Day 1 – Fly 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
Day 3 – Welcome to Auckland, New Zealand
Once you clear customs and immigration, you will meet your drive at the pre-charted counter. You will then be transferred via private vehicle to your city accommodation.SKYCITY Grand Hotel, Auckland
Indulgent, comfortable and stylish--you'll want for nothing in one of Skycity Grand Hotel's 312 superbly appointed guest rooms. A range of room sizes and configurations ensures that, from the presidential entourage to the footloose individual, every requirement is amply accommodated. Enjoy some of Auckland's best restaurants at the hotel, including contemporary Japanese cuisine, Italian fare made with seasonal ingredients, and classic local specialties.Starting Accommodation:
Day 4 – Auckland Maori Tour & Cultural Performance
Experience Auckland on a personal small group tour by exploring historic sites and learning more about the fascinating Maori culture and history along the way. Also included is entry to the Maori Cultural Performance, which showcases Maori performing art and the famous Maori postural war dance - the haka!
This special tour provides an insight into how this unique 'living culture' is an integral part of showcasing what Auckland and New Zealand have to offer. This luxury tour features Auckland's well-known cityscapes with its numerous volcanoes, as well as the amazing West Coast. Get the chance to experience Auckland like a local through the eyes of a passionate guide, who can share their cultural knowledge and upbringing along with special aspects of the Maori culture.
The tour features culturally significant locations in the Auckland area, such as the Auckland Museum featuring the Maori & Polynesian Gallery, the ancient volcanoes of Rangitoto Island, and the boutique suburb of Parnell with its many colonial homes. Take in views of the Auckland Harbour Bridge and the beautiful marine village of Devonport before heading to Titirangi, an artists' enclave on the Manukau Harbour. Visit the Arataki Visitor Centre at the gateway to Auckland's famous West Coast with its soaring cliffs, roaring surf and spectacular, volcanic black sand beaches, and view magnificent ocean vistas in our famous Waitakere Ranges with its unique indigenous flora and fauna in an ancient native rainforest. During the tour, you will learn about Maori history as well as aspects of modern life, which integrates many of the traditions of the past into today's New Zealand way of life.Starting Accommodation:
Day 5 – Waiheke Island Paradise Tour
The Waiheke Island Paradise tour is for the truly discerning wine fan! Todays experience includes ferry transportation to and from Waiheke Island, all on-island transportation, three winery tastings and lunch with wine at a renowned restaurant. Your stunning and memorable day begins with the 45-minute ferry transfer from Auckland over to Waiheke Island, on the sedate 'Quick Cat' Ferry. As you journey across Auckland's spectacular Waitemata Harbour, Phil will run through your Waiheke wine tour itinerary and answer any questions you may have.
Journey on your guide, Phil's premium Waiheke wine tour - to taste wines at three premium boutique Waiheke vineyards (from: Peacock Sky, Cable Bay, Kennedy Point, and Mudbrick vineyards). Enjoy a relaxed lunch at a renowned 5-star Waiheke restaurant. Soak in the stunning coastal scenery and enjoy the relaxed atmosphere on New Zealand's own Treasure Island of wine and food.Starting Accommodation:
Day 6 – Auckland to Napier
A driver will meet you in the lobby to transfer you to the Auckland Airport for your flight to Napier.
Once arrived in Napier, a driver will meet you at the airport to transfer you to your accommodation.The Farm at Cape Kidnappers
The Farm at Cape Kidnappers is set on a 6,000-acre sheep and cattle farm on the rugged Eastern Coastline of the New Zealand's North Island. Pure luxury awaits you in beautiful suites, all with dramatic views of the farm and adjoining sea. Local materials are incorporated into graciously scaled rooms full of natural light and unexpected treasures. Spacious cottages, each with breathtaking views, open to large porches overlooking a stunning Pacific panorama.Starting Accommodation:
Day 7 – Food & Wine Lovers Delight
Guided by a wine specialist, this is a fantastic day for wine lovers. Visit some of the more innovative wineries in the Bay, taste some of their wonderful wines, meet the people involved and hear their stories. Acquire comprehensive wine knowledge of our wine industry, and we also visit special food outlets en route.Starting Accommodation:
(B, L, D)
Day 8 – Activities at The Farm at Cape Kidnappers
Today is your day at leisure to explore The Farm at Cape Kidnappers.
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:
(B, L, D)
Day 9 – Napier to Wellington
A driver will meet you in the lobby to transfer you to your accommodation in Wellington.Wharekauhau Lodge
Harkening back to the Edwardian era, Wharekauhau Lodge 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. 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. Every day spent at Wharekauhau is a delight to the senses.Starting Accommodation:
Day 10 – Martinborough Wine Tour
Discover the pleasures of the local wineries, tasting some of the world's best Pinot Noir - international wine experts rate Martinborough as one of the finest wine growing regions in New Zealand. Your guide will take you around a choice of the best vineyards, and serious enthusiasts will have the opportunity to meet with wine makers for a behind the scenes tour of a vineyard. Included in this tour will be lunch at one of the vineyard cafes, or a cafe in the village - where you will also have the opportunity to visit the boutique shops should you wish.Starting Accommodation:
(B, L, D)
Day 11 – Wellington to Christchurch
Today, you will transfer to Wellington Airport via helicopter. The scenic 15 minute flight transfer takes you along the coastline of Palliser Bay and over Wellington as you land at Queens Wharf in the downtown area. From here, you will travel by road to the airport.
Once arrived in Christchurch, a driver will meet you to transfer you to your accommodation. Otahuna Lodge
Otahuna Lodge is an intimate retreat offering five suites and two master suites. Each retains architectural features from the 19th century such as ornate original fireplaces, carved inglenooks and stained glass windows. All suites offer super-king beds, fine custom-made linens, toiletries by Penhaligon's of London, deep bathtubs and separate rain showers.Starting Accommodation:
Day 12 – Akaroa Day Tour
On this amazing tour, visit the extinct volcanoes of Banks Peninsula and view the beautiful harbors & green farmland. Stops are made at scenic places and include morning & afternoon teas and a cheese tasting at the Barry's Bay Cheese Factory. Once at Akaroa, enjoy a shared nature and harbor cruise on the Canterbury Cat. This cruise explores the volcanic harbor and sightings may be made of the world's smallest dolphin - the Hectors Dolphin, NZ Fur Seals and numerous seabirds. If time allows, stroll through the village and along the waterfront, taking in the quaint French charm, which is unique to Akaroa.Starting Accommodation:
(B, L, D)
Day 13 – Day at Leisure
Culinary excellence is a cornerstone of the Otahuna experience. A hands-on cooking lesson with Executive Chef Jimmy McIntyre provides an enjoyable overview of the philosophies behind the Lodge's celebrated food and wine program as profiled in Bon Appetit, Conde Nast Traveler and The Financial Times. Classes incorporate a harvesting visit to Otahuna's organic working gardens, provide an introduction to planning menus and offer a special chance to learn first-hand cooking techniques in our kitchens before tasting the results for yourselves.
The day is at your leisure to explore Otahuna Lodge.Starting Accommodation:
Day 14 – Christchurch to Queenstown
A driver will meet you in the lobby to transfer you to the Christchurch Airport.
Once arrived in Queenstown, a driver will meet you and transfer you to your accommodation. The Spire Queenstown
With just ten carefully calibrated rooms, a sleek bar and fine restaurant, The Spire is thoroughly modern yet suffused with warmth. Centrally located in the heart of Queenstown, The Spire is the perfect base from which to explore New Zealand's picture postcard alpine resort. Your room at The Spire has been thoughtfully designed to rest, relax and refresh you before and after a big day out. Spacious and coolly comfortable, each room features a fireplace, large balcony and an interactive multimedia system. Iconic pieces of contemporary furniture add pure design punctuation. Dinner Reservation
While in Queenstown we suggest you dine at the following restaurants:
- The Bunker (contempary)
- The Cow (very casual pizza)
- No 5 Church Road (Thai)
- Bella Cucina (Italian)
- Rata (contempary)
- Botswana Butchery (contempary and meat)
Your reservation is confirmed, but not included in your travel costs. Please settle your own account with the restaurant.Starting Accommodation:
Day 15 – Adventure in QueenstownDart River Wilderness Safari
The Wilderness Safari takes you on a spectacular 90-minute jet boat journey through the Dart's ever-changing braided river system, where you'll be surrounded by snow-covered peaks, hidden valleys and waterfalls. It includes an easy guided 30 to 40-minute walk through the 'Heritage Trail' at Paradise, where your knowledgeable guide will enliven your walk with an informative and entertaining commentary about the ancient native beech forest, the unique flora and fauna, as well as the fascinating Maori and colonial history of the area. You'll also journey by coach via a scenic back-road route, while hearing stories about the surrounding countryside and stopping to view scenery that has formed the epic backdrop for many international films, including 'The Lord of the Rings'.Milford Extravaganza Heli
Imagine mountains gliding by as your helicopter winds its way through the Southern Alps on an unforgettable flight to Milford Sound. Land, take a stroll and absorb the natural beauty of Fiordland. Your flight then sweeps the full length of the fiord until you reach the rugged West Coast offering a unique opportunity to view seals in their natural colonies. Experience a glacier landing before touching down at one of our secret wilderness sites for some 'Over the Top' hospitality including Champagne and cheese board.Starting Accommodation:
Day 16 – Gourmet Scenic Wine Tour
An indulgent and varied full day tour seeing local sights, enjoying fresh cuisine and tasting a selection of fine wines, cheeses and handcrafted chocolates. Taste wines at four vineyards over two Central Otago wine regions. Included is the Gibbston Valley wine caves tour, a splendid cheese and wine presentation and a divine wine barrel-cooked lunch matched with wines. Visit the historic precinct of Cromwell and return to Queenstown via the must-see Arrowtown, with time to take a stroll and sample locally made chocolates at one's pleasure.Starting Accommodation:
Day 17 – Day at Leisure
Today is your day to explore Queenstown at your leisure.Starting Accommodation:
Day 18 – Fly Queenstown to USA
Today a driver will meet you in the lobby of your hotel to transfer you to the Queenstown Airport for your flight back to the USA. (B)