East Cape Explorer

from £2036
excluding flights *
13 nights Year round

Overview

Discover one of New Zealand's seldom explored regions on this 14-day self-drive holiday following the Pacific Coast Highway around the East Cape of the North Island. The East Cape reveals a rugged volcanic coastline home to secluded hidden bays and nearby islands and is an area rich in Maori heritage which has not yet been commercialised.

Highlights

  • Explore the best beaches in Mercury Bay on a boat tour
  • See Rotorua's boiling pools, geysers and deep-rooted Maori culture
  • Visit Moutohora Island Sanctuary
  • Explore the East Cape coastline, and a Walk with the Ancestors Maori guided tour
  • Soak up the Art Deco architecture of Napier
  • Sample some of New Zealand's world class wines in Hawke's Bay

What's Included

  • Accommodation in rooms with private bathroom
  • 10 breakfasts
  • Car rental throughout including GPS
  • Private airport transfer on arrival
  • Mercury Bay boat tour
  • Moutohora Island Sanctuary Tour
  • Walk with the Ancestors tour at Waimarama
  • 24 hour emergency assistance from our team during your holiday
  • No surcharge guarantee
  • Full financial protection

Full description

Uncover one of New Zealand’s most authentic and genuine regions and travel mostly away from the main tourist routes without missing key regional highlights. Stay on the Coromandel Peninsula, a region filled with rainforest-clad gorges and Pohutukawa-fringed beaches, before travelling onto the geo-thermal heartland of Rotorua.

Wake early in Gisborne and be one of the first in the world to see the sun rise and spend your time here discovering New Zealand’s early history. The first Maori waka (canoes) to arrive on the East Cape reportedly landed at Titirangi Hill in Gisborne, and Captain Cook became the first European to set foot on New Zealand soil at nearby Kaiti Bay, the significance of these two events is well covered at the Tairawhiti Museum.

This region has also set the scene in many a movie including ‘Prince Caspian - The Chronicles of Narnia’ at the stunning Coromandel Cove and 'The Whale Rider' a touching and uplifting story providing audiences with a taste of Maori culture but also demonstrating that there is far more to New Zealand than just some of the finest scenery in the world.

Enjoy time in Napier, one of New Zealand’s magnificent wine-producing regions and a city renowned for its Art Deco architecture, before travelling to the capital city of Wellington where your journey will end.

 

Contact Natasha
worldwide team natasha marks bw
Authentic holidays for passionate travellers

Prices & Dates *

Offers

Airfares start from around £825 per person and are quoted separately to the holiday price. When enquiring, our Travel Specialists will provide the best fare possible from your preferred airline / airport.

From prices per person based on 2 sharing a room with private bathroom, including car hire. Prices for other combinations of passengers and rooms available on request. Other vehicle types also available.

Departure Duration Car Category Twin Price (pp)
01 May - 30 Sep 2020 13 nights Toyota Corolla Hatch (or similar) £2,036
01 Oct - 31 Dec 2020 13 nights Toyota Corolla Hatch (or similar) £2,242
01 Jan - 31 Mar 2021 13 nights Toyota Corolla Hatch (or similar) £2,206

What's Included

  • Accommodation in rooms with private bathroom
  • 10 breakfasts
  • Car rental throughout (Toyota Corolla Hatch or similar) including GPS
  • Private airport transfer on arrival
  • 2 hour Mercury Bay boat tour
  • Moutohora Island Sanctuary Tour
  • Half-day Walk with the Ancestors tour at Waimarama
  • 24 hour emergency assistance from our team during your holiday
  • No surcharge guarantee
  • Full financial protection »

Itinerary & Accommodation

Itinerary & Accommodation

The itinerary shown is an example of this self-drive holiday. We have many other hotels and route recommendations which can be tailored to your requirements. Please discuss with our Travel Specialists who can put together a bespoke itinerary for you.

Day 1: Arrive in Auckland

You will be met on arrival and transferred to your hotel in the city centre for an overnight stay.
Overnight: Heritage Auckland Hotel.

Day 2: Auckland – Whitianga, Coromandel Peninsula (193 km)

Collect your rental vehicle this morning and enjoy a leisurely drive to Whitianga, located on the Coromandel Peninsula, a region filled with rainforest-clad gorges and Pohutukawa-fringed beaches, such as those in Mercury Bay. This bay was named by Captain James Cook after he landed on the shores in 1769 to observe a Transit of Mercury.
Overnight: 970 Lonely Bay, including breakfast.

Day 3: Whitianga, Coromandel Peninsula

This morning is free for you to relax and explore this beautiful coastal area. You might like to enjoy an early morning stroll along to Lonely Bay or visit one of the many nearby beaches. This afternoon enjoy a 2-hour boat tour exploring 12 kms of rugged volcanic coastline, nearby islands and stunning beaches including Cooks Beach, Hahei and the wonderful Cathedral Cove where ‘The Chronicles of Narnia & Prince Caspian’ was filmed. Observe an abundance of marine and bird life and witness towering pinnacles, giant blowholes and sea caves.
Overnight: Overnight: 970 Lonely Bay, including breakfast.

Day 4: Whitianga, Coromandel Peninsula – Rotorua (230 km)

Drive south today, either following the coast road via Tauranga or inland via the interesting towns of Paeroa and Te Aroha, towards the active geo-thermal heartland of Rotorua.
Overnight: Regent of Rotorua Boutique Hotel, including breakfast.

Day 5: Exploring Rotorua

You have a full day free to explore New Zealand's best known geothermal area, with its geysers, volcanoes, lakes and Maori culture. This evening you may like to enjoy a traditional Maori feast or 'hangi' (at additional cost).
Overnight: Regent of Rotorua Boutique Hotel, including breakfast.

Day 6: Rotorua - Whakatane (85 km)

Today make your way to the coastal town of Whakatane, located in the Bay of Plenty.
Overnight: White Island Rendezvous, including breakfast.

Day 7: Whakatane

Today you'll enjoy a visit to Moutohora Island Sanctuary.
Overnight: White Island Rendezvous, including breakfast.

Day 8: Whakatane - Gisborne (185 km)

Today make your way to historic Gisborne via State Highway 2. Captain Cook first set foot on New Zealand soil here in 1769 and you might like to visit The Cook Landing Site memorial which offers sensational views out across Poverty Bay. Alternatively you may like to drive the longer, scenic route along the coast via the East Cape which will take approximately 6 hours. This region boasts some of the most spectacular coastal scenery on the North Island.
Overnight: Portside Hotel.

Day 9: Gisborne

Spend today at leisure. Don't miss New Zealand's longest pier at Tolaga Bay and the Maori settlement of Whangara where the film Whale Rider was shot.
Overnight: Portside Hotel.

Day 10: Gisborne - Napier (216 km)

Journey south to the magnificent wine-producing region of Hawke's Bay. The city of Napier is renowned for its Art Deco architecture and it is well worth enjoying a guided tour of the city during your stay.
Overnight: McHardy Lodge, including breakfast.

Day 11: Napier

A day at leisure to explore this delightful region and its pristine beaches, superb wineries, Maori heritage and arts and crafts. A 2 hour "Walk with the Ancestors" guided Maori tour is included today.
Overnight: McHardy Lodge, including breakfast.

Day 12: Napier - Wellington (334 km)

Travel through sheep farming country to the capital city of Wellington for a two-night stay.
Overnight: QT Museum Hotel, including breakfast.

Day 13: Wellington

This vibrant capital city has a wealth of activities on offer, from food and walking tours to culture and heritage, wildlife and Lord of the Rings adventures. A visit to New Zealand's National Museum, Te Papa, is highly recommended.
Overnight: QT Museum Hotel, including breakfast.

Day 14: Wellington

Return your rental vehicle at the airport depot and depart

Heritage Auckland

New Zealand

Grade: Superior

Type: Hotel

This historic building has been transformed into a luxury 467-suite hotel with views over the city to the sparkling harbour beyond.

Discover More

970 Lonely Bay Lodge, Coromandel Peninsula

New Zealand

Grade: Superior

Type: Luxury Lodge

With a selection of five spacious luxury suites, each with a king size bed, en-suite bathrooms, luxury linens and a private terrace overlooking the stunning Mercury Bay and Cooks Beach, 970 Lonely Bay Lodge provides the perfect location for your beachside escape.

Discover More

The Regent of Rotorua, Rotorua

New Zealand

Grade: Deluxe

Type: Unique And Boutique

Escape the ordinary in Regent of Rotorua, a designer boutique hotel offering stylish luxury accommodation, restaurant, wine & cocktail bar, all with a touch of glamour.

Discover More

QT Wellington

New Zealand

Grade: Superior

Type: Hotel

The quirky QT Wellington offers a uniquely creative approach to hotel design, with modern art, sophisticated technology and a personalised friendly service.

Discover More

Excursions

How to Book
Call us on 01737 214 250 to discuss your plans or
Enquire Now
Browse the website

Find a holiday idea or suggested itinerary that inspires you, then send an enquiry or call us

Personalised Quote

Your dedicated travel specialist will create a quote based on your preferences

Refine & Book

Together we’ll refine your itinerary until you’re happy and ready to book

You’re in safe hands

From the moment you book until you return home we’re here for you no matter what

You may also like

Whale and Dolphin Explorer

from £3139
excluding flights
20 nights Year round
Immerse yourself in a wealth of wildlife and nature on this fantastic self drive.
  • Wildlife
  • Self Drive
  • Whale Watching
  • Bird Watching
New Zealand

North Island Classic

from £1521
excluding flights
13 nights Year round
This two-week self-drive holiday takes in the highlights of the North Island.
  • Self Drive
New Zealand