From the picturesque islands in the north to the majestic glaciers in the south, New Zealanders are not exaggerating when they describe their homeland as paradise. Affectionately called the adventure capital of the world, New Zealand possesses lakes and landscapes that offer picture-perfect scenic vistas and an incredibly diverse range of activities to suit all levels. Together with our Kiwi host, Vince Haywood, we visit the North and South Islands, lodging in perennially Harper-recommended lodges and hotels, notably: Huka Lodge in Taupo; Kauri Cliffs Lodge in the Bay of Islands; the Spire Hotel in Queenstown; and The Farm at Cape Kidnappers, a luxurious property in Hawkes Bay. Distinctive accommodations have been paired with extraordinary activities to create our “Lakes & Legends” itinerary. It encompasses unique experiences in total comfort, with time included to explore personal interests for private dining.
Participation is limited to 16 guests. Please contact the Andrew Harper Travel Office and ask for Erica Doose at (800) 375-4685 or SignatureTours@AndrewHarper.com. for additional information.
The Andrew Harper Travel Office will be delighted to assist you with your international airline reservations. Please contact us for further information.
Days 1-3: Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Depart the United States for Queenstown on the airline of your choice (we will be happy to assist with your arrangements). After crossing the International Date Line, arrive in Queenstown on November 14, where you will be met by your Seasonz guide and transferred by private vehicle to your accommodations at The Spire, a drive of approximately 20 minutes. The remainder of the day is at your leisure to relax and settle into your beautiful surroundings.
Day 4: Friday, November 15, 2013
You are transferred by private vehicle to the helipad for a Milford Sound helicopter excursion with a glacier landing. Later, enjoy an exhilarating safari aboard an exclusive Dart River jet boat. After your adventure, you will return to Queenstown by road, a scenic one-hour drive along the edge of Lake Wakatipu.
Day 5: Saturday, November 16, 2013
A short drive brings you to the Gibbston Valley. First, make a stop along the way at the iconic Kawarau Bridge Bungy Centre. For those adventurous enough, there is the option of taking the 141-foot plunge into the canyon below! Next, enjoy an interactive wine experience (including lunch) at Mount Edward Winery, hosted by winemaker Duncan Forsyth. Later this afternoon, take an exclusive escorted tour of the private art collection of David Teplitzky, showcasing the works of 108 artists from around the world. This is the first time the collection has been made available, and it will undoubtedly be a highlight of the trip.
Day 6: Sunday, November 17, 2013
Depart for Hawke’s Bay via Christchurch. On arrival, you are privately transferred to The Farm at Cape Kidnappers, a drive of approximately 40 minutes. Enjoy a delicious lunch while overlooking the vast expanse of the Pacific Ocean. The afternoon is at your leisure, followed by cocktails and dinner at The Terrace.
Day 7: Monday, November 18, 2013
Enjoy a gannet safari through Cape Kidnappers Station in the comfort of a private air-conditioned 4WD vehicle. On arrival, enjoy refreshments while you watch the gannets perform around you. Afterward, learn about winemaking in the region on your private Hawke’s Bay "Behind the Label" tour, a unique personal encounter with the wines and people of Hawke’s Bay hosted by Master of Wine Steve Smith. This evening, enjoy dinner at The Farm in the wine cellar.
Day 8, Tuesday, November 19, 2013
A local guide accompanies you for a Hawke’s Bay art and photography experience. Visit one of the oldest and most established private gardens in Hawke’s Bay, and stroll through the extensive property accompanied by the devoted owners. You are invited to a good old-fashioned Kiwi lunch at the homestead. After lunch, visit some local artists in their studios. Ricks Terstappen is one of the region’s best-known artists. Accompanying us for the day will be well-known New Zealand photographer Richard Brimer. This evening, enjoy dinner at The Farm at The Terrace, or you may prefer dining privately at your leisure.
Day 9: Wednesday, November 20, 2013
This morning you have the rare opportunity to drive that classic car toward Huka Lodge. You can select from a remarkable collection including an MG Roadster, assorted Jaguars, and other notable vintage vehicles. Stop at a rustic local pub for lunch and a chat with the owners as you enjoy the unique scenery. On arrival at Huka Lodge, share a celebratory glass of champagne.
Day 10: Thursday, November 21, 2013
You are transferred privately to Rotorua to view the geothermal phenomena, including the spectacular Champagne Pool. Afterward, experience a powhiri (Maori welcome) at the local marae (Maori meeting house). Assist in lifting a hangi (traditional meal cooked underground) that had been laid that morning in preparation for your arrival. This is a fun way to get to know the community of this small village, and learn the essence of the hangi as you enjoy the feast.
Day 11: Friday, November 22, 2013
Travel to the Bay of Islands and Kauri Cliffs Lodge. After lunch, select from one of several activities available, such as clay pigeon shooting, a spa treatment, a round of golf or a nature walk. Tonight, the Private Green Room will be the setting for a wonderful degustation menu featuring a variety of local delicacies that will captivate your palate.
Day 12: Saturday, November 23, 2013
A private luxury boat cruise through the Bay of Islands awaits. The 54-foot catamaran is fast and nimble for exploring the region and introducing you to the diverse marine life, as well as to the significance of the Maori and the maritime history of the area. Your sumptuous farewell dinner includes fresh local food in the panoramic setting of the Tiger Room.
Day 13: Sunday, November 24, 2013; Bay of Islands, Auckland; depart New Zealand
Your journey home begins today as you fly from Kerikeri Airport to Auckland, where you can do some last-minute shopping before entering the Auckland Airport for your flight home.