27th September - 2nd October 2020
|Sunday 27th Auckland to Taupo
This morning you will be collected from your Auckland address and transferred to the coach departure point. Departing Auckland we head to Gordonton where we visit Zealong Tea Estate. The tea estate, a Waikato icon, is the only commercial tea estate in New Zealand, producing 100% organic tea. Our tour quide will lead us along the tea trail through the history of tea as we learn how it is picked & processed. Enjoy a tea tasting with a High Tea lunch, before continuing on our way to Taupo for our overnight stay. Enjoy the resort's geothermally heated pools & hot tubs.
Wairakei Resort, Taupo 1 nightMonday 28th Taupo to Palmerston North
After a leisurely start, we board the Ernest Kemp, a beautiful replica of a 1920's steamboat for a trip on Lake Taupo. Cruising across the lake we will visit the famous Maori Rock Carvings, accessible only by boat. Following lunch in Taupo (own expense) we travel around the lake to Turangi and then skirt the Tongariro National Park as we head south through the central North Island to Palmerston North.
Copthorne Hotel, Palmerston North 1 nightTuesday 29th Palmerston North to Wairarapa
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Today we make our way over the Saddle Road, stopping at the Te Apiti Wind Farm lookout, before continuing into Woodville and the Wairarapa. A light lunch is enjoyed at Gladstone Vineyard whilst sampling a selection of locally produced wines. This afternoon we visit Stonehenge, a working replica of the mysterious 4,000 year old monument on the Salisbury Plains of England. Specifically designed for the southern hemisphere, we discover, on a fascinating guided tour and informative talk, how ancient cultures used the sun, moon and stars to work out the seasons for planting and hunting as well as navigation.
Copthorne Hotel, Masterton 2 nights
Wednesday 30th Wairarapa SightseeingBreakfast, Dinner
Travelling to Greytown we visit the Cobblestones Museum & view the collection of Victorian buildings housing fabulous displays of artifacts, photographs and information from the days of the early settlers. Be sure to check out the print shop and try your hand at printing. Time for a quick visit to Schoc Chocolate Shop before visiting Juno Olives for a tour and informative talk on growing and producing olives. Free time to enjoy lunch (own expense) in Greytown. This afternoon we take a tour of Brancepeth, one of the Wairarapa's grandest and most treasured historic sites. The colonial homestead and gardens are still owned by the Beetham family, who settled on the land in 1856.
Thursday 1st Wairarapa to Wellington
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Today we travel to the southern end of the Wairarapa and through the quaint and delightful townships of Featherston and Martinborough. Enjoy morning tea (own expense) in Martinborough, browse the delightful shops or visit the museum. We then join the wine maker at a boutique vineyard Julicher Wines, for an informative wine tasting, before enjoying lunch at the Lake Ferry Hotel famous for its fresh fish and chips. Situated on the shores of Lake Onoke, overlooking Palliser Bay, the Lake Ferry Hotel is one of the oldest licensed hotels in New Zealand. Leaving the Wairarapa we head over the Rimutaka Ranges and into Wellington.
West Plaza Hotel, Wellington 1 night
Friday 2nd Wellington to Hometown
The morning you have free time for shopping or visiting Te Papa Museum, before you are transferred to Wellington airport for your flight home.
The tour of Zealong Tea Estate is 60-90 minutes duration and will involve walking.
Brancepeth is a walking tour of the grounds and around the buildings. The tour takes up to two hours and will conclude in the homestead with afternoon tea.