Leave Auckland for the delights of the Bay of Plenty staying two nights on Lake Rotoiti with a celebratory special Christmas lunch at the 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.

5 Day / 4 Night tour departing Auckland, visiting Rotorua, Lake Tarawera, Tauranga and Mt Maunganui

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Tour Map

Day 1: Auckland - Cambridge - Tirau - Rotorua

Ohinemutu Village

We depart Auckland for the speciality shops of Cambridge and Tirau before a visit to Wingspan in Paradise Valley, the home of native birds of prey. We then take a little tiki tour of Rotorua to Ohinemutu Maori village, the Museum gardens and Kuirau Park. In the afternoon we head to our hotel on the shores of Lake Rotoiti our home for the next two nights. 

What you'll love today
  • Wingspan, the home of native birds of prey
  • Ohinemutu Maori living village

Day 2: Rotorua Sightseeing

Views of Lake & Mt Tarawera from the lookout

We take a leisurely sightseeing  tour out past the Green and Blue Lakes to Lake Tarawera before heading back to the hotel for a Christmas lunch.

In the afternoon we drive around Lake Rotorua to ride on the Skyline gondola for views of Lake Rotorua and its steaming geothermal landscape. Later we visit beautiful Hamurana Spring, the deepest freshwater spring in the North Island. We dine in at the hotel this evening.  

What you'll love today
  • Take the gondola up Mt Ngongotaha
  • Visit beautiful Hamurana Spring 

Day 3: Lake Rotoiti – Tauranga

Lake Rotoiti Pure Cruise Luxury Catamaran 'Tiua'

We stroll down to Okawa Bay on the shores of Lake Rotoiti and board the luxury catamaran “Tiua” to explore the lake, cruising the bays. Returning to Okawa we head towards Tauranga taking a guided tour of a hidden gem, The Elms mission homestead completed in 1847 and surrounded by gardens of National Significance. We dine in at Trinity Wharf on the harbour's edge this evening.

What you'll love today
  • Private cruise on the luxury catamaran Tiua 
  • Take a guided tour of the Elms historic Mission house in Tauranga

Day 4: Tauranga – Mount Maunganui – Papamoa – Awakeri Station

Mount Maunganui Beach

After a leisurely breakfast we drive across to Mount Maunganui to stroll along the beach boardwalk and around “the Mount”. We tour down to Papamoa to check out this fast-growing beachside town.

At Awakeri Station we meet Paul and hop on board rail carts for a scenic ride along the tracks towards Taneatua. We head back to Tauranga for a relaxed afternoon.

What you'll love today
  • Stroll along 'the Mount' beach boardwalk
  • Awakeri rail cart ride

Day 5: Tauranga - Waihi - Karangahake Gorge - Auckland

Karangahake Gorge

Leaving Tauranga we travel a pretty back country road which leads to the Waterlily Gardens for lunch and a wander among the waterlily ponds. After lunch we travel through the Karangahake Gorge where rusting machinery is the only sign of its fascinating gold-mining past. At the Victoria Battery local guide George shows us through the Mining Museum’s collections. We return to Auckland over the Hauraki Plains. 

What you'll love today
  • Enjoy lunch and a stroll around the beautiful Waterlily Gardens

  • Guided visit at the Victoria Battery Museum in the Karangahake Gorge 

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