Our Sails & Hot Springs itinerary allows you to explore Auckland, city of Sails, the Bay of Islands in Northland and Rotorua - the geothermal heart of New Zealand. Included is a midsize rental vehicle and 8 nights in centrally located, 4 star hotel accommodations.
A superb waterfront location in the heart of the Bay of Islands, offering uninterrupted Bay views surrounded by 60 acres of subtropical gardens and part of the historic Waitangi Treaty Grounds.
Auckland, North Island
Day l - ARRIVE AUCKLAND
On arrival, collect your rental vehicle and transfer into downtown Auckland with the day at leisure. Overnight accommodation in Auckland.
Day 2 - AUCKLAND
Today is at leisure to enjoy Auckland, The City of Sails. Perhaps take a fast ferry to Waiheke Island and enjoy local artists and crafts people or visit local wineries; take a visit to the West Coast to take a stroll through the Waitakere “rain forest” and rugged black sand surf beaches (not included).
Day 3 - AUCKLAND/ BAY OF ISLANDS
Travel North along the beautiful Hibiscus Coast to the Bay of Islands, a comfortable 3 and a half hour drive. The afternoon is at leisure to enjoy the many activities of the area that was the stage for much of New Zealand's early history. This included settlement by Polynesian adventurers, discovery by Captain Cook, the unruly whaling era and then the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840 which cemented European and Maori into nationhood.
The beautiful Bay of Islands is the "Birthplace of the Nation ", where the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi took place. Together with the Treaty and much of Northlands early history, the Bay of Islands is host to much marine wildlife, with activities for the adventurous and not so adventurous.
Perhaps visit the Waitangi Treaty Grounds (entrance not included). Considered to be the birth place of New Zealand as a bicultural nation, the Waitangi Treaty Grounds are set in an extensive park-like reserve. Learn about the first Maori canoes to New Zealand, the signing of the treaty of Waitangi
Day 4- BAY OF ISLANDS
This morning board the luxury catamaran for the most popular cruise in the Bay of Islands. The high speed vessel will whisk you on a comfortable journey out through game fishing waters to the Cape Brett Lighthouse. Next is Motukokako Island and the famous “Hole in the Rock”, the excitement grows as you make passage through the Hole and on to the majestic Grand Cathedral Cave. On the return journey, meander through the inner islands viewing sandy beaches, beautiful bays and marine wildlife.
The afternoon is at leisure.
Day 5- BAY OF ISLANDS / AUCKLAND
Return to Auckland today staying on the “North Shore” near Takapuna Beach.
Day 6 – AUCKLAND/WAITOMO/ROTORUA
Travel south over the Bombay Hills, following the Waikato River to Hamilton, then on via Te Awamutu to Waitomo. Enjoy lunch (own expense) before visiting the Waitomo Caves. Tours to the caves include the magical boat-ride through the Glow-worm Grotto. Continue on via Lake Karapiro to arrive in Rotorua late afternoon.
Day 7 – ROTORUA
Today visit Te Puia Thermal Reserve - boiling mud pools, hot springs and exploding geysers, including lively Pohutu geyser which erupts up to 100 feet! At the Agrodome Show - a "must see" entertaining stage show starring sheep shearing, live sheep auction, cow milking (you try it!), feeding cute cuddly baby lambs and an outdoor sheep dog trial.
The afternoon is at leisure. Perhaps enjoy a relaxing soak in the Polynesian Spa, visit the Kiwi Encounter at Rainbow Springs or this evening attend a Maori Hangi (Feast) and Cultural presentation. (Polynesian Spa, Kiwi Encounter or Hangi not included).
Day 8 – ROTORUA – AUCKLAND
Today return back to Auckland for an overnight stay.
Day 9 – DEPART – AUCKLAND