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East Cape Explorer

19th February - 24th February 2018
6 Days - 5 Nights
Price 1,595  |  Single Supplement $445
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Highlights

Rotorua

Cruise on Lake Rotorua

Buried Village at Te Wairoa

St Mary's Church at Tikitiki

Tokomaru Bay

Anaura Bay

Tolago Bay

Hackfalls Arboretum

Tairawhiti Museum

Captain Cook's First Landing

Cape Kidnappers Tour

Napier

Art Deco Tour

Napier's Urban Farmers' Market

Cruise on Lake Taupo

 
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This tour covers some of New Zealand’s most popular spots on the East Cape.

After our first stop in Rotorua, we head north and drive along the East Cape Coast with its fabulous coastal views. We also stay in Hicks Bay, Gisborne and Napier. Highlights on the tour will include seeing the largest and oldest Pohutukawa in Te Araroa, St Mary’s Memorial Church in Tikitiki, Tokomaru Bay for a picnic lunch, Cape Kidnappers, an Art Deco tour in Napier and much more. This is a wonderful tour with plenty of magnificent views of the East Cape. As an extra bonus, we cruise on Lake Rotorua and Lake Taupo as we travel to and from the East Cape.

 

Itinerary

Day 1

Monday 19th February
Dinner

We start our journey and stop in Cambridge for morning tea before continuing to Rotorua. Here, we enjoy lunch on board the Lakeland Queen as we cruise around Lake Rotorua. The Lakeland Queen has a long history of being the only large vessel operating on the lake. Owing to the geothermal activity around the lake,it has a high sulphur content giving it an unusual yellowish-green colour. After lunch, we head to our hotel.

Day 2

Tuesday 20th February
Breakfast, Dinner

This morning, we go to the Buried Village of Te Wairoa. This is one of New Zealand’s most visited Archaeological Sites where stories of the 1886 Mt Tarawera Eruption come to life. The walk around the site is mostly flat and takes around 40 minutes to complete. We end our visit there with a Devonshire Cream Tea before making our way to Opotiki for lunch.

We continue our journey along the East Cape coast with the most fabulous coastal views in New Zealand. Our overnight stop is at the Hicks Bay Motel Lodge that’s perched high on a hill with breath-taking panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean.

Day 3

Wednesday 21st February
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

This morning we travel around the East Cape and our first stop will be Te Araroa where we will see the largest and oldest Pohutukawa in the school grounds. Driving on to the historic St Mary’s Church at Tikitiki with its beautiful intricate carvings. We drive to Ruatoria and this will be our morning tea stop. Ariving at Tokomaru Bay for our picnic lunch and a chance to take in this pristine coastline and one of the most beautiful beaches. Aftre lunch we stop for a while at Anaura Bay, where Captain James Cook made landfall in October 1769 and met the local Māori before continuing on to take a look at the historic 600 metre wharf at Tolago Bay. Taking a slight detour we will visit the wonderful Hackfalls Aboretum for a guided tour. The Arboretum was founded by renowned tree expert Bob Berry and features 50 hectares of rare shrubs and trees around natural lakes. Gisborne will be our final stop for the day.

Day 4

Thursday 22nd February
Breakfast, Dinner

An interesting day as we first visit the Tairawhiti Museum. This museum and art gallery has a reputation as being one of the very best, most innovative regional museums in New Zealand, it just had to be on the list for this tour. We travel to where Captain Cook first landed in New Zealand followed by a trip up Kaiti Hill with its 360° views. After lunch back in Gisborne we will visit the statue of Young Nick before driving to Napier for our next 2 nights.

Day 5

Friday 23rd February
Breakfast

This morning we take a trip to the world famous Cape Kidnappers Gannet Sanctuary, the largest most accessible mainland gannet colony in the world. Our bus will bus take us right into the sanctuary (no walking) and is really an amazing scenic and natural experience. After lunch back in Napier we have a half hour guided walk through Napier’s Art Deco Quarter, including visits to the interiors of the most stunning examples of architectural style in the city. We hear about the dramatic story of the 1931 earthquake while discovering Art Deco; the style of the times in the 1930s.

Day 6

Saturday 24th February
Breakfast

Today, we start our homeward journey, but stop to see Napier’s Urban Farmers’ Market.This is where the locals shop, so enjoy freshly roasted coffee, the divine treats and some of the best produce, the market offers you a true Hawke’s Bay experience. Our lunch stop is in Taupo while taking a cruise around the lake, Lake Taupo has a perimeter of approximately 193 kilometres and its deepest point is 186 metres and it’s clear blue-green water is part of the pristine character of this lake. After our cruise we make our way home and reflect on a wonderful time touring around the stunning East Cape.

 

 

 

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