Victoria’s representatives in 1840, a significant event in New Zealand’s history.
In the Waiomio Valley the Kawiti family guides us through their Kawiti Glowworm Caves just as they have done for many generations.
We continue on to Whangarei and drive south over the Brynderwyn Hills, through Wellsford and Warkworth and over the Harbour Bridge into Auckland. Enjoy this vibrant city from your waterside hotel at the heart of the Viaduct Basin.
HIGHLIGHTS:
Visit the historic Waitangi Treaty House and marvel at the scale of Ngatokimatawhaorua, one of the world’s largest carved war canoes (waka taua)
Walk through the Kawiti Glowworm and limestone caves accompanied by the descendants of the famous Maori chief, Kawiti

DAY 6: Auckland – Thames Coast Highway – Coromandel Peninsula – Whitianga (B, L)

Pohutakawa Flowers Mean It’s Christmas Time in New Zealand

Otama Beach, Coromandel
Drive south over the Bombay Hills and east across the Hauraki Plains to the jagged ranges of the Coromandel Peninsula.
From Thames we drive the western side of the Peninsula to a special lunch at Rapaura Watergardens and walk through native bush to a waterfall and lily ponds.
Further north at Coromandel the town’s gold mining past is visible in the restored wooden buildings lining the main street. Crossing the ranges we visit the stunning east coast beaches of Whangapoua, Matarangi, Kuaotunu and Otama and stay the night in Whitianga on Mercury Bay.
HIGHLIGHTS:
Lunch is included at lovely Rapaura Watergardens surrounded by Coromandel rainforest
Visit the stunning east coast beaches of Whangapoua (Maori for Harbour of Shellfish), Matarangi (Headland in the Sky), Kuaotunu (Young of Eels) and Otama (of my son)

DAY 7: Whitianga – Rotorua (B)

Tractors, Hahei Beach

Dig Your Own Spa at Hot Water Beach, Coromandel
We start the day with a short ferry ride across the Whitianga estuary to Ferry Landing, near Cooks Beach to meet your coach. Alternatively, take a glass bottom boat cruise (optional) to Cathedral Cove, a sublime beach of white sands and limestone outcrops. We visit Hahei Beach and nearby at Hot Water Beach natural thermal hot springs bubble up through the sand. Depending on tide times you can dig your very own hot pool.
We continue south to Whangamata, Waihi and on to Rotorua. At Ohinemutu village beside Lake Rotorua we meet Shaloh Mitchell and receive a personal introduction to Maori culture.
HIGHLIGHTS:
Hot Water Beach natural thermal hot springs bubble up through the sand. Depending on tide times, you can dig your very own hot pool
Learn about living Maori culture with a private tour of Ohinemutu Village

DAY 8: Rotorua sightseeing (B, L )

Lake Rotoiti Cruise

Cool Off After The Thermal Pools
A leisurely day in this lakeside town. Our first highlight is a cruise on Lake Rotoiti on a 53ft catamaran “Tiua” exploring secluded coves with the chance to take the helm, swim in the lake or soak in hot pools reached only by water.
Back ashore we relax over an exclusive lunch at Pounamu Lodge with our hosts David and Karen. Karen has stories to tell of her ancestor Guide Sophia who lead visitors to safety when Mt Tarawera erupted in 1886.
Later we visit Rotorua’s exceptional museum, the safe keeping place of many cultural treasures.
HIGHLIGHTS:
Cruise across Lake Rotoiti on the luxury 16-metre catamaran Tiua (Maori for ride the wind). Soak in mineral hot pools at the lake’s edge, which are only accessible by boat.
Relax over an exclusive lunch at beautiful Pounamu Lodge hosted by Karen and David Walmsley in a beautiful setting above Lake Tarawera

DAY 9: Rotorua – Napier (B)

Great Friends

Lake Taupo Views
Explore our favourite geothermal hideaway, Orakei Korako, crossing the lake to a wonderland of silica terraces, bubbling mud pools and an enchanting Aladdin’s Cave, Ruatapu. See the turbulent Huka Falls and from Taupo the three active volcanoes – Tongariro, Ngauruhoe and Ruapehu are visible across the lake.
The road winds over the ranges to Napier. Renowned for its Art Deco architecture, Napier was rebuilt in this style after an earthquake in 1931. Wine taste at a premier vineyard in this acclaimed wine region before a guide joins our coach to take us on a tour of the Art Deco buildings.
HIGHLIGHTS:
Cross the lake to a thermal wonderland at Orakei Korako
Explore the sights with a private guide on an Art Deco tour of Napier

DAY 10: Napier – Wellington (B)

Napier Art Deco

Kaka at Mt Bruce Wildlife Centre
This morning we drive to the country town of Havelock North and up Te Mata Peak for fantastic views of the region before heading south through Hawkes Bay’s pastoral landscape of orchards, farms and vineyards to the Wairarapa.
At Pukaha Mt Bruce Wildlife Centre see endangered birds such as kiwi, kaka, kokako and takahe and the tuatara, a “living fossil” reptile that lived at the time of the dinosaurs.
We finish the day by traversing the Rimutaka Ranges to Wellington, the capital city. Your contemporary inner city hotel is at the heart of Wellington’s eclectic cafe scene.
HIGHLIGHTS:
At Pukaha Mt Bruce Wildlife Centre you’ll see kiwi, tuatara and other unique New Zealand wildlife
See the sights of Wellington, New Zealand’s capital city

DAY 11: Wellington – Cook Strait – Picton – Blenheim – Kaikoura (B)

Interislander Ferry

Vineyards in Blenheim
We catch the Interislander ferry to cruise for three hours across Cook Strait into Tory Channel and up beautiful Queen Charlotte Sound to Picton. With our feet firmly planted on “Te Waka a Maui”, the South Island, we tour Marlborough’s premier wine and food region renowned for sauvignon blanc.
Leaving behind the dry hills of Marlborough we drive south to Kaikoura, a small hamlet beside the ocean and beneath the towering Kaikoura mountains. We stay right on the waterfront. Seafood, especially crayfish, is a specialty in this ocean side town.
HIGHLIGHTS:
Cruise on the Interislander ferry across the Cook Strait and up Queen Charlotte Sound to Picton
Taste the fine wines of Marlborough – a premier wine growing region

DAY 12: Explore the Kaikoura coast (B)

Albatross Encounter

Seals Kaikoura
This morning cruise for two and a half hours out from Kaikoura on the “Albatross Encounter” for close up seabird viewing in the albatross capital of New Zealand, if not the world. There are up to 12 species of albatross plus penguins, gannets, skuas, shearwaters, petrels and terns using the waters off Kaikoura as their feeding ground.
Later back ashore relax on the coast with time for close encounters with the local marine life. Walk along to the seal colony or take an optional seal swim or optional whale watching cruise or flight. Your driver/guide has a day off today.
HIGHLIGHTS:
Cruise out in search of seabirds on the Albatross Encounter off the Kaikoura Coast
Walk along the foreshore to the seal colony and take in the dramatic beauty of this little town nestled between the mountains and the sea.

DAY 13: Kaikoura – Akaunui Farm homestead – Aoraki/Mt Cook (B, L)

Akaunui Homestead

Aoraki/Mt Cook
The highway continues down the coast and winds inland over the Hunderlee Hills to the Canterbury Plains.
Our special lunch destination is Akaunui Farm homestead where we enjoy the warm hospitality of Di and Ian Mackenzie, picking up farming tips from Ian and lunching on fresh produce from Di’s bountiful garden.
After lunch sweeping vistas of tussock lands and mountains open up ahead. The small church on the edge of aquamarine Lake Tekapo and a statue celebrating the high country sheep dog make irresistible photo stops.
HIGHLIGHTS:
Akaunui Farm – enjoy a private lunch at this mid-Cantebury farm homestead. The house is over 100 years old, built from bricks made at the local kiln and finished with native rimu timber
Explore the legendary Aoraki(Mount Cook) region home to New Zealand’s highest mountain.

DAY 14: Aoraki/Mt Cook – Queenstown (B)

Lupins Mt Cook

Lindis Pass
We awake at the foot of Mt Cook, at 3,754 metres New Zealand’s highest mountain and known in Maori as Aoraki “the cloud piercer”. Take an early morning stroll in the valleys near Aoraki/Mt Cook before we head down the mountain rimmed Mackenzie Basin and over the golden grass of the Lindis Pass and through the Kawerau Gorge into Queenstown.
We ride the Skyline Gondola to the top of Bob’s Peak for a scenic overview of this picturesque resort. Your hotel is a couple of minutes walk from town with views to Lake Wakatipu and Remarkables Range. Dine in town this evening – your driver/guide will offer recommendations.
HIGHLIGHTS:
Drive through the stark beauty of the Lindis Pass and Kawarau Gorge
Catch the gondola to the Skyline Chalet. You’ll be on top of the world surrounded by stunning lake and mountain views

DAY 15: Queenstown – Milford Sound – Nature Cruise – Scenic Flight – Queenstown (B)

Milford Sound

Air Milford
We travel alongside Lake Wakatipu to Te Anau and Milford Sound deep in the heart of Fiordland National Park. The Milford Road is a panorama of high mountains and deep valleys studded with glaciers, waterfalls and mirror lakes.
On arrival at Milford we board a boat with an onboard nature guide to cruise down Milford Sound, a majestic fiord lined with waterfalls and dominated by iconic Mitre Peak. Where the sound reaches the Tasman Sea seal colonies lounge on the rocks. We return to Queenstown on a stunning scenic flight over the Southern Alps and Lake Wakatipu.
HIGHLIGHTS:
Experience the Milford Road and Homer Tunnel
Enjoy a nature and wildlife cruise on Milford Sound
Enjoy one of the world’s great scenic flights over the Southern Alps, from Milford Sound to Queenstown.

DAY 16: At leisure in Queenstown (B)

Dart River jet boat

Queenstown
A full day to experience this resort town. Your driver/guide will assist with your choice of activities – from extreme adventure to relaxed exploration.
We recommend an optional excursion such as a jet boat ride on the remote Dart River in the Lord of the Rings scenery or perhaps experience the thrill of white water rafting on an adventure down the Shotover or Kawarau River.
There are boutique shops to browse and the Botanic Gardens and lakeside walkway to wander. Wherever you go, you will be surrounded by stunning mountain and lake scenery.
HIGHLIGHTS:
Spend a day of free time relaxing in New Zealand’s premier alpine resort
Select from the many dining options along the shores of Lake Wakatipu, New Zealand’s longest lake.

DAY 17: Queenstown – Arrowtown – Cardrona Valley – Wanaka (B, L)

Arrowtown

Crown Range
Our first destination is the leafy village of Arrowtown where gold mining history comes alive beside the Arrow River.
The road climbs over the tussock country of the Crown Range with expansive views of the Gibbston Valley. We call into the Cardrona Hotel, its history also traced back to the goldmining era, then continue on to your private lunch at a Wanaka homestead.
After lunch there’s free time to explore this fast-growing town. Your hotel is lakeside in Wanaka beside the bike trail and walkway.
HIGHLIGHTS:
Stroll in Haast Pass mountain beech forests to waterfalls and blue pools
View the extraordinary Fox Glacier and Franz Josef Glacier

DAY 18: Wanaka – Haast Pass – Franz Josef (B)

West Coast Wilderness

Franz Josef Glacier
Drive beside Lake Hawea and Lake Wanaka and into the pristine mountain and river scenery of the Haast Pass in Mt Aspiring National Park. Tracks through native beech forests lead us to cascading waterfalls and clear blue pools where trout lurk. Leaving the mountains, the road winds along the edge of the river to Haast.
Continue north through the lush rainforest of Westland World Heritage Park, stopping at Ship Creek for a stroll on the beach and through swampland rainforest. View Fox Glacier descending to the rain forest and Lake Matheson famous for its reflections of the alps.
HIGHLIGHTS:
Explore remote Okarito Lagoon and its native bird life by boat or kayak
Relax and enjoy the beauty of this remote World Heritage Park

DAY 19: Franz Josef – Okarito Lagoon – Franz Josef (B)

We drive out to the coast to the tiny settlement of Okarito nestled between the Tasman Sea and Okarito Lagoon. Depending on your preference, select a gentle kayak or boat cruise on the shallow waters of the lagoon. The lagoon is a feeding ground of the rare white heron (kotuku) which breeds in the nearby Waitangi Roto Nature Reserve.
Enjoy the tranquility of this remote World Heritage Park. Perhaps take a a helihike on the glacier or an optional flight over the Alps to Aoraki/Mt Cook and land on a glacier. Or kick back and soak in hot pools fed by pure glacier water.
HIGHLIGHTS:
See the blow holes at the Punakaiki Pancake rocks and walk in the rainforest
Join our farewell dinner celebration at Punakaiki Resort on the wild West Coast

DAY 20: Franz Josef – Hokitika – Punakaiki (B, D)

Punakaiki Resort

Punakaiki Pancake Rocks
Travel north passing mirror lakes, boulder-laden rivers and the Southern Alps. At Hokitika visit artisan craft galleries – Pounamu (greenstone) carving, glass blowing, wood and copper.
A coastal road following part of the ancient Pounamu trails used by Maori leads to your hotel at Punakaiki. Unique coastal flora includes the southernmost nikau palms. Up the road is the leading local attraction – the Punakaiki Pancake Rocks, sculpted limestone sea stacks and towering cliffs. If the tide is right, blowholes thunder spreading clouds of spray. We celebrate our travels over dinner in the hotel’s Jacob’s Grill.
HIGHLIGHTS:
See the blow holes at the Punakaiki Pancake rocks and walk in the rainforest
Join our farewell dinner celebration at Punakaiki Resort on the wild West Coast

DAY 21: Punakaiki – Arthur’s Pass – Christchurch (B)

Kea, Arthur’s Pass

Castle Hill
Retracing our steps down the coast we drive up the Otira Gorge on a spectacular cantilevered road through towering mountains to Arthur’s Pass National Park. At the summit we stop at the lookout for the views and to watch the mischievous antics of the keas (alpine parrots).
Stretch your legs in the beech forests at Arthur’s Pass village and later on at the limestone rocks rising out of bare pasture at Castle Hill. We descend Porter’s Pass to the Canterbury Plains reaching Christchurch, New Zealand’s second largest city, and your hotel in the late afternoon.
HIGHLIGHTS:
Drive the dramatic Otira Gorge highway to Arthur’s Pass, see kea birds and towering mountains
Walk at Kura Tawhiti (Castle Hill) where the karst landscape is formed by limestone eroded into sculptured landforms.

DAY 22: Depart Christchurch (B)

Christchurch Container Mall

Punting on the Avon River
Time to say goodbye. Enjoy a leisurely breakfast this morning. You will be picked up from your hotel for transfer to the airport for your flight home after a memorable New Zealand holiday.
If you have time before your transfer to the airport, catch up on last minute shopping for New Zealand classics such as merino clothing in the boutique Duty Free Stores or visit the Re-Start Container shopping mall.
Thank you for travelling with MoaTrek.
Ka kite ano – “See you again”.
HIGHLIGHTS:
Explore the pop-up shipping container shopping centre, a funky option to kick-start Christchurch’s retail and hospitality sectors.
Relax and reminisce over your New Zealand experience while we transfer you to the airport