What better backdrop to celebrate a birthday or special family occasion than the stunning islands of New Zealand? If you’re looking to organise a trip that knocks all others out of the park – this holiday, bursting with wildlife, waterfalls, wineries and, of course, incredible luxury properties, you’ve come to the right place. Start with an epic road trip that will lead you to billowing geysers and a rafting experience that’ll see you tackling some epic waterfalls, refuel half way through with a tour through some of New Zealand’s best wineries, and prepare to don a wet suit and swim with wild dolphins off dramatic coastlines. And that’s not all, as you’ll discover below…happy birthday to you.
Your first stop is Auckland. Explore this tranquil city and its myriad of cultural experiences, and make sure to take a trip up the Sky Tower to survey the landscape you’re about to discover. On your second day, you’ll be taken to collect your rental car and continue your onward journey to spend three nights at Rotorua, the heartland of New Zealand’s Maori culture. Take in the views as you drive – this is the world’s premier road trip destination after all. Then, when you arrive, find yourself confronted with limestone caves and bursting geysers that’ll make you stop and contemplate the fiery power of this ever-changing destination.
Whilst in Rotorua, you’ll experience the adrenaline of a mountain bike experience through the vast and beautiful Whakarewarewa Redwood Forest before embarking on a waterfall rafting adventure on the Kaituna River. It’s here that you’ll tackle the tallest commercially rafter waterfall in the world. Feeling nervous? Just go for it. The best experiences are often the ones that scare you (you can trust us, we’re travel experts).
Back from your wild watery adventure, slow the pace a little and end with a few hours kayaking around the scenic bays of Lake Rotoiti until you reach the thermal hot pools. The perfect soother to an excitement filled day.Read more
SPECTACULAR LANDSCAPES & SUPERB WINE
After a fast-paced few days in Rotorua, it’ll be time to drive to the fascinating art deco region of Hawke’s Bay, where you’ll get to indulge in a full day of wine tasting on your privately guided tour. Witness the beauty of this agricultural landscape as you sip on superb wine. And when you’ve had your fill of the vineyards (we’re not sure that’ll ever happen, just a warning) – discover the fertile lands and surf beaches that abound here. It’s the perfect place for culinary lovers and adventurers alike.
COUNTRY ESTATE RETREATS
After two nights of wining and dining in Hawke’s Bay, you’ll depart for Palliser Bay and your next stop, Wharekauhau Lodge. Here, you can hike, bike or walk the miles of tracks across the estate, surrounded by lakes, mountains and dramatic coastlines. It’s the ultimate country retreat, and a place that will see you embarking on 4WD farm safaris and yet more wine tours (it’s a special occasion, after all…). Meet the genius wine-makers behind some of your favourite tipples and really get under the skin of this art form before settling down for lunch in one of the local vineyards you’ve been exploring.
A quick hop across islands and you’ll arrive at the gorgeous Bronte Country Estate, set on Nelson’s Bronte Peninsula. From here, we’ll ensure you get to experience the wonders of Abel Tasman National Park, as well as enjoy the offerings of the world-class restaurants and bars that all reside nearby. Now, Abel Tasman National Park is a real wonder, and the way you’ll get to see it is pretty once-in-a-lifetime-esque. Having been transferred to your private launch, you’ll be sailed between bays and dropped off at some of the most remote and exciting walking tracks available here. With your very own skipper to hand, you really are at liberty to go wherever you please, and help you to discover the ultimate hidden cove at which to enjoy your gourmet pre-packed picnic.
And when it’s time to wave goodbye to Nelson, don’t fret, for you’ve got two days of Marlborough wanderings (and wine) to look forward to. Explore vineyards and local beer breweries before climbing aboard yet another private yacht that’ll cruise you around the stunning Marlborough sounds. You’ll be an expert boats-man or woman by now, so why not ask to try your hand at playing captain?
Back on land, take the stunning road south to Kaikoura. This rugged seaside settlement has the dramatic mountain backdrop framing it and is ideal for any visitors with an eco-conscience. Two nights at the Hapuku Lodge & Treehouses—yes treehouses, but like you’ve never seen before…will ensure you have the opportunity to explore one of the world’s best spots for whale watching and – wait for it – swimming with wild dolphins. Words cannot describe how awesome this experience is for first-timers and regulars alike.
THE FINAL FRONTIER
Queenstown – the last leg of your trip – where you’ll go out in pure style. Soar above Milford Sound on a scenic flight before landing for your three hour private boat cruise. Then, when it’s time to return to town, make sure you look down, as you’ll be flying over the glaciers of Olivine Ice Plateau. The perfect end to a celebration you’ll remember forever.