5 Day / 4 Night tour visiting Rotorua, Lake Rotoiti, Tauranga and Mt Maunganui
Leave Auckland for the delights of the Bay of Plenty staying two nights on Lake Rotoiti with Christmas lunch and a buffet dinner at your hotel. In Tauranga we stay at Trinity Wharf on the harbour’s edge. Special off-the-beaten-track highlights include a cruise on a luxury catamaran on Lake Rotoiti and riding the rail carts at Awakeri.
What Tracy loves about this tour:
Catching up with George at the Mine Museum, setting forth on a rail cart adventure with Paul at Awakeri and sailing with Matt on his catamaran along the shoreline of Lake Rotoiti. It’s the passion of these people and their special places that make this holiday unique.
Day 1: Auckland - Cambridge - Rotorua - Lake Rotoiti
We depart Auckland for Cambridge where we stop for lunch on our way to our hotel at Okawa Bay on the shores of Lake Rotoiti. Just across the hotel's lawn the large, luxury catamaran "Tuia" waits at the jetty. We set sail to explore the lake's secluded reaches on our own private Christmas Eve cruise.
We call into Manupirua Hot Pools, reached only by water, for a late afternoon soak in the hot pools. We cruise back down the lake to the hotel's jetty and dine in this evening at our hotel our home for two nights.
What you'll love today
Cruise on Lake Rotoiti on "Tiua" a luxury catamaran
We visit beautiful Hamurana Spring, the deepest freshwater spring in the North Island and walk through the magnificent redwoods before heading back to our hotel for a Christmas lunch.
This afternoon we sightsee in Rotorua to Kuirau Park's steaming mud pools and ride the Skyline gondola up Mount Ngongotaha to enjoy the spectacular views of Rotorua and its steaming geothermal landscape.
We return to our hotel to relax and enjoy the Christmas buffet.
Day 4: Tauranga – Mount Maunganui – Papamoa – Awakeri Station
After breakfast we drive across to Mount Maunganui to take a stroll along the beach boardwalk. Then we head further east to Papamoa to check out this fast-growing beachside town.
Near Te Puke, at Awakeri Station we meet Paul for a fun adventure. We hop on board his rail carts and take a leisurely scenic ride along the tracks towards Taneatua, stopping for a picnic lunch along the way. We return to Tauranga in the mid afternoon.
Day 5: Tauranga - Waihi - Karangahake Gorge - Auckland
We leave Tauranga and stop in Waihi through the Karangahake Gorge where rusting machinery is the only sign of the gorge's fascinating gold-mining past.
At the Victoria Battery local guide George shows us through the Mining Museum’s collections. We stop to view nearby Owharoa Falls and lunch nearby at The Falls Retreat for lunch. In the mid afternoon we return to Auckland over the Hauraki Plains.
What you'll love today
Guided visit at the Victoria Battery Museum in the Karangahake Gorge