Our Wairarapa Wandering tour has a stay-put holiday feeling with three nights out in the Martinborough countryside at Brackenridge Country Retreat. 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, visit Te Papa and enjoy four private lunches along the way.

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

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Tour Price

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$3190 pp twin
$3790 pp single
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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
  • Lynden Over's inspired glass art, sculpture garden and studio
  • Relax in your seaview room at Te Pania Hotel in Napier

Day 2: Napier - Havelock - Pukaha, Mt Bruce - Martinborough

Art Deco building in Napier

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

We meet our guide at Pukaha Mt Bruce National Wildlife Centre and see the kaka at feeding time, also kiwi, kokako, takahe and tuatara, a "living fossil". In the late afternoon we reach Martinborough and nearby is our home for three nights, Brackenridge Country Retreat.

What you'll love today
  • Explore the sights with a private guide on an Art Deco tour of Napier
  • Watch the antics of the kaka at feeding time at Pukaha Mt Bruce Wildlife Centre 

Day 3: Wairarapa sightseeing - Cape Palliser - Lake Ferry - Martinborough

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 lunch at the classic Lake Ferry Pub and later check out Martinborough village and a vineyard.There’s time to refresh in the indoor swimming pool at Brackenridge. 

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

Day 4: Wairarapa sightseeing - Stonehenge Aotearoa - Dursley - Greytown

Stonehenge Aotearoa - Wairarapa Tour

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 travel country roads to Dursley to lunch with Judith Callaghan in her lovely garden. 

We visit arty Greytown with its antique, craft and gift shops and Neil and Greg introduce us to leafy Kahikatea Gardens and their friendly animals. We dine at Brackenridge this evening.

What you'll love today
  • Meet and lunch with Judith, the creator of lovely Dursley Garden
  • Stonehenge Aotearoa combines modern scientific knowledge with Maori star lore

Day 5: Martinborough - Fell Engine Museum - Pepped Warbeck Garden - 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 Pepped Warbeck garden.

We visit Te Papa, New Zealand's National Museum on the Wellington waterfront and drive up 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 - Mairenui Farm, Mangaweka - 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 and old world 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 farmers Jill and Leo Mouat at their 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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