9 days in New Zealand with seasoned tour guides as we visit the Hobbiton Movie Set, explore the Waitomo Glowworm caves, walk the black sand beaches, visit the Whakarewarewa Maori Village, and much more.
Fly Las Vegas, U.S.A. ~ Auckland, New Zealand
(Cross International Date Line. Lose a day on outbound. Gain it back on Return)
Arrive Auckland International Airport.
Auckland Sky Tower ( the tallest man-made structure in New Zealand and offers breathtaking views for up to 80 kilometres in every direction)
Auckland Corn Maze (depends on the arrival time)
Drive to Hamilton (123 KM, 2 hr) Hotel: Hamilton (4 nights)
(50 km, 1 hr Drive from Hamilton)
Kiwi Bird House (Close-up viewing of kiwi bird-New Zealand’s national bird. Rare Great Spotted Kiwi and Brown Kiwi on display.)
Otorohanga Glow Worm Caves(Place high in the New Zealand vacation wish-list. Enjoy the world famous boat ride under thousands of magical glow worms and become a part of over 120 years of cultural & natural history)
The Boat Ride (Marvel at Mother Nature’s light display as you glide silently through the starry wonderland of the Glow Worm Grotto. Meander underground along the Waitomo River and gaze in silence at the myriad of glow worm lights that make up the Glow Worm Grotto. As you enter this galaxy of tiny living lights, you will immediately experience a serene ambience and be fascinated and intrigued by the glow worms that light your way.)
Return to Hamilton about 4:00pm
Maori Handicrafts Class (or similar cultural activity)
Hamilton Lake Picnic
Classics Cars Museum
Hamilton Gardens (afternoon group activity)( The 54-hectare park is based on the banks of the Waikato River and includes enclosed gardens, open lawns, a lake, a nursery, a convention centre and the Hamilton East Cemetery. The site features 21 gardens representing the art, beliefs, lifestyles and traditions of different civilisations or historical garden styles. These gardens are grouped into the Paradise, Productive, Fantasy, Cultivar and Landscape garden collections, and there is space for gardens which are still in development.)
Hobbiton Movie Set (a significant location used for The Lord of the Rings film trilogy and The Hobbit film series. During your tour you will see Hobbit Holes, The Green Dragon Inn, The Mill, double arched bridge, and other structures and gardens built for the films.)
Craters of the Moon
Hotel: Rotorua (4 nights)
Agrodome & Farm Tour (You’ll hear amazing facts and have a few laughs as you are introduced to 19 breeds of sheep. Then, witness a live sheep shearing demonstration. The farm dogs will amaze you as they demonstrate their ability to repond to commands and keep those sheep (and ducks!) in line! See sheep dogs work the flock and try your hand at feeding the lambs. Farm tour. There is also a kiwi fruit farm inside, and they will let you taste the juice, wine and honey during the tour.)
Mountain Maunganui – short hike to top, panorama view of Bay
Paradise ValleyWildlife Park (At Paradise Valley Springs, a variety of NZ wildlife--deer, pigs, thar, and wallabies may be hand fed. View native New Zealand birds, waterfowl on wetlands and walk-through. Walk right up in the tree canopy on the Rainforest Treetops Walk-- solid boardwalk is up to 20 ft off the ground.)
The Redwoods (Whakarewarewa Forest)
Lake Rotorua (Picnic or Dinner by the lake)
Whakarewarewa Maori Village (Follow your guide through the traditional village located within the volcanic valley, where you can experience a live weaving display within the art and craft gallery. The carvings of the traditional meetinghouse burst from the posts with facial art, bulging eyes, and protruding tongues in imitation of spirits and warriors. As the sound of exploding geysers and thundering water fades into the distance, the oral history of the Maori people fills the quiet. The stories fade, the sizzle and bubble of the geyser disappears, and you make your way back to your accommodation full of cultural understanding and the memory of the bubbling earth.)
Free Afternoon: Options ~ a. Gondola Ride & Buffet Dinner b. Rainbow Springs
Day tour on the way back to Auckland International Airport (8:00am-5:00pm)
Coramandel -Hot sand pools
Flight Home (estimated flight 5:15pm)
"It is a totally different country from what I was expecting. Warm and inviting."
"What a great cultural experience. The tour guides made it exceptional."
"This trip is worth it, and it's only half over!"