Kiwi 18-Day Tour

Kiwi – New Zealand

Explore roads less travelled on this special small group New Zealand tour and discover country hospitality and nature in the wild. Tour the Coromandel Peninsula and dig yourself a hot pool in the sand. Experience our unique Maori culture in Rotorua, and learn about the sea birds at Kaikoura and Milford Sound. Meet the locals over private lunches at Lake Tarawera, a mid-Canterbury farmhouse and Lake Wanaka.

17 Nights/18 Days: Auckland – Whitianga on the Coromandel Peninsula – Rotorua – Napier – Wellington – Kaikoura – Aoraki/Mt Cook – Queenstown – Wanaka – Franz Josef Glacier – Punakaiki – Christchurch

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$5325 USD / $6391 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
  • Experience the thrill of a scenic boat-cruise across Lake Rotoiti on the luxury 16 metre yacht ‘Tiua’.
  • Explore an ancient geothermal wonderland at Wai-O-Tapu.
  • Meet some of New Zealand’s most endangered wildlife at Pukaha Mt Bruce Wildlife Centre.
  • Explore with a privately guided tour of Napier, New Zealand’s Art Deco capital
  • Enjoy a breathtaking three hour scenic cruise on the Interislander ferry across the Cook Strait, up the Queen Charlotte Sound to Picton.
  • Travel the coastal highway from Thames to the Coromandel township.
  • Dip your toes in the beautiful Coromandel beaches – Whitianga, Hot Water Beach and Hahei.
  • Discover Rotorua’s impressive lakes; Rotoiti and Tarawera.
  • Enjoy all the highlights of Rotorua, its cultural and geothermal activities.
  • See the powerful Huka Falls and the Wairakei geothermal power station.
  • See three of New Zealand’s active volcanoes with views across Lake Taupo.
  • Explore the sights of Wellington, New Zealand’s capital city.
  • On the Kaikoura Coast encounter seals.
  • Stand on the edge of paradise with a visit to Lake Tekapo and the snow-capped, glacier filled Aoraki/Mt Cook region.
  • See landscapes change before your eyes as we drive over the Lindis Pass and Kawarau Gorge.
  • Taste wines in Marlborough, a premier wine-growing region in the South Island.
  • Cruise in the waters surrounding the wildlife rich Kaikoura Coast in search of seabirds on the “Albatross Encounter.”
  • Catch the Skyline Gondola to be rewarded with impeccable views of Queenstown.
  • Explore the world-famous Milford Sound on a 2.5 hour nature and wildlife cruise.
  • Take flight high above the majestic Southern Alps as we fly from Milford Sound to Queenstown on a fabulous scenic flight.
  • Explore the shallow waters of Okarito Lagoon and see the rare white heron.
  • Included Sightseeing & Exploring
  • Learn about the history of gold-mining in leafy Arrowtown.
  • Take in sights of the three Great Southern Lakes – Wakatipu, Wanaka and Hawea.
  • Stroll in Haast Pass’ where the natural wonders of this secluded area of New Zealand will delight.
  • View Fox Glacier and Franz Josef Glacier, two of the most easily accessible glaciers in the world.
  • Watch as the Tasman Sea meets the Punakaiki Pancake rocks, walk in the rain forests.
  • Drive Otira Gorge highway to Arthur’s Pass, where you will be treated to a nature showcase by the cheeky kea birds that have made the towering mountains their home.
  • Explore untouched remote wilderness in Fiordland, Mt Aspiring, Tai Poutini Westland and Arthur’s Pass National Parks.

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“The sights we have seen have been so beautiful no words can adequately express the diversity of this unspoilt land. We have seen so many aspects of New Zealand.”

IAN AND VALERIE SPACIE – UK
KIWI 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).
  • Four special lunches (L) – Rapaura Water Garden, Coromandel Peninsula; Pounamu Lodge, Lake Tarawera, Rotorua; Akaunui Farm homestead, Canterbury, private Wanaka homestead, Wanaka.
  • One special dinner (D) – celebratory final dinner at Punakaiki Resort.

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.
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 17: Punakaiki – Arthur’s Pass – Christchurch (B)

Castle Hill Rocks

Kea, Arthur’s Pass
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 (mountain 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 18: Depart Christchurch (B)

Christchurch container Mall

Punting on the Avon River; 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:
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

DAY 4: Rotorua sightseeing (B, L )

Lake Tarawera

Pounamu Lodge
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 3: Whitianga – Rotorua (B)

Glass Bottom Boat, Whitianga

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

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 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)

Kaka

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

Marlborough vineyard

Whale fluke, Kaikoura
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)

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

Akaunui Farm Homestead

Canterbury Sheep
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 10: Aoraki/Mt Cook – Queenstown (B)

Mount Cook/Aoraki Region

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 close to the 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 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)

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: Queenstown – Cardrona Valley – Wanaka (B, L)

Crown Range

Edgewater Hotel, Wanaka
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 gold mining 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:
Gold mining history comes alive in Arrowtown
Enjoy the views from the top of the Crown Range the highest sealed pass in all of New Zealand

DAY 14: Wanaka – Haast Pass – Franz Josef (B)

Haast

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:
Stroll in Haast Pass mountain beech forests to waterfalls and blue pools
View the extraordinary Fox Glacier and Franz Josef Glacier

DAY 15: Franz Josef – Okarito Lagoon – Franz Josef (B)

Okarito Lagoon Cruise

Glacier Landing Franz Josef
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:
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 16: Franz Josef – Hokitika – Punakaiki (B, D)

Punakaiki Pancake Rocks

Hokitika Beach
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