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Christmas Under the Mountain 2019-Join the wait list!

21 - 27 December 2019

Double or twin share $2,170.00

Single Accommodation $2,730.00

Deposit to confirm booking $370.00

Balance payable by: 04 Nov 2019
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​Join in the festivities with the famous Tranzit Tours Christmas adventure.

Spend your Christmas relaxing under the shade of Mount Taranaki. Based in New Plymouth for the duration of the tour, everyday is a new adventure as we explore the beautiful bush, world famous surf beaches and rich culture of this popular summer spot. Highlights include breathtaking local waterfalls, riding the rails at Waitara,exploring beautiful local gardens and enjoying the magical TSB Festival of Lights at Pukekura Park.

Day 1

Saturday 21 December - We’re All Going on a Christmas Holiday

With an early start this morning from all areas we meet at a central destination enroute to enjoy our first cuppa of the tour.

We have time to mix and mingle, catch up with old friends and welcome new ones, before travelling on to Hawera where we stop to enjoy lunch and explore the delightful Tawhiti Museum. One of the best private museums in the country, Tawhiti Museum uses life size exhibits and scale models – all designed and built on the premises - to present our heritage in super realistic displays. We will also be able to experience “Traders and Whalers” – Tawhiti’s latest addition and most exciting display. Lit only by lanterns and candles, we drift in boats through this eerie world, while sailors barter with local Maori for food and flax in return for European goods - especially that most prized item - the musket. Lunch is also onsite today at the cosy and welcoming Mr Badger’s Café (included). Our accommodation during our stay in New Plymouth is the Plymouth International, and after settling in, you may have time to take a swim in the pool and relax before dinner in the hotel restaurant this evening.

Day 2

Sunday 22 December - Riding the Rails and Dawson Falls Mountain Lodge

Today we visit the iconic Te Rewa Rewa bridge before heading to Waitara to meet our train crew from the Waitara Railway Preservation Society.

Our excursion to Lepperton climbs the 1 in 40 Waitara Valley gradient (the steepest on a preserved railway in NZ), passes under the SH3 overbridge on Big Jim’s Hill, through their depot and yards at Waitara Road, and crosses the picturesque Waiongana Stream. We then travel to Dawson Falls located on the south eastern slopes of Mt Taranaki in Egmont National Park. A picturesque road takes us up the mountain to our destination, passing through an “enchanted forest” of lush greenery that hugs the narrow road. Located at 900 metres above sea level the Dawson Falls Mountain Lodge is the scenic setting for our lunch today, and we enjoy tasty cuisine provided by our hosts. After lunch we will have the opportunity to explore the area. A browse through the Department of Conservation Visitor Centre will point us in the direction of a couple of short walks that take us to points of interest — a lookout overlooking Dawson Falls, and another easy walk to the historic Dawson Falls Power Station.
Time permitting, on our way back to New Plymouth we visit Envirofur, an entrepreneurial local company based in an old Dairy Factory, producing high quality possum leather garments and footwear. Back at our hotel, we dine in again tonight. Following dinner, we will take our first visit to Pukekura Park to experience the atmosphere and enchantment of the magical Festival of Lights. The lighting features are the jewels in the park and change year on year. There will be an opportunity for those interested to return for evening entertainment most nights.

Day 3

Monday 23 December - The Historic Cape Light and It’s All About the Holdens

Today we get to view the Cape Egmont Lighthouse and visit the Historic Cape Light Museum – a replica built to house the light from the original lighthouse. We return to New Plymouth via a scenic route under the mountain that bypasses the gates of Pukeiti Gardens, on our way to a unique new attraction the Hillsborough Car Museum, Café and mini golf. A stunning new facility purpose built for the preservation and display of a private collection of Australian Holden cars and memorabilia. The cars range from meticulously restored early models through to late model new cars. We also enjoy lunch here today in their onsite café. A Christmas tour wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the Christmas Village featuring seven beautifully decorated rooms. Today is their last open day before closing for 12 weeks to begin the decorating all over again. We return to our hotel for a well-earned rest and dinner.

Day 4

Tuesday 24 December - The Forgotten World Highway

Today we explore waterfalls, Whangamomona and the Tahora Saddle. We enjoy unsurpassed views of the central North Island mountains and surrounding valleys and hill country.

We start today traveling to Stratford for a morning tea Tranzit style and if timed right we can hear the playing of New Zealand’s only Glockenspiel depicting the story of Romeo & Juliet.
We then head into the outback. Steep dissected farmland, river gorges clad in dense rainforest, and panoramic views will unfold before us as we travel the historic Forgotten World Highway. We enjoy lunch today (included) at the historic Whangamomona Hotel, New Zealand’s most remote country pub. There will be a chance to wander this tiny village that famously declared itself an independent republic back in 1988. From Whangamomona we travel over the Tahora Saddle, a spectacular vantage point for unsurpassed views of the central North Island mountains and surrounding valleys and hill country. Two Maori Pa sites are visible on prominent hilltops to the west and east.
Moving on from the Tahora Saddle, the coach will wind down into the Tangarakau Gorge where we stop to take in the ambience of the final resting place of Joshua Morgan, a surveyor whose gravesite is a memorial to those who endured the hardships faced while paving the way for road and rail through this difficult terrain.
Our next stop is the spectacular Mt Damper Falls. An optional walk of 20 minutes will bring us to a platform to view the highest fall in the North Island (85m) followed by a welcome break for afternoon tea. We return to New Plymouth for a welcome rest and dinner after a full day’s itinerary.

Day 5

Wednesday 25 December - Sun, Sea and Santa

Merry Christmas!

With a welcome opportunity to sleep in this morning we make the short trip to one of New Plymouth’s popular beaches Ngamotu for morning tea. There’s time also for those wishing to stretch their legs, to enjoy a walk on a section of the award-winning Coastal Walkway, a 12.7km path that forms an expansive sea-edge promenade stretching the length of the city. Our Christmas picnic will be at another favourite local spot, East End Beach. Following lunch, we take a jaunt out to Lake Mangamohe and Tupare, a public garden open today and a popular place for the locals to spend their leisure during this time of year.
Returning to our hotel we enjoy a relaxing festive dinner in house, as we pop the bubbly and pull the crackers in the company of friends.

Day 6

Thursday 26 December - Boxing Day Specials, Guided Walks and Hollard Gardens

Today is all about you- Relax and unwind with your own choice of adventure in this wonderfully serviced city.

Some may wish to take the opportunity to shop the specials, visit Puke Ariki and the Govett Brewster Galleries, others either exploring more excellent free walkways, or opting for a self-guided walk of Historical New Plymouth (allow approx 2hours, with guide books to be purchased from the i-site). Lunch is at your own leisure and cost before meeting up again with your coach and driver for a jaunt out to another beautiful public garden open today – Hollards, described as “informal and intimate, with a huge variety of native and exotic plants. Many are rare and endangered.” This garden is nestled at the southern end of Mount Taranaki. We return to New Plymouth via the Surf Highway once more. Tonight we dine out at Marbles Restaurant in the Devon Hotel - this buffet is legendary.

Day 7

Friday 27 December - Travelling Home

We are homeward bound today, with a stop for morning tea at Lake Rotokare, including time to enjoy a wander along the lake shore or walk deeper into the forest to discover the great swamp forest giants (kahikatea and pukatea).

Lunch today is at Whanganui (own cost and leisure). We arrive back in Palmerston North in time to meet connecting services for those travellers continuing to Wellington, Hutt Valley, Kapiti Coast, Wairarapa and other surrounding areas.

The cost of the tour includes

  • 6 night’s accommodation at the Plymouth International
  • 2 course or buffet dinners
  • Full buffet breakfasts
  • Morning teas
  • All coach travel
  • Tawhiti museum – entry, exhibitions and lunch
  • Waitara Railway excursion
  • Dawson Falls Mountain Lodge – lunch
  • Historic Cape Light & Museum visit
  • Hillsborough Car Museum and Café – entry and lunch
  • Whangamomona lunch
  • Christmas day picnic lunch and festivities

Departure Detail

Thank you Ali for your professionalism as our tour guide, Steve and I both enjoyed the tour very much. - Pearl, Travel Club Member