Waikato Unveilled – New Zealand Eco Getaway
Duration: 5 days – 4 nights
Itinerary: Auckland to Auckland
Tour type: Self-drive
Linger longer in the Waikato region. Stay in a brand-new sustainable hotel, explore authentic private glowworms caves and take part in a very special and memorable Kiwi bird release. This region has much more to offer than you ever thought!
- Visit the Waitomo Caves on a small eco-tour
- Take a kayaking tour at night to see the Glow worms in full display
- Witness the release of a Kiwi Bird into a Sanctuary
- 4 nights’ accommodation in a newly open sustainable hotel in the heart of Cambridge
- Daily breakfast
- Tour inclusions as per itinerary (private and small group)
- Hybrid Car rental with full insurance and GPS
- New Zealand Goods and Services Tax (GST)
- E-documentation from Greenz Travel
- 24/7 assistance in the country
Day 1 – Arrival Auckland – Hobbiton – Cambridge
Distance: 190km/2 hours and 30 minutes
Collect your Hybrid car (Toyota Camry or similar) and head to the Waikato country.
Talk to us about upgrading your ride to a Tesla model S!
Drive straight to your hotel and go for a walk in the surrounding countryside or hire a bike from reception to wonder around Cambridge.
Alternatively, en-route to your destination, make a stop to visit Hobbiton, the world’s only Movie set still intact and located on the most picturesque farm backdrop.
Hobbitton guided tour (Private)
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.
Accommodation: Hidden Lake Hotel – 4 nights
Hidden Lake is a luxurious 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 2 – Cambridge – Waitomo – Cambridge
Distance: 65km / 55 minutes (each way)
Today drive south to the countryside. Glowing Adventures is located approximately half way between Waitomo Caves Village and Te Kuiti.
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 mesmerizing 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.
Day 3 – Cambridge
Distance: 40km / 30 minutes (each way)
Ancient Forest guided tour (private) and kiwi release (small group) at Sanctuary Mountain
See more, hear more, experience more when you visit our showcase southern enclosure site Te Tui a Tane on a guided tour. Witness the striking pest-free native forest dominated by towering tawa, rewarewa, pukatea, rimu and a wide variety of characteristic ferns. Stand at the foot of a mature northern rata in the heart of the sanctuary and see the coalesced mass of roots that form the trunks of these magnificent trees. Listen to the birdsong, take in the majesty of our indigenous forest and try to spot the numerous bird species which make the maunga – mountain their home. Spend time in the clearing where cheeky New Zealand forest parrots – the kaka – like to hang out then take an optional walk up the viewing tower for a unique perspective of the forest canopy from above.
Following your tour, join in a one in a lifetime experience…
Have you seen a kiwi in the wild? We are offering a unique experience to be part of a kiwi release – into Maungatautari’s native bush.
Maungatautari is part of the kōhanga kiwi project in partnership with Kiwis for kiwi and over five years have agreed to release 500 Kiwi into our pest-free enclosure. Every cent from this tour goes back to keeping these Kiwi safe in the sanctuary. This is your opportunity to directly contribute to the safekeeping of these precious taonga and do your bit to help New Zealand conservation efforts.
Note: the Kiwi release tour only runs on Fridays – we may need to reorganise the order of the tours to suit.
Day 4 – Cambridge
Distance: 26km / 20 minutes (each way)
Guided bike and night kayaking tour with Lake District Adventures (small group) Combine our 2 best experiences! Ride the Waikato River Trail (approx. 12.5km) enjoying great views and spectacular flora and fauna only found in New Zealand. At over 100km long of Grade 2 and 3 riding there is something for everyone.
Once you’ve caught your breath, start your kayak tour in the late afternoon/early evening, with a paddle along the southern edge of Lake Karapiro. Learn the history of the Horahora village and enjoy the twilight & silence of being on the water as night arrives over the lake. As the day draws to an end, paddle slowly up the Pokaiwhenua Stream and through the canyon carved out by water over many hundreds of years.
Native ferns & trees drape over you, bird life is all around. When darkness falls, float silently back downstream being guided by the glow worms on either side sparkling like Christmas lights.
Return to your accommodation for the night.
Day 5 – Cambridge – Auckland – Departure
Distance: 140km/2 hours
Today drive back to Auckland.
Drop off your car rental either at Auckland airport, either in Auckland CBD.