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
On arrival into Auckland, you will be met and transferred to your accommodation.
Auckland, ‘City of Sails’, located between two stunning harbors, enjoys a mild year-round climate Auckland is the country's most visited region and largest urban area, offering exciting activities and great shopping.
The city lies across a 7-mile wide volcanic isthmus separating two harbors. The Waitemata to the east opens into the Hauraki Gulf, and to the Pacific Ocean. The Manukau Harbour to the west offers many estuaries and surf beaches and opens to the Tasman Sea.Auckland Harbour Sailing
Enjoy the unique Auckland landscape from the water on this peaceful cruise. Feel the wind fill the sails and guide you under the harbor bridge and back past Auckland's landmarks. Engage the friendly local crew, and find out more about Auckland harbor and its great sailing past. Take a rope or steer the helm and help the crew sail this harbor cruising yacht. Sit back in the open cockpit for expansive views of the bustling city from the best view in town. Enjoy the 'City of Sails' as you join the yachts on the harbor and the relaxed pace of harbor sailing.Starting Accommodation:
Day 4 – Heli Golf - Gulf Harbour Country Club
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 5 – Auckland Maori Tour
Experience Auckland with a local Maori, who will guide you around this fantastic city and region, providing lots of information about its interesting history, places and people throughout the tour. See this magnificent city with its 48 volcanoes, as well as the amazing West Coast with just a small group of like-minded guests, and a Maori guide as your host throughout the day.
Experience some of New Zealand's finest scenery in the Auckland region and explore some important historic sites and learn more about the fascinating Maori culture and history along the way. Walk on the crater's edge of an ancient volcano and learn about Maori myths and legends that accompany many of the special places you visit. Discover dramatic cliff tops, stormy seas, unique black sand beaches and much more on the famous 'Wild West Coast'. Gain an insider's view into Maori Culture through your Maori guide, see Takarunga (Mount Victoria) in Devonport, where significant Maori chief is buried and see Tamaki Drive, one of the world's most beautiful city drives with sweeping views across the Waitemata Harbour.
Your day includes all transportation, a fully guided personal Auckland Maori Tour, snacks, hot/cold drinks and a great picnic lunch! Also includes all taxes and park fees. Starting Accommodation:
Day 6 – Drive Auckland to the Coromandel Peninsula
Make your way to collect your Budget rental car, then depart Auckland for the delightful 2 hour drive via the main highway south and then east toward and over the Coromandel Ranges.
The Coromandel Peninsula is one of New Zealand's best kept vacation destination secrets. Rustic & relaxed, beach & bush, the Coromandel lies to one side of the well-beaten path of mainstream tourism. A spectacular coastline, and beaches beacon, the bush clad volcanic hills catch the eye, but it's the lifestyle of the region which most find to be irresistible. A sense of relaxation & reflection permeates. The arts & crafts community is vibrant, & contrasts with the solid Kiwi farmer, forester, and fisherman of the Peninsula & plains. Over 40% of the Peninsula is nowadays protected whether it is Forest Park or Marine Reserve. Dozens of walking tracks cover the hills & coast. Many small tour operators use the area for activities from kauri forest treks to swimming with dolphins.Starting Accommodation:
Day 7 – Day at Leisure, Coromandel Peninsula
Today is at your leisure to explore the coastal hamlet of Coromandel. With a mountainous interior cloaked in native rainforest and more than 250 miles of dazzling white sand beaches, it is rustic, unspoiled and relaxed.
Activities and attractions are plentiful, from fishing and diving to hiking and cycling. You might choose skydiving in Whitianga or a guided sea kayak tour around the coast. For the more adventurous there's Sleeping God Canyon, a 300m vertical descent down a set of waterfalls.
You could wander among the coolness of the pristine bush; The Coromandel is a walker's paradise. Explore the relics from the area's gold mining heritage, follow the Karangahake Gorge and Coromandel Coastal Walkway, hike the Pinnacles, or hop on a bicycle and cycle the Hauraki Rail Trail. Or simply sit and relax in a warm bubbling pool at Hot Water Beach where you can dig your own spa two hours either side of low tide. Don't miss the spectacular Cathedral Cove, the jewel of a protected marine reserve.Starting Accommodation:
Day 8 – Drive Coromandel Peninsula to Rotorua
At your leisure as you drive south toward the famous thermal wonderland of Rotorua – one of New Zealand’s main tourist destinations. It is famous for its thermal wonders of bubbling mud pools and geysers, and as a center for the Maori Culture of New Zealand.
Allow for a 2 to 3 hour drive today. Some of your options for things to see in Rotorua include the Whakarewarewa Thermal area with its boiling mud pools and spouting geysers, the Maori arts and Crafts institute or beautiful rainbow springs where crystal clear pools are home to hundreds of giant rainbow trout. The Rainbow farm has various daily activities of a typical New Zealand farm such as sheep shearing, shepherding with sheep dogs, cow milking and butter churning.Marae Hangi & Concert - Journey of Ages
Experience the warmth of the Maori people during an evening of ceremonial rituals, powerful cultural performance, storytelling & hangi feasting. Share in the Powhiri - an ancient ceremony of welcome before you are invited into the Pre-European Maori village nestled within the native Tawa forest. Enter the living village, as it comes alive with the sights, sounds and activity of days gone by, including facial tattooing, weaving, carving and demonstrations on how food was cooked and preserved many years ago. See, touch, take time and talk to the people as you wander through the village - you may even be invited to take part in stick games and warrior training. Witness the earth being scraped carefully away from the hangi pit by your selected Chiefs, to reveal baskets laden with your sumptuous feast, which has been cooked beneath the ground on hot stones.
At the heart of the Village, enter the ancestral Meeting House, and relax as the family entertain you with a powerful Cultural performance, including action songs, poi, stick games and the famous 'haka' - Maori War Dance. The sharing of food is an important part of Maori custom - join in the traditional hangi buffet feast, followed by New Zealand dessert. The evening draws to an end with the Poroporoaki - the official closing ceremony. There will be waiata (songs) and whaikorero (speeches), before you are transferred back to your Rotorua accommodation by motorcoach.Starting Accommodation:
Regent of Rotorua (B, D)
Day 9 – Day at Leisure, Rotorua
Rotorua provides an abundance of things to do and places to go for travelers of all ages. Rotorua will certainly ensure a wonderful holiday from peaceful tours through to adrenalin-pumping action, in the air, on the lake, river, or land. In fact, there is such a mind-boggling array of wonderful attractions and distractions that you may not even know where to start upon arrival.
You could soar high up in the sky and receive a bird's eye view of Rotorua or experience the geothermal Rotorua through its distinctive sights and smells. There are more relaxing activities for those searching for a calmer experience. Offering culture and history, as well as adventure and thrills, Rotorua is a perfect destination!Starting Accommodation:
Regent of Rotorua (B)
Day 10 – Auckland to USA
Allow 3-4 hours leisurely drive (145 miles), but if possible allow some time to take in the sights along the way back to Auckland. Return your rental vehicle at the airport depot before boarding your departure flight to the USA. (B)