Leave Auckland for the delights of the Bay of Plenty staying two nights on Lake Rotoiti with Christmas lunch and a buffet dinner at your hotel. In Tauranga we stay at Trinity Wharf on the harbour’s edge. Special off-the-beaten-track highlights include a cruise on a luxury catamaran on Lake Rotoiti and riding the rail carts at Awakeri.
$2,690 per person, share twin
$500 single supplement
24 – 28 Dec, 2020
• 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
We depart Auckland for Cambridge where we stop for lunch on our way to our hotel at Okawa Bay on the shores of Lake Rotoiti. Just across the hotel’s lawn the large, luxury catamaran “Tuia” waits at the jetty. We set sail to explore the lake’s secluded reaches on our own private Christmas Eve cruise.
We call into Manupirua Hot Pools, reached only by water, for a late afternoon soak in the hot pools. We cruise back down the lake to the hotel’s jetty and dine in this evening at our hotel our home for two nights.
We visit beautiful Hamurana Spring, the deepest freshwater spring in the North Island and walk through the magnificent redwoods before heading back to our hotel for a Christmas lunch.
This afternoon we sightsee in Rotorua to Kuirau Park’s steaming mud pools and ride the Skyline gondola up Mount Ngongotaha to enjoy the spectacular views of Rotorua and its steaming geothermal landscape.
We return to our hotel to relax and enjoy the Christmas buffet.
This morning at Wingspan, the National Bird of Prey Centre, in Paradise Valley we watch the native Falcon (Karearea) on a flight training display.
After lunch we .head over to Tauranga to take a guided tour of a hidden gem, The Elms Mission homestead completed in 1847 and surrounded by gardens of National Significance.
We check into our hotel, Trinity Wharf, for two nights on the harbour’s edge and dine in both evenings.
After breakfast we drive across to Mount Maunganui to take a stroll along the beach boardwalk. Then we head further east to Papamoa to check out this fast-growing beachside town.
Near Te Puke, at Awakeri Station we meet Paul for a fun adventure. We hop on board his rail carts and take a leisurely scenic ride along the tracks towards Taneatua, stopping for a picnic lunch along the way. We return to Tauranga in the mid afternoon.
We leave Tauranga and drive through the Karangahake Gorge where rusting machinery is the only sign of the gorge’s fascinating gold-mining past.
At the Victoria Battery local guide George shows us through the Mining Museum’s collections.
A pretty back country road leads to the Waterlily Gardens where we stop for lunch and a wander among the waterlily ponds. In the mid afternoon we return to Auckland over the Hauraki Plains.
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.
Catching up with George at the Mine Museum, meeting Rachel at the Waterlily Gardens, setting forth on a rail cart adventure with Paul at Awakeri and sailing with Matt on his catamaran along the shoreline of Lake Rotoiti. It’s the passion of these people and their special places that make this holiday unique.