Christmas on Waiheke - a 7 day New Zealand Tour
Auckland shopping, gardens and museums, West coast beaches, Waiheke Island sights, wineries for tours and tastings, plus more…
Experience a Christmas like no other as we relax and unwind island style. Let us take the hassle out of the festive period as we first enjoy a day in Auckland before heading to Waiheke Island on Christmas Eve for a wonderful festive break.
Enjoy great food and taste the best locally produced wine from many of the islands boutique food and wine producers. Our waterfront accommodation is a perfect base for our four nights stay.
Day 1 - With bags packed, and as always, a pick up at your door, we head off for a getaway to wonderous Waiheke Island. We enjoy a very relaxed drive to Auckland, getting to know your new tour mates and making sure we have plenty of stops along the way. Through the scenic Karangahake Gorge, we traverse the Hauraki Plains before climbing the Bombay Hills and then into central Auckland.
Before checking in to our city central hotel we offer the option for some retail therapy at the new Newmarket Westfield Shopping Mall, or if you prefer, time to explore the Auckland Museum or Wintergardens in the Auckland Domain. If these options are not for you then you can check into the hotel around 3pm. The hotel is just a 10 minute walk from the Holy Trinity Cathedral and you may like to visit this stunning building.
Day 2 - After a lovely breakfast, we explore our largest city and will soak up some of the famous sights that make ‘The City of Sails’ one of the most livable cities in the world. We first head west to the black sand beaches at Muriwai, where at Otakamiro Point there is one of the few mainland located gannet (takapu) breeding colonies. The short walk to the viewing area is well worth the effort as you will see gannet chicks on the nests. Before heading back to the city we stop for lunch at a suitable venue (at your cost).
After lunch we head into the city to visit a secret garden nestled in an inner-city suburb. With something always in bloom, this spacious oasis is also home to a variety of native birds, insects and butterflies. The collection includes mature trees, flowering shrubs and perennials (including a large collection of rhododendrons). Tonight we dine at the stunning Orbit Restaurant at Sky Tower, where you can enjoy 360 degree views of the city while having a lovely meal.
Day 3 - (Christmas Eve) Time for us to skip across the Hauraki Gulf to Waiheke Island – our home for the next 4 nights. The ferry ride is spectacular with scenic views of the harbour, city and surrounding islands, such as Rangitoto and Browns Island.
On arrival on Waiheke we will take a short island tour to show you main points before we visit the island's top winery, 'Mud Brick Vineyard' for wine tasting followed by a lovely lunch overlooking the vines and the views across the harbour to Auckland city.
Suitably relaxed it's then just a short drive to our beach-side accommodation at Onetangi, on the way calling in at the supermarket in Ostend to stock up on any supplies you may want for your stay on the island.
After our late lunch today we do not include dinner so you are free to dine as you please this evening, either in your aprtment or at one of the local restaurants on the water front.
7 days of touring
6 nights quality accommodation
Door to door service (Tauranga area)
Quality air-conditioned vehicle
Full commentary by your guide
All breakfasts, 4 lunches & 4 dinners
Sky Tower and Orbit Restaurant dinner
Secret central city garden visit
Guided tour of Waiheke Island
Wine tasting at leading wineries
Gin tasting at a stunning location
Plenty of stops along the way
You will see:
The City of Sails - Auckland
Sky Tower - Casino optional!
The Waitemata Harbour
Muriwai gannet colony
Waiheke and the Hauraki Gulf
Morning/afternoon tea stops*
Any alcoholic beverages with meals
* Please note, that unless specified in the itinerary we do not usually include the cost of lunches or morning and afternoon tea stops in the tour cost, but we always make stops where there are a range of options available so you can choose what you want, and have flexibility to do things on your own if you wish.
Singles room surcharges are from $850.00.
There are a range of room options available, studios, one bedroom units, 2 bedroom units, plus beach view rooms.
Day 4 - (Christmas Day) Today is such a special day for young and old alike, so we will begin with a nice social breakfast together in the courtyard with some bubbles and a tasty breakfast, cooked up by your guide on the bbq. Then some free time for a Christmas day swim or stroll on the beach before we get ready for our Christmas lunch at a local resort overlooking Palm Beach. Nothing to do today but just enjoy great food and good company. We do not include dinner this evening after our special Christmas day lunch.
Day 5 - Boxing Day is all about relaxation and a chance to unwind Waiheke style. Soak up the sun, enjoy a stroll along the beach or a swim in the calm waters of the bay, or join our optional visit to "The Village", as the locals refer to Oneroa, where you can browse the shops at your own pace. We include a visit to Waiheke Museum to learn more about the island's history and then head to The Batch Winery, our final destination today, where we include a winery tour and tasting, after which you can stay on for lunch (your cost) or head back to Onetangi for a restful afternoon before dinner this evening at a wonderful local restaurant on the beach front.
Day 6 - Our final full day on Waiheke is a day all about exploration and with the help of a local guide, we will discover the delights of this island paradise. Awash with white sand beaches and calm bays, there are scenic wonders around every corner. We will visit one of the islands best known wineries, where you can try some of their award-winning wines. This is a highlight for many as the Man-O-War winery is located on the remote eastern side of the island, known by the locals as "the Bottom End". Enjoy tasting a range of their locally produced wines as you watch the boats out in the bay from the glorious beachfront location, followed by a light lunch.
The Man O War winery visit may be substituted with another great destination if it is not open for business, as they have in recent years been closed over Christmas.
We continue our tour travelling further around the "bottom end" and back to Oneroa to visit the Waiheke Arts & Crafts Gallery, a showcase for many of the island's top artists, returning to Onetangi in time for an afternoon on the beach. Dinner tonight is at another top local restaurant, where we can recount all the wonderful memories we have made over the past few days.
Day 7 - Today we are homeward bound, departing Waiheke Island after breakfast and maybe that last stroll along the golden sand beach. We take the ferry back across the Hauraki Gulf to Half Moon Bay and begin our journey south. We will have you dropped at your door in the afternoon, having had a wonderful and relaxing trip.
All Hinterland multi-day tours can be taken by clients from any region of New Zealand or Australia. Please contact us for details. Additional charges may apply.