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AFRICA | ASIA | AUSTRALIA | PACIFIC ISLANDS | THE AMERICAS | UK & EUROPE
Until sold out
4 day/3 night tour from
per person share twin
Visit the Waikato during the annual hot air balloon festival, an iconic must-do event that has run for over 20 years. We weave exciting elements of the festival into some fabulous days of seeing the best local sights including Waitomo’s natural wonders both above and below ground; the impressive Hamilton Gardens; a brewery tour and dinner at the Good George; and a Second Breakfast at Hobbiton Movie Set.
✔ Door to door home collection & drop off service available from select areas
✔ 3 nights accommodation - twin/double rooms, all with private facilities (single rooms available with surcharge)
✔ Touring in modern air conditioned vehicle
✔ 3 breakfasts, 1 lunch and 1 dinner included
✔ Guided brewery tour and dinner at Good George Brewery
✔ Guided tour of Ruakuri Cave
✔ Guided tour of Hamilton Gardens
✔ Attend events as part of Balloons over Waikato, including the Zuru Nightglow!
✔ Hobbiton Movie Set Second Breakfast tour
From $1370 per person share twin
Travel: Thu 17 - Sun 20 Mar 22
Day 1 Thursday 17 March 2022
ARRIVE HAMILTON (D)
Today you will need to make your own arrangements to Hamilton, arriving at our accommodation by 4.00pm. If you are driving, you are more than welcome to park your car at our coach depot for the duration of the tour. Our private driver/guide will meet us at the hotel lobby then we transfer to Good George Brewery for an intriguing behind the scenes tour to see where their beer, cider and gin is made. We will learn about the brewing process and be shown how the beers are made, with a few surprises along the way. After the brewery tour, we will enjoy a two-course dinner in the Good George Dining Room.
Accommodation: Ventura Inn & Suites, Hamilton – 3 nights
Day 2 Friday 18 March 2022
WAITOMO SIGHTSEEING (B)
Our day commences with the first of our balloon festival events. Early morning we are transferred to Innes Common to view the balloons lifting off this morning. Then we travel south to Waitomo, an area well known for its underground caves. We stop in at Otorohanga en route for you to purchase lunch (own cost) to enjoy later in the day. On arrival at Waitomo, we enjoy a guided tour into the Ruakuri Cave which offers a comprehensive cave experience including winding passageways, immense caverns, and deep crevices. The tour commences with a spiral descent from ground level via a remarkable drum entrance and walkway then wanders along narrow corridors and across low-lit walkways suspended above the Huhunui River below. The tour is 1½-hours in duration and includes 1.6-km of walkways. Our guide will bring us up close to glowworms, elaborate cave formations, underground rivers, myths, legends and sacred Maori sites. After our guided tour, we will have time to eat lunch purchased earlier, before travelling out to view Marokopa Falls and Mangapohue Natural Bridge. We take a brief walk following the boardwalk as it weaves its way through the impressive limestone gorge bringing us underneath the stunning natural bridge. From here we retrace our steps back to Hamilton. The remainder of the evening is at leisure.
Day 3 Saturday 19 March 2022
HAMILTON SIGHTSEEING (BL)
This morning we revisit Innes Common to view the Pilot Cash Grab event as part of Balloons over Waikato. Be amazed by the skills of the balloon pilots as they attempt to win $1,000 cash from the top of a pole. After viewing the balloons we travel to Hamilton Gardens. Through breath-taking themed garden collections, Hamilton Gardens explores different civilisations, and recreates historically important garden styles from the farthest reaches of the world. Here we take a guided tour with one of their experienced guides who will share their behind-the-scenes knowledge of the gardens. We are guided on a journey of discovery along paths delivering mysterious surprises: step from a peaceful Sung Dynasty Chinese Scholar’s garden into an Italian Renaissance Garden, before being enthralled by the grandeur of the Indian Char Bagh (‘four quartered’) Garden. Following from our garden visit we have a delicious lunch at the Hamilton Gardens Café. We allow for some free time after our garden visit to relax before we visit one of the highlights of the Balloons over Waikato Festival, the Zuru Nightglow! This is the biggest night of the festival, with live music performances, followed by the main event, where they light up the balloons, creating a stunning light and sound show choreographed to music. The night ends with a spectacular fireworks display. There are plenty of food stalls available on the night to purchase dinner (own cost). We will supply the chairs for the nightglow. At the conclusion of the event, we are transferred back to the hotel.
Day 4 Sunday 20 March 2022
HOBBITON - DEPART HAMILTON (B)
We have an early start this morning as we travel to Hobbiton Movie Set and enjoy their Second Breakfast Guided Tour. We’ll make the first footsteps in the morning dew on the Movie Set as part of Hobbiton’s first tour of the day. Our Hobbiton tour guide will escort us through the 12-acre movie set, recounting fascinating details from filming the trilogies and pointing out the most iconic sites and scenes as we walk through the movie set. We then arrive at The Green Dragon™ Inn where you will be offered a complimentary beverage from their exclusive Hobbit™ Southfarthing™ range. We then follow our guide back over the double arch stone bridge to The Millhouse, where we are treated to a breakfast spread fit for a Hobbit. The breakfast table will be heaped with seasonal fresh fruit, breads, pastries, preserves, cold meats and a hot breakfast selection featuring an assortment of a Hobbit's favourite breakfast staples. At the conclusion of breakfast we make our way back through the wandering paths of The Shire and say goodbye to Hobbiton. On our way back to Hamilton we will drop off any passengers flying home (flights not included) at Hamilton Airport before returning to the Leisure Time Travel office.
Please note – The Ruakuri Cave and Hobbiton Movie Set Tour are walking tours and will require a reasonable level of mobility. At Hobbiton, a golf cart is available to those who require it (limited spaces available, and must be noted at the time of booking). The paths are made of cobblestones and dirt tracks so it is bumpy and uneven in places. The paths are also quite narrow in places and there are some low level stairs to climb. Please ask the office if you have any questions.
No refunds will apply should festival events be affected by or cancelled due to weather.
Please note that full terms and conditions apply - see your House of Travel consultant for details.
• Package price is based on twin share and is priced in New Zealand Dollars.
• Pricing is correct at the time of submission but is subject to change without notice.
• Valid for travel as specified.
• Inclusions are subject to change based on supplier operational capabilities.
• Cancellation and Amendment fees apply.
Supplier code: LTT
HOT code: EDMNZ2911