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Greenz Indulgence – New Zealand Self-drive Eco-Tour

Duration: 19 days – 18 nights

Itinerary: Auckland to Auckland

Tour type: Self-drive 

Greenz Travel is thrilled to offer this very low carbon footprint eco-tour of the North Island, the most sustainable way to visit New Zealand!
Get behind the wheel of your Tesla Model S electric car and discover the must-sees as you cruise through Northland, the Central Plateau, the Tongariro National Park and the Coromandel Peninsula. Be at peace as the route is designed to facilitate the car charging.
Don’t compromise on luxury as we have selected fabulous accommodation showcasing a high level of sustainability.

Highlights:

 

  • Travel the North Island in comfort and Style with a Tesla Model S
  • Stay in the utmost sustainable lodges the North Island has to offer
  • Sail the Bay of Islands on a private yacht
  • Guided tour of Hobbiton village
  • Visit the Waitomo Caves
  • Walk the Tongariro Crossing at sunrise
  • Spend 2 nights glamping in a luxury lodge
  • Ride the Hauraki Trail

Inclusions:

 

  • Accommodation in a mix of small lodges, apartment and Glamping
  • Meals as per itinerary
  • Tour inclusions as per itinerary (private and small group)
  • Airport transfers on arrival and departure in Auckland with a Tesla model X
  • Tesla Model S rental for the entire duration with full insurance
  • New Zealand Goods and Services Tax (GST)
  • E-documentation from Greenz Travel
  • 24/7 assistance in the country

Day 1 – Arrival Auckland – Muriwai

Distance: 52km/45 minutes

Kia Ora and Welcome to Aotearoa, New Zealand!

On arrival at Auckland airport collect your fully electric, state of the art Tesla Model S.
Model S is designed from the ground up to be the safest, most exhilarating sedan on the road. With unparalleled performance delivered through Tesla’s unique, all-electric powertrain, Model S accelerates from 0 to 100 kph in as little as 2.6 seconds. Model S comes with Autopilot capabilities designed to make your highway driving not only safer, but stress free.

Get behind the wheel and drive safely to the West Coast of Auckland, in the Waitakere Regional Park, a short 45 minutes’ drive from the airport.

The West Coast of Auckland is bold and wild. Lush rainforests cover the hills and dramatic cliffs plunge into the Tasman Sea. The coast is lined with black sand beaches, big surf and has an invigorating effect.
During your time here, walk one of the coastal cliff trails, marvel at one of the world’s largest Gannet colony or let the iron rich black sand beach heal your jetlag.

Accommodation: Two One Six luxury Accommodation – 2 nights

Includes Breakfast provisions

At Two One Six luxury accommodation, the suites have green roofs, passive heating and recycled glass insulation. The property uses an on-site sewerage system which turns sewerage into clean water to irrigate native planting and non-edible garden. Much of the landscaping is constructed from recycled railway sleepers and extensive native planting is ongoing.
The water supply is collected rainwater and is Ultra Violet filtered. The property composts organic waste, has working worms, Bokashi bins, and recycles glass, packaging, plastics and newspaper. Cleaning products used are eco-friendly.

Two One Six is a Qualmark Gold property and offers a Tesla charger onsite.

Day 2 – Muriwai

Today is at leisure.

Day 3 – Muriwai – Opononi

Distance: 255km/3 hours and 45 minutes

The Hokianga is rich in both Maori and European history and culture and is viewed by many as the first chapter of the New Zealand story. Kupe and the first Maori explorers arrived here after voyaging across the Pacific. In fact, the full name of the harbour is ‘Hokianga Kupe A Nui’, which means ‘The great leaving place of Kupe.’
Some of the earliest settled towns in New Zealand such as Rawene and Kohukohu are found here on the Hokianga. In February 1840 more Maori chiefs signed the Treaty of Waitangi at Mangungu on the upper reaches of the harbour than signed at Waitangi itself.

You will need to charge your Tesla after today’s drive – There is a fast charging station located a 4 minutes’ drive down the road from your accommodation, at the local Four Square supermarket.

Accommodation: Kokohuia Lodge – 2 nights
Includes full breakfast

Kokohuia Lodge offers you a luxury escape, while still maintaining the highest standards of sustainable living.  The lodge was entirely built from locally sourced timber from sustainably managed forests. All wood used internally, including framing, is untreated.
The lodge is entirely off-grid. It uses passive solar energy, rain water for both drinking and washing and they have their own on-site vermiculture eco-septic system that treats all black and grey water.

Day 4 – Opononi

Footprints Waipoua – Daytime Experience (small group)
Join a friendly local Maori guide for your journey into the rich and ancient ecosystem of Wapioua Forest and you will learn about the indigenous use of plants and be amazed at the life cycle of a kauri giant…

Your tour will start with a karakia (prayer) seeking permission from Tāne Mahuta (the Māori God of the Forest) to enter his domain and to ensure that a safe and enjoyable experience.
Under the branches of this 2000-year-old living treasure our guides will share the Māori creation story – the separation of Sky Father (Ranginui) and Mother Earth (Papatūānuku).
Duration: 3.5 hours

No charging required today – you will be collected and drop off from Opononi for your tour.

Day 5 – Opononi – Bay of Islands

Distance: 105km/2 hours

Today go cross country on this narrow piece of land and leave the West for the East Coast.

The Bay of Islands, on the east coast of Northland, is an idyllic destination with a subtropical climate, thick rainforests, white sand beaches and over 150 islands. The Bay is also the birthplace of the nation as New Zealand’s founding document, The Treaty of Waitangi, was signed in the township of Waitangi in 1840.

No charging required today.

Accommodation: Donkey Bay Inn – 2 nights
Includes full breakfast

The lodge is nestled in the hill, wonderfully integrated in the natural landscape and barely visible to the naked eye. Donkey Inn is sustainably cooled under a huge 600sqm living roof (believed to be the biggest in the southern hemisphere!) and is fully off-grid and energy efficient producing its own electricity via solar panels.

Day 6 – Bay of Islands

Sailing – Ataahua (private)
The Bay of Islands is not only one of New Zealand’s most breathtaking coastal regions, but above all it is also ranked as one of the best sailing environments in the world!
The many islands in the bay offer a multitude of sheltered anchoring spots. The crystal clear water and white sandy beaches are perfect to enjoy a gourmet lunch, a quick swim or perhaps a snorkel. Listening to stories of the early pioneers, mariners and settlers will complete your Bay of Islands sailing experience. So, if you are looking to enjoy an exclusive and personalised Bay of Islands hosted sailing cruise, coupled with awesome New Zealand scenery, then an Ataahua sailing experience is a must do.

No charging required today.

Day 7 – Bay of Islands – Mangawhai

Distance: 155km/2hours and 40 minutes

Today is a leisurely drive to Mangawhai heads. Located 90min North of Auckland, charming Mangawhai Heads is nestled between the Pacific coast and rolling farmland. The town has a beautiful surf beach on one side and a safe harbour beaches on the other.

A relaxing overnight stop en route to the Central North Island.

You will need to charge your Tesla after today’s drive – Te Arai lodge has on-site Tesla charger.

Accommodation: Te Arai Lodge – 2 nights

Includes full breakfast and dinner

This boutique luxury lodge is like no other and was born from the passion and vision of a New Zealand family and their commitment to sustainable living. The lodge is strongly driven by a garden-to-table philosophy and has a prolific garden based on permaculture principle.

Day 8 – Mangawhai

Today is at leisure.

Day 9 – Mangawhai – Cambridge

Distance: 245km / 3 hours and 30 minutes.

Leave the shore of the Pacific Ocean for the farmland of the Waikato country.
En-route to tonight’s destination, make a stop to visit Hobitton, the world’s only Movie set still intact and located on the most picturesque farm backdrop.

Hobbitton guided tour (
small group)
Experience the real Middle-earth™ at the Hobbiton™ Movie Set, where, in the heart of the Waikato region, you can step into the lush pastures of the Shire™, as seen in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies. Fall in love with the Alexander family sheep farm, just as acclaimed director Sir Peter Jackson did, as you journey through the unequivocal beauty of the land, with the mighty Kaimai Ranges towering in the distance. Your guide will then escort you around the set, showing the intricate detailing, pointing out the most famous locations and explaining how the movie magic was made. You will be fully guided around the 12 acre set; past Hobbit Holes™, the Mill and into the world-famous Green Dragon™ Inn, where you will be presented with a complimentary, exclusive Hobbit™ Southfarthing™ beverage to conclude your own Middle-earth™ adventure.

You will need to charge your Tesla after today’s drive – Hidden Lake Hotel has on-site EV charger.

Accommodation: Hidden Lake Hotel – 2 nights
Includes Breakfast

Hidden Lake is a luxe new Hotel committed to sustainability. Energy efficiency has been approached with a long-term mindset. To minimise the footprint of the hotel and its guests, sustainable practices include electronic check-in, organic gardens, EV charging station, recycling and composting as well as a commitment to no paper or plastic use.
The hotel supports sustainable local business and regular environmental audits are conducted to ensure the hotel is meeting its environmental strategies and targets.

Day 10 – Cambridge – Waitomo – Cambridge

Distance: 65km / 55 minutes.

Today drive south to the famous Waitomo caves.

Off the Beaten Track eco tour from Glowing Adventures (small group)
This is an off the beaten track small groups experience with a maximum of 8 people, so you can enjoy an up close and personal experience at your own pace.
Your knowledgeable guides will escort you through beautiful native New Zealand forest and into untouched caves including a mesmerising glow worm displays. You’ll see the caves just as nature intended. There are no handrails, electric lights, concrete paths, or other modifications, and the tour involves climbing over boulders, up hills and wading through streams. A moderate level of fitness is required.

We recommend an overnight charge.

Day 11 – Cambridge – National Park

Distance: 215km / 2 hours and 45 minutes

Today continue your drive south to the central Plateau.

Today, travel to Tongariro National Park. This is New Zealand’s first national park and has three active volcanoes. The three peaks were gifted by a local chief to the people of New Zealand in 1887. Today Tongariro National Park also has international recognition with natural and cultural World Heritage Status. Lava rocks, active craters, “tapu” (sacred) hot springs, lakes, forest and tussock make up many of the scenic attractions to the park.

You will need to charge your Tesla after today’s drive – There is a fast charging station located 20km up the road from your accommodation, at the local petrol station. The station is across from Adrift office who will guide you on the Tongariro Crossing tomorrow.

Accommodation: Nightsky Cottage – 2 nights
Self-catering

Nighsky cottage is on a Zero waste journey and the land it sits on has been protected by the Environment Court. You will not find any single use plastic items and the cottage strictly recycle all cardboard, paper, cans, plastics and glass. Food scraps go in the compost bin and they even provide you with re-usable shopping bags and produce bags for the grocery shop. All the cleaning materials and bathroom amenities are made from 100% natural ingredients, made in NZ and preferably handmade. The cottage collects its own water and all wastewater is processed on site.

Day 12 – National Park

Tongariro Alpine crossing – full day guided walk (small group or private)
The Tongariro Alpine Crossing is known as one of the best 1-day walks in the world.
The track ventures between Mt Tongariro and Mt Ngauruhoe in the Tongariro National Park. These volcanos are still active and the hike is a view into their growth and destruction.
Mt Tongariro last erupted from Te Maari Crater in 2012 and Mt Ngauruhoe’s last was in 1975. The landscape on Mt Tongariro is peppered with craters that have been active at different periods. The track leads through the perfectly flat moonscape of South Crater; climbs to the edge of Red Crater; skirts around Central Crater; and then leads down past the steaming Te Maari Crater. There are scoured volcanic rocks, lava flows frozen in time, mountain springs and brightly coloured emerald lakes. No matter what the weather, this is a hike of a lifetime!

No charging required today.

Day 13 – National Park – Taupo

Distance: 170km / 2 hours and 25 minutes

Beautiful Lake Taupo is actually a huge volcano with a fiery history. Its most recent eruption, in 181 AD, was large enough to change the sky as far away as Europe and China. According to Maori legend, the lake is the pulsating heart of Maui’s fish (New Zealand’s North Island). Popular Taupo experiences include Huka Falls, geothermal walks, lake cruises and guided kayak expeditions to see the rock carvings at Mine Bay.

You will need to charge your Tesla today – Taupo has a Tesla Supercharger located in town.
It will take you a maximum of 40 minutes to get to fully charged car before continuing on.

Accommodation: Poronui Lodge – Safari Tent– 2 nights
Includes breakfast, lunch and dinner 

Poronui lodge and its working farm (Glazebrook Station) are both owned by the Westervelt Company, a land resource organization taking an environmentally responsible approach to managing the land. Some of the property’s active environmental practices include the use of natural resources efficiently, reducing, reusing and recycling materials to minimise waste. Protecting streamside zones, wetland areas and endangered species habitat. Ecological restorating of selected areas to protect vulnerable or threatened species. Both rivers running through the property are protected under a National Water Conservation Order and fishing practices observe a strict catch and release policy. Poronui has also adopted a rigorous pest control programme to eradicate threats to the native flora and fauna. Poronui has been identified as a site with special environmental values. The isolation of Poronui, combined with the foresight of its owners, means that large areas of native ecosystems still persist today.

Day 14 – Taupo

Today is at leisure to enjoy the lodge wonderful environment.

The lodge is suited for outdoor enthusiasts with its own mountain bike trails, over 150 kms of roads and trails suited for horse riding and countless walking trails across 6,000 acres of native beech forest.
Or if you feel less active, you can indulge in a cooking class with the lodge’s head chef or let the stress melt away with a massage at the lodge’s spa.

Below are our two top pick for Poronui on-site activities!

Story of the Bees – guided tour (private)
This is the complete ‘Hive to Plate’ experience with one of the lodge very knowledgeable and passionate staff. The Poronui hills are blanketed in native Mānuka plants. The elevation of the property means that during the short flowering season, Mānuka is the only pollen source for the bees. This results in some of the most pure and highest quality Mānuka in New Zealand. Learn about every aspect of bees and honey making – from how the colonies function and the special roles of the different bees, to beekeeping and honey production. You’ll taste a wide range of native New Zealand honeys and learn about their special properties. There’s even an opportunity to dress as a beekeeper and visit a working hive.

Kai Waho – Maori experience (private)
Kai Waho means outdoor cuisine and when combined with the native surroundings, it is the complete ‘Maori Outdoor Experience’. This is a real opportunity to learn about the indigenous New Zealand Maori. How they existed, how they kept their culture and traditions alive for centuries and how they gathered, stored and cooked food. Tom Loughlin – tangata whenua (person of the land) is not only passionate about his culture but is also a professional chef and expert hunter/gatherer. Tom uses traditional Maori gathering techniques and cooking methods to create a magnificent hangi feast, while sharing his knowledge and stories.

Day 15 – Taupo – Waihi

Distance: 255km / 3 hours and 30 minutes

As you leave Poronui Lodge today, we suggest a quick charge at Taupo’s Tesla supercharger.

The Coromandel Peninsula, with a mountainous interior cloaked in native rainforest and more than 400 kilometres of dazzling white sand beaches, is a rustic, beautiful and destination.

Accommodation: Manawa Lodge – 3 nights
Includes breakfast

Manawa Ridge is a Luxury Eco Retreat, an environmentally friendly lodge. It was hand-built entirely from recycled timbers and energy efficient material, reflecting a creative flair and love for the natural surroundings and featuring an artistic balance of old beams, polished manuka, straw bale and mudbrick.

Day 16 – Waihi

Hauraki Trail Trail – 1 day Paeroa to Waihi (self-guided)
From Waihi you will be transferred by shuttle to Paeroa to start your ride on the Hauraki Rail Trail.
Ride from the historic town through NZ bush to the scenic and serene Karangahake Gorge.
Enjoy the well-known Windows Walk and be surprised at the rich gold mining history of this lovely area. Admire the majestic Owharoa falls.
Enjoy lunch at the Waikino Station Cafe and reach the Waihi Gold Discovery Centre to put everything you saw into perspective.
Distance: 24 km / Riding time: 2-4 hours

Day 17 – Waihi – Coromandel Peninsula – Waihi

Today is at leisure to visit the Coromandel Peninsula.

We recommend taking a drive along the East coast to visit Hot Water beach, Hahei, Cathedral cove, Cooks beach and Whitianga.
You will need to charge your car today. The best place to do is in Whitianga. The charging station is located in town and will be a convenient stop during your visit of the Peninsula.

Day 18 – Waihi – Auckland

Distance: 155km / 2 hours

Today drive back  to Auckland.  On arrival in Auckland drop off your car rental and make your way to your accommodation.

No need to charge your car today. Return it as it is and the rental company will charge it for you.

Accommodation: Cordis Hotel – 1 night
Includes full breakfast

Cordis Hotel is Earthcheck platinum certified (2019). It has received New Zealand environmental Initiative Award in 2016 and 2015 and was awarded the silver level for Trip Advisor GreenLeader.

Day 19 – Auckland – Departure

Today you will be collected from your hotel by your driver and transferred privately to the airport in a Tesla Model X for your homebound flight.