Festival of Lights Christmas Getaway


DAY ONE                                                                 MT, L, D    

We will travel to Cambridge and enjoy a morning tea at Monavale Blueberries Cafe with everyone picked up.  Then we are off to Waitomo Caves to enjoy the Glow-worm cave tour. Your guided tour will take you through over 250 metres of stunning underground scenery, commencing with the impressive Cathedral. The acoustics in this particular cavern are world-renowned. Acclaimed New Zealand Diva, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, has sung here and was delighted with the acoustics' quality. Your tour begins at the cave's upper entrance and proceeds along a low, narrow passage to the Tomo, a deep limestone shaft. Your experienced tour guide will deliver a highly informative commentary about the formations and the area's history. The highlight of your tour is an unrivalled boat trip through the spectacular Glowworm Grotto. After lunch, we continue through lovely King Country scenery, eventually arriving on the New Plymouth coast and our home for the next 5 nights, the Devon Hotel. Dinner at the onsite restaurant this evening.  

DAY TWO                                                                B, D   

Today will be fun, and I'm sure the ladies will enjoy this one. The Christmas Village is a destination Christmas decoration shop. As well as admiring the vast range of imported decorations we will enjoy a tour and talk from Jenny 'the owner,' on Xmas decorating and the story of this great attraction. From here, we head for Morning Tea at a lovely garden café. The next stop is the award-winning Puke Ariki. Come and be amazed!  Meet some prehistoric animals, experience what the first settlers faced and trace the history of the Māori people in the region through the Exhibition Galleries – not your usual museum! We will have lunch in Puke Ariki and take in the expansive New Plymouth foreshore views. The afternoon is yours to walk through the city and enjoy the shops and excitement as anxious parents scurry around for their last-minute shopping if time permits, a quick visit to The Len Lye Center and the Govett Brewster Art Gallery before heading out for a lovely meal. 

DAY THREE                                                            B, D   

Today we are taking a sightseeing journey up Mount Taranaki to enjoy the views and mountain scenery, stopping for morning tea at Stratford before climbing to 905m ASL. The small DOC Visitor centre is a very informative spot to investigate whilst sucking in the fresh mountain air. We then head for lunch, after which we travel to the scenic Lake Rotokare for a stroll around this predator-free sanctuary before returning to New Plymouth for Dinner. This evening is extra special. We don our warm jackets and head out into the summer evening to view the now famous and absorbing Festival of the Lights. This is a magnificent display of lights throughout Pukekura Park. It will undoubtedly be one of the highlights of the trip.   

DAY FOUR                                                              B, Xmas L   

Merry Xmas everybody, what did Santa bring?? After breakfast, we will go for a drive and spot all the new tinsel covered bicycles on display, visit the waterfront for a stroll, Then we head back for a fantastic Xmas lunch. The afternoon will have us sleeping or walking this off im sure….. Dinner anybody?? 

Casual dining options will be available for anyone still feeling peckish.  

DAY FIVE                                                                 B, MT, D     

We're off around the Taranaki coast, visiting Cape Egmont Lighthouse, then on to Opunake, stopping for morning tea. We continue through Manaia and arrive at Hawera to see the one and only Tawhiti Museum, a truly unique enterprise. The creation of artist Nigel Ogle, its attention to detail is simply stunning and ever-changing. Widely acclaimed as the best private museum in the country, the museum uses life-size exhibits and scale models to present our heritage in a series of super realistic and engaging displays. Take the Whalers experience, incorporating a fun boat ride through the chapters of New Zealand's history ( think Pirates of the Caribbean). We will also stop for lunch at this super cool attraction, then head back to the Devon hotel where there is plenty of time to freshen up before dinner.  

DAY SIX                                                                    B, L    

Well, today, it's time to pack up and leave this prosperous district for now, however not before we take a quick look at Tupare Gardens and the Nikau Grove Garden. We will stop for lunch at a local café before heading home arriving late afternoon.  



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