Christmas in the Bay
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:
Christmas in the Bay
$2690.00 pp twin
$3190.00 pp single
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Day 1: Auckland - Cambridge - Rotorua - Lake Rotoiti

Lake Rotoiti Pure Cruise Luxury Catamaran 'Tiua'

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
  • Relax in your lakeside hotel

Day 2: Rotorua Christmas Day Sightseeing

Ohinemutu Village

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.  

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

Day 3: Lake Rotoiti – National Kiwi Hatchery – Tauranga

The Elms Historic Mission House

We leave Lake Rotoiti and head into Rotorua to hear about kiwi conservation at the National Kiwi Hatchery at Rainbow Springs.

We lunch at Terrace Kitchen then drive over to Tauranga where we take a guided tour of a hidden gem, The Elms Mission homestead completed in 1847 and surrounded by gardens of National Significance.

We check into our hotel, Trinity Wharf, for two nights on the harbour's edge and dine in both evenings.

What you'll love today
  • Hear about kiwi conservation at the National Kiwi Hatchery, Rainbow Springs
  • Guided tour of the Elms historic Mission house in Tauranga

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

Mount Maunganui Beach

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.

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

Day 5: Tauranga - Waihi - Karangahake Gorge - Auckland

Karangahake Gorge

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

  • Enjoy lunch at The Falls Retreat