Ron Laughlin The Ultimate New Zealand Travel Guide
Trail of Discovery!
with Ron Laughlin - the Guru of NZ Travel
The Christmas Holiday ItineraryDay 1 - 24 December – Tues –Pick up Rachel at the Auckland airport upon arrival very tired (but hopefully not too grumpy).
Due 8:15am .....four plane delays later arrived at 2:30pm.............Head for the Jucy hotel downtown to freshen up.**Up the Sky Tower for a visit(12pm) – (via Lydia Jarman, Comm Advisor) **Sky Jump (1:45pm) Be there ½ hour before (postponed to the 1st of January)Explore Auckland. **6pm Sailboat Dinner Cruise with Explore Group……very special!!! Early to bed tonight I expect…..Day 2 – 25 Dec – Wed – Christmas Day – (Day of rain)Due to the fact nothing is open went first to Murawai Beach and the gannet colony north of Auckland then south to Clark’s Beach Holiday Park then over to the Miranda Hot Pools park where we fixed a wonderful chicken meal and enjoyed the hot pool. Back to Jucy Hotel in Auckland.
Merry Christmas…………Day 3 – 26 Dec – Thurs -Off south to the Waitomo Caves where we stayed at the Waitomo Top Ten Holiday Park and Rachel the Black Water Experience both the cave trip on a tube on the river in the cave then a four hour abseil and crawl around the caves…………….That’s intense.
I had to soak in the holiday park’s hot pool and relax……………..not getting me into the depth of the caves in a wet suit though I do love the other caves to explore..Day 4 – 27 Dec – Fri - Off to Turangi to do the **river kayaking at 2pm with the Tongariro Rafting Company staying at the Turangi Holiday Park Day 5/6- 28/29 Dec - Sat/Sun - **Be at the Canopy Tours by 11:30am - This should be fun! **Taupo Tandem Sky Diving in the adfternoon 5th
raining so took it easy today (6th)...............Day 7/8 – 30/31 Dec – Mon/Tues –30th - Off to Rotorua **and visit the Zorb World - one of my favourites. **Go to Hells Gate(mud pools) - Here's mud in your face...***Tamiki Village Show (6:15 pick up at Rotorua Thermal Park)
(the best Maori show and hangi not to be missed)31st – **Visit the Polynesian Pools (private pool) **Waimangi Thermal World (at 8:30am for ½ day)…………………….
** New Year's Eve partyDay 9 – 1 Jan – Wed –A scenic drive north through this part of New Zealand
to end up at the Auckland airport hotel for the evening.
Re-scheduled the Sky Jump for this afternoon.............South IslandDay 10 – 2 Jan - Thursday(Christchurch flight 10:10am. Arrival at 11:30)
**Visit Antarctic Centre - This is one of my favourites and on my not to be missed list when visiting New Zealand.Pick up car and go into the city centre to show what happens when an earthquake destroys a large city……..
then we are off to the world of the Mackenzie Country with the Southern Alps dominating the scene to the west and beautiful glacial lakes with fabulous wild flowers (lupins) growing along the roads and in the fields.
** Tekapo Springswhere we can relax in the pools and Rachel will receive a half hour neck and shoulder massage. Another very special place to stop and enjoy. (It was great!!!!)See Lake Tekapo, Mt John Observatory, old churchOn to Glentanner Holiday Park for the night………….Day 11 – 3 Jan – Friday – Mt CookOff to Mt Cook and Lake Pukaki and going out on the boat to the glacier. **(Glacier Explorers) Hermitage 11am - a boat ride to the glacier on a glacial lake **Glentanner Mt Cook horse trek 4pm - if you want to do a horse trek in New Zealand this is the one
(Hit a massive storm that came through and was unable to do the above).
Hung out at Glentanner Park and the Hermitage Resort....Day 12 – 4 Jan – Sat – Oamaru**On to Omarama for a salmon lunch (after catching it) at Ladybird Hill restaurant in Omarama - WOW!!**A stop at Vanished World in Duntroon - see a 25 million year old shark-toothed dolphin fossil and much more... then on to Oamaru and a tour of the town Historic Precinct - thought so much of this town I moved here.**Steam Punk - You won't believe what you find here. Fabulous!!!** 4pm - a tour of the breeding colony at the Little Blue Penguin Colony - one of New Zealand's top wildlife visitsand at 9:30pm be there to watch the mamas and papas come home for day at sea to feed the babies anxiously awaiting………..(one of my favourite things to do)Day 13 – 5 Jan - Sunday – Dunedin**South to our University town stopping to see the Moeraki Boulders** Visit my favourite restaurant owner Fleur at Fleur’s Placethen the seals at their southern colony (secret spot) and on to Dunedin to **visit the Cadbury Chocolate Factory **Albatross Colony Staying at the Scenic Hotel downtownDay 14/15 – 6/7 Jan – the Fjords**Jucy Milford Cruise - a must visit and cruise when visiting New Zealand** stay at the Great Views Holiday Park
Day 16/17 – 8/9 Jan – QueenstownStaying at the Creeksyde Top Ten Holiday Park - the only place I stay in Queenstown**Sunrise Balloon ride**many other activities to be selectedDay 18 – 10 Jan - Fox GlacierThrough the Mt Aspiring Park
Visit Thunder Falls, Gates of Haast
Walk around Lake MathesonStaying at Scenic hotel - Fox Glacier Day 19 – 11 Jan – Arthurs Pass**Walk the glacier with Glacier Guides - the best way to enjoy a glacier visitVisit - Hokitika, Pukekura and on to Christchurch via Arthur's PassDay 20 – 12 Jan – back to the USA via Auckland for RachelMore activities to be added…………………and be sure to check out the dail blog of this adventure...
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