On this Short Break you’ll travel with a different Driver Guide and group of like-minded travelers each day, for a more diverse experience.
Travel through the lush farmland past Rangiriri, the location of a historic Maori Land Wars site. On arrival in Waitomo, tour with a local guide through the world-famous Waitomo Caves. Finish with a silent boat ride through the Glow Worm Grotto, a subterranean cavern lit by thousands of tiny glow worms. Later cross the Central North Island and enter Middle-earth! Just outside the rural township of Matamata is the private farm that was transformed into The Shire for Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies. Visit Hobbiton, home to Bilbo, Frodo and friends, for a guided tour and find out how the sets were created. You’ll get the chance to see Hobbit holes, the Mill, the Green Dragon Inn and many other structures created for the films. Afterwards, continue to Rotorua.
Hotel: Copthorne Hotel (R) or Millennium Hotel (F), Rotorua, 2 nights
Breakfast,Lunch and Dinner provided.
Your first stop is Te Puia, one of New Zealand’s foremost cultural venues. Immerse yourself Maori tradition, see master carvers and weavers at work, then enter the neighbouring Whakarewarewa Thermal Valley, an extraordinary landscape of geysers, steam and bubbling pools of boiling mud. At Rainbow Springs Nature Park see kiwi in the nocturnal viewing house and learn about conservation efforts to protect these endangered birds. You can also get up close to a wide range of native and exotic birds, fish, reptiles and other animals. Then get a taste of New Zealand’s agricultural industry at the Agrodome, a working farm where you can see all kinds of rural action! Your tour concludes with a one hour lunch cruise around Lake Rotorua on board the historic paddle boat, the Lakeland Queen. Take in the sights of Sulphur Bay, Hinemoa’s Point, Mokoia Island and Kawaha Point. Tonight enjoy a unique Maori Hangi feast and concert on a local Marae.
Breakfast at hotel. Spend a free day in Rotorua before returning through lush forests to Auckland.
Breakfast at hotel. You’ll be transferred to Auckland Airport for your onward flight (flights anytime)