Our Wairarapa Wandering tour has a stay-put holiday feeling with three nights out in the Martinborough countryside at Brackenridge Estate. On the way south we stay in Napier. From Martinborough we explore the Wairarapa coastline out to Cape Palliser lighthouse and Ngawi fishing village. Visit Greytown, where the boutique shops are tempting, and stunning gardens. Stay at the 5 star Bolton Hotel in the heart of Wellington and visit Te Papa and the Gallipoli exhibition. Three enjoyable private lunches along the way and our final night is at the Chateau Tongariro Hotel.

7 Day / 6 Night Tour departing Auckland, with stays in Napier, Martinborough, Wellington and the Grand Chateau Tongariro

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Tour Price

It's a Moa!
$3190 pp twin
$3790 pp single

Tour Map

Day 1: Auckland - Taupo - Napier

Walking in the garden at Lava Glass Studio near Taupo

We depart Auckland driving into the heart of the Waikato farmland. We stop for lunch at Lava Glass Cafe and visit Lynden Over's glass blowing studio and sculpture garden. We continue to Taupo where there are magnificent views across Lake Taupo to the three active volcanoes - Tongariro, Ngauruhoe and Ruapehu.

Then we travel over the rugged ranges to the Hawkes Bay known as New Zealand’s food basket - orchards, vineyards and market gardens abound. We check into Scenic Te Pania Hotel on the waterfront and dine in the hotel this evening.

What you'll love today
  • NZ landscape inspired glass art and visit the studio
  • Relax in your seaview room at Te Pania Hotel in Napier

Day 2: Napier - Martinborough

Art Deco building in Napier

This morning a specialist Art Deco guide boards our coach to tell us the stories of the 1931 earthquake. We visit the pretty English style village of Havelock North before heading south to the farming towns of Waipukurau, Norsewood and Dannevirke.

We stop at the Mt Bruce National Wildlife Centre, and wander this renowned bird sanctuary to see kiwi, kaka, kokako, takahe and the tuatara, a "living fossil" that's been around since the time of the dinosaurs. In the late afternoon we reach the pretty village of Martinborough. We dine at Brackenridge this evening.

What you'll love today
  • Explore the sights with a private guide on an Art Deco tour of Napier
  • At Pukaha Mt Bruce Wildlife Centre you’ll see tuatara and other unique New Zealand wildlife

Day 3: Wairarapa sightseeing - Cape Palliser

Cape Palliser Lighthouse - Wairarapa Tour

We drive out to dramatic Cape Palliser Lighthouse stopping for photos at Ngawi, a quaint fishing village. At this southernmost tip of the North Island we are able to get close-up to the breeding seal colony lounging around on the rocks and frolicing in the sea.

We return along the coastal road to Murdoch James Estate in time for wine tasting followed by lunch overlooking the vineyard. Returning to Martinborough, there’s time to refresh in the indoor swimming pool at Brackenridge. We dine out in style this evening at Tirohana Estate Vineyard.

What you'll love today
  • Visit remote Cape Palliser
  • Enjoy a private wine tasting at a Martinborough Vineyard

Day 4: Wairarapa sightseeing - Greytown, Carterton

Stonehenge Aotearoa - Wairarapa Tour

Neil and Greg and introduce us to Kahikatea Gardens and their friendly animals. From there we visit arty Greytown’s picturesque main street lined with antique, craft and gift shops and the tempting Schoc Chocolate shop. We wend our way through the country roads of Grafton and Carterton to Awaiti Gardens for lunch with Jeanette and Allan Gates, creators of this beautiful garden.

At Stonehenge Aotearoa, built by the NZ Astronomical Society, we learn how early cultures used the sun, moon and stars for survival. Rising out of farm paddocks, this full scale working adaption of the original Stonehenge has to be seen to be believed. We dine at Brackenridge this evening.

What you'll love today
  • Meet and lunch with the creators of the beautiful Awaiti Gardens
  • Stonehenge Aotearoa combines modern scientific knowledge with Maori star lore

Day 5: Martinborough - Wellington

Wellington City Views - Wairarapa Tour

For a piece of local history we visit a museum where the only Fell Engine in the world has been restored to its former glory days of working on the Rimutaka Incline before we head over the winding Rimutaka Ranges road to lunch with Fee and David Weaver at the Pepped Warbeck garden.

We visit Te Papa, New Zealand's National Museum on the Wellington waterfront. We drive to the top of Mt Victoria to admire the views, continuing our sightseeing around the harbour. We return to the city and later dine in at the Bolton Hotel.

What you'll love today
  • Private lunch at the Pepped Warbeck garden with Fee and David Weaver
  • Explore the exhibits and displays of Te Papa National Museum

Day 6: Wellington - The Chateau Tongariro

Chateau Tongariro Hotel and Mt Ruapehu

Heading north from Wellington there are lovely sea views along the Kapiti Coast before the highway heads into the farmlands. We lunch with Sue and David Sweet at Mairenui Farm, near Mangaweka and enjoy their warm country hospitality.

Leaving Mairenui we drive north to Ohakune and around the slopes of Mount Ruapehu at 2,797 metres the North Island's highest mountain. We arrive at the Chateau Tongariro in time to relax before dining in this classic, landmark hotel.

What you'll love today
  • Mairenui Farm hosts your private lunch
  • At the Chateau Tongariro enjoy the stunning views, four-star service and ambience of this classic hotel

Day 7: The Chateau Tongariro - Auckland

Group walking in Aramatai Gardens near Taumarunui

We have a leisurely start this morning. We drive up to The Top of the Bruce to enjoy the stunning views. Later we drive to Taumarunui and through the rugged farming landscape to enjoy lunch with Jill Mouat at her lovely five acre Aramatai gardens and ponds.

Then we continue north through the Waikato to Auckland arriving in the late afternoon. Thank you for choosing to tour the Wairarapa with MoaTours.

What you'll love today
  • We drive up to the Top of the Bruce for views of Mount Ruapehu and the Central Plateau
  • At  Aramatai gardens meet Jill Mouat and enjoy a private lunch

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