Get a taste for New Zealand the way it used to be. Take the road less travelled around the stunning East Cape to Hicks Bay and on to Gisborne and Rotorua, enjoying local hospitality along the way.
- All transport by comfortable, air conditioned coach (maximum of 18 travellers).
- Services of your knowledgeable guide.
- Quality accommodation chosen for a “sense of place".
All Meals Are Included
- All breakfasts(B).
- All lunches(L) including special lunches at: private homestead, Anaura Bay; Bushmere Estate vineyard, Gisborne; Te Wairoa Buried Village, Lake Tarawera.
- All dinners(D).
All Activities & Entrance Fees Are Included
- We tour a kiwifruit orchard on quaint carts.
- East Cape Manuka Company.
- St Mary’s Church at Tikitiki .
- Tairawhiti Museum features major Maori and Captain Cook displays.
- World-renowned Eastwoodhill Arboretum.
- Tiromoana, a stunning coastal garden at Wainui Beach.
- Visit Rotorua Museum's gardens and Kuirau Park.
- Entry into the grounds and museum at Te Wairoa Buried Village, Lake Tarawera.
Included Sightseeing & Exploring
- Cruise over the Hauraki Plains to Waihi.
- Stunning ocean views along the dramatic coastal highway.
- Te Araroa’s huge pohutakawa tree.
- Mt Hikurangi, the first place in New Zealand to see the sunrise.
- Anaura Bay a pristine East Coast beach with golden sand.
- Discover the pretty seaside town of Gisborne.
- Kaiti Bay that marks the spot where Captain Cook landed in 1769.
- Drive through the beautiful native forests of Waioeka Gorge.
- The bush-clad shores of Lake Rotoma and Lake Rotoiti.
- Tour past the Green Lake and Blue Lake to Lake Tarawera.
Auckland - Waihi - Mount Maunganui - Whakatane
Your Kiwi guide meets you this morning. We’re heading Eastwards! Down the southern motorway and over the Hauraki Plains and through the dramatic Karangahake Gorge to Waihi for a stroll in this historic goldmining town.
Continuing south we drive to Mt Maunganui for lunch, and visit a kiwifruit orchard where we tour by special transport and hear the history of this major industry. We continue to Whakatane, and our waterfront motel just opposite the Whakatane Wharf. We dine out this evening.
Whakatane - Te Kaha - Hicks Bay
After breakfast we drive to Ohope Beach and down the coast to Opotiki. There are stunning ocean views along the dramatic coastal highway as we make our way to the old whaling settlement of Te Kaha to lunch with Trudy Kar at Tui Lodge.
We continue along the coast to Raukokore Church, sitting right on the beachfront it's a favourite photo stop. At the East Cape Manuka Company we meet the pioneers of this Manuka honey and oil business. We stay at Hicks Bay Motel Lodge and dine in this evening.
Hicks Bay - Anaura Bay - Gisborne
We visit Te Araroa’s huge pohutakawa tree and St Mary’s, a beautifully decorated church built in 1926 as a memorial to the soldiers of Ngati Porou who died in World War I. Mt Hikurangi, the first place to see the sunrise, dominates the landscape.
Tokomaru and Tologa Bay Wharves are relics of the days when the sea provided easier access than roads. At Anaura Bay we lunch at “Rangimarie” to enjoy Judy Newell’s hospitality and the magical views. We stay two nights in Gisborne and dine out this evening.
Gisborne - Eastwoodhill Arboretum - Tairawhiti Museum
Discover the pretty town of Gisborne including the wonderful surf beaches that draw the summer crowds. We visit the granite memorial at Kaiti Bay that marks the spot where Captain Cook landed in 1769 and also Tairawhiti Museum which features major Maori and Captain Cook displays.
Lunch at Bushmere Estate vineyard and visit world-renowned Eastwoodhill Arboretum, 65 hectares of trees and shrubs. A special vehicle transports us around the gardens. Dine in Gisborne this evening.
Gisborne - Opotiki - Rotorua
We visit Prof Jack Richard's and Won Gyu Moon's stunning coastal garden, Tiromoana, at Wainui Beach then drive through the beautiful native forests of the Waioeka Gorge.
We stop for lunch in the seaside town of Opotiki before travelling westward to Rotorua, passing by the bush-clad shores of Lake Rotoma and Lake Rotoiti. In the summertime both lakes are popular holiday spots.
On arrival at your hotel you could enjoy a dip in the indoor thermal pools. We dine in the hotel.
Rotorua - Auckland
This morning we sightsee in Rotorua including the Museum's gardens and the geothermal activity in Kuirau Park.
We enjoy a farewell lunch hosted by our Rotorua friends Karen and David Walmsley in the one of kind setting of Te Wairoa Buried Village. Our homeward journey passes through Tirau and Cambridge before reaching Auckland in the late afternoon.