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  • Overview
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Overview
For dates, availability & customisations Enquire

Bucket List Walk - 12 Days

Start:RotoruaTours run:November to April
End:Rotorua
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mild grade
Duration:12 days/11 nights
NZ $4,950.00
excl GST
Walking
 






 

QualmarkweeGold copy    Walking holiday of a lifetime!

 

Explore the very best of the North Island’s diverse and visually spectacular regions in comfort and style.

From the majestic mountains of Tongariro, to the lush forests of Waikaremoana, to the dramatic coastlines of Coromandel.

Be awed by the scenery, and spoilt by delightful accommodation, meals and wine - It doesn’t get any better than this!
  • Join a small group & expert NZ walking guide
  • 12 days / 11 nights NZ Walking Tour (11 days walking, 1 rest day)
  • 4-7 hours walking each day over varied terrain on formed trails
  • Carry a daypack only
  • 100 - 120km (62 - 74 miles)
  • Depart Rotorua or Matamata
  • NZD$3000 per child (15 years and under)
 

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Includes: most meals, snacks & wine; return Rotorua transport; 9 nights 3-4 star lodge accommodation (mix of shared & ensuite facilities); 2 nights 4.5-star hotel accommodation; dinner in a top Rotorua restaurant; boat cruises; hot spring swims; experienced and caring guides


Book now for Next Season!

 

2018 / 2019

2018

November 5,19
December 3, 10
 

2019

January 7, 14, 28
February 4,11,25
March 4,11,25
April 8

Another date in mind?

We can build a tour especially for your group, please enquire for dates available.

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Dates and Availability?

Tours run:November to April
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Customisations?

We can customise tours to suit.

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Itinerary & Map

For dates, availability & customisations Enquire
 






DAY ONE – Matamata / Rotorua to Coromandel


We’ll pick you up from Rotorua at approx. 8:30am, or Matamata at 9:30am. Warm up with a 4km hike to the top of Wairere Falls, and view the verdant Waikato basin from two lookouts over hanging 90 metres of thunderous waterfall.
As we continue north, enjoy views out over the mussel farms of the Hauraki Gulf from one of New Zealand’s classic coastal drives, the Coromandel west coast. Make a brief stop at Waiomu for refreshments before exploring the Waiomu Kauri Grove - this little known trail heads deep into a protected ecological reserve scattered with majestic Kauri trees – New Zealand’s very own forest giants that grow up to 50 metres tall. Drive further up the Coromandel Peninsula in the late afternoon to reach your lovely accommodation, and watch the sunset from the verandah with a glass of wine or ice cold brew.
Accommodation: Coromandel Lodge - (L,D)  Hiking time: 3-4 hours
 


DAY TWO – The Legendary Coromandel Coastal Walkway

If there’s one hike in New Zealand that has it all, it’s this one – the incredible Coromandel Coastal Walkway. After a short drive north from Coromandel township we’ll arrive at the trail head and begin our hike at Stony Bay, a picture perfect isolated beach flanked by green hills and white sand. This historic trail follows an old bridle path once used by gold miners who populated the Coromandel region in colonial times.  Tracing the north eastern tip of the Coromandel Peninsula, we walk through native bush and over high cliff tops with views of Great Barrier Island, Cuvier Island and the Mercury Islands.

We’ll have a picnic lunch at beautiful Poley Bay (a great spot for a swim if you’re keen!) before returning to Stony Bay.
Accommodation: Coromandel Lodge  - (B,L,D)  Hiking time: 6 hours
 


DAY THREE – The Pinnacles

After a delicious fresh breakfast we head south to the start of the Kauaeranga Kauri Trail, also known as The Pinnacles. We’ll make our way up through kauri, rimu and kahikatea forests to the Pinnacles that are perched high above the forest canopy. The 360 degree views of bush, mountains and 2 coastlines are simply off the charts, and well worth the effort up the steep trail – don’t forget your camera! The Kauaeranga Valley is home to forest bird such as tui, bellbird, tomtit, grey warbler, shining cuckoo, north island brown kiwi and kaka, so keep your eyes peeled here as many of them are frequent visitors on the trail.

If the Pinnacles isn’t your style and you would prefer a more relaxing day you have the option of staying in and exploring Coromandel Township. Highlights include the Driving Creek Railway, local artisan workshops, short walks, cafes, and culture. Take the time to relax in paradise.

A fabulous day is topped off with a celebratory meal at one of Coromandel town’s fine restaurants.
Accommodation: Coromandel Lodgel- (B,L,D) Hiking time: 6-7 hours.
 


DAY FOUR – Epic East Coast

Travel east around the Peninsula towards Whitianga. Hike to the golden sand beaches and azure green waters of one of the top 20 best beaches in the world, New Chums Beach. Relax and absorb the natural beauty amidst the bird and marine life that thrives within this precious ecosystem.

Enjoy a short, scenic ferry ride across the Whitianga harbour and a relaxing stroll up to Shakespeares Cliff overlooking Mercury Bay and the beach where Cook first set foot on kiwi soil. Stop for a refreshing lunch looking out over the marine reserve and take the well-graded track down to the iconic Cathedral Cove, a natural volcanic archway - a must-see of the Coromandel!

Continuing around the east coast we’ll complete a loop of the Coromandel Peninsula, then drop you at a 4.5 star Hotel in Rotorua, where you can enjoy dinner in their restaurant.
Accommodation: Rotorua Hotel - (B,L,D)  Hiking time: 2-3 hours
 


DAY FIVE – Whirinaki Forest

After a cooked breakfast at your Rotorua Hotel we’ll pick you up and head east, past Mount Tarawera and into the heart of Te Urewera National Park. Our first stop is the Whirinaki Forest, where we’ll walk through one of New Zealand’s most pristine Podocarp forests with towering trees including giant totara, kahikatea, rimu and matai. Keep an eye out for kaka (a large forest parrot) & whio (blue duck) along the way. This hiking trail also skirts the moss-lined Whirinaki River canyon and waterfall – one of the most picturesque rivers in New Zealand. Don’t forget your camera!

We then journey deeper into the remote National Park to reach Lake Waikaremoana, where we’ll settle in at our cozy lodge with pre-dinner drinks and nibbles on the lake shore.
Accommodation: Waikaremoana Lake Lodge - (B,L,D)  Hiking time: 3-4 hours.
 


DAY SIX – Panekire Bluffs

This morning we’ll hike to the spectacular Panekire Bluffs that are a highlight of the Lake Waikaremoana Great Walk. As we climb higher we’ll see the lush podocarp forest change into cloud forest with trees covered in eerie hanging moss. Arriving at the Panekire Bluffs, we’ll be greeted with jaw-dropping views over Lake Waikaremoana and Te Urewera National Park. There are not many better places in the world to sit back, relax and have lunch! If you’re looking for a challenge, there’s an option to continue hiking higher for a further 2 hours to reach the highest point of the Great Walk track to get views over not only the Lake, but out to the Pacific Coast.

Before dinner we’ll visit a local marae for an informal chat with a Maori elder. This is a great opportunity to get a real feel for the culture in this isolated area, where Maori is still the first language. (note the marae visit may not be possible if the marae is being used by the local community)
Accommodation: Waikaremoana Lake Lodge - (B,L,D)  Hiking time: 3-7 hours.
 



DAY SEVEN – Lake Waikareiti

This morning we explore a very special area - the pristine Lake Waikareiti, which lies a further 300 metres in elevation above Lake Waikaremoana. Free of aquatic weeds and motorised boats, this picture perfect lake has astonishingly clear water and is blissfully peaceful! The Department of Conservation have worked tirelessly for years to eradicate this area of introduced predators, allowing native birds here to thrive!
Later, we’ll return to Waikaremoana where there’s an option to walk to a dazzling fresh-water spring, or a walk through dense fern forest to explore the Onepoto Caves.
Accommodation: Waikaremoana Lake Lodge - (B,L,D)   Hiking time: 3-5 hours.
 


DAY EIGHT – Lake Waikaremoana Great Walk

After breakfast we depart the lodge and take a boat cruise right across Lake Waikaremoana to walk another section of the Lake Waikaremoana Great Walk Track. This stunning forest and lakeside trail traverses from a secluded arm of the lake across a peninsula, home to a Kiwi Recovery Program and some gorgeous native forest. After a lakeside picnic lunch we return to Rotorua, stopping for a soak in an amazing natural hot spring under a canopy of native trees.
Tonight you will dine in one of Rotorua’s finest restaurants.
Accommodation: Rotorua Hotel - (B,L,D)   Hiking time: 2-4 hours
 


DAY NINE – Rest Day, Arrive Central Plateau

This morning you have free time to explore Rotorua, or sleep in! There’s no shortage of adventurous or relaxing activities in this town. From indulging in a spa treatment to ziplining high above native forest there’s a little something for everyone here.
At 1:30pm we’ll pick you up from your Rotorua Hotel and head south through the North Island’s heartland of geothermal activity, passing Lake Taupo. Become acquainted with the area and your guide with a short walk, before settling in to your stunning accommodation in time to watch the sun set over the magnificent Tongariro volcanoes with a glass of wine and nibbles, before a delicious restaurant meal..
Accommodation: The Chateau Tongariro - (B,D)
 


DAY TEN – The Tongariro Alpine Crossing

Today we embark upon one of the world’s greatest one day hikes, the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. This trail passes between two active volcanoes – Mt Tongariro and Mt Ngauruhoe. The scenery is ever-changing and features stunning lava fields, emerald blue lakes, waterfalls, steaming vents and meadows of alpine tussock – there’s nowhere else like it on the planet! The views across to Mt Ruapehu and the central plateau of the North Island are truly spectacular and worth every step!
At the end of our Crossing we’ll toast our achievement with a glass of bubbly, before returning to The Chateau for a dip in the hot pool, followed by dinner at a local pub.
Accommodation: The Chateau Tongariro - (B,L,D)  Hiking time: 7-8 hours.
 


DAY ELEVEN – Mt Ruapehu Hikes

Travel around the southern side of Mt Ruapehu to experience some of New Zealand’s rail history on the Old Coach Road trail. Between 1906 to 1908 the road was used to carry passengers and goods by horse and coach, between two railheads on the main trunk line.
Heritage features on the trail include a unique cobbled road, massive steel viaducts, a curved tunnel, railway bridge remains, and old campsites. The 15km walk takes around 5 hours, and also passes through some beautiful stands of native forest with sweeping views across the district.
If conditions allow we will explore the dramatic, rock-strewn landscapes higher up Mt Ruapehu. At 2797 metres above sea level, the North Island’s highest mountain offers jaw-dropping views over the National Park with various hiking options or catch a chair-lift up to NZ’s highest café. Tonight we enjoy a final celebration dinner in The Chateau’s elegant Ruapehu Restaurant.
Accommodation: The Chateau Tongariro - (B,L,D) Hiking time: approx. 5 hours
 


DAY TWELVE – Rainforest & Waterfalls

Today we explore the lower flanks of Mt Ruapehu with a walk from Whakapapa Village through alpine meadows and pretty beech forest to Taranaki Falls. Tumbling 20 metres over the edge of an old lava flow, this waterfall packs a real punch, sending spray right across the boulder-ringed pool at the bottom. If you’re game, it’s possible to walk all the way around behind the curtain of the waterfall - time to put a jacket on!

After lunch, we’ll begin the short journey north to Taupo and on to Rotorua. You can choose to be dropped off in Taupo or Rotorua, or National Park if you are travelling further south. Either way, you’ll be forever changed after the awesome hikes and great times you’ll have had with us in the North Island!         

Hiking time: 3-4 hours - (B,L)
 



Please note this itinerary may be modified. We like to keep the trip flexible to make the most of weather and alpine conditions, and so we can tailor the trip to suit the group. To maximise your experience and minimise drive times the guide may shuttle the vehicle, so some sections of trail may be walked without a guide. If this does occur your guide will ensure you are well-prepared for this. If you have any questions or concerns during the trip please discuss them with your guide – they are there to help you have the most enjoyable experience possible!

 

 

 

Accommodation:
  • Walking
 
Hrs, KM


Book now for Next Season!

 

2018 / 2019

2018

November 5,19
December 3, 10
 

2019

January 7, 14, 28
February 4,11,25
March 4,11,25
April 8

Another date in mind?

We can build a tour especially for your group, please enquire for dates available.

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What's Included

For dates, availability & customisations Enquire
 






Accommodation

 
A variety of boutique and character lodges & hotels, from 2-4 star, have been chosen for location and atmosphere. Rooms are twin-share or double, unless you’ve booked single supplement.

For the Coromandel section we stay in boutique, 3-star accommodation set amongst native bush. Rooms are a mixture of stand-alone cabins or inside the main house/lodge. Limited ensuite rooms are available, and must be booked in advance. Shared bathrooms are a short walk from your cabin. Usually we have dinner and breakfast in the alfresco (outdoor) kitchen to enjoy the beautiful bush views.

For the Waikaremoana section we stay in a quaint lodge / guest- house (2-3 star), on the shores of the picturesque Lake Whakamarino, within a small Maori village. Whakamarino means “tranquillity”. Rooms are twin or double with share bathrooms.
World-class trout-fishing can be found at the front door step, so bring your fishing gear!

The Chateau Tongariro is a 4-star historic hotel with AMAZING views of the mountains and National Park. An elegant lounge area provides the perfect place to relax and socialise with the group at the end of each day. The heated plunge pool and sauna are ideal for tired muscles! Rooms are studio twin or double with ensuite, upgrades to executive spa suites are available on request.

In addition the trip includes 2 nights in a studio room at a 4.5 star Hotel in Rotorua.


Meals

 

You will enjoy great local cuisine; continental breakfasts and hearty packed lunches during the day, and either restaurant meals or wholesome home-cooked fare prepared by your host/hostess in the evenings. 

If you have any dietary issues or food allergies, we are happy to cater for these, please advise the office of details when you make your booking. 
Most meals, snacks, hot & cold drinks (see itinerary for details)

Wine & beer with pre-dinner nibbles

The trip also includes 2 complimentary nights, with dinner (excluding drinks) and breakfast, at a 4-star Hotel in Rotorua.


Fitness

 
Most of the walking trails on the Bucket List Walk are of moderate difficulty, and range from well-formed paths to tracks broken with tree roots, rocks and mud.

A good level of fitness and agility is essential. Some of the trails are harder, such as The Pinnacles and Tongariro Crossing Walks, however there are easier options.

On average you should be able to walk for 4-5 hours a day and carry a daypack with your lunch, water, raincoat and jersey. We have good quality raincoats and daypacks you can borrow.

Training Tips
Being well prepared for this hike will increase your enjoyment of the experience.

Your pre-trip training should consist of several walks per week of 1-2 hours, with at least 1 longer walk per week (3-6 hours).

Gradually increase your walking times and distances. Make sure you include some hilly terrain or stairs, and carry a daypack.
Train in the clothing and footwear you intend to wear during the trip.

Contact us if you would like some more advice on fitness and training.
 


Bucket List Walk Packing List…

Essential Items:
  • Day-pack
  • Warm hat & gloves
  • Drink bottle (up to 2 litres capacity for Tongariro Crossing Walk)
  • Personal toiletries, shampoo, and medications
  • Sunscreen & sunhat
  • Camera & charger
Clothing:
  • Boots or good walking shoes (worn in please!)
  • Raincoat (we lend raincoats by prior request)
  • Hiking Socks (about 3 pairs, wool is best. Well-fitting hiking socks greatly reduce the occurrence of blisters)
  • Shorts or light weight trousers
  • Thermal underwear (full set, long-sleeved & long-legged, polypropylene or wool)
  • Short-sleeved shirts (preferably polypropylene or wool: merino wool is ideal)
  • Long-sleeved shirt or light sweater
  • Warm wool or polar fleece jersey
  • Clothes & shoes for the evenings (casual)
  • PJ’s / sleepwear
Spare clothing: Extra socks and thermal layers are always handy. Even though it is summer you must be prepared for cold conditions - ensure you have enough warm items.

Optional Items:
  • Bathing suit & towel (beach and hot-pool swimming opportunities)
  • Walking stick (highly recommended for those with weak knees, ankles or hips)
  • Light walking shoes or sandals for easy walks
  • Waterproof over trousers
  • Insect repellent (insects are rarely a problem)
  • Lunch-box to protect your sandwiches (otherwise we provide lunch bags)
  • Small torch
  • Motion sickness tablets if you are prone to car sickness
  • Blister kit or plasters
We supply:
  • Most meals, snacks, hot & cold drinks (see itinerary for details)
  • Wine & beer with pre-dinner nibbles
  • Bed linen, bath towels, pillows & blankets
  • Toilet paper & Soap
Note:
Sorry, there are no drying rooms at the lodges.
To prevent the spread of noxious weeds and plant diseases, please clean your boots and walking sticks thoroughly before the hike.


Book now for Next Season!

 

2018 / 2019

2018

November 5,19
December 3, 10
 

2019

January 7, 14, 28
February 4,11,25
March 4,11,25
April 8

Another date in mind?

We can build a tour especially for your group, please enquire for dates available.

btn enquire


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Photos

For dates, availability & customisations Enquire
 








Book now for Next Season!

 

2018 / 2019

2018

November 5,19
December 3, 10
 

2019

January 7, 14, 28
February 4,11,25
March 4,11,25
April 8

Another date in mind?

We can build a tour especially for your group, please enquire for dates available.

btn enquire


brochurebutton

 

 


History

For dates, availability & customisations Enquire
 







Lake Waikaremoana

People


Whalers were the first Europeans to arrive. Warmonger and maori chief Te Rauparaha (author of the All Blacks’ haka) spent a lot of time in the region, and ongoing disputes over land rights in the region led to a bloody confrontation between him and a party led by members of The New Zealand Company.
Lake Waikaremoana Great Walk  Wildlife
Fantastic colour in this forest fungus
waikare Lake Waikaremoana Great Walk
Awesome!
fantail, waikare Lake Waikaremoana Great Walk
New Zealand Native Fantail


Flora and Fauna

Flora: The vegetation of the Waikaremoana area forms a protective green cloak, mantling countless ridges and valleys. There are more than 650 types of native plant present in the park, some nationally rare. The vegetation pattern is ever changing - disturbances by volcanic activity, fire and storm damage, possum and deer have modified the forest in many areas. The lowering of the lake for power generation has encouraged forest regeneration along the shore.

Fauna: Many birds live in the forest. Among the more notable are kereru (wood pigeon), kaka (forest parrot), kakariki (parakeet), North Island robin, New Zealand falcon and rifleman, and at night, morepork (forest owl) and North Island brown kiwi.

Grey, mallard and paradise ducks are common on the lake edge, and New Zealand scaup, kingfishers and white faced herons are found in sheltered areas.

Both of New Zealand's rare native bat species, the long-tailed and short-tailed, are present in the park.

Deer, pigs and possums are found throughout Te Urewera National Park. They have a major impact on the ecology of the forest and its bird life. DOC encourages hunting of these animals and permits are available free from any DOC office in the East Coast Hawke's Bay.

 
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Tongariro


World Heritage Status……

The area in which you will be walking was designated a National Park on the 23rd of September 1887. Te Heuheu, the Paramount Chief of the Ngati Tuwharetoa people, gifted 2,630ha of the central volcano area to the New Zealand Government, including the summits of Tongariro, Ngauruhoe and Ruapehu. His generosity secured access to the mountains for everyone.

In January 1991 Tongariro National Park was declared a World Heritage site, in recognition of its outstanding natural characteristics.

In 1994 the Park was also granted Cultural World Heritage status, in recognition of its cultural significance and history.

 

People


Approximately one million people visit Tongariro National Park each year, with summer visitors now outnumbering winter visitors as they take advantage of the excellent tramping and walking opportunities. Halfway between Auckland and Wellington, the park is easily reached from both city areas. Ruapehu has the only commercial skifields in the North Island. This also makes the mountain a popular place to visit. Turoa ski area is on the south-west side of the mountain and the small club field, Tukino, on the south-east. Whakapapa ski area is on the western slopes. Temperatures at Whakapapa Village can be as cold as -10°C or as warm as 25°C. Frosts can occur at any time of the year. At Whakapapa the yearly rainfall is about 2,200 mm, while on the Desert Road side it is only 1,250 mm.

It is unusual to have a village within a national park but Whakapapa Village was established early in the history of the park when people's opinions about conservation were different to what they are today.

About 150 people live permanently in Whakapapa over summer. This number increases to about 400 over the winter months. Whakapapa Village is New Zealand's highest settlement with permanent residents.

The ski lodges at Whakapapa skifield make up what is called Iwikau Village, named after one of the earlier Tuwharetoa chiefs.

The first club lodge was built by Ruapehu Ski Club in 1923. There are 47 private club lodges at Iwikau and a further five in Whakapapa Village.
possum Tongariro Crossing Walk Tour
This little fellow destroys our forests
kakabeak Tongariro Crossing Walk Tour
NZ Kakabeak
tonga, Tongariro Crossing Walk Tour
There it is!


Tongariro Facts


Tongariro National Park is approximately 79,598 hectares.

Tongariro was the first national park formed in New Zealand and the fourth in the world. It was the first National Park in the world to be gifted by a country's indigenous people. The park is centred on three active volcanoes: Tongariro (1,968 metres), Ruapehu (2,797 metres), and Ngauruhoe (2,290metres).

Mt Ruapehu has a number of peaks:
  • Tahurangi 2,797 metres
  • Girdlestone 2,658 metres
  • Te Heuheu 2,732 metres
  • Paretetaitonga 2,751 metres
  • Mitre 2,591 metres

More Facts
  • Traditionally Ngauruhoe has erupted at least every nine years.
  • Mt Tongariro's active Red Crater last emitted ash in 1926.
  • Mt Ruapehu is the highest point in the North Island and, like Tongariro, its history began before the last ice age.
  • The eight named glaciers on Mt Ruapehu are the only glaciers in the North Island.
  • On top of Ruapehu is a crater lake which regularly passes through warming cycles. These cycles may result in small eruptions of ash and steam.
  • More than 60 eruptions from the crater have been recorded since 1945, including 1995/96 when the Crater Lake disappeared completely. Since the 1995/96 eruption the crater lake has begun to reform.
  • Ruapehu has a permanent cover of snow and ice, including seven glaciers.

Coromandel


People


Early Maori: Around 1250–1300 Maori arrived in the Coromandel. Being extremely rich in fish and building materials the area proved very popular and was soon settled. Maori from the area provided vast amounts of food for their neighbours in Auckland during the 1840’s and 1850’s.

Europeans: From the 1830's British ships arrived and Europeans started to mill native timbers which were much sought after for the ship building industry. The Europeans freely traded with local Maori. They bartered with the Maori for food and labour in return for muskets and tools.


Flora and Fauna


Flora: The Coromandel has a real mix of vegetation from sub tropical through to sub alpine.On the summits sub-alpine plants are found, and just below are vast areas of regenerating conifer–broadleaf forests. Little of the original Coromandel forests survive today.

Fauna: The Coromandel Peninsula has some very rare and different fauna. Found only in the northern Coromandel is a strange and rare insect - the Moehau Stag Beetle, which hides away in moist and secluded environments. NZ only has four native frogs one of which is called Archey’s frog. Archey’s frogs are found in the Coromandel but are very elusive and rare.

Coromandel Harbour is the site of a breeding programme for the endangered North Island weka. It is also one of the homes of the reef heron.

Possums, pigs and goats are plentiful all of which provide hunters with plenty of options.

NZ Weka! Wildlife Tours
NZ Weka!
kauri NZ Wildlife Tours
Kauri Tree Stump!
archeys frog NZ  Wildlife Tours
Archey's Frog


Industry

Kauri Timber and Gum: Kauri trees dominated the Coromandel in early years until they were all milled for their beautiful honey coloured timber much prized by the European settlers. By the late 1800s most kauri trees were cut down. Kauri gum was then dug out of the ground for making things such as varnish.

Gold mining: The region was rich in gold, but mining ended in most parts of the region in the 1920s. It started again in 1987.

Farming and Tourism: Very important industries in the Coromandel region today.


Book now for Next Season!

 

2018 / 2019

2018

November 5,19
December 3, 10
 

2019

January 7, 14, 28
February 4,11,25
March 4,11,25
April 8

Another date in mind?

We can build a tour especially for your group, please enquire for dates available.

btn enquire


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