Getting on/off a bus. Walking in Hamilton Gardens for approximately 1.5 hr; flat gravel paths. Road trip Auckland to Hamilton: 70 mi (113 km), 1 hr 40 min. Hamilton to Rotorua: 66 mi (106 km), 1 hr 30 min.
After claiming your luggage, wait inside the Arrivals area and meet our Group Leaders who will be holding a Road Scholar sign. When everyone has arrived, we will board a bus for the ride south from Auckland to Rotorua, with a stop-off at Hamilton Gardens for our Welcome Lunch.
At Hamilton Gardens Café, we will have a special buffet meal of meats, salads, breads with water, coffee, tea included; other beverages available for purchase.
We will wander at our leisure around the Hamilton Gardens, exploring a variety of themes. These include the Indian Char Bagh, Italian Renaissance, Japanese Contemplation, Chinese Scholars’, English Flower, Modernists, Tudor and Chinoiserie gardens. Also, themes such as fantasy, tropical, sustainable, herb, kitchen and the Te Parapara garden – New Zealand’s only traditional Maori heritage productive garden showcasing traditional practices, materials and ceremonies related to food production and storage. We will continue our journey south by coach, arriving at our hotel in Rotorua, where we will stay for the first three nights. Rotorua is New Zealand’s own geothermal paradise. This good-looking city is big on Maori culture and hospitality, where you can stand on active volcanoes, peer into massive craters and view boiling mud and erupting geysers. There is time to freshen up after check-in before gathering for our Orientation session. Orientation: The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. We will pre-order some meals so as to make the most of our time. Periods in the schedule designated as “Free time” and “At leisure” offer opportunities to do what you like and make your experience even more meaningful and memorable according to your personal preferences. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.
At the hotel, we will order one or two courses from the Bar menu, with water included; other beverages available for purchase.
At leisure. Continue getting to know your fellow Road Scholars, settle in, and get a good night’s rest for the day ahead.