Deluxe Kosher Tours 2021, Summer Vacations in Auckland, New Zealand
“The Land of the Long White Cloud” — Auckland, Rotorua, Queenstown, Te Anau, Wanaka,
Franz Josef, Punakaiki, Christchurch —
June 28th – July 13th 2020
This grand voyage introduces you to the remarkable natural wonders, arts, monuments and vibrant cities of New Zealand.
New Zealand is a pristine country, a fantasy land of splendid forests, mountains, lakes and fjords made famous by their use as the setting for Middle Earth. We invite you on a tour that brings you to all of the ‘must-see’ sites in the country, yet also takes you far beyond anything you have previously imagined of New Zealand with our selection of exclusive excursions and experiences. Join us as we showcase the historic and modern wonders of Auckland, Rotorua, Queenstown, Te Anau, Wanaka, Franz Josef, Punakaiki, and Christchurch. Whether you are a seasoned explorer or a first-time visitor, the memories and experiences gathered from this trip will be life changing.
Our tour offers a once in a lifetime opportunity, with numerous cultural events, educational lessons, adventure sports and guided excursions that offer an exciting and wide-ranging look at the mysteries of Māori New Zealand culture. The 100% kosher tour and careful selection of the very best hotels permits you to travel comfortably and confidently, and your personal tour guide is available at all times to make your trip absolutely enjoyable.
New Zealand welcomes you – discover it with Deluxe Kosher Tours.
Day 1, Sunday June 28th Auckland
We depart on our overnight flight to the largest city in the country, Auckland. Enjoy kosher meals and in-flight entertainment during your journey, or read some of our suggested books about New Zealand (see below). This overnight flight will add a day to our journey – but don’t worry, we get it back at the end!
Day 2, Tuesday June 30th Auckland
Meet and greet, Orientation
Upon arrival in Auckland Airport we are welcomed to New Zealand by our carefully selected personal Deluxe Kosher Tours tour director. They will bring us to our luxury hotel, the Hotel Pullman, and offer an introduction to New Zealand and Auckland. Once we are settled and rested, we are brought on a trip up the 328m (1km) high Sky Tower for spectacular panoramic views of the city, with our guide available to point out local highlights. Known as the city of sails, the locals take full advantage of the Tasmanian Sea for watersports. The remainder of the day can be leisurely spent resting and relaxing in the hotel, take a walk around the local neighbourhood to immerse in some of the sights and sounds, or visit one of the many nearby beaches.
Day 3, Wednesday July 1st Auckland – Rotorua
Waitomo Caves, Polynesian hot pools
After breakfast we travel by coach south to the town of Waitomo, famous for its Glow-worm Caves. Be enchanted by the magical blue glow of the limestone formations, made luminous by the unique native worm, as we travel by boat through the serene caves.
Next we transfer to Rotorua, a city built within a caldera that has made the bubbling mudpools, hot springs, and explosive geysers part of its culture. We check in to the Hotel Novotel on the lakeside where we are introduced to the history of Rotorua. In the evening we invite you to soak in the heavenly Polynesian hot pools, which have been enjoyed for centuries for their therapeutic benefits and the promise of ageless beauty. After dinner, the rest of the evening can be spent exploring this stunning wonderland.
Day 4, Thursday July 2nd Rotorua
Rotorua tour, Te Puia Māori Cultural Centre, Māori cultural evening
After breakfast we set off on our tour of this city to learn more about the geological phenomena that have enabled its popularity, and the indigenous Māori culture. We will amaze you with a guided tour of enormous bubbling mud pools and powerful erupting geysers. Afterwards, we are brought to the Te Puia Māori Cultural Centre, where we can learn more about the fascinating history, mythology, cosmology, and language of the Māori, explore their Kiwi houses, and browse their collection of Māori art.
After dinner we invite you to a bespoke Māori cultural evening organised exclusively for our Deluxe Kosher Tours guests. Marvel at ancient rituals and traditions, experience thrilling song and dance, and be welcomed into an authentic Māori tribe.
Day 5, Friday July 3rd Rotorua – Queenstown
Gondola to Bob’s Peak, Queenstown tour
After breakfast we transfer to the airport and fly to Queenstown, our first destination on South Island. Queenstown was colonised in the 19th century during a gold rush, and is today known as the adventure capital of the world. Tucked between the Southern Lakes and the Remarkables Mountain range there is certainly plenty on offer for the spirited traveller.
It is impossible to be bored in this town, so after checking in to the Hotel St. Moritz we will provide a brief orientation of all the optional activities you can take part in, including skiing, bungee jumping, sky diving, and hiking trips. Once we are well-rested we set off via the steepest aerial gondola in the southern hemisphere to Bob’s Peak for stunning panoramic views of the city and Lake Wakatipu. Afterwards, members of the tour are welcome to spend the day as they like, taking part in many of the thrilling optional activities, or be immersed in the sights and sounds of this beautiful town. Kabbalat Shabbat and Shabbat Dinner enjoyed with the community.
Day 6, Shabbat July 4th Queenstown
Shabbat services, Seudat Shabbat
After the Shabbat services and lunch with the local community, you are free to spend the rest of the day freely. Queenstown is a small and charming city, and we recommend walking to the Queenstown Garden, visit the Queenstown Mall for shopping, amble through the Sunshine Bay trail along the lake, or visit the Kiwi Birdlife Park.
Day 7, Sunday July 5th Queenstown
Skiing, Mount Aspiring National Park, Dart River tour
Today we enjoy the day at leisure and are free to choose from a range of optional activities, to maximise our enjoyment of time spent in Queenstown. Those who wish to ski are invited to the Remarkables and Coronet Peak alpine resorts, where you can take part in a wide range of snow- and ice-based activities.
If you would rather not ski, join us on a delightful excursion to Mount Aspiring National Park. Here we embark on an exciting tour of the Dart River by speedboat, which takes us through glacial rivers and densely forested banks through this unspoiled World Heritage landscape. This eighty-million year old landscape served as the backdrop for Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings movies – so keep your eyes peeled for Hobbits!
Day 8, Monday July 6th Queenstown
Skiing, Arrowtown, Wakatipu Basin
After breakfast those who wish may return to the slopes for more snow sports. Otherwise, we depart for the 19th century gold rush community of Arrowtown. This treasured piece of New Zealand’s heritage is unique in its well preserved colonial architecture, award-winning wines, and stunning landscape views. Here we receive a guided tour of the town, learning more about its history and visiting Lakes District Museum and Arrowtown Mining Company at Dudley’s Cottage. Afterwards we embark on a 4WD scenic tour of the Wakatipu Basin, where we visit some of the most iconic spots used in the filming of The Lord of the Rings – including the famous Misty Mountains.
Day 9, Tuesday July 7th Queenstown – Te Anau
Milford Sound cruise, Cleddau River waterfalls
In the morning we transfer to the airport and fly to Milford Sound, the fjord set within the Fjordland National Park, part of the Te Wahipounamu World Heritage site. This is an area of outstanding natural beauty, with deep fjords, glittering waterfalls, and dense forests, and was dubbed the “eighth wonder of the world” by Rudyard Kipling. We take you on a comfortable and memorable cruise from the Sound’s inlet at the Tasmanian Sea along the Cleddau River, passing towering rock faces on both sides, and the enchanting Lady Bowen Falls and Stirling Falls. As we travel our tour guide explains the remarkable Māori mythologies about the Sound. Once we disembark we travel along the scenic Milford Road to town of Te Anau, a community built on the shore of the largest lake in the South Island. Here we check into the Distinction Luxmore Hotel overlooking the beautiful azure waters of Lake Te Anau.
Day 10, Wednesday July 8th Te Anau – Wanaka
Crown Range, Cardrona Hotel, Lake Wanaka, Puzzling World
After breakfast we go on a short walk along the shores of the lake to enjoy its fine sights. Afterwards we travel to the spectacular Crown Range Road, the highest main road in New Zealand. We stop for refreshments at the historic Cardrona Hotel and reach the picturesque town of Wanaka by lunchtime. Built on the shore of Lake Wanaka, this is the gateway to the Mount Aspiring National Park and offers many activities for both the adventurous and relaxation-minded travellers. After checking in to the Edgewater Resort we spend a leisurely afternoon exploring the town, visiting the captivating Puzzling World, a mix of bizarre buildings, rooms of illusion and the world-famous Great Maze. After dinner you are welcome to spend the rest of the evening as you like, relaxing at the hotel or watching a movie at the comfy Cinema Paradiso.
Day 11, Thursday July 9th Wanaka – Franz Josef
Haast Pass, Fantail and Thunder Creek Falls, Franz Josef Glacier
We depart from Wanaka for a stunning drive along the Southern Alps to Haast Pass, named after Julius von Haast, a 19th-century explorer. Be blown away by the beautiful scenery unveiled around each corner as we follow an ancient trail named Tiora-patea (meaning “the way is clear”), that was used by Māori adventurers who were searching for the local greenstone, pounamu. We stop at the surging Fantail and Thunder Creek waterfalls for a short hike before continuing to the Franz Josef Glacier, a 7.5m (12km) long craggy glacier tucked between the Southern Alps and lush forests of the Tasmanian coast. Here we check in to the Scenic Circle Franz Josef Glacier hotel. Those who wish can take part in an optional, but unmissable, flight over glacial valley and Westland Tai Poutini National Park. Otherwise, relax in the bubbling hot pools of the hotel after our long day.
Day 12, Friday July 10th Franz Josef – Punakaiki
Paparoa National Park, Pancake Rocks
Delight in the glittering sunrise over the glacier as we set off up South Island’s rugged west coast road to the Paparoa National Park. We stop at Pancake Rocks, the unusual and captivating stack of pale limestone rocks worn by wind and waves over millions of years. Other destinations in the park include explosive blowholes, inspiring views of the Tasmanian Sea, and unique local flora and fauna. In the evening we settle into the luxurious Punakaiki Resort.
Day 13, Shabbat July 11th Punakaiki
Shabbat services, Seudat Shabbat
After the Shabbat services and lunch with the local community, you are encouraged to spend the rest of the day freely. Enjoy leisurely walks around the town, go swimming at the beach, or explore the nearby rainforest.
Day 14, Sunday July 12th Punakaiki – Christchurch
Arthur’s Pass, International Arctic Centre
After breakfast we head to the majestic Arthur’s Pass, which commands spectacular views of the surrounding National Park. After stopping for perfect panoramic views of the valleys below, we continue to Christchurch, New Zealand’s oldest city and the largest in South Island. After checking into Pepper’s Clearwater Resort we receive a guided tour of the city, passing the River Avon, the Botanic Gardens, and the very fine Gothic Revival Christchurch Cathedral. After the disastrous 2010–2012 earthquakes the city has been rebuilding itself as a “city within a garden”, and there are a large number of public parks for us to explore in our free time. We visit the International Antarctic Centre where we learn about the awe-inspiring work done in Antarctica today and meet their adorable flock of Little Blue penguins. You have the rest of the afternoon to spend freely in the city. We offer golf at the hotel, or recommend visiting the peaceful Hagley Park, before reuniting for our final meal in the evening.
Day 15, Monday July 13th
Following breakfast, we are transferred to Christchurch International Airport and return home. Remember to change your watches on the way back, to reclaim that day we lost at the beginning!
Suggested Films and Books
- The Lord of the Rings Trilogy and The Hobbit Trilogy (Films)
- The Lord of the Rings Location Guidebook or The Hobbit Trilogy Location Guidebook – Ian Brodie
- Long Cloud Ride – Josie Dew
- A Land of Two Halves – Joe Bennett
- Come on Shore and We Will Kill and Eat You All – Christina Thompson
- Whale Rider (Film)