‘The Waikato to Taranaki Way’ is considered a mighty road trip between two of the central North Island’s fascinating regions, both rich history, spectacular scenery and natural attractions. Venture Taranaki has created a downloadable map to enrich road-trippers journey between the Waikato and Taranaki. The map identifies all the great places to stop along the way. Hard copies of the map are also available at i-Sites. Also, the Taranaki region’s website gives details of drive times from other parts of the North Island, links to accommodation options, activities and attractions.
QUICK BREAK WITH A QUOKKA
Boasting 45 kilometres of beautiful walking trails, Western Australia’s Rottnest Island is rich in cultural heritage and fascinating native wildlife. Here, you can swim, snorkel, hike, bike or just laze on the sand. Accommodation and five days’ care hire from Perth Airport start at $1289pp, twin-share. You’ll have three nights at Ramada Vetroblu Scarborough Beach, Perth and a night at Mandoon Estate, where you get to indulge in tutored wine tasting, breakfast in Homestead Brewery and a six-course degustation lunch or dinner with paired wines. Return ferry transfers to Rottnest Island and an island tour are included. Flights from New Zealand are additional. Book by February 10. Travel between May 1 and August 28.
Contact: House of Travel, 0800 713 715 or check out hot.co.nz/blend
PAN AMERACA AND THE PANAMA CANAL
A luxurious Panama Canal Cruise aboard ‘Azamara Onward’ is touted as “a seaside sanctuary with all the lush amenities one can imagine.” This 17-night cruise visits Columbia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Mexico, and California. Staying in a Club Veranda Stateroom, you’ll receive a complimentary ‘Experience More’ package with a shore excursion credit. Priced from $12,799pp, departure is from Miami on December 20 next year. Airfares from New Zealand are additional.
Contact: Travel Associates, 0800 951 655 or travel-associates.co.nz/cruises/united-states/panama-canal---miami-to-san-diego-16870386
DINING ON THE HAURAKI GULF
For the first time, exploring two of Auckland’s islands in one trip is possible with a ‘Taste of Two Islands’ Fullers360 tour. Spend a morning on the proudly pest-free Rotoroa Island, where you can spot native wildlife and art installations, enjoy white-sand beaches and wander along gentle walking trails. Your tour vessel will then deliver you to Orapiu on the eastern side of Waiheke Island for a two-course lunch and wine at Passage Rock Winery, followed by gin tastings at Waiheke Distilling Co. This full-day tour costs $265pp. A half-day tour option, ‘Waiheke Untapped’ takes passengers directly to Orapiu for the same dining and beverage experience, and costs $249pp.
Contact: Fullers360, 0800 FULLERS or fullers.co.nz/experiences-tours
WESTERN AUSTRALIA IN LUXURY
Return Air New Zealand fares and four nights’ accommodation at the five-star Pan Pacific Perth are priced from $1655pp, double-share. The hotel is just moments from the Swan River and Langley Park – perfect for explorative walks, dining, shopping in boutiques and art galleries. Priced from $1655pp, double-share, for departures from Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, this package is for travel between May 2 and June 26. Book by January 23.
Contact: Flight Centre, 0800 427 555 or flightcentre.co.nz/product/15745533 for Auckland departures, flightcentre.co.nz/product/15745602 from Wellington and flightcentre.co.nz/product/15745671 from Christchurch.