Arrive in Auckland from Melbourne. Stay at the Hyatt.
30-DEC 2: WHANGAREI
Visit the northern penninsula, staying at the Pahia
Beach Resort in the Bay of Islands. Take a boat trip out with
Dolphin Discoveries to view and swim with bottlenose dolphins.
2-4: COROMANDEL PENNINSULA
Drive to the Coromandel Penninsula, and stay at the Puka
Drive to Rotorua and stay at the Royal
Lakeside Novotel. Canoe on the lakes, soak in the tubs at Polynesian
Spa, ride down the luge at Skyline
Skyrides, learn about sheep at Agrodome, try out 4x4 bikes on
a forested trail with Taupo Quad Adventures, see geothermal wonders
at Wairakei Natural Thermal Valley, and attend a traditional hangi
at Tamaki Maori Village (yum!).
Drive to the city of Wellington and stay at the Intercontinental
9-13: ABEL TASMAN
Cross over to the South Island via the Interisland Ferry and
drive to Abel Tasman National Park. Stay in a self-contained cain
at the Ocean View
Chalets in Marahau, just outside the park entrance.
Drive over to the west coast of the South Island and stay at
the Chelsea Gateway Inn. Visit the remote northern town of Karamea
and the Oparara Arch and hike a short way along the Heaphy Track.
Explore the Metro Cave with Norwest Adventures and see fantastic
cave formations and glow worms.
15-16: ARTHUR'S PASS
Drive up to scenic Arthur's Pass and stay at the all-inclusive
16-17: FOX GLACIER
Head further south on the west coast and stay at the Lake Matheson
Motel in the glaciers area.
Drive through the Haast Pass to Wanaka, and stay at The Moorings,
overlooking Lake Wanaka. Go river kayaking with Alpine
River Guides on the Hawea River.
Drive down to Queenstown and stay at The
Point apartments on the lakefront.
22-26: THE MILFORD TRACK
We will be hiking the amazing Milford Track as part of the Milford
Track Guided Walk. This is a 5 day/4 night guided adventure,
starting and ending in Queensland. While the hiking will be fairly
strenuous, the tour provides lodging and hot meals each night.
the heart of New Zealand's wild fiord country, the Milford Track
has long been described as "the finest walk in the world".
Since Quintin Mackinnon pioneered the route in 1888, everyone from
hardened trekkers to novices sporting their first pair of boots,
have taken up the challenge of the Milford Track.
Fiordland National Park is the cornerstone of the Te Wai Pounamu
Southwest New Zealand World Heritage Park. Walkers on the track
to Milford Sound encounter Fiordland at its most spectacular. Deep
lakes, silent fiords, luxuriant forest and sheer canyons carved
out of imposing granite define this landscape. On a sunny day there
is a postcard shot around every corner, but only when it rains,
and torrents of water cascade down the mountainsides, have you truly
experienced the magic of the Milford Track.
26-28: TE ANAU
to Te Anau after the track and stay at the Holiday Inn Te Anau.
Take a cruise to explore Doubtful Sound.
back to the east coast of the South Island to the Otago Penninsula,
just outside Dunedin. Visit yellow-eyed penguins in their native
habitat. Spend the night at The
Homestead, a spacious and immaculate self-contained unit overlooking
up to ChristChurch and possibly go to look for sperm whales and/or
dolphins near Kaikura. Stay at the Parkroyal ChristChurch.
31: Fly back to USA across dateline
in time to celebrate the New Year in the states.