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Waikato Springtime Escape

4 Days

$1,899 pp
3 Seats Left!

Waikato Springtime Escape

Departures

  • September 24, 2022
Only 3 Seats Left!

Prices

  • $1899.00 share twin or single from Auckland
  • $1999.00 share twin or single from Tauranga

What's included?

  • Quality Full Sized Touring coach from Auckland with experienced Coach Driver (prices available from other centres)
  • Quality accommodation at 4* Novotel Hamilton Tainui in twin/double rooms/ or single rooms with private facilities
  • Breakfasts & Dinners daily
  • Visit Hamilton Gardens
  • Waikato River Cruise
  • Ticket to NZ Cherry Blossom Festival
  • High-tea/Lunch at Cherry Tree Manor
  • Visit to Treechurch Gardens
  • Afternoon tea and tour of Zealong Tea Estate
  • Light lunch at The garden art Studio
  • Services of an experienced Tour Manager from Auckland back to Auckland (subject to numbers)
  • FREE home pick up and return in the greater Auckland area

B – Breakfast      MT – Morning Tea     L – Lunch     AT – Afternoon Tea                                            D – Dinner

Day 1: Auckland– Hamilton (D)

Join your coach and fellow travellers as we travel down the southern motorway past the market gardening area of Bombay. We will follow the Waikato River through lush farmland passing by the wine growing area of Te Kauwhata and the coal mining town of Huntly before arriving in the City of Hamilton. Here we will enjoy an hour cruise onboard the Waikato River Explorer (fully licensed café onboard). We cruise down through the center of Hamilton City—a totally unique way to view New Zealand’s largest inland city. Highlights include several 100 year-old bridges, riverside sculptures & artworks while enjoying our Skipper’s unique commentary. We may even pass a rowing crew out practicing. We then head to the 4* Novotel Hamilton Tainui Hotel on the river where we will be based for 3 nights. This evening join your Tour Manager for dinner at the hotel.

Day 2: Cherry Blossoms! (B HT D)

We enjoy a delicious buffet breakfast this morning to start our day before heading to English Cherry Tree Manor — the home of The New Zealand Cherry Blossom Festival. Anne Cao and Paul Oulton created the cherry blossom festival in 2017 with the inspiration from trespassers keen to take photos of the blossoms.

When, in 1996, Paul moved to the property now named English Cherry Tree Manor, when there was little but grass. Over the years, the garden expanded in all directions from the house with ponds, streams, waterfalls, drystone walls, bluebells woods and a wide variety of plantings to the lush haven it now is. We enjoy entertainment from a varied group of Nationalities in their National Costumes as they sing or dance surrounded by Blossom Trees and enchanted Blue Bells.

We have time to enjoy the blossoms and entertainment at our own pace before meeting on the verandah for a beautiful High Tea lunch. This afternoon we will visit Waikato’s most visited attraction—Hamilton Gardens where we will explore an enchanting world of secret gardens. The international award winning Hamilton Gardens is unique: it tells “the story of gardens”. Its concept acknowledges there is a story to tell about gardens, their development over time and across cultures, and their use. The concept has been compared to a museum, where each garden collection has historic integrity and provides a window into the story of civilizations, their arts, beliefs and lifestyles. Time to enjoy a wander at your own pace. Even if you have visited before, there is always something new to enjoy.

We return to our hotel in time to perhaps enjoy a drink at the bar (own expense) before joining our Tour Manager for dinner.

Day 3: Hamilton (B MT AT D)

Our first visit today is to The TreeChurch ,a living, breathing structure designed and built by Barry Cox to be a place of interest and contemplation. Set in three acres of distinctive gardens it was inspired by Barry’s love of Churches and although initially created as a private garden, Barry was persuaded to open the gardens to the public in 2015. The TreeChurch is a very personal project and we therefore ask that visitors be respectful of the Church and surrounding gardens. Barry has always been a keen observer of Churches and passionate about trees, combining these two interests Barry decided to construct his own living Church – thought to be the first in the world. Barry has sold the garden and the new owners are delighted to be carrying on his tradition.

Then its onto Cambridge — a majestic tree-lined town and the Equine Capital of New Zealand. Time here for lunch (own expense) and to wander around the town. You’ll see classic colonial buildings such as Cambridge Primary School (1879), the Town Hall (1909) and the Old Court House (1909) which now houses the local Museum.

The town’s original Post Office (now a restaurant called Alpino) was built in 1908 but its clock tower was removed in 1934 (after the Napier earthquake sparked fears it could topple) and it now stands in Jubilee Gardens. After lunch we will make our way to one of Waikato’s icons—Zealong Tea Estate—the only commercial tea estate in New Zealand producing 100% organic awardwinning tea, and a world-leading destination for tea, art and hospitality. Our Tour Guide will lead us along the tea trail through the history of tea as we explore unique sculptures and scenic stops to learn how tea is picked and processed. Naturally we will enjoy a cup of this popular beverage with perhaps something sweet on the side.

Day 4: Hamilton—Auckland (B L AT)

After breakfast we will have some free time to enjoy Hamilton City. You might want to visit the Waikato Museum just a 2 minute walk from the hotel and located on the banks of the mighty Waikato River. Be inspired by the stories of the region, its rich heritage and artistic vibrancy as they welcome you in the spirit of manaakitanga, as they would a guest to their own home. We depart Hamilton late morning and travel through to the Garden Art Studio where we can enjoy the garden, fabulous quirky art works and a light lunch.

We then head home with a stop enroute to Plum Meadows, nestled among the green pastures of North Waikato’s rolling countryside. Here we will enjoy a cup of tea or coffee and a scone and have the opportunity to buy homemade shortbread, jams and marmalades.

On arrival back into Auckland late afternoon we are transferred back to our home addresses.