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Rimu

16 Days

The Rimu Tour explores the highlights of the North and South Islands. Explore the geothermal activities and authentic Maori culture of Rotorua, cruise Milford Sound and make the most of the abundance of walking opportunities the country has to offer as you travel through New Zealand’s fabulous landscapes.

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Day 1 - Auckland

M Social Hotel, Auckland

Haere mai – welcome! Spend the afternoon and evening at your leisure exploring the ‘City of Sails’.

Day 2 - Auckland to Coromandel Peninsula

Oceans Resort, Whitianga

Breakfast

Today take a scenic cruise to the Coromandel Peninsula. Visit the Driving Creek Railway where we climb 120m on a narrow-gauge line to the ‘Eyefull’ Tower for panoramic views over the Hauraki Gulf. Drive east across the Peninsula through beautiful scenery to reach the resort of Whitianga on Mercury Bay.

Day 3 - Coromandel Peninsula

Oceans Resort, Whitianga

Breakfast

White cliffs, golden beaches, inviting turquoise waters and green forests are the colours of the Coromandel. Visit Hot Water Beach, when the tide is right you can dig your very own ‘spa’ pool with warm spring water bubbling up through the sand. We walk to Cathedral Cove, one of the most photogenic beaches in New Zealand. Depart by water taxi back to Hahei where your driver will be waiting to take you to Cooks Beach.

From Cooks Beach you can choose to catch the short ferry ride back to Whitianga and walk to your accommodation – OR - travel back with your driver.

Day 4 - Coromandel Peninsula to Rotorua

Prince’s Gate Hotel, Rotorua

Breakfast

We take the Pacific Coast Highway to Tauranga before turning inland. En-route to Rotorua we visit a bushwalk with scenic lookouts over Okere Falls. In Rotorua, the epicentre of New Zealand’s geothermal activity and Maori heritage, we visit Te Puia and enjoy a private guide through this active geothermal site and home to the nation’s centre for indigenous arts and crafts.

Day 5 - Rotorua

Prince’s Gate Hotel, Rotorua

Breakfast
Dinner

Today you have the choice of two excursions:

a) Visit the Waimangu Volcanic Valley

Site of the 1886 eruption of Mt. Tarawera which buried villages and destroyed the world-famous ‘Pink and White’ terraces, once considered to be the eighth wonder of the world. Walk through the valley created by the catastrophic event, past boiling craters and jewel-coloured steaming lakes.

b) Experience the real Middle-earth with a visit to the Hobbiton Movie Set

Visit the delightful setting that featured in Peter Jackson’s films, The Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit film series.

This evening travel to a Marae (Maori Village). Experience a formal welcome (powhiri), learn about Maori life, both past and contemporary and enjoy a powerful cultural performance, storytelling and Hangi (feasting).

Day 6 - Rotorua to Napier

Scenic Hotel Te Pania, Napier

Breakfast
Dinner

Today we travel past Lake Taupo where we visit the powerful Huka Falls. Onto Napier where our local guide will bring history and architecture alive as we discover Art Deco Napier on foot. Enjoy dinner at New Zealand’s oldest winery, Mission Estate, in the restored seminary buildings with sweeping views of Napier.

Day 7 - Napier to Wellington

James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor, Wellington

Breakfast

Travel through the vineyards and orchards of Hawke’s Bay and the bush-clad ranges of the Wairarapa into New Zealand’s capital city, Wellington. Take the Wellington Cable Car down into the central city precinct before visiting Te Papa – one of the most exciting museums in the world.

Day 8 - Wellington to Nelson

Heritage Rutherford Hotel, Nelson

Breakfast

Our day commences with the Interislander ferry journey crossing Cook Strait to the South Island. From here we travel the short distance to Blenheim in the heart of the Marlborough wine country. What better way to enjoy this region famous for its Sauvignon Blanc than with wine tasting at one of Marlborough’s premier wineries? We then cross to Nelson, your base for the next two nights.

Day 9 - Abel Tasman National Park

Heritage Rutherford Hotel, Nelson

Breakfast

Abel Tasman National Park is a mosaic of golden coves and turquoise lagoons sheltered by forested ranges to the south. This morning from Kaiteriteri, your tour includes a choice of one activity from these three options:

a) Non - Walking Option. Full Park Scenic Cruise (3-4 hour cruise)

A morning cruise reveals the golden sands and turquoise waters of Abel Tasman National Park. Enjoy time at leisure in Kaiteriteri and return to Nelson on the late afternoon transfer.

b) Walking Option 1. Astrolabe Beaches and Bays (7km, 2.5 hour walk)

After the scenic cruise, disembark at Apple Tree Bay for a self-guided walk to fabulous Anchorage Beach. Late afternoon shuttle transfer back to Nelson.

c) Walking Option 2. Forest and Swing-Bridge (10.5km, 4 hour walk)

After the scenic cruise, disembark at Medlands Beach for a self-guided walk that includes the scenic highlights of the South Head lookout, the famous Falls River swing-bridge and Cleopatra’s Pool. Late afternoon transfer back to Nelson.

Day 10 - Nelson to Punakaiki

Punakaiki Resort, Punakaiki

Breakfast

Today we head south through enchanting alpine landscapes and deep river gorges to the Nelson Lakes National Park. Punakaiki is renowned for its rugged coastline and famous ‘Pancake Rocks’ and blowholes.

Day 11 - Punakaiki to Fox Glacier

Distinction Hotel, Fox Glacier

Breakfast

We pass through historic small towns before reaching Hokitika and its dramatic gorge. Continue south to Franz Josef then on to the small remote village of Fox. An optional helicopter ride with a snow landing is a terrific way to experience the sheer grandeur of the Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers (extra cost).

Day 12 - Fox Glacier to Wanaka

Edgewater Resort, Wanaka

Breakfast

Have your camera ready for your visit to nearby Lake Matheson for a morning stroll - when conditions are right the lake perfectly mirrors beautiful Mt. Cook in its still waters. We head up over the Haast Pass and into Mt. Aspiring National Park to reach Lake Wanaka.

Day 13 - Wanaka

Edgewater Resort, Wanaka

Breakfast

This morning you have the choice of two excursions:

a) Join a local eco-guide

Cruise across the lake to a predator-free island with walking tracks, rare birds and stunning landscape views.

b) Experience New Zealand’s most authentic 4WD adventure

Explore remote High Country farmland this journey is an insight into the history of the area and its breath-taking scenery.

This afternoon is at your leisure to relax or enjoy your own choice of activities.

Day 14 - Wanaka to Te Anau

Distinction Hotel Luxmore, Te Anau

Breakfast

Today we depart Wanaka with our first stop at the much photographed Cardrona Pub before we continue on to the historic goldmining village of Arrowtown. We journey through glacial formed valleys to Lake Te Anau.

Day 15 - Te Anau to Milford Sound to Queenstown

Scenic Suites, Queenstown

Breakfast
Lunch

Enjoy the scenic drive to Milford Sound and board a comfortable vessel for a cruise past towering Mitre Peak to the Tasman Sea. A boxed picnic lunch is served onboard. Following the cruise, we retrace our journey back to Te Anau and travel around spectacular Lake Wakatipu to Queenstown.

Day 16 - Depart Queenstown
Breakfast

Haere ra – farewell from New Zealand. After breakfast you are transferred to Queenstown Airport for your return home taking with you fond memories of your time in New Zealand. Alternatively, should you wish to extend your stay in New Zealand, we can assist you with additional travel arrangements.

Rimu Featured Experiences

• A scenic cruise from Auckland to the Coromandel Peninsula

• Narrow-gauge railway journey through native Coromandel bush

• Visit Hot Water Beach and photogenic Cathedral Cove

• A private guide around an active geothermal site

• Visit Waimangu Volcanic Valley – or – experience Hobbiton Movie Set

• Delve into Maori life and enjoy a powerful cultural performance and feast

• Enjoy a wine tasting and evening meal at Mission Estate in Napier

• Travel on Wellington’s famous Cable Car and visit Te Papa museum

• Scenic Interislander Ferry journey across the Cook Strait

• Wine tasting at one of Marlborough’s premier wineries

• Cruise the turquoise waters of Abel Tasman National Park

• Visit world-famous Pancake Rocks and blowholes at Punakaiki

• Visit a predator-free island – or – enjoy a 4WD adventure

• Cruise, with a picnic lunch, on the breathtaking Milford Sound

M Social Hotel, Auckland

M Social Hotel is a unique contemporary hotel, appealing to the curious, the explorers and those who thrive on new experiences. It offers form and function in a casual setting, featuring spaces that are designed to be flexible to guest's needs. The hotel overlooks the vibrant Princes Wharf and is close to a stunning array of dining, entertainment and shopping experiences.

Oceans Resort, Whitianga

Nestled on the western shore of the beautiful Mercury Bay and only a stone’s throw from the golden sands of Buffalo Beach, you will find the relaxed luxury Whitianga Apartments of Oceans Resort in the heart of popular Whitianga. The resort is only a short stroll to the ferry and the picturesque marina or wander through the town centre where you will find an abundance of cafés, restaurants and bars, and boutique stores. Please note these are self-contained apartments and there is no restaurant onsite.

Prince’s Gate Hotel, Rotorua

This boutique property is a prominent showpiece in the heart of Rotorua. Originally built in the gold mining town of Waihi, in 1917 nail by nail and board by board, the hotel was dismantled and transferred by horse-drawn wagon to the Waihi Railway Station and the timber and fittings were duly taken by rail to Rotorua. It is now sited opposite the entrance to the stunning Government Gardens. A visit to the Princes Gate Hotel is an exciting escape back in time.

Scenic Hotel Te Pania, Napier

The hotel enjoys a premium waterfront location on Napier’s Marine Parade and is a short stroll from the main art deco style street. Styled to complement its remarkable location the hotel boasts design awards and is perfectly sited to enjoy the famous sunrises of the Hawke’s Bay - one of the first places in the world to see the light each day.

James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor, Wellington

Located in the heart of Wellington this hotel is minutes from popular landmarks and activities such as the Cable Car, Parliament buildings, and Lambton Quay’s shopping district. A perfect balance between elegance and comfort, the hotel has two renowned restaurants, bars, a day spa and fitness room – so all your comforts and needs should be covered!

Heritage Rutherford Hotel, Nelson

Situated in Trafalgar Square, Nelson, the hotel boasts a prime spot only minutes walk from Nelson’s landmark cathedral and main shopping district (including, just a block away, Jens Hansen Goldsmiths; creators of the ring in The Lord of the Rings film trilogy). If you choose not to venture out, the hotel has two highly regarded restaurants onsite, plus a sauna, gym and outdoor pool to work up your appetite!

Punakaiki Resort, Punakaiki

Just two minutes’ walk from the beach, this comfortable and environmentally friendly hotel in Paparoa National Park is only 300 metres from the magnificent Pancake Rocks and Blowholes. The limestone stacks have been sculptured by the weather and sea leaving unique stacks resembling pancakes layered on top of each other!

Distinction Hotel, Fox Glacier

Distinction Hotel Fox Glacier is situated in one of the world’s most ruggedly beautiful environments - nestled beneath the towering Southern Alps on the stunning West Coast of New Zealand. The hotel’s location provides a real sense of privacy and peaceful seclusion, while being only a short stroll to the charming Fox Glacier village.

Edgewater Resort, Wanaka

The hotel is in a fantastic location, just a short walk from town, and directly on the shores of the beautiful Lake Wanaka. The hotel enjoys amazing views of the lake’s clear blue waters and with the backdrop of the Mt. Aspiring National Park it’s no surprise the area is a focal point for keen photographers.

Distinction Hotel Luxmore, Te Anau

Te Anau is a charming South Island town based on the eastern side of Lake Te Anau, the South Island’s largest lake. The hotel is conveniently located in the heart of Te Anau and just a short stroll from the glacially formed lake. The hotel has two on-site restaurants for you to choose from, their eateries and bars are a popular choice with both visitors and locals alike.

Scenic Suites, Queenstown

This inspiring resort town at the foot of the Southern Alps attracts those looking for an unforgettable trip. The Scenic Suites provides one of the most sought-after locations for Queenstown hotels. The hotel’s elevated position gives fantastic views of the Southern Alps and Lake Wakatipu, New Zealand’s longest lake, carved from a glacier more than 15,000 years ago.

What is the size of New Zealand?

New Zealand is 266,200 square kilometres - similar in size to Great Britain or Japan, but unlike these countries New Zealand has a population of less than 5 million. The country comprises of two main islands; the North Island (Te Ika-a-Maui), and the South Island (Te Waipounamu).

Do I need a passport or visa to enter New Zealand?

All visitors to New Zealand must carry a passport that is valid for at least three months beyond the date they intend to leave the country. Some visitors must have an Electronic Travel Authority and pay an International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy before travelling to New Zealand. For more information about visas and visitor regulations, visit www.immigration.govt.nz.

When is the best time to come to New Zealand?

New Zealand really is an all-year round destination as it enjoys a mild climate ranging from temperate areas at the bottom of the South Island to sub-tropical regions in the upper North Island. We have designed our Small Group Tours around the most popular times to visit, through spring, summer and autumn.

What is the typical age group of the people that travel on your tours?

Our Small Group Tours appeal to a broad range of ages but typically our clients are in the 50+ age group.

What sort of clothing should I bring with me?

When on tour in New Zealand dress is generally relaxed and casual with an informal dress standard on most occasions. Casual wear is recommended for travelling with something a little more formal for evening dining. If taking part in outdoor activities, make sure you have a waterproof coat, comfortable footwear and dress in layers to help you adjust to any sudden changes in climate. Be prepared for New Zealand’s powerful sun, even on cold windy days, bringing a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen.

Do I need any vaccinations?

No vaccinations are required for entry into New Zealand.

What currency should I bring with me?

The official currency is the New Zealand Dollar (NZD$). Foreign currency can easily be exchanged at banks, some hotels and Bureau de Change kiosks which are found at international airports and in most city centres. All major credit card can be used in New Zealand, with Visa and MasterCard accepted most widely. ATM ’s are generally available in all except the most rural areas.

Can I use my mobile phone in New Zealand?

Many international mobile phones will work in New Zealand although higher rates can often apply, please check with your phone/network provider before leaving home to confirm. Alternatively, prepaid SIM cards are available to purchase when you arrive in New Zealand. Mobile coverage is extensive across most of the country but not available in some remote and rural areas.

Is tipping expected?

Tipping is not obligatory or expected in New Zealand but if you choose to reward a job well done it is always greatly appreciated.

What are the legislations around smoking?

It is now illegal to smoke indoors in workplaces and hospitality venues including restaurants, bars, cafes, casinos and hotel lobbies. If you wish to smoke, you will need to smoke outdoors.

Does New Zealand have any dangerous animals?

New Zealand does not have any poisonous snakes, dangerous animals and only one poisonous spider – the Katipo which is very rare and only found in certain coastal areas and Katipo bites are rare. If travelling to Fiordland, insect repellent is strongly recommended as the sand-flies are large and determined!

Do I need travel Insurance?

While New Zealand’s medical facilities, both private and public, provide a high standard of treatment and care, it is strongly recommended that all travellers hold comprehensive travel insurance (including full medical, cancellation and repatriation) before departing their home country. Visitors to New Zealand are covered for subsidised treatment for personal injury caused by accident under the Government-run ACC scheme. However ACC does not cover any medical treatment relating to illness. Visitors should have their own medical insurance cover.

Departure Date Price Single Supplement Availability
Fri 15 Nov 2019 $6,350 USD $2,030 USD Available
Sat 18 Jan 2020 $6,900 USD $2,160 USD Available
Sat 22 Feb 2020 $6,900 USD $2,160 USD Tour Unavailable
Sat 21 Mar 2020 $6,900 USD $2,160 USD Available
Sat 25 Apr 2020 $6,350 USD $2,030 USD Available
Sat 23 May 2020 $5,520 USD $1,800 USD Available
Sat 17 Oct 2020 $6,625 USD $2,095 USD Available
Sat 21 Nov 2020 $6,625 USD $2,095 USD Available
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