Wairarapa Wandering - MWW
Number of Days: 7
Destination: New Zealand
7 Day / 6 Night Tour departing Auckland, with stays in Napier, Martinborough, Wellington and the Grand Chateau Tongariro
The Wairarapa Wandering tour has a stay-put holiday feeling with three nights out in the Martinborough countryside at Brackenridge Country Retreat. On the way south we stay in Napier. From Martinborough we explore the Wairarapa coastline out to Cape Palliser lighthouse and Ngawi fishing village. Visit Greytown, where the boutique shops are tempting, and stunning gardens. Stay at the 5 star Bolton Hotel in the heart of Wellington, visit Te Papa and enjoy four private lunches along the way.
Day 1: Auckland - Taupo - Napier
We depart Auckland driving into the heart of the Waikato farmland. We stop for lunch at Lava Glass Cafe and visit Lynden Over's glass blowing studio and sculpture garden. We continue to Taupo where there are magnificent views across Lake Taupo to the three active volcanoes - Tongariro, Ngauruhoe and Ruapehu.
Then we travel over the rugged ranges to the Hawkes Bay known as New Zealand’s food basket - orchards, vineyards and market gardens abound. We check into Scenic Te Pania Hotel on the waterfront and dine in the hotel this evening.Accommodation - NAPIER - SCENIC HOTEL TE PANIA
Day 2: Napier - Havelock - Pukaha, Mt Bruce - Martinborough
This morning a specialist Art Deco guide boards our coach to tell the stories of the 1931 earthquake. We drive to the pretty, English style village of Havelock North before heading south to the farming towns of Waipukurau, Norsewood and Dannevirke.
We meet our guide at Pukaha Mt Bruce National Wildlife Centre and see the kaka at feeding time, also kiwi, kokako, takahe and tuatara, a "living fossil". In the late afternoon we reach Martinborough and nearby is our home for three nights, Brackenridge Country Retreat.Accommodation - MARTINBOROUGH - BRACKENRIDGE COUNTRY RETREAT & SPA
Day 3: Wairarapa sightseeing - Cape Palliser - Lake Ferry - Martinborough
We drive out to dramatic Cape Palliser Lighthouse stopping for photos at Ngawi, a quaint fishing village. At this southernmost tip of the North Island we are able to get close-up to the breeding seal colony lounging around on the rocks and frolicing in the sea.
We return along the coastal road to lunch at the classic Lake Ferry Pub and later check out Martinborough village and a vineyard.There’s time to refresh in the indoor swimming pool at Brackenridge.Accommodation - MARTINBOROUGH - BRACKENRIDGE COUNTRY RETREAT & SPA
Day 4: Wairarapa sightseeing - Stonehenge Aotearoa - Dursley - Greytown
At Stonehenge Aotearoa, built by the NZ Astronomical Society, we learn how early cultures used the sun, moon and stars for survival. Rising out of farm paddocks, this full scale working adaption of the original Stonehenge has to be seen to be believed. We travel country roads to Dursley to lunch with Judith Callaghan in her lovely garden.
We visit arty Greytown with its antique, craft and gift shops and Neil and Greg introduce us to leafy Kahikatea Gardens and their friendly animals. We dine at Brackenridge this evening.Accommodation - MARTINBOROUGH - BRACKENRIDGE COUNTRY RETREAT & SPA
Day 5: Martinborough - Fell Engine Museum - Pepped Warbeck Garden - Wellington
For a piece of local history we visit a museum where the only Fell Engine in the world has been restored to its former glory days of working on the Rimutaka Incline before we head over the winding Rimutaka Ranges road to lunch with Fee Weaver at Pepped Warbeck garden.
We visit Te Papa, New Zealand's National Museum on the Wellington waterfront and drive up Mt Victoria to admire the views, continuing our sightseeing around the harbour. We return to the city and later dine in at the Bolton Hotel.Accommodation - WELLINGTON - THE BOLTON HOTEL
Day 6: Wellington - Mairenui Farm, Mangaweka - The Chateau Tongariro
Travelling north from Wellington there are lovely sea views along the Kapiti Coast before the highway heads into the farmlands. We lunch with Sue and David Sweet at Mairenui Farm, near Mangaweka and enjoy their warm country hospitality.
Leaving Mairenui we drive on to Ohakune and around the slopes of Mount Ruapehu at 2,797 metres the North Island's highest mountain. We arrive at the Chateau Tongariro in time to relax before dining in this classic, landmark hotel.Accommodation - TONGARIRO NATIONAL PARK - CHATEAU TONGARIRO
Day 7: The Chateau Tongariro - Top o' the Bruce - Aramatai Gardens - Auckland
After breakfast, if the weather is kind, we drive up to The Top of the Bruce to enjoy the stunning views. Later we drive to Taumarunui and through the rugged farming landscape to enjoy lunch with farmers Jill and Leo Mouat at their lovely five acre Aramatai gardens and ponds.
Then we continue northwards through the Waikato to Auckland arriving in the late afternoon.
- All transport by comfortable, air conditioned coach (maximum of 18 travellers).
- Services of your knowledgeable Kiwi guide.
- Quality accommodation chosen for a “sense of place".
All Meals Are Included
- All breakfasts(B).
- All lunches(L) including special lunches at: Dursley Garden; Pepped Warbeck garden; farm lunch at Mairenui Farm, near Mangaweka; Aramatai Garden
- All dinners(D) including: The Chateau Tongariro, Tongariro National Park.
All Activities & Entrance Fees Are Included
- Lunch at Lave Glass and visit the glass blowing studio and sculpture garden.
- Drive Napier's Art Deco trail with a specialist Art Deco guide.
- See kaka, kiwi, takahe and tuatara at Pukaha Mt Bruce National Wildlife Centre.
- Wine tasting at a Wairarapa vineyard.
- Wander Kahikatea Gardens with resident farm animals.
- Stonehenge Aotearoa, built by the NZ Astronomical Society.
- Visit a museum with the only Fell Engine in the world.
- Explore Te Papa Museum in Wellington.
- Enjoy the stunning views and ambience of The Chateau Tongariro.
Included Sightseeing & Exploring
- We drive through the heart of the Waikato dairy farmlands.
- Magnificent views across Lake Taupo to the three active volcanoes - Tongariro, Ngauruhoe and Ruapehu.
- View the spectacular Waipunga Falls.
- Bluff Hill for outstanding city and ocean views, Napier.
- Tour Napier known for its Art Deco architecture.
- Hawkes Bay landscape of orchards and vineyards.
- Farming towns of Waipukurau, Norsewood and Dannevirke.
- Explore the boutique shops and cafes of Martinbourough.
- Drive out to dramatic Cape Palliser Lighthouse.
- View the seal colony at the southernmost tip of the North Island.
- Call in for lunch at the classic Lake Ferry Pub.
- Visit arty Greytown’s picturesque main street lined with antique, craft and gift shops.
- Drive over the Rimutaka Ranges to the Wellington.
- Drive up Mt Victoria for the views of the city and harbour.
- Kapiti Coast with views out to Kapiti Island bird sanctuary.
- Take the mountain road to the Top O' the Bruce to enjoy the panoramic view.
- Twin Share $3,190 per person | Single Traveller $3,790 per person