If you like walking, this North Island walking tour just for women is the one for you!
|Date & Duration:||6th-14th November 2021 - 8 nights|
|Cost:||NZ$2390 - What's included?|
|Arrival & Departure points:||Auckland/Hamilton|
|Group size:||min 7, max 12|
|Accommodation:||good quality hotels, homes and motels|
Day 1 Auckland
Arrive Auckland by 10am. City and airport pick ups available. We'll then drive directly to Kumeu Wine Country for a Mini Wine and Food Degustation. Westbrook is a boutique winery and a lovely setting to get to know your fellow travellers. We'll then head in to the city, check in to our Parnell hotel, freshen up and then head down to the Viaduct Marina. This is the hub of America's Cup and racing is scheduled to start today! We'll get amongst the off-water action and soak up the atmosphere of this fascinating sport and catch the race on one of the big screens.
Day 2 Rangitoto Island - Te Aroha
A short ferry ride this morning to Rangitoto Island - New Zealand's youngest volcano at just 600 years old. We fill in the morning with a steady climb on a well-maintained track past rugged lava scree and through the world's largest pohutukawa forest to the peak at 259 metres above sea level. At the top we'll be rewarded (weather permitting) with spectacular views of the Hauraki Gulf and Auckland.
Later this afternoon we depart the city and journey over the Bombay Hills into the mighty Waikato via cow-crazy Morrinsville and on to the township of Te Aroha. Nestled at the foot of Mt Te Aroha, is where you will find the Mokena Hou Geyser (the only natural soda water geyser in the world) and right next to this is the oldest intact Edwardian domain in New Zealand.
Walking: 2 hours
Day 3 Karangahake Gorge - Waihi Beach
A visit to a local artist is our first engagement of the day - you will be in awe at what this talented guy can make out of scrap. In nearby Paeroa we'll stop for a photo opportunity at the famous L&P bottle before continuing on to Karangahake Gorge at the base of the Coromandel Range. Our walk this morning will take us deep in to the gorge following the old railway line through tunnels, over bridges, past mining remains and the "windows".
In the afternoon we call in to the small gold mining town of Waihi and see the Martha open pit mine before arriving at Waihi Beach. After settling in to our "bach" we'll take a stroll down to the beach before sundowners and fish'n'chips. Walking: 1 + 1 hour
Day 4 Waihi Beach
This morning we will walk the Homunga track via picturesque Orokawa Bay to Waihi Beach. This is a
capitvating trail following the coastline across farmland and through native bush. Get in tune with the cicadas anthem, chortling tuis and the ocean crashing on to the coast as you roam along the track enjoying an untouristy walk with stunning views. Afternoon at leisure for shopping, relaxing or beach walking. Walking: 3.5 hours
Day 5 Mt Maunganui - Cambridge
The famed "Mount" beckons this morning. You have the option to either walk the Mt Maunganui Base or Summit Track. Both options take around an hour to complete however the Summit does require a reasonable amount of exertion but it's worth it for the amazing views!
This afternoon's drive will take us from the Bay of Plenty over the Kaimai Ranges to the Waikato. Our base for the next few days is the charming town of Cambridge, known for its trees and champions and recently voted NZ's "Most Beautiful Large Town". Late afternoon orientation of the town including a stroll down Cambridge's own walk of fame - it's not quite Hollywood but you never know which famous Kiwi you might spot! Walking: 1 + 1 hour
Day 6 Hamilton
This morning we'll visit Zealong Tea Plantation. Who would have thought in the middle of the Waikato you'd find an award-winning tea plantation! It all started with a camellia tree apparently. Our guide will lead us along the tea trail to learn how tea is picked and processed. We'll then learn the art of tea appreciation followed by a scrumptious high tea. The afternoon will be spent rambling through the popular Hamilton Gardens. The Gardens tell the story of gardening through different civilisations and time, and showcase a wonderful collection of plants and architecture. You will be astounded that Hamilton has such a fabulous internationally renowned treasure. From the Gardens we'll stroll along the Waikato River to view the unique bridges, memorial gardens and beautiful homes.
Gloworm Kayak (highly recommended optional activity) - this adventure takes us out to Arapuni where we board kayaks for an easy paddle along the southern edge of Lake Karapiro. Enjoy the twilight & silence of being on the water as the day draws to an end. As night arrives over the lake, paddle slowly up the Pokaiwhenua Stream and through the canyon carved out by
water over many hundreds of years. Native ferns & trees drape over you, bird life is all around. When darkness falls we float silently back downstream, being guided by the glow worms on either side sparkling like Christmas lights. A magical experience.
Walking: 2 hours
Day 7 Orakei Korako - Tirau
This morning we drive south to an active geothermal area. Orakei Korako aka "The Hidden Valley" is NZ's largest geothermal area with more than 250 hot springs and geysers. We will have plenty of time to explore the area by foot. We'll take a late lunch break in the quirky little town of Tirau where you'll come face-to-face with some corrugated characters. This afternoon's stroll is along the rural Te Waihou Walkway to the internationally acclaimed Blue Spring. The water here is so pure and supplies around 70% of NZ's bottled water. Walking: 1 + 1 hour
Day 8 Maungatautari - Arapuni - Hobbiton
Just a short drive from Cambridge, is the Maungatautari Ecological Sanctuary where we will spend an interesting few hours on a morning guided stroll through the forest. Surrounded by the world's longest pest-proof fence, this ancient forest offers a sanctuary for populations of many of New Zealand's most endangered species - from birds to bats, frogs to reptiles, tuatara to giant weta. Later this afternoon will be a visit to "Middle Earth". Even if you're not a 'Lord of the Rings' fan, a visit to Hobbiton
is a truly amazing experience. Stroll through the lush pastures of "The Shire" on a guided movie-set tour, past Hobbit Holes, the Mill and on to the world-famous Green Dragon Inn for a well-earned beverage followed by a banquet feast fit for a Hobbit! The tables will be heaving with traditional Hobbit fare. At the end of the evening, take your hand-held lantern and stroll back along the Shire's paths seeing the village in a different light with chimneys smoking and lanterns glowing in the darkness. Just magic! Walking: 1 + 1 hour
Day 9 Cambridge
Your fabulous adventure ends in Cambridge this morning, what a great trip it has been! Book a flight to fly out from Hamilton - we will get you to the airport.
- 8 nights accommodation (good quality hotels, homes and motels)
-Daily breakfast, 1 lunch, 3 dinners
- Tour leader / walking guide
- Transportation in modern air-conditioned mini-coach
- Departure transfer to Hamilton Airport on Day 9
- Meals and refreshments (unless specified in inclusions), Items of a personal nature
How fit do I need to be
Expect to walk on average 5km per day. Some days may be longer and some may be shorter, some easy and some harder. There is lots of variety. The pace will be leisurely with ample time for a breather and photos. The tour is aimed at leisure walkers who enjoy the outdoors, meeting new people, discovering and socialising.
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