Day 4: Whanganui - Taihape
We visit the Sarjeant Gallery, Waimarie museum and board the paddle steamer for a two-hour lunch cruise on the river.
At Putiki a local guide tells the stories of the intricate Maori carvings and wall panels of St Paul’s Memorial church. Then, turning eastward, we drive to Taihape and stay at The Aspen Court Motel. We dine at Le Café Telephonique.
Accommodation: The Aspen Court Motel
Day 5: Taihape - Napier
From Taihape we cross the Central Plateau to explore the Inland Patea Heritage Trail along the “Gentle Annie” travelled by the early Maori and stockmen. There are historic sites, expansive views, a suspension bridge across the Rangitikei River and the largest sheep stations in the North Island. We stay two nights at Scenic Te Pania on the Napier waterfront.
Accommodation: Scenic Hotel Te Pania x 2 nights
Day 6: At Napier
An Art Deco guide joins our coach to tour Marewa, the surburb built in Art Deco style after the 1931 earthquake, and the National Tobacco Company building.
We visit the Hawkes Bay Farmers’ Market in Hastings to check out local produce and artisan specialties and later drive up Bluff Hill for the views and to Otatara Pa Historic Reserve.
Day 7: Napier - Auckland
We drive back northwards, stopping at the Waimungu Falls on the Napier/Taupo Road. We lunch in Taupo and stop to view the Huka Falls and the Wairakei Geothermal Power Station too. We return to Auckland through the Waikato farmlands arriving in the late afternoon.