Transfers to and from Ardmore Airport (Auckland area only)
Fully hosted tour (Tour Director/ Host)
4 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 4 Dinners
Douglas DC-3 Airliner (rebuilt & refurbished)
Luxury coach for ground sightseeing
Transfers to & from Ardmore (Auckland area only)
Itinerary Visits and Activities
Whakaari / White Island volcano from above
Reef Ecology Tour – feeding stingrays
Cape Kidnappers Overland Gannet Safari
Napier sightseeing and wine tasting
Huka Falls Jet boat
and much more...
Click on a day to expand
DC3 Flights & Coach – AUCKLAND to HOBBITON then ROTORUA (Sat)
Step aboard your classic DC-3 airliner for an exclusive adventure! Take off from Auckland’s Ardmore Airport for a low-level flight across the Hauraki Gulf to reach the Coromandel Peninsula, a bush-clad landscape dominated by ancient volcanoes. Fly over Whitianga then follow the coast to Waihi before turning inland to land at Matamata Aerodrome (grass runway).
Transfer by coach to picturesque Hobbiton. Enjoy a fascinating guided walk around the enchanting movie set and savour the delights of the pretty shire. Rest a while afterwards with an ale or ginger beer at Hobbiton’s ‘Green Dragon Inn’! Board your luxury coach later and drive over the scenic Mamaku Ranges to your Rotorua hotel.
DC-3 Flight – ROTORUA to WHAKAARI WHITE ISLAND then GISBORNE (Sun)
Start your morning with an ecological treat just around the corner from your hotel! Redwoods Treewalk is Rotorua’s newest attraction, offering a gentle 30-minute walk along a series of suspension bridges among majestic 100 year old redwoods. Board your DC-3 afterwards, take off from Rotorua and fly out from the eastern Bay of Plenty coast towards ‘Te Puia o Whakaari’ (or White Island). The island is effectively the top 321 metres of New Zealand’s only marine volcano. Sadly the volcano erupted suddenly in December 2019 with the loss of 22 lives - visitors who were walking on the island at the time. See the island from a safe distance with a slow and respectful return flypast.
Your DC-3 flight will meet the coast again near Cape Runaway, easternmost point of the Bay of Plenty. Fly past Hicks Bay at low level and track to East Cape before turning south for views of classic Eastland scenery including Tokomaru Bay and Tolaga Bay. Land at Gisborne Airport, one of only three airports in the world with a railway line across the runway!
A 20 minute drive along the coast will bring you to Tatapouri Beach this afternoon for your Dive Tatapouri ‘Reef Ecology Tour’ experience. The visit is timed for today’s low tide and you’ll be kitted out with ‘designer waders’ for a fascinating guided tour in the shallows. Let your guide introduce you to local marine life with a chance to meet and feed wild stingrays too – possibly a tour highlight. Feel free to relax by the beach if this activity is a little outside your comfort zone though! Return to Gisborne via Wainui Beach and Kaiti Hill lookout, then check in to your river-side hotel.
DC-3 Flight – GISBORNE to NAPIER (2-night stay) (Mon)
Visit ‘Eastwoodhill’ this morning – the National Arboretum of NZ. This extensive ‘Garden of National Significance’ is a 30 minute drive from Gisborne and boasts an area of 135 hectares. The exotic and native plantings include the largest collection of Northern Hemisphere trees in the Southern Hemisphere. Today the arboretum is regarded as a world heritage ‘ark’; a safe Southern Hemisphere haven for rare trees that are often under threat elsewhere on the planet. We hope the spectacular autumn colours here will be on full display when you visit.
Return to Gisborne Airport later and board your waiting DC-3. Take off and head towards Mahia Peninsula, location of the ‘Rocket Lab’ venture. Continue flying along the coast before landing at Hawkes Bay Airport in Napier. A local coach will meet you here for a brief city tour. A powerful 7.8 magnitude quake in February 1931 reshaped Napier and the region, sparking a period of substantial reconstruction. The functional Art Deco rebuild style soon became synonymous with modern Napier and is celebrated each February with a major 1930’s themed festival. View the city’s Art Deco highlights en route to your sea-front hotel for a 2-night stay.
Drive south to Te Awanga this morning for a captivating wildlife experience. Join the 4WD Gannet Safaris Overland guided discovery tour to drive above pristine coastline and through working farms to the top of Cape Kidnappers Gannet Colony. Encounter over 20,000 gannets in their natural habitat here – nesting, swooping and diving right before your eyes.
Return to Te Awanga for lunch then drive to Taradale for a wine tasting opportunity at a significant, long established local winery. Return to Napier mid-afternoon to relax or explore as you prefer. Perhaps you may like to investigate Napier’s shopping opportunities! Consider visiting the Sunken Gardens, Sound Shell and Marine Parade walkway. Or check out the excellent Museum. The Napier Aquarium is accessible too – just a pleasant walk away along the foreshore.
DC-3 Flights (2) – NAPIER to TAUPO then AUCKLAND (Wed)
Return to Hawkes Bay Airport this morning to meet your DC-3. Take off and fly inland above scenic vineyards and farmland then the pine forests of Rangitaiki en route to the Central Volcanic Plateau. Soon you will be looking down on Lake Taupo, New Zealand’s largest lake by far. Land at Taupo Airport where a coach will be waiting to transfer you into Taupo’s town centre.
A short drive away is the Huka Falls Jet Boat. Climb aboard for a thrilling 30 minute ride along the Waikato River from the Aratiatia Dam to the base of the thundering Huka Falls and back again. An unforgettable experience for sure!
Return to Taupo Airport and board the DC-3 for your last tour flight. Climb out above Lake Taupo and the forested hills of the Wairakei Thermal Valley. Turn north and fly above mixed forest and farmland to the predominantly dairy country of the Waikato region, then onto Ardmore. Land and disembark for final farewells then board the complimentary shuttles to Auckland Airport or other Auckland City localities.
Breakfast and Lunch included
Booking Terms & Conditions
1. Covid-19: Tour hotel selection: Pacific Trailways selects quality 4-star (or 4-star plus) tour hotels that have not been included in the NZ Government’s returning traveller border quarantine / self-isolation programme. If a hotel selected for this tour is subsequently assigned to the border quarantine / self-isolation programme, the tour will be relocated to another equivalent hotel property that has not been part of the Government’s border quarantine / self-isolation programme. Pacific Trailways reserves the right to move the tour to another hotel property (or properties) in these circumstances.
2. Covid-19: Safety on tour. Pacific Trailways will always put the health and safety of our staff and guests first. Best practice Government authorised Covid-19 hygiene and safety practices will apply on every tour. Social distance measures will apply if/as required, appropriate to each Covid-19 safety level.
3. Tour prices: Tour prices are in New Zealand dollars and include GST. Prices are per person, twin share basis. An additional price applies for guaranteed single person room occupancy.
4. Deposit, Payment and Acceptance of Terms: A deposit of NZD$500 per person is required to confirm the booking. Payment of the deposit confirms the tour client has read and accepted the Tour Booking Terms & Conditions. Full payment can be made at any time but is required no later than 60 days prior to departure (full payment is required for bookings made less than 60 days from tour departure).
5. Deposit and Full Payment Options: INTERNET BANKING – Pacific Trailways Ltd. BNZ Account number 02-0400-0116109-001. CREDIT CARD – Visa and Mastercard only.
6. Minimum booking numbers required. This tour will be confirmed to operate once bookings have achieved the minimum numbers required. In the event that minimum booking numbers are not achieved, Pacific Trailways will offer an alternative departure, or a full refund, this being the full extent of our responsibility. Any additional costs you may incur as a result of cancellation by Pacific Trailways will be your responsibility and we expect you to seek remedy via travel insurance cover.
7. Client Cancellations, not related to Covid-19: All cancellation charges apply ‘per person’.
For cancellation 60 days or more prior to tour start date a full refund applies, less $50 administration fee. For cancellation: 59 – 46 days prior to tour start date: cancellation fee is 50% of the tour price. For cancellation: 45 – 00 days prior to tour start date: cancellation fee is 100% of the tour price. No refund can be made once the tour is underway and there are no refunds for unused tour components.
8. Client Cancellations due to Covid-19: If client cancellation is a direct result of Covid-19 and a requirement for the client to self-isolate, enter quarantine or seek medical treatment, Pacific Trailways will, at its discretion, review cancellation charges applicable to that client’s booking. Pacific Trailways will consider each case on its merit, taking into account the medical situation, personal circumstances and time remaining before tour departure. To consider a review of cancellation charges, Pacific Trailways will require a formal, authorised Covid-19 test result supported by a medical professional or doctor’s letter or a Health Department letter. If the cancellation is due to contact with a suspected or confirmed Covid-19 case, a formal Health Department contact trace confirmation will be required. A $50 administration fee will apply to the cancellation charge review.
9. Covid-19: Lockdown tour cancellation. If the tour departure is cancelled due to a New Zealand Government Covid-19 lockdown order, Pacific Trailways will offer two options. 1. To transfer your deposit and/or tour payments to a later tour departure, or 2. Receive a full refund of your deposit and tour payment balance (whichever amount/s you have paid).
10. Tour cancellation if DC-3 is unavailable for tour departure: If the featured DC3 aircraft is rendered unable to operate before the tour starts, Pacific Trailways will make every effort to arrange a similar aircraft. If another aircraft cannot be chartered, Pacific Trailways will refund all monies paid. In these cancellation circumstances, a full refund of the tour price will be the full extent of our responsibility to you the client. Any additional costs you may incur as a result of cancellation by Pacific Trailways will be your responsibility and we expect you to seek remedy via travel insurance cover.
11. Aircraft Operation (during the tour). In the event the chartered DC3 aircraft is rendered unserviceable or unable to operate for any reason during the tour, Pacific Trailways will make every effort to use suitable chartered aircraft and/or scheduled air services to complete the affected tour sectors. If suitable chartered and/or scheduled air services are not available, Pacific Trailways reserves the right to substitute ground transport to complete the affected tour sectors. If air or ground transport is substituted for DC3 flights for any reason above, no refund or reimbursement applies and the air or ground transport substitution is the full extent of our responsibility to you.
12. Itinerary amendments. Pacific Trailways reserves the right to amend the itinerary if/as necessary due to weather and/or operational requirements and to substitute accommodation, transport and sightseeing services if required. If weather conditions on a particular day (or days) prevent safe flying, Pacific Trailways accepts the professional decision of the aircraft captain (Pilot in Command) to determine whether or not the aircraft will fly on the day. If a ‘no-fly’ decision is made, ground transport will be substituted on the affected day/s to continue the tour and meet itinerary obligations.
13. Travel Insurance. Pacific Trailways strongly recommends that ‘loss of deposit’ travel insurance is purchased at the time of booking. Cancellation fees will not be waived where travel insurance could have provided cover.
14. Luggage on tour – limits per passenger. (1.) One small soft-sided cabin/day bag able to be stowed under a seat. (2.) One small to medium soft-sided overnight bag weighing no more than 10 kg (22 pounds) that can be stowed in the DC3’s forward hold each day to meet NZCAA safety regulations (the DC3 has no overhead lockers). (3.) One piece of luggage with a total length, width and depth of no more than 140 cm (56 inches) and weighing no more than 20 kg (44 pounds). Note: Your DC3 aircraft has no onboard space for large luggage. Ground crew will transfer your large luggage items from hotel to hotel by van, each day of the tour. On occasions when same-day connections are not possible we will advise you (ahead of time) to take the overnight bag on the aircraft to carry your next day’s clothing and personal items with you.
15. Seat change daily.To provide a fair and equitable viewing experience for all tour participants a daily seat change policy applies. The process will be explained during the tour and all tour party members are expected to participate.
16. Hotels. Tour accommodation is on the basis of standard ‘twin or double’ rooms that may not include lake, or scenic, or sea views.
17. Solo tour members – guaranteed single room preference.Limited single occupancy rooms may be available at the time of booking. To secure a guaranteed single occupancy room, the Guaranteed Single Room option must be purchased.
18. Solo tour members – twin share room preference.Solo travellers may book ‘twin share’ basis and Pacific Trailways will make every effort to select appropriate same gender roommate pairings. Solo travellers booking on this basis must accept that there is no guarantee of compatibility with your selected roommate and that smoking is not permitted in rooms at any time.
19. Smoking. New Zealand Government laws forbid smoking in public transport, tour coaches, aircraft, airport terminals, accommodation, restaurants, bars, cafes and other recognised public places. Opportunities to smoke will be made available as possible within these boundaries and in circumstances that do not cause discomfort to non-smoking tour members.
20. Personal expenses. Items and/or services not specified as included under ‘Highlights and Inclusions’ are deemed to be personal expenses and are not included in your tour price. Items considered to be personal expenses may include but are not limited to scheduled airfares and taxes, accommodation and meals and transport not included under ‘Highlights and Inclusions’, food not included on the regular tour menu, drinks, personal items, laundry, passport and visa fees, excess baggage, fuel surcharges, optional excursions and gratuities.
21. Personal belongings and lost items. Valuables on tour should be kept to a minimum and packed in your hand luggage along with personal items such as a camera, phone, small personal appliances, essential changes of clothing, toiletries and other personal items. You are responsible for your personal items at all times and must ensure you have adequate travel insurance cover in the event of any loss.
22. Health requirements.Payment of the deposit is a warranty by you that you or any persons covered by your booking are sufficiently fit and healthy to undertake this tour and associated travel arrangements. Pacific Trailways reserves the right, at its discretion, to remove tour participants who prove unable to meet these health requirements or who prove to be incapable of caring for themselves or who become a hazard to themselves or other tour members. No refund applies in such circumstances if the tour has commenced, and Pacific Trailways is not responsible for any associated travel arrangements or repatriation costs.
23. Pre and post tour connecting transfers, transport and air travel.Transport and travel before and after your tour are not included in your tour arrangements and these are your responsibility. Pacific Trailways will make every effort to keep your tour to the stated itinerary schedule but is not responsible for any missed connections before or after your tour.
24. Tour map.The tour map included on the website and in the brochure is not necessarily to scale. The map depicts an indication of the daily itinerary and route however the actual tour route may vary from the depicted tour route if operational or safety requirements make route changes necessary or desirable.
25. Illustrations.All photographs featured in the Pacific Trailways brochure, Facebook site and website illustrate and depict genuine events, places, occurrences and experiences. The use of these illustrations and images does not guarantee that such events, places, occurrences and experiences will necessarily be experienced or seen as depicted in the photograph or illustration.
26. Force Majeure.Force Majeure means an event or circumstance that is beyond the reasonable control of Pacific Trailways Ltd and that could not have been reasonably prevented by Pacific Trailways Ltd. It may include, but is not limited to, pandemic, war, armed conflict, criminal damage, riot, civil strife, industrial dispute, terrorist activity or the possibility or threat of any such activity, natural disaster including but not limited to earthquake, volcanic eruption, cyclone, hurricane, tornado, tsunami, flooding, high or low water levels, fire, landslide, adverse weather conditions, nuclear or other industrial accident causing environmental contamination, or any change of law. In the event that Pacific Trailways Ltd cancels or changes your tour arrangements in any way due to a Force Majeure event, Pacific Trailways Ltd will not be liable to refund any part of your tour deposit or tour purchase price paid by you if Pacific Trailways Ltd subsequently changes or cancels your tour arrangements in connection with a Force Majeure event. As such Force Majeure events cannot be predicted and are beyond the control of Pacific Trailways Ltd it is your responsibility to purchase travel insurance that will adequately cover you against these risks.
27. Additional costs. Pacific Trailways is not responsible for any additional costs which may be incurred by tour participants as a result of events beyond the company’s control. Examples may include (but are not limited to) pandemic, strikes, industrial action, weather or any other man-made or natural occurrence.
28. Passport & Visa Requirements (as applicable, if or when New Zealand’s borders re-open). It is the client/s total responsibility to meet passport and/or visa requirements for travel to and from New Zealand. Pacific Trailways is not responsible for, nor liable for, any loss or damage suffered by the client (or any person covered in the booking) resulting from client/s failure to meet required passport and visa conditions.
29. New Zealand law applies.All Pacific Trailways Booking Terms and Conditions and operations are governed by the laws of New Zealand and all parties submit to the jurisdiction of the New Zealand courts.