A Christian Tour Leader throughout the holiday
Return Economy Airfares
Quality hotel accommodation with private facilities
Sightseeing as outlined and all entry fees
Luggage assistance at hotels
Join CFT as we visit our Kiwi “cousins” across the “ditch” to explore New Zealand’s beautiful North Island. Home to unique Maori culture and natural wonders such as active volcanoes, dramatic caves, pristine islands and beaches the North Island also offers glorious gardens, vibrant cities and delicious food and wine. Connect with like minded people to share wonderful experiences, fun and fellowship for a truly memorable holiday.
Kia ora! We fly into Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city; based around 2 large harbours the city is affectionately known as the “City of Sails”. Tonight, we will enjoy our first group dinner together, so we can say Haere mai! (welcome!) – its going to be a wonderful holiday.
Enjoy a morning city sightseeing tour including a visit to the Auckland Sky Tower – at 328m tall it is one of the tallest buildings in the Southern Hemisphere offering you outstanding views of the Auckland CBD, the super yachts on Viaduct Harbour and the surrounding region. We will also see the new America’s Cup Village where the Kiwis will defend their title, the boutique shopping area of Parnell Village and Waterfront Drive. We travel north over the Auckland Harbour Bridge to visit the Parry Kauri Park – we awed by the magnificence of these Giant Kauri Trees. In Matakohe gain an insight into early New Zealand pioneering history when we visit the Kauri Museum before we travel on to Paihia in the beautiful Bay of Islands.
The Bay of Islands is considered a little piece of Paradise, well renowned for its 140 subtropical islands, pristine beaches, big-game fishing and Maori cultural artefacts. It’s also home to the 19th-century whaling port of Russell, whose waterfront promenade is lined with remnants from its days as the country’s first colonial capital. This morning relax on a luxury catamaran as we cruise the Bay of Islands to Cape Brett before making a passage through the Hole in the Rock. We disembark at Russell for lunch at the iconic Duke of Marlborough Hotel where they have been “Refreshing Rascals and Reprobates since 1827”. Take some time after lunch to explore this lovely little town before we return to Paihia on the ferry. From here we will travel the short distance to the Waitangi Treaty Grounds for a guided tour that includes the Waitangi Treaty House, where New Zealand’s history began.
This morning we farewell Paihia and travel south through undulating farmlands and the small settlements of Kawakawa and Hikurangi to the city of Whangarei. Our scenic drive continues south through the rural townships of Warkworth and Wellsford. We pass over the Bombay Hills, where market gardens supply home and export markets then continue along the east bank of the Waikato River – New Zealand’s longest waterway – travelling south through some of the country’s richest farmland in the lush Waikato Valley. Tonight, we will be staying in Hamilton, New Zealand’s largest inland city – a modern and vibrant city which is important for the dairy and agricultural sectors and is renowned for its educational institutions and as a centre for scientific research and innovation.
The stunning Hamilton Gardens are the Waikato’s most visited attraction; home to 142 acres of gardens they offer the unique concept of showcasing the cultural meaning and context of gardens over the past 4,000 years. Enjoy a relaxing stroll through the gardens, where ‘the story of gardens’ is explored through a series of five garden collections; the Paradise Garden Collection, the Productive Garden Collection, the Fantasy Garden Collection, the Cultivar Garden Collection and the Landscape Garden Collection.
We head south following the Waikato River through picturesque countryside to the small town of Tirau – the “corrugated-iron capital of the world”. Then through the lush Fitzgerald Glade and over the bush-clad Mamaku Ranges before reaching the thermal wonderland of Rotorua, the Sulphur City. Rotorua has the most energetic thermal activity in the country with bubbling mud pools, gushing geysers, beautiful coloured hot springs and terrace formations created by mineral water – visit Whakarewarewa Thermal Valley to see the famous Pohutu Geyser. Rotorua also has a large Maori population and whilst we are here, we will immerse ourselves in the local culture including a visit to Te Puia – The New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute.
A unique Sunday experience as we worship at the historic St Faith’s Anglican Church, where faith, art and culture meet. Intricately decorated with Māori carvings, tukutuku (woven panels), painted scrollwork it features beautiful windows including one of Christ wearing a Māori cloak, appearing to walk on the waters of Lake Rotorua, visible through the glass. Explore Rotorua with the remainder of your day at leisure. This evening we will be treated to a traditional Hangi (Maori feast) and Maori Concert. Experience the warmth of the Maori people during an evening of ceremonial rituals, powerful cultural performance, storytelling & hangi feasting. Enter the pre-European Maori village, witness the earth being scraped carefully away from the hangi pit and enter their ancestral Meeting House to relax as their family entertain you with a powerful cultural performance before a dinner cooked the traditional Maori way in an earth oven.
A day filled with dramatic scenery as we travel around the western side of Lake Taupo to the Tongariro Volcanic Plateau in the Tongariro National Park, a UNESCO cultural and natural World Heritage Site. The volcanoes of Ruapehu, Ngauruhoe and Tongariro dominate the landscape of the Central North Island. Taking the slightly longer route this afternoon, we continue down the section of SH1 known as the ‘Desert Road’ as it bisects the Rangipo Desert. This area has low sparse vegetation, mainly of tussock and snow grasses, is largely uninhabited and lies at an altitude of over 600m, with a large proportion over 1,000m, above sea level. We will stay overnight within the National Park.
Overnight: Tongariro National Park
A relaxed start this morning to allow time to enjoy this beautiful area – you may wish to venture out on a short walk, the Ridge Track has awesome views of the surrounding volcanoes as you reach the alpine shrubland. We travel the eastern side of the lake through Taupo to view the mighty Huka Falls; “huka” in Maori translates to “snow” as the water here has the appearance of snow falling. From here we will visit the Wairakei Geothermal Steam Field where, in a world-first, electricity in generated by tapping a natural steam field. Then we travel through the Kaweka Forest Park to the fertile region of Hawkes Bay, the ‘Fruit Bowl’ of New Zealand. As well as vineyards Hawke’s Bay is renowned as New Zealand’s Art Deco capital with Napier’s town centre recognised as having one of the largest collection of Art Deco buildings outside Miami. This evening we will enjoy dinner at one of the local wineries.
Today enjoy exploring this Art Deco town, first on a guided tour. Your tour will commence at the Art Deco Centre with a viewing of the 1931 Earthquake film, where you will hear of the devastation of the city and the stories of the people it left behind. Then embark on a 1-hour walk with a professionally trained Art Deco Trust guide, who will bring Napier’s fascinating architectural history to life for you as you take an easy stroll through the compact Art Deco Quarter in the vibrant city centre (2kms).
This afternoon visit a local chocolate factory. In addition to enjoying a selection of delicious chocolates and hearing all about how chocolate is made, this experience also includes self guided admission into “Chocolate Thru’ the Ages” museum. Covering 3,000 years of chocolate history, the museum tells the story of a food whose past is as rich as its flavour. Being the only comprehensive chocolate museum in the Asia Pacific region, it is a must to visit.
The remainder of your afternoon is at leisure to explore independently.
A relaxed start to the day before we depart Napier and continue south to Wellington; New Zealand’s capital city may be small but is brimming with natural beauty, heritage architecture, art and culture. Wedged between bush-clad hills and a splendid natural harbour, Wellington enjoys an incomparable setting of ever-changing moods. On a clear day, the harbour sparkles but the arrival of southern storms can bring amazingly dramatic seas and winds. Wellington is home to the New Zealand Parliament and Te Papa, the national museum which we will visit on arrival.
Get ready for a wonderful day filled with natural beauty. Enjoy some city sightseeing before we visit Otari/Wilton’s Bush, New Zealand’s only native botanic garden devoted solely to the cultivation and preservation of indigenous plants. We will explore the gardens using the network of paths and boardwalks and admire the native trees, fernery, small Alpine garden, fish pool and more. A ride on the historic cable car takes us from the city centre up to Wellington Botanic Gardens. With 25 hectares of gardens, offering ancient forests to colourful flower beds, this is a delightful experience enhanced by great views of the city and harbour.
This afternoon it is time for an adventure! First, we head up the Brooklyn Hill to a wind turbine to take in the great views of the city, the Cook Strait and the South Island. Then, it is on through the hills of private farmland towards Wellington’s south coast where there is the chance to encounter a number of animals including, goats, Red Deer and ostriches.
Once on the coast, we will drive along the beaches and stop to enjoy a cup of tea or coffee along with a gourmet muffin. View (from a safe distance) the famous Leaning Lighthouse and the area’s ever popular locals, the fur seals! Once hunted almost to extinction a ruling in the 1970s made these beautiful creatures a protected species and their numbers are increasing year on year. Glory in God’s Creation.
Today, we travel up the Kapiti Coast through the seaside town of Paraparaumu and onwards through the rural towns of Foxton and Bulls to reach the river city of Whanganui. From here, it is on up the coast to Hawera before continuing around through the coastal town of Opunake to Cape Egmont. Here enjoy a short walk out to the Lighthouse, and weather permitting look back past the Lighthouse for a magnificent view of Mount Taranaki, which is almost a perfect cone. Then further around the coast, through the towns of Okato, Oakura and Omata to arrive in New Plymouth.
Whilst the Taranaki region is known for its iconic mountain standing guard to the wild and rugged black sand beaches, New Plymouth is known for its coastal walkway stretching from Bell Block all the way to Port Taranaki. We will make a short stop at the 48-metre kinetic sculpture known as the ‘Wind Wand’ (designed by artist Len Lye) which is planted at the mid-way point.
Overnight: New Plymouth
We join together for an early morning service at the nearby Taranaki Cathedral Church of St Mary. Opened in September 1846 St Mary’s is the oldest stone church still standing in New Zealand whilst simultaneously being its newest Anglican Cathedral (consecrated in 2010).
Leaving New Plymouth we stop briefly at the amazing structure that is the Te Rewa Rewa Bridge for a photo stop. We then journey over Mt Messenger, then through Mokau and Awakino before turning inland to arrive at the famous Waitomo Caves. Here a guide will take you underground to view the amazing limestone caves featuring stalagmites and stalactites, which have taken centuries to form.
Continue to walk down to an underground stream to board a small boat to view the glow-worm grotto – an underground cavern featuring millions of glow-worms. From Waitomo we continue north through Waikato Valley, known for its dairy industry and horse breeding, then across the Bombay Hills and back into Auckland City. Enjoy a farewell dinner as we celebrate our final night after a wonderful tour together.
Haere rā (farewell) to New Zealand after a memorable holiday in “God’s Own Country”; we return home feeling blessed that we were able to share our experience of this little piece of Paradise with like minded people.
|Departs from:||Description||Twin PP||Single|
|SYDNEY||Sydney International Airport||$6,690||$7,960|
|MELBOURNE||Melbourne International Airport||$6,690||$7,960|
|BRISBANE||Brisbane International Airport||$6,690||$7,960|
Connections from Regional towns and cities arranged upon request (additional costs may apply)
Travel and fellowship
with other Christians
The care of a
Christian Tour Leader
Relax. Everything is
taken care of
Daily devotions and
organised Sunday service
Fully escorted with no
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