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From North to South

14 Day North & South Island Adventure

Myth has it that this country of rare seismic beauty was hauled from the ocean like a giant fish...the youngest country on earth and the last place to be settled by humans. North Island is captivating, everything from a bustling metropolis - Auckland, to the velvety-green hills of Wellington, to a subtropical rain forest. The South Island is a time capsule, revealing what New Zealand looked like before humans arrived some 1,000 years ago. It is a place of spectacular scenery. This unique, 14-day day itinerary gives you glorious and diverse adventures. You will wend your way from North to South and stay at amazing hotels and lodges.  It will be a journey of discovery and rare delights.

Day 1-2 Auckland
Sebel Suites
You will arrive Auckland off your international flight and be met outside customs by a representative for an introduction to New Zealand!  Kia Ora!  He will assist you to the rental car counter where you will pick up your car and self drive to the wonderful Sebel Suites for the evening.  Sebel Suites' apartments are centrally located in the heart of Auckland, directly beside the Viaduct Harbour. This central location allows for easy access to both shopping experiences and numerous Auckland attractions.  Your second day is a free day to recuperate from your flight.  We have included a four hour sail on a classic yacht for you this day. We also suggest a walk on a wild West Coast beach or a ferry to Waiheke to enjoy the vineyards.

Day 3-4 Bay of Islands
Paihia Beach Resort
After your stay in beautiful Auckland, you will drive about 3.5 hours north to the Bay of Islands. Here you will enjoy the Paihia Beach Resort in a spacious studio with large sea views and access to an excellent restaurant and spa.  On your second day, emerge yourself in luxury at the spa, but also enjoy a cruise around the islands with a local Maori guide.  For the adventurous, the best quad bike ride in the country is only 90 minutes drive away.

Day 5-6 Rotorua
Lodge 199
After a delicious breakfast you will drive to the KeriKeri Airport, drop off your rental car, and take a short flight back to Auckland.  Upon arrival you will pick up another rental and take a scenic 3 hour drive to Rotorua.  Rotorua is amazing!  Just minutes from city centre there are geysers, boiling pools of mud, silica terraces, mud fumeroles and volcanoes.  Here you will stay at the Lodge 199 set on the shores of stunning Lake Tarawera. Warm, intimate, serene – an extraordinary accommodation experience.  On your second day, we recommend a half-day eco-experience on Moikoia Island followed by a traditional spa at Hell's Gate.

Day 7 Hawke's Bay
Breckenridge Lodge
This morning you will head south to Taupo (we recommend stopping at Wai o Tapu for a lovely 2-hour walk around geothermal mud pools) and onwards to Breckenridge Lodge in Hawkes Bay where you will stay for the evening.  Breckenridge Lodge commands ever-changing views over the vineyard directly below the Lodge and surrounding orchard and rural landscape stretching as far as the Kaweka Ranges. Imagine the ambiance of Tuscany in amongst the fresh green hills of New Zealand countryside!

Day 8 Martinborough
Martinborough Hotel
After breakfast, enjoy your drive to Martinborough, a lovely country road, not often travelled.  Martinborough itself is the centre of Pinot Noir production in New Zealand, and the Martinborough Hotel is a lovely old colonial building right in the center, on the town square. Explore the wine trail with an introductory tasting at the Martinborough Wine Centre, then follow the hotel’s specially designed route through the vineyards. Or indulge in summertime romance on a horse and carriage ride round the wineries.

Day 9 Marlborough
Old Saint Mary's Convent
Today, drive two hours over to the Wellington Ferry Depot and catch the Interislander ferry over to Picton, in the South Island.  Continue south for half an hour to get to your next accommodation, the lovely St. Mary's Convent, set in the middle of Marlborough wine country. The Convent was originally located next to Saint Mary's Church in Blenheim. It provided nineteen bedrooms for the nuns, a library, music room, sewing room, office and a beautiful chapel upstairs on the first floor. Visit the Marlborough Sounds for water sports or fishing. Or enjoy an array of activities like horse trekking, scenic walks and white water rafting.

Day 10 Christchurch
The Heritage Hotel
After your wonderful breakfast, you will drive four hours to the centre of Christchurch.  The road is a lovely rolling coastal road and goes through Kaikoura, where you can stop for lunch or a look at the whales.  A large mountain range provides a dramatic and scenic backdrop to the town centre located on the east side of a small peninsula extending out into the Pacific Ocean. There is also the opportunity to swim with the local dusky dolphins in Kaikoura. Once you reach Christchurch, you will settle in a the Heritage Hotel, right in the centre on the main square, and your room will be a duplex suite in the Old Government Building.

Day 11-12 Wanaka
Silver Pine
This morning you will drive 5 hours right through the middle of the South Island, seeing mountains, lakes and rivers, before coming to your lodge - Silver Pine, overlooking Lake Hawea.  This is a lovely place with superb views, lovely owner/hosts and a gourmet dinner included. On your second day we recommend an extremely well-priced experience for a combined helicopter-remote hike-jetboat tour around Mount Aspiring National Park.  Enjoy Silver Pine again in the evening.

Day 13 Queenstown
The Rees
Today you will drive for an hour down to Queenstown where there are loads of activities to partake in such as sightseeing, shopping, and vineyard visits. Check into your apartment at The Rees, a fresh expression of the tradition of hospitality established nearly 150 years ago by Queenstown’s pioneering explorer, first settler, farmer, ferryman, builder - and first hotelier William Gilbert Rees. We recommend a helicopter or aircraft tour of Fiordland, this is one of the most scenic helicopter rides in the world. 

Day 14 Queenstown
The Rees

Today will be your last to soak up the beauty of New Zealand.  Enjoy some morning activities (wine tour, four-wheel drive tour, jetboating, rafting, hiking, horseriding etc.) before flying out in the afternoon and linking up with your international flight.




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