A brief overview of Auckland City as we take you on a tour passing through Iconic sites that are an integral part of Auckland’s history. Includes Auckland Waterfront, Bastion Point Memorial, and Mission Bay. Drive through Auckland Domain, past the beautiful building of the Auckland Museum, stop to view the Auckland Winter gardens & down through Parnell Village. A short stop may be possible to peruse the boutique coffee & chocolate shops.
Cross over the Harbour Bridge to Devonport Village, one of Auckland’s earliest settlements. Enjoy the historical local sights ; spend time exploring this quaint village before hopping aboard a quick ferry to whisk you back across the sparkling Waitemata Harbour to dock ride alongside your cruise ship in the middle of Auckland City centre .
Come on a tour which not only showcases New Zealand’s largest city but also takes you from one coastline to the other, all in one day. You get to see iconic and historical city sights, as well as black sandy beaches on our Wild West coast and beautiful white sandy beaches on our east coast. In between you travel across our famous harbour bridge, farmland, forest, vineyards, market gardens and major Auckland suburbs. Enjoy Devonport, one of the earliest settlements in Auckland, Muriwai beach where you get to see our Gannet colony. 1200 pairs of birds which return every year to nest and have their babies in the same spot. Lunch at a local winery and wine tasting before heading back into the city. We recommend you end you day with us at the Sky Tower which is not only the tallest building in the southern hemisphere and iconic but also offers spectacular views of the entire city, however this is optional.
New Zealand wines have become world acclaimed so it only fitting for you to sample some of Auckland’s best. Auckland is a large and diverse wine region, boasting sub-tropical climate with around 100 vineyards and wineries and home to some of New Zealand’s oldest established vineyards, planted back in 1819. I am going to showcase three in particular today followed by a late lunch at one of the best in the region. You will start your day when we collect you from your ship then travel along the harbour edge to Mission Bay, a historical area of inner city Auckland. From here we will visit Parnell, an upmarket suburb full of charm and character. Then it’s out west we go to start the sampling for the day. First stop is Matua Valley Wines with New Zealand’s first Sauvignon Blanc. Matua in Maori means “Head of the family” or leader do only fitting to begin here with three whites, then 3 reds to sample. Next is Kumeu River for its outstanding Chardonnay’s, followed closely by Soljans Estate for a wine tour before tasting begins, followed by an outstanding lunch in their award winning restaurant .
Departing Auckland city taking Motorway south we travel through Market Gardening area of Bombay, down to the plains of Te Kawhata, another wine growing region. Following the Waikato River, then turning off main highway to enter the Waikato Valley, home to 1.8 million dairy cows, the most productive industry in the country. We travel through this picturesque landscape to the township of Matamata before arriving at the Hobbiton Movie Set location for Lord of The Rings and The Hobbit trilogy films. Spend an informative 2 hour tour around the movie set location. Stand under the party tree, walk past the Hobbit holes, imagine yourself amongst the characters. Nestled deep in the rolling hills of the Waikato, this location was chosen for its unblemished landscape. Bilbo Baggins was no typical hobbit, he did not want adventure, but you will have to come and see why he was so reluctant to leave the comfort of The Shire. At the conclusion of your journey you get a special treat in the Green Dragon Inn where you will receive a local shire ale, cider or ginger beer.
It is now time for our return journey back to Auckland City via an alternative route .
Waitomo Glow-worm Caves are world famous and a must do attraction for any visitor to New Zealand .
Leaving Auckland City via main highway south we travel through a kaleidoscope scenery of market gardens, townships, pasture land and rivers - with your destination being Waitomo Caves. We take a brief stop at the township of Otorohanga to visit the well-known Kiwi House for a close-up encounter with live Kiwi Bird and a seek and find the ancient old Tuatara reptiles. From here it’s just a short drive to Waitomo for your tour adventure of –The Glow-worm Cave Grotto. Enjoy a guided tour through the Cathedral Cave and the cavern boat ride under thousands of magical glow-worms unique to New Zealand .
Time for some lunch, it is a short drive to Roseland’s Farm and Garden Restaurant if you would like to enjoy a specialized New Zealand BBQ Buffet lunch.
Then it is time to return to Auckland via a different route .
Two of the most visited attractions in New Zealand can be accomplished in one day, so climb aboard and let’s go. Depart Auckland and travel south, with your first destination being Waitomo Caves – en-route you pass through the Market Garden area of south Auckland, country townships, and lush Waikato farmland. Following the mighty Waikato River which boasts a number of New Zealand’s hydro power plants along its pathway from Taupo to the Waikato Heads. Passing through Ngaruawahia the home to our Maori King before heading west through more farmland, passing through Otorohanga before arriving at Waitomo, the caving centre of NZ. Waitomo translated in Maori means Wai = water and Tomo = a hole in the ground. Your cave adventure awaits you – the world renowned Glow-worm cave with its Cathedral and magical boat ride under glow-worm lights.
Because today is a very full days itinerary there is time for a quick lunch before heading off to the Hobbiton Movie Set. On arrival you embark on a 2 hour guided tour of the movie set used for filming the trilogy's of The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. You get to stand under the party tree, walk past the Hobbit holes, imagine yourself amongst the characters. Nestled deep in the rolling hills of the Waikato, this location was chosen for its unblemished landscape. Bilbo Baggins was no typical hobbit and here you will understand why. Set in the middle of a large sheep and beef farm, left in its original state, this is a memory making tour.
Now its time to head back to Auckland, leaving you with A Day to be Remembered.
Zealandier Tours - Outstanding!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 23 November 2013
In 2011, I have 3 passengers/clients interested for private tours of Dunedin and Queenstown, New Zealand. Using TripAdvisor’s website, I found excellent reviews for Zealandier tours. So, I booked them with Zealandier Tours. My clients were very impressed with the level of service, i.e. tours, hotel, etc.. OUTSTANDING! I emailed and contacted Jan that when I go to New Zealand, I would definitely book with Zealandier Tours.
Well, this month of November, my group of 66 passengers recently returned from a cruise on Celebrity Solstice, 12 Nights Australia and New Zealand, November 5, 2013 sailing date . We visited Sydney, Melbourne, Milford Sound, Doubtful Sound, Dusky Sound, Dunedin, Akaroa/Christchurch, Wellington, Tauranga, and Auckland. For all my group’s New Zealand tours, I contacted Jan long before we went on our cruise. Whenever I have questions, she immediately emailed me back, like Wellington sites, USD currency acceptable in Australia and New Zealand, etc.
The South islands tours (Dunedin and Akaroa/Christchurch) were Zealandier arranged.The drivers/guides were great, supplying commentary and various interesting local knowledge of the islands. We ate fish and chips in Dunedin, they were so good that some members of my group commented that they can eat four (4) pieces of the battered fish.
The North islands tours (Tauranga and Auckland) were Zealandier owned. Based on Jan’s recommendation and list of sites to visit, we did our walking tour in Wellington, i.e. I did not book Wellington city highlights tour for my group.
For the North Island tours, Jan and Mike were the guides. Both were great and exceeded our expectations. Both tour guides wants to share their extensive knowledge of Tauranga and Auckland islands. In Tauranga, eleven (11) members of my group did the Hobbiton Movie Set (highlight of their tour) & Rotorua Combo. The rest of my group (55 members) with Max as our very good commentary driver, visited a Kiwi plantation/shop (where members of my group did a lot of shopping and tasted the kiwi gold, not sold in US), Hamurana Spring, experienced the unique Whakarewarewa Thermal region and Maori village – a must!.
In Auckland, we visited the Muriwai Beach (renowned for black iron sand, and a Gannett Colony), Devonport, ate strawberry ice cream, ate lunch at the seafood market, etc.
I HIGHLY recommend Zealandier Tours for all your New Zealand travels. Kudos to Jan and her team! Everything was organized and made New Zealand a fascinating country to explore - a trip of a lifetime!
Visited November 2013