Kakariki 17-Day Tour

Kakariki – New Zealand

Experience country life and leisurely touring. Explore the beautiful northern and Kaikoura coastlines and enjoy the warmth of Maori culture and the magnificent alpine scenery of Aoraki (Mt Cook) and Fiordland’s Milford Sound.

map

16 Nights/17 Days:

Auckland – Omapere on the Hokianga Harbour – Paihia in the Bay of Islands – Auckland – Whitianga on the Coromandel Peninsula – Rotorua – Napier – Wellington – Kaikoura – Aoraki/Mt Cook – Queenstown

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$4569 USD  /  $5309 USD

 Per Person Single Room Accommodation

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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“Breathtaking scenery every step of the journey. A magnificent tour made even better by our driver/guide and our entertaining travelling companions.”
MARY AND JEFF BRIDGE – UK 
KAKARIKI TOUR – DECEMBER 2012

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 16: At Leisure In Queenstown (B)

TSS Earnslaw, Queenstown

Air Milford
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: Depart Queenstown (B)

Queenstown

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 numerous boutique Duty Free Stores in Queenstown.
Thank you for travelling with MoaTrek.
Ka kite Ano – “See you again”.
HIGHLIGHTS:
Browse the many art galleries or shop for possum fur or merino wool clothing a local speciality
Relax and reminisce over your New Zealand experience while we transfer you to the airport.

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

Hokianga Harbour
We depart Auckland for Muriwai Beach on the West Coast where a short walk takes us to close up views of a gannet colony nesting on the cliffs. We continue north to the Matakohe Kauri Museum, dedicated to the mighty kauri tree.
North of Dargaville we enter the primeval forest of Waipoua. We accompany Footprints Waipoua, a group of young Maori dedicated to preserving the traditions and culture of Ngapuhi, the northern Maori tribe, to visit Tane Mahuta, the God of the forest, and gain a deeper understanding of this unique forest. This evening we dine at our hotel on the harbour edge.
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)

Stone Store & Kemp House

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)

Dolphin Swim, Paihia

Duke of Marlborough, Russell
Cruise out from Paihia to a martime 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)

Waitangi Meeting House

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)

Rapaura Watergardens

Otama Beach
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)

Hot Water beach

Hahei Beach
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 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 )

Pure Cruise, Lake Rotoiti

Rotorua Museum
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)

Orakei Korako

Art Deco Napier
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)

Kokako at Pukaha Mt. Bruce Wildlife Centre

Wellington
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

Marlborough Vineyard
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

Whale Fluke, 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 Farm Homestead

Lake Tekapo
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)

Aorkai / 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 be happy to make 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.

Huia – New Zealand

Explore the Coromandel coastline and experience Maori culture at world-famous Rotorua. At Lake Tarawera, and on a farm in mid-Canterbury, you’ll enjoy private lunches with your hosts. Get acquainted with Napier and Wellington and cruise across Cook Strait.

12 Nights/13 Days: Auckland – Whitianga on the Coromandel Peninsula – Rotorua – Napier – Wellington – Kaikoura – Aoraki/Mt Cook – Queenstown

$3926 USD
per person twin or double share accommodation

$4659 USD
per person single room accommodation

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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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“We have enjoyed the most wonderful tour of New Zealand. No worthwhile view or sight was left out as we weaved our way around the country. ”

ROBERT AND MAUREEN WILTSHIRE – UK HUIA TOUR – JANUARY 2013

-All transport provided in comfortable, air conditioned coach (maximum of 18 travellers).
-Services of your MoaTrek kiwi guide who is passionate about showcasing the best of New Zealand.
-Wonderfully appointed accommodation, chosen for its location and accessibility to attractions.
-All airport transfers pre and post tour.
  • All Breakfasts (B).
  • Three special lunches (L) – Rapaura Water Garden, Coromandel Peninsula; Pounamu Lodge, Lake Tarawera, Rotorua; Akaunui Farm homestead, Canterbury.
  • Cruise Lake Rotoiti on the luxury yacht “Tiua” and soak in the mineral hot pools on the edge of the lake, only reached by boat.
  • Visit the Rotorua Museum for evocative exhibitions and films of earlier times.
  • Learn about geothermal history with a visit to Wai-O-Tapu.
  • Meet kiwi and other unique native New Zealand wildlife at Pukaha Mt Bruce Wildlife Centre.
  • Explore the wonderful resurgent city of Napier on a guided Art Deco Tour.
  • Cross the Cook Straight from the North to the South Island on the Interislander ferry.
  • Enjoy a wine-tasting tour in Marlborough, New Zealand’s premier wine-growing region.
  • See seabirds in the waters off the Kaikoura coast on the “Albatross Explorer.”
  • Enjoy a scenic ride and impressive views of Queenstown on the Skyline Gondola.
  • Experience Milford Sound, once called the ‘eighth wonder of the world’ on a scenic 2.5 hour nature cruise.
  • Take flight over the Southern Alps with a scenic flight from Milford Sound to Queenstown.

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 – Thames Coast Highway – Coromandel Peninsula – Whitianga (B, L)

Rapaura Watergardens

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 3: Whitianga – Rotorua (B)

Hot Water Beach

Ohinemutu Village
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 and Waihi and on to Rotorua, our home for two nights. 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 4: Rotorua sightseeing (B, L )

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. We visit Rotorua’s exceptional museum in the afternoon.
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 5: Rotorua – Napier (B)

Orakei Korako

Huka Falls
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 and suburbs.
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 6: Napier – Wellington (B)

Art Deco Napier

Kokako, Pukaha 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 7: Wellington – Cook Strait – Picton – Blenheim – Kaikoura (B)

Interislander Ferry

Vineyard, Marlborough
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 8: Explore the Kaikoura coast (B)

Seal cub, Kaikoura

Albatross Encounter
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 9: Kaikoura – Akaunui Farm homestead – Aoraki/Mt Cook (B, L)

Akaunui Farm Homestead

Sheep, Canterbury
The highway continues down the coast and winds inland over the Hunderlee Hills before dropping down to the Canterbury Plains. The fast growing wine district of Waipara is set on terraces above the river.
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 stone church on the edge of the aquamarine Lake Tekapo and a statue celebrating the high country sheep dog make irresistible photo stops. This evening we are surrounded by towering mountain peaks and magnificent alpine scenery.
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 10: Aoraki/Mt Cook – Queenstown (B)

Mount Cook/Aoraki Region

Mount Cook/Aoraki Region
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.
On arrival we ride the Skyline Gondola to the top of Bob’s Peak for a scenic overview of this picturesque resort and adrenalin adventure destination. Your hotel is just above the town with views to Lake Wakatipu and Remarkables Range. There’s a wide variety of restaurants and cafes and your driver/guide will let you know our favourites.
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 11: Queenstown – Te Anau – Milford Sound – Nature Cruise – Scenic Flight – Queenstown (B)

Milford Sound

Milford Scenic Flight, Milford Air
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 12: At leisure in Queenstown (B)

TSS Earnslaw, Queenstown

Dart River Jet Safari
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 13: Depart Queenstown

Queenstown

The Mall, Queenstown…Time to say good bye.
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 numerous boutique Duty Free Stores in Queenstown.
Thank you for travelling with MoaTrek.
Ka kite ano – “See you again”.
HIGHLIGHTS:
Browse the many art galleries or shop for possum fur or merino wool clothing a local speciality
Relax and reminisce over your New Zealand experience while we transfer you to the airport