Intimate New Zealand 14 Days - North and South Islands From $6,199 pp (land only)
This itinerary is chock full of delightful experiences, vistas & vines, small boutique lodges, and will connect you with some of our favorite kiwi hosts who are passionate about food and wine! Experience the idyllic Bay of Islands, an aquatic paradise and also considered the ‘Birthplace of our Nation’. Visit local artists, and stroll the tranquil sands of Matakana. A stay on the edges of Lake Taupo, a favorite destination for New Zealanders, will round out your experience on the North Island, before you fly south to Nelson's golden beaches, and the aquamarine waters and idyllic bush walks of the stunning Abel Tasman National Park. Next it's off to the vines of the famous Marlborough Wine Region and opportunity to visit the charming port town of Picton and Marlborough Sounds. Your final nights will be spent amongst the magnificent landscapes of the Southern Alps in Queenstown and a scenic flight and cruise on stunning Milford Sound. 'Intimate New Zealand' will get you up close and personal with the wonderful people and places of New Zealand while savoring fantastic food and wine. Price Includes:
• 13 nights five star accommodation (based on double occupancy); • 14 days intermediate size rental car, auto, unlimited kms, daily insurance; • 10 breakfasts, one lunch and two gourmet dinners; • Heli Island Cruise; • Abel Tasman Full Day Cruise; • Scenic Flight & Cruise on Milford Sound; This itinerary can be customized to suit.
• International airfares; • Domestic flights within NZ • Meals (unless specified); • Travel Insurance
"We cannot stop extolling the wonders of New Zealand (the very air smelled good!), its people and, of course Jane's expertise in creating a most memorable itinerary for us. The combination of cars and domestic flights worked wonderfully. The actual paper itinerary was so precise with times to return cars, board planes arrive and leave. Only her actual presence taking us by the hand could have improved the execution. We were so enamored of NZ we said had we been younger (without children and grandchildren in the US) we would have considered emigrating to NZ. Our accommodations were wonderful and exceeded our expectations - we felt pampered and very much welcomed. Just one question: Can we become honorary Kiwis?" D. Steele, NY - Nov 2010
I T I N E R A R Y
Day 1: Bay of Islands
Today you will arrive in Bay of Islands. After collecting your rental car, you'll have a short drive to your accommodation and the afternoon at leisure.
Your luxury lodge accommodation boasts stunning views of the pristine Bay of Islands. The enjoyment of food, wine and congenial company are an integral part of your stay. Your hosts owned and operated (for 19 years) the renowned and award-winning Casuarina Restaurant and Country Inn in Australia's famous Hunter Valley wine region. Their motto was then, and still is: "the greatness of food lies in its simplicity".
Accommodation: 2 nights
Day 2: Bay of Islands
Today you'll experience a spectacular cruise escape in the Bay of Islands, departing Paihia on a scenic helicopter ride, then boarding a sea shuttle to an island of your choice for a day of hiking, fishing, snorkeling or just relaxing. Reservations for a gourmet dinner await you at your lodge.
Days 3 & 4: Bay of Islands - Matakana
Matakana is a small town north of Auckland surrounded by beautiful landscape and stunning coastline. This small town offers a fantastic Saturday village market, great local artists and a real New Zealand feel, yet only an hour away from Auckland's splendid harbors.
For the next two nights, you'll stay on a working, award-winning vineyard. This elegant and contemporary lodge offers only four romantic and private luxury suites with vineyard, beach, or ocean views.
Your luxury lodge was architecturally-designed to maximize the spectacular lake and mountain views, offering an uninterrupted panorama of Lake Taupo, Mount Tauhara and the Kaimanawa Ranges. Yours hosts for the next several nights are well traveled New Zealanders with a passion for food and wine and the outdoors.
Accommodation: 2 nights
Day 6: Taupo
The hosts at your lodge, Linda and Rick, will be happy to help plan a day in Taupo to suit your style. The choices are endless - a spectacular scenic flight over Lake Taupo, nearby active volcanoes, trout fly fishing with a professional guide, golf, kayaking, hiking, jetboating and much more! Rotorua is also a short 55 minute drive away.
Day 7: Taupo - Nelson (by air)
Today you'll fly from Taupo to Nelson, collect a rental car and enjoy a scenic drive to your luxurious accommodation in the Orinoco Valley. With three National Parks, beautiful beaches, secluded coves, native bush, and a community that loves to create, the Nelson region boasts plenty to do along with a sunny climate.
You'll spend two nights in an elegant English-style country house set amongst and area of outstanding natural beauty. The property has two luxurious suites and a cottage in the garden. 48 acres of private grounds will surround you in peace and beauty.
Accommodation: 2 nights
Day 8: Abel Tasman National Park
Enjoy a scenic cruise today to Tonga Island Marine Reserve and seal colony. You may choose to paddle sea kayaks in a tranquil lagoon, snorkel, take a bush walk or just sit back and enjoy the surroundings of New Zealand's most enchanting national park. A gourmet dinner awaits you tonight at your lodge.
Day 9: Nelson - Blenheim / Marlborough Wine Region Let your passion for food and wine lure you to Marlborough. Your luxury accommodation is located on a 10 acre Pinot Noir vineyard property in the heart of the wine country. Your host, Robyn, is one of New Zealand's most successful foodies, having worked as a food editor for 22 years and having published numerous cookbooks. This intimate property has just three suites.
Accommodation: 2 nights Day 10: Blenheim
Visit the local wineries, enjoy a vineyard lunch, visit local artisans or cycle the vines! Nearby Marlborough Sounds offers a clean, green paradise of bush and sea full of natural beauty, history and wildlife. Here you can learn how New Zealand's famous Greenshell Mussels are grown while savoring a glass of Savignon blanc onboard a cruise, experience bird watching and dolphins on a nature tour, kayak on the calm and sheltered waters, or take in spectacular views while walking on the Queen Charlotte Track. Suggested sightseeing experiences in Blenheim Day 11: Blenheim - Queenstown
Today you'll fly from Blenheim to Queenstown. So much beauty, so many opportunities for adventure. Queenstown’s fabled alpine scenery is absolutely for real. Your accommodation in Queenstown will be a 5 star hotel, boutique hotel or bed and breakfast.
Accommodation: 3 nights Day 12: Scenic Flight and Cruise on Milford Sound
A scenic flight and cruise to Milford Sound awaits you today - you will take in the breathtaking alpine scenery including glaciers, rivers, lakes and rainforest scenery along the way, and enjoy a birds eye view of Fiordland. Upon landing at Milford sound you will enjoy a cruise on the fiords of Milford Sound.
Today your New Zealand adventure ends. You will travel back to Queenstown airport to return your rental car.
I T I N E R A R Y E N D S
Conditions: Itinerary is strictly subject to availability at time of booking. This itinerary can be customized to fit your needs. Suggested sightseeing activities can be added, accommodations and car hire upgraded (additional cost) etc. Itinerary is subject to our booking conditions.