24th - 28th December 2022
Saturday 24th December Auckland to Rotorua
Departing from Auckland, our coach travels via Huntly & through the mighty Waikato to Hamilton. Stopping at Hamilton Gardens take the opportunity to explore the unique concept of showcasing the cultural meaning and context of gardens over the past 4,000 years. The collection of gardens from an English Flower, Italian Renaissance, Indian Char Bagh, Japanese and Chinese gardens to the Sustainable Backyard, Herb and Kitchen gardens, each tell a story and offer an insight into a different civilisation. A picnic lunch is enjoyed in gardens before continuing our journey to Rotorua.
Arriving at our accommodation, unpack & relax for your four night stay.
Distinction Hotel, Rotorua 4 nights
Sunday 25th December Christmas Day
Monday 26th December Sightseeing
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Today we discover some of the natural sights of Rotorua and surrounding areas. A delicious Christmas picnic lunch is enjoyed in the park. This evening indulge in a sumptuous five course Christmas Dinner at the historic, boutique Princes Gate Hotel.
Today we join Rotorua Rail Cruising to ride the rail line between Mamaku and Tarukenga traveling in purpose-built 4-seat rail carts. This is the ultimate way to discover a unique piece of New Zealand railway history cruising along at 20km/hr whilst listening to the tour audio. Returning to Rotorua we stop at the 3D Trick Art Gallery for a bit of fun and hilarity as you put yourself into the amazing artworks and murals.
Visit the National Kiwi Hatchery for an educational tour and discover why this conservation effort is the most successful in the world, with incubation, hatching and reating of chicks.
We finish the day at Hells Gate, one of New Zealand’s most active geothermal reserves. Choose between a walk through the reserve viewing erupting waters, a mud volcano and hot waterfall followed by a mud foot bath or relax and rejuvenate in the naturally heated geothermal mud and sulphur pools, renowned for their restorative properties. You’ll emerge looking 10 years younger!
Tuesday 27th December Sightseeing
This morning we join the Rotorua Duck Tour, exploring Rotorua and the beautiful sights from land and lake in New Zealand’s only genuine, authentic WW2 landing crafts. This afternoon is at leisure. Relax by the hotel pool, or join the shuttle to the city centre to explore the gardens and lakefront or take in a bit of retail therapy. Later we take the Skyline Gondola to the Volcanic Hills Tasting Room and sample the wines before enjoy dinner at the Skyline Stratosfare Restaurant, where a panoramic view of Lake Rotorua accompanies award winning cuisine. We then visit the Redwoods for the magical night time experience of colour & light, where forest & fantasy come alive.
Wednesday 28th December Rotorua to Auckland
Returning home today we travel to Matamata where we will tour the delightful HobbitonTM movie set. Discover the secrets of making the movies and marvel at the detail before finishing at the Green Dragon with a cider. Lunch will be served in the Marquee. From Hobbiton, we continue through the Waikato to Auckland arriving back at approximately 5.30pm.