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Customize a Travel Adventure with Friends
Three couples who met on a TCS World Travel luxury jet expedition came to our Luxury Custom Travel department asking us to develop a personalized journey to New Zealand. After talking to the group about their travel needs and desires, our travel consultant developed this adventurous itinerary, which you could use as a starting point for your own custom journey.
Bay of Islands
The couples arrived to Auckland via their favorite international air carriers and were then whisked by private helicopter to the Lodge on Kauri Cliffs overlooking the Bay of Islands, known for unspoiled beaches, coastal scenery and historic towns.
During their stay they took an exploratory hike of the Waitangi Treaty Grounds to learn about the country’s history and opted from numerous outdoor activities, from championship golf and horseback riding to surfing, mountain biking and more.
Take a behind-the-fences private tour of the 6,000-acre working farm at the lodge, guided by the farm manager, to learn about the many animals raised here.
Head to one of the three private beaches on the grounds, or to the waterfall, and enjoy a catered picnic.
From the Bay of Islands, the couples boarded a private charter aircraft for the short flight to Taupo and the renowned Huka Lodge. What started as a simple fishing lodge in the 1920s is now one of the world's top retreats.
Using the lodge as their base, the couples took helicopter flights over the area's volcanos, inclusive of landing on Whakaari for a tour of this active geological giant and a stop for a private tour at the National Carving and Weaving school. During their days at the lodge they enjoyed fly fishing, kayaking, golf and biking.
Formula One Challenge
Whether a complete novice or an experienced road car driver, get a taste of what it is like to drive a Formula Challenge single-seater race car with instruction from a professional driver.
Geothermal Pools and Maori Culture
Take a visit to Rotorua to witness the bubbling mud pools and spouting geysers before enjoying your own time in a hot springs waterfall all while learning about the native Maori culture.
Next the couples transferred by a private charter flight to Blenheim and the nearby Marlborough Lodge. The couples explored the culinary highlights of the Marlborough Sounds region, which include Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc and Greenshell mussels.
They enjoyed private tours of the area’s boutique wineries, including tank and barrel samples in the wine sellers with the wine makers, visited mussel and oyster farms, and sailed through the Queen Charlotte Sound. They also took a helicopter to Abel Tasman National Park with its golden beaches and turquoise waters for kayaking.
Garden Tour and Cooking Demonstration
Walk through the lodge’s herb and citrus garden with the chef, picking and tasting what’s in season as he describes how he uses the ingredients, and then head into the kitchen for an interactive cooking and tasting.
Spa and Massage
Take time to relax and unwind as you and your partner enjoy a soothing massage or other spa treatment.
The couples then transferred by private car down to Kaikoura, a mecca for wildlife enthusiasts, to the Hapuku Lodge, where the mountains meet the sea. They enjoyed multi-course meals sourced from the many local organic farms as well as a whale-watching adventure by light aircraft.
Whale Watching by Boat
Board your vessel and set out in search of the area’s most famous residents, including dusky dolphins, giant sperm whales, fur seals, or the wandering albatross among others.
Organic Food Experiences
Whether you want to visit the farm and walk the produce rows with the owners or simply enjoy a multicourse tasting menu, learn why this area of New Zealand is famous for both its produce and its seafood.
The couples spent the last days of their journey in Queenstown, the adventure capital of the world, where they set out on a jetboat ride up to Shotover River that included skimming through the shallows and blasting past canyon walls. They also took a private helicopter ride, flying the length of Milford Sound past sheer cliffs and gushing waterfalls. The highlights included landing on a glacier and a gourmet picnic in the alpine wilderness. Other adventures they took included a guided trek along the Routeburn Track and one of them even tried bungee jumping at the Kawarau Gorge.
Cable Car Ride and Luge Run
Enjoy a breathtaking ascent to the top of Bob’s Peak on the Skyline Gondola and then take thrilling ride on custom-built luge carts as you descend over 800 yards of banked corners, tunnels and dippers.
Historic Mining Town
Arrowtown is a quirky, historic village. Browse its heritage main street and learn the stories of this living historic settlement while taking some time to pan for gold.