Day 1 – USA to Auckland
Today you will begin your Swain Destinations customized itinerary. Please note, international air has not been included in this package price.
Day 2 – Cross the International Date Line
Cross the International Date Line, an imaginary line on the surface of the Earth that runs from the North to the South Pole - and defines one calendar day from the next. Crossing the International Date Line adds one day (24 hours) traveling west, and subtracts one day (24 hours) traveling east.
Day 3 – Welcome to Auckland, New Zealand
Once you clear customs & immigration, please look for your driver waiting at the Pre-Chartered counter in the arrivals area. You will be transferred to the SKYCITY Grand Hotel by private vehicle.
With more boats per capita than any other city in the world, it is no surprise that Auckland is nicknamed the City of Sails, or that it has hosted two America's Cup challenges. The city also houses one-third of New Zealand's population and the tallest tower in the Southern Hemisphere.
Living large just seems to be a part of Auckland's identity. Beneath all the bravado, however, lies a city with culture close to its heart. Museums, Maori influences, bustling markets and a myriad of restaurants specializing in world class seafood.Starting Accommodation:
Day 4 – Auckland Highlights Tour, Half Day
Experience the highlights of Auckland city with its numerous volcanoes and sights of the North Shore. Be amazed by dramatic views of expansive vistas across Auckland's Waitamata Harbour on the Pacific Ocean and the marine village of Devonport. See the magnificent ancient volcanoes of the area, including Rangitoto Island, which at 600 years is the largest & youngest of all the volcanoes in Auckland. Next, travel to Auckland Domain, home of the Auckland Museum & Wintergarden. The boutique suburb of Parnell awaits with its many colonial homes, and Tamaki Drive provides sweeping views across the Waitemata Harbour toward Bastion Point & Mission Bay, Auckland city's most well-known beach.
This tour includes fully guided service with pick-up/drop-off within Auckland's Downtown area, complimentary snacks, eco-water bottles and iconic NZ Tasters & Resource Box, NZ 'Kiwi' Gift per booking, and all taxes.
The remainder of the day is at your leisure.Starting Accommodation:
Day 5 – Heli Golf, Gulf Harbour
Fly in comfort and style over spectacular sights of the Hauraki Gulf landscape. Before landing at the Gulf Harbour Country Club, get a birds-eye view of the Auckland skyline, crystal blue water, and the lush green Motutapu, Waiheke and Rangitoto Islands. Upon arrival at the course, enjoy a relaxing round of golf at the PGA- rated course. Green fees and club hire are included. Return to Auckland by helicopter after finishing the excursion.Starting Accommodation:
Day 6 – Auckland to Hawke's Bay
Fly Auckland to Napier. Transfer from Napier Airport to The Farm at Cape Kidnappers by private vehicle.
Set on a 6,000 acre sheep and cattle farm on the rugged coastline of the Eastern Coast on New Zealand's North Island (where the cliff's plunge 800 feet downwards) and on an amazing peninsula is the The Farm at Cape Kidnappers. Pure luxury awaits you in their beautiful suites all with dramatic and breathtaking views of the farm and adjoining sea! Meals are served in the impressive main building at The Farm. Your suites are located around the main area and situated for maximum privacy.
Critics and golf devotees alike have already fallen in love with Cape Kidnappers' links-style golf course - it has been voted the 27th best golf course in the world. Now golfers and non-golfers alike will have a luxurious place to stay while exploring the wonders of Hawkes' Bay.Starting Accommodation:
Day 7 – The Odyssey Experience, Full Day
Enjoy the best Hawke's Bay has to offer. Start the day in the mesmerizing Esk Valley Region, with a behind the scenes tour of Church Road winery, the Tom McDonald Cellar and New Zealand's only wine museum. Enjoy lunch with wine at the country's oldest and grandest winery, the Mission Estate. After lunch, visit one of Hawke's Bay's small boutique wineries and take another behind-the-scenes look at how wine evolves from the vine to the glass on a smaller scale. Travel through the prestigious wine growing district, the Gimblett Gravels, from which you will taste award winning wines throughout the day. Finish with a gourmet platter at award winning restaurant and winery, Vidal. Indulge in the finest local produce including meat, seafood, cheese, marinated vegetables, olives, breads and dips.Starting Accommodation:
(B, L, D)
Day 8 – Day at Leisure, The Farm at Cape Kidnappers
Today is at your leisure to explore Hawke's Bay and The Farm at Cape Kidnappers.Starting Accommodation:
Day 9 – Hawke's Bay to Wairarapa
Transfer from The Farm at Cape Kidnappers to Napier Airport by private vehicle for your flight to Wellington. On arrival in Wellington you will be met and transferred to the Helicopter pad at Queens Wharf for your flight to Wharekauhau. The flight takes you over Wellington and then along the coastline of Palliser Bay before landing at the front of Wharekauhau lodge - a spectacular entrance!
Throw yourself into a bygone era and enjoy the grandeur and gracious lifestyle of the Edwardian times reflected in Wharekauhau. Wharekauhau (forry - ko-ho) offers a relaxed & yet ultimately luxurious environment to soak in some New Zealand hospitality. Set on over 5,000 acres of private land including rivers, forests and lakes, it commands spectacular vistas of the Pacific Ocean, and New Zealand farm-scape at the heart of the farm the main lodge is situated. As you wander into the grand lodge, what catches the eye is the awe-inspiring view over Palliser Bay, framed perfectly from every vantage point.Starting Accommodation:
Day 10 – Day at Leisure, Wharekauhau Lodge
Today is at your Leisure to explore true country living in an environment which has been described as 'one of the most spectacular farms on earth'. With over 5,000 acres including forest, lakes, mountains, bush and open country as well as 16 miles of dramatic coastline, there is no shortage of activities to keep you busy. Some activities can include golf, tennis, fishing, cycling, off-road safaris, winery and garden tours, and being a farm hand for the day.Starting Accommodation:
Day 11 – Day at Leisure, Day at Leisure, Wharekauhau Lodge
Today is at your leisure to explore all that Wharekauhau Lodge has to offer.Starting Accommodation:
Day 12 – Wairarapa to Blanket Bay
You will be collected from Wharekauhau for a private transfer to Wellington Airport. This is a 90 minute drive through the surrounding countryside with a knowledgeable driver. Then fly to Queenstown where you will be transferred by a private car to your lodge, Blanket Bay.
Blanket Bay is situated at the northern end of Lake Wakatipu, two miles south of Glenorchy and just 40 minutes from Queenstown. Built in the grand style of the finest alpine lodges, it is finished with native timber and stone. At the heart of the Lodge is a 30-foot high Great Room with its massive log fireplace, vaulted wharf- timber beams and antique wooden floors. There are several dining options: meals may be taken in the main dining room or a private dining room, both have views across the lake and large log burning fires. The terrace provides an outside area with magnificent views perfect for any meal.Starting Accommodation:
Day 13 – Milford Ultimate Heli Tour
Discover a labyrinth of valleys and mountains as you fly west over the Main Divide of the Southern Alps. See Lake Te Anau and follow the Milford Track past the Sutherland Falls on this extensive tour to Milford Sound. Walk through native rainforest for a perfect photo opportunity. You will fly along the fiord to a seal colony or remote beach on the isolated coast of Fiordland. A glacier landing on the return flight will enable you to fill the ice bucket for your champagne luncheon at a goldminer's cottage hidden in the mountains. Fly back to Queenstown.
This trip has been described as an experience of a lifetime and takes in some of the most spectacular scenery in the world.Starting Accommodation:
(B, L, D)
Day 14 – Blanket Bay to Queenstown
You will be collected from Blanket Bay Lodge and transferred the 45 minutes back to Queenstown.
At your leisure to explore the adventure capital of New Zealand. Set between the towering Remarkable Ranges and the bottomless Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown has it all.
Originally settled by the gold miners and station owners, it is now home to all the adrenaline filled adventures such as bungee jumping, the Canyon Swing, jetboating, rafting, and amazing scenic helicopter flights. Take a more sedate gondola ride to Bob's Peak for great views or the 110 year old steamer, The Earnslaw as she cruises around Lake WakitpuStarting Accommodation:
Day 15 – Boutique Wine Tour, Half Day
Savor the hidden delights of the world's southernmost wine growing region in comfort and style on this afternoon excursion. A mix of spectacular New Zealand scenery, fascinating regional history and a chance to visit a selection of delightful boutique wineries are the rewards of a truly great day out! The tour commences at around noon from your hotel and we visit four boutique vine-yards in the Gibbston Valley and Bannockburn.
During the afternoon a platter of light food will be served at Carrick Winery Restaurant. Through-out the afternoon, visit the vineyards, enjoy a scenic drive at Kawarau Gorge and see the Otago Goldfields.Starting Accommodation:
Day 16 – Queenstown to Christchurch
You will be transferred by private car from The Spire Hotel to Queenstown Airport for your flight to Christchurch where you will be transferred by private vehicle to Otahuna Lodge.
The spectacular 110-year old gardens of Otahuna Lodge were laid out and cultivated under the direction of A. E. Lowe who trained at Kew Gardens, London. Wide vistas over lawn and lake contrast beautifully with intimate walks which wind through heavily wooded areas. The gardens of the country estate offer a range of guest amenities and activities including swimming, tennis, croquet and petanque, among others. The grounds of Otahuna Lodge are recognized as A Garden of National Significance by the New Zealand Gardens Trust.
Otahuna Lodge also offers complimentary activity planning services, guided tours of its 30 acres of historic botanical gardens, private, individualized cooking lessons, a fitness center with spa treatment room. Activities at Otahuna Lodge range from thoroughly relaxing to highly energetic. The swimming pool draws guests on warm summer afternoons while the outdoor hot tub is the perfect place to unwind on a chilly evening, perhaps after a game of tennis, croquet or petanque. Strolling through woodlands, cycling and horseback riding are all possible and bicycles can be borrowed to explore the country estate and neighboring scenic lanes.Starting Accommodation:
Day 17 – Day at Leisure, Otahuna Lodge
Today is your day at leisure to enjoy all that Otahuna Lodge has to offer.Starting Accommodation:
Day 18 – Christchurch to USA
Your transfer from Otahuna Lodge to Christchurch is approximately a twenty minute drive. Once in Christchurch you will board your flight to Auckland and continue on to your return flight to the USA. (B)