Christmas in Taranaki

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Christmas in Taranaki

Christmas in Taranaki

5 Day / 4 Night Tour over Christmas to Taranaki for the Festival of Lights in New Plymouth and Tongariro National Park.

Stay three nights at New Plymouth’s Waterfront Hotel with the Festival of Lights at Pukekura Park and celebrate Christmas lunch at the Nice Hotel. Chaddy’s lifeboat cruise and the Forgotten World Highway are special attractions.

Tour at a Glance


$2,690 per person, share twin

$500 single supplement

Tour Date:

23 – 27 Dec, 2020 WAIT LIST

Fitness Level

Moderate walking with some uneven ground

Group Size Limited

maximum 18 travellers


• All meals
• Entrance fees
• All transport by comfortable, air conditioned coach (maximum of 18 travellers).
• Services of your knowledgeable guide.
• Quality accommodation chosen for a “sense of place”.


• Domestic airfares

Tour Itinerary

For full details please request a Free Information Pack (Form to the right)

Day 1Auckland - Piopio - New Plymouth

We depart Auckland and travel south to the King Country, stopping for lunch in Piopio.

Continuing through the scenic Awakino Gorge to the Tasman coast and south to Mokau, we traved over bush clad Mt Messenger, reaching New Plymouth in the late afternoon.

Your hotel is right on the seafront just across from Len Lye’s Wind Wand kinetic sculpture and the waterfront boardwalk. We dine in the hotel’s restaurant this evening.

Day 2New Plymouth - Christmas lunch - Festival of Lights

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast in your hotel then cross the road to take a stroll along the boardwalk that stretches right along the coastline.

We celebrate Christmas with lunch at the Table Restaurant at the Nice Boutique Hotel with host Terry Parkes.

We return to The Waterfront Hotel to refresh and relax and this evening we drive a few streets away to catch the Christmas night atmosphere at the once a year event when Pukekura Park is transformed by the Festival of Lights.

Day 3Boxing Day - New Plymouth harbour cruise - Sightseeing

A specialist guide joins our coach to tell us the stories of the city’s historic places as we sight see around the town. We call into the Len Lye Centre and lunch next door at Monica’s .

In the afternoon we meet our skipper Chaddy and take a one hour cruise on a classic English lifeboat built in the Isle of Wight in 1953. Our cruise takes us out to the Sugar Loaf Islands Marine Park. The seven islands in the group are the eroded remnants of a volcano, and are home to an array of birds and wildlife including the northern-most fur seal colony.

Day 4New Plymouth - Cairnhill Farm - Whangamomona - The Chateau Tongariro

We drive to Stratford and turn onto SH43 – the “Forgotten World Highway”. We hear the stories of the highway over morning tea at Cairnhill Farm with Colin and June Lees before continuing to Whangamomona where in 1988 residents declared the town a republic after boundary changes put half the district into the Manawatu.

We lunch at Whangamomona Hotel then travel on to Laurens Lavender Farm and Taumarunui. We arrive at The Chateau Tongariro in time to enjoy the views of the Tongariro National Park before dining in this landmark hotel.

Day 5The Chateau - Aramatai Gardens - Crosshills Farm - Auckland

There’s a leisurely start this morning. If the weather is clear we drive to the Top O’ the Bruce for more expansive views. Then we’re bound for Taumarunui to visit Jill Mouat at Aramatai gardens.

Leaving the mountains we head north to lunch with Debbie Robertson at Crosshills Farm Garden.

We continue north through the Waikato farmlands to Auckland arriving in the late afternoon.


Some great news… while we wait for international borders to re-open, there is no better time to see a bit of our own backyard and help our local communities get back to business. 

We’re excited to let you know that we have partnered with MoaTours, one of New Zealand’s leading and most trusted local tour operators since 1971. MoaTours offers a range of small group tours all over New Zealand that we think you’ll love — from Cape Reinga to Stewart Island.  

A a family run business just like Tours Direct, MoaTours has great connections and unbeatable local knowledge of New Zealand’s best kept secrets. They also share common values so we know you will be well looked after and have a great experience.

There’s lots to enjoy in New Plymouth. Christmas lunch is hosted by Terry with wit and flair at The Nice Hotel. Pukekura Park comes alight at night and there’s a cruise around the Sugar Loaf Islands on Chaddy’s lifeboat. Lunch with Debbie Robertson at Crosshills Garden is fitting finale.

The Nevo
The Charger
The Charger Mixte

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Silver Spirit - La Terrazza

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