John Howie will be the tour leader/manager. Since 1995 John has led many successful music tours of Ireland, Scotland, Europe, the U.S., New Zealand and the Australian outback. He has also led many successful music cruises. John is a musician and former secondary school music teacher. He and his twin brother, Graeme, perform as The Howie Brothers, one of Australia’s leading country music / easy listening / vocal harmony acts.
The assistant tour manager will be Gill Delaney Gill (accordion/ukulele/mouth organ player from Wangaratta) has played in dance bands most of her life, and knows a million tunes! She will be coming on the tour as a musician and assistant tour manager, as long as we get sufficient bookings. She will be involved in lots of fun-filled informal music sessions with the tour group.
New Zealanders Annette Hawkins and Kim Copedo are each country singers in their own right, both having solo CDs. In 2000 they decided to combine their singing form the duo Annette & Kim. Since then they have won industry awards, appeared at countless country music festivals NZ & Australia, and released several duo albums.
The Hamilton County Bluegrass Band exploded onto the New Zealand folk and country music scene in 1968, the first group to popularise bluegrass music in NZ. In its heyday, through regular TV appearances, the HCBB became one of NZ’s best loved musical acts. The band toured Australia, with Slim Dusty, in the 1970s, inspiring much Aussie interest in bluegrass music. The band still holds a special place in Kiwi (and Australian) hearts, with a finger-pickin’ good traditional & ‘originals’ repertoire.
The Dunedin Scottish Fiddle Orchestra was established in 2013, convened and directed by local fiddle player, Anna Bowen. In addition to 15 + fiddle players the orchestra, from time to time, also includes the following instruments: cello; small-pipes; piano; accordion; flute; Irish bouzouki, & guitar. Since its inception the DSFO has played many ceilidhs, Hogmanays & Burns suppers and is a regular performer at civic events, with its jaunty selection of jigs, reels, strathspeys, & even the occasional ragtime piece!VIEW ITINERARY
Day 1 Monday November 15, 2021 Auckland
Morning: Depart Australia on Air New Zealand (or Qantas) flight, arriving Auckland approx. mid-afternoon. Transfer to hotel. Evening: Attend concert at the Devonport Folk Music Club. The venue for this concert is a disused World War 2 bunker, at the top of Mt Victoria, in the suburb of Devonport. Great views of Auckland from Mt Victoria. Overnight: Haka Hotel Suites.
Day 2 Tuesday November 16, 202 1 Auckland
Coach tour of Auckland, with local guide, including Mt Eden, which offers panoramic views of Auckland. We will also travel along Auckland’s coastal Tamaki Drive, where you will see NZ’s distinctive pohutukawa trees. Visit excellent Auckland War Memorial Museum. Spend lunchtime in trendy Parnell Village. Afternoon: Free time. Evening: Enjoy a fabulous informal music ‘session’, with local acoustic/folk musicians, including Paul Molloy & Graham (‘Bones’) Hurlock (if available). Please bring your instruments & voices and join in! (B)
Day 3 Wednesday November 17, 2021 Bay of Islands
Travel north to the beautiful Bay of Islands, stopping at Matakohe to visit award winning Kauri Museum. The Kauri is New Zealand’s largest tree. During the day you will see an 800-year-old live Kauri tree at the Parry Kauri Park. Afternoon: Proceed to town of Paihia, Bay of Islands. On arrival, short familiarisation tour of Paihia before checking into our hotel. Evening: Enjoy a Commencement of Tour Dinner, in one of Piahia’s excellent restaurants. Overnight: Averill Court Motel, Paiihia. (B,D)
Day 4 Thursday November 18, 2021 Bay of Islands
Morning: Guided tour of Waitangi National Reserve, including historic Treaty House and magnificent Maori Meeting House. Afternoon: Travel by ferry to the historic & charming town of Russell, New Zealand’s original capital. Evening: Excellent country music duo ‘Annette & Kim’ (Annette Hawkins and Kim Copedo) will perform for us. (B)
Day 5 Friday November 19, 2021 Hamilton
Travel south to the city of Hamilton, stopping for a short break in the town of Kawakawa (see the amazing public toilets designed by unconventional architect/artist Friedrich Hundertwasser). We will also stop briefly in the city of Whangarei. Evening: After buffet dinner at an excellent Chinese restaurant in Hamilton, enjoy a special performance by legendary NZ act the Hamilton County Bluegrass Band. Overnight: Novotel, Hamilton. (B,D)
Day 6 Saturday November 20, 2021 Rotorua
Morning: Leave Hamilton and travel south to Waitomo, where we take in the outstanding Waitomo Glowworm Caves Tour. As you drift along the dark Glowworm Grotto in special boats, marvel at the myriad of tiny glowworm lights on the walls and roof of the cave. Also visit another part of the caves, known as The Cathedral, which has wonderful acoustics (the Vienna Boys’ Choir, Dame Nellie Melba, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, and previous John Howie tour groups have performed there). We then visit the Otorohanga Kiwi House, where you will see some live kiwi birds and other fascinating NZ wildlife. Afternoon: You will have the opportunity to do the Hobbiton Movie Set Tour; i.e., visit the home of the Hobbits as featured in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit Trilogies (optional). See further information on back of brochure. Those not doing the tour can spend time in the nearby town of Matamata. Late Afternoon: Continue on to Rotorua, famous for its soaring geysers, boiling mud pools and hot springs. Evening: Enjoy a fun-filled singalong session, with Gill Delaney and John Howie. Please bring your instruments & voices and join in! Overnight: Novotel, Rotorua. (B)
Day 7 Sunday November 21, 2021 Rotorua
Morning: Visit Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland. See an active geyser and some of the most spectacular mud pools and coloured lakes in New Zealand. Afternoon: Sightseeing coach tour of Rotorua. Visit the Government Gardens, where we will see the beautiful Elizabethan Tudor style Bath House building. A local guide will take us on a tour of the Gardens. Evening: Enjoy traditional Maori displays, steam cooked Maori Hangi, & cultural show at award winning Tamaki Maori Village. (B,D)
Day 8 Monday November 22, 202 1 Wellington
Depart Rotorua and travel to Wellington, via Taupo. Before arriving in Taupo view the Wairakei Steam Valley, a fascinating geothermal power facility. See spectacular Huka Falls. Morning tea in the city of Taupo, on the banks of beautiful Lake Taupo. Continue south, through spectacular Tongariro National Park, to the picturesque city of Wellington, New Zealand’s capital. On arrival our coach will take us to the top of Mt Victoria, for stunning views of Wellington. Evening: Enjoy the weekly Irish/folk music session, at Molly Malone’s pub in Wellington. Please bring your instruments & voices and join in! Overnight: The Thorndon Hotel, Wellington. (B)
Day 9 Tuesday November 23, 2021 Blenheim
Morning: Sightseeing coach tour of Wellington, with local guide, including a ride on the Wellington Cable Car (a funicular railway) to Kelburn, a suburb in the hills (wonderful panoramic view of the city). We will also visit Old St Paul’s, a beautiful timber church built in 1865 & 1866. You will then have some free time. Afternoon: Cross Cook Strait, by ferry, to New Zealand’s South Island. Sail through beautiful Marlborough Sounds. On arrival travel by coach to the town of Blenheim, in the famous Marlborough wine growing region. Evening: Enjoy a fabulous group dinner, including the highly acclaimed local sauvignon blanc wine.Overnight: Chateau Marlborough, Blenheim. (B,D)
Day 10 Wednesday November 24, 2021 Christchurch
Travel south to the east coast fishing town of Kaikoura. After morning tea we will visit a fabulous lookout on the outskirts of Kaikoura. We then proceed to Christchurch, New Zealand’s most ‘English’ city. On arrival there will be free time for you to explore the city centre and have lunch. Afternoon: Sightseeing coach tour of Christchurch, with local guide. You will get a good idea of progress made with reconstruction efforts following the devastating earthquakes in 2010 & 2011. Visit the amazing Cardboard Cathedral (replacing Christchurch Cathedral, which was significantly damaged in the earthquakes). Evening: Attend the regular rehearsal night of one of Christchurch’s outstanding, award-winning brass bands. After the rehearsal, enjoy supper with the band members. Overnight: Ibis Hotel, Christchurch. (B,Supper)
Day 11 Thursday November 25, 2021 Akaroa / Christchurch
Morning: Enjoy a coach tour of Christchurch’s beautiful Banks Peninsula. Spend time in the French-flavoured village of Akaroa. Visit Akaroa Museum, which chronicles the town’s development, especially its 19th century British and French colonial history. Then free time to explore the village, with its French-named streets & charming colonial architecture. Mid-Afternoon: Back in Christchurch, free time. Evening: Free time for you to explore Christchurch’s excellent restaurants and perhaps visit a live music venue, with John Howie. (B)
Day 12 Friday November 26, 2021 Dunedin
Christchurch and travel south to Dunedin. Founded by Scottish settlers, Dunedin has a distinctly Scottish feel. On the way, stop in the towns of Timaru and Oamaru (a real ‘heritage’ town, with lots of historic buildings). Afternoon: On arrival in Dunedin, enjoy a sightseeing coach tour of Dunedin & the Otago Peninsula, with local guide. Visit Dunedin Railway Station, one of Dunedin’s superb historic public buildings. Evening: Enjoy a concert by the excellent Dunedin Scottish Fiddle Orchestra. Overnight: Kingsgate Hotel, Dunedin. (B,Supper)
Day 13 Saturday November 27, 2021 Te Anau
Travel to Te Anau, via Gore and Invercargill. Gore township hosts the annual NZ country music Gold Guitar Awards. See Gore’s Big Guitar monument and visit the Gore Farmers’ Market. Have lunch and free time in Invercargill, NZ’s most southern city. You may like to visit the E. Hayes and Sons hardware store, which has one of the finest private collections of classic motorcycles, automobiles & engines in New Zealand, including Burt Munro’s original Indian motorcycle, made famous by the movie The World’s Fastest Indian. Afternoon: Proceed to Te Anau via the renowned Southern Scenic Route. West of Invercargill join John Howie for a short walk on a remote beach (most of you will feel closer to the Antarctic than you have ever felt!). On arrival in Te Anau, free time to explore the town, located on the banks of Lake Te Anau. Evening: Enjoy a relaxing evening in Te Anau. Overnight: Amber Court, Te Anau. (B)
Day 14 Sunday November 28, 2021 Milford Sound / Queenstown
Travel through spectacular Fiordland National Park to Milford Sound. Enjoy a never-to-be-forgotten cruise on beautiful Milford Sound. Milford Sound is a fiord, flanked by towering mountains, which rise steeply out of the water. Packed lunch, on the cruise, is included. Afternoon: Proceed to Queenstown, located in what must be one of the most scenic spots in the world. Queenstown lies on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, and is surrounded by beautiful snowcapped mountains. Evening: After dinner in our hotel, enjoy a relaxing evening in Queenstown. Overnight: Mercure Queenstown Resort Hotel. (B,L,D)
Day 15 Monday November 29, 2021 Queenstown
Morning: Enjoy a ride on Queenstown’s famous Skyline Gondola. The cable cars provide stunning panoramic views of the Queenstown area. Afternoon: Free time for you to explore Queenstown and enjoy some of its outstanding attractions. Evening: Enjoy a cruise on the famous TSS Earnslaw steamship, to Walter Peak High Country Farm, including fabulous end of tour dinner at Walter Peak Homestead, followed by farming/sheep shearing demonstrations. On the return cruise join in a lively singalong, accompanied by one of the TSS Earnslaw’s excellent pianists. “We were sailing along…!” (B,D)
Day 16 Tuesday November 30, 2021 Return to Australia
Morning: Free time for last-minute sightseeing and shopping. Afternoon: Depart Queenstown on flights back to Australia. (B)
|TWIN FARE PER PERSON||SINGLE FARE|
The organisers reserve the right to change any details of the tour that they believe will enhance the safety, quality, success and smooth running of the tour. For instance, if any entertainment mentioned in the itinerary is unavailable, we need to replace that entertainment with similar alternative acts.
Touring can involve a considerable amount of walking and stair climbing in the places visited and it is important that all tour participants have a level of physical fitness that allows them to take part in this activity without the need of assistance from others.
Tour Operator: Travelrite International Pty Ltd. A.C.N. 005 817 0781 (Travelrite International) is the tour operator.
Tour Costs: The tours costs are based on airfare, general transport, accommodation costs and foreign exchange rate at 5 November 2020. Travelrite reserves the right to alter thecosts if any of these factors change, giving any passenger thathas booked the right to withdraw with full refund of moniespaid or modify arrangements. No alterations to costings willbe made within 60 days of departure from Australia.
Airtaxes: Airtaxes are an indication only. If airtaxes change due to government and airport regulations and currency fluctuations Travelrite International reserves the right to charge additional amounts.
Deposit and Payment: A deposit of $500 per passenger is required at the time of booking. Full payment will be required 60 days before departure.
Cancellation Charges: * Cancellation conditions don’t apply for clients with future cruise/tour credits. Cruise/tour credits are non-refundable. Cancellations within 60 days of departure will result in the loss of all monies paid. Cancellation outside 60 days from departure will result in a cancellation fee of $500 per person. Travel insurance is recommended to cover the costs of cancellation fees due to illness, death in family, etc.
The tour is based on arrangements which do not allow for any refunds in respect to sightseeing, accommodation, meals or other services not utilised after the tour has commenced.
Travel Documents: Valid passport. If on non-Australian passport, an Australian Re-entry Permit is required.
Travel Insurance: Adequate travel insurance is strongly recommended.
Baggage: All passengers qualify for the 20kg free baggage allowance.
Minimum Tour Numbers: The tour has been costed on the basis of a minimum number of passengers having booked 45 days prior to departure. Travelrite reserves the right to cancel the tour, giving a full refund of all monies paid or offer arrangements to proceed with the tour at a modified cost if the minimum number is not achieved.
Responsibilities: Travelrite International Pty Ltd. is the tour organiser. Travelrite acts only as agents in making of arrangements with carriers, hoteliers and others for the tour. As a result we cannot accept liability for any act or omission whatsoever, whether negligent or otherwise of those carriers, hoteliers or other persons providing services in connection with the tour over whom we have no direct or exclusive control. We do not accept responsibility for any injury, damage, loss, delay, change of schedule or any other events which are beyond our direct control, such as, but not limited to, war, flood, fire, civil disturbance, acts of God, acts of government, or any other authorities, terrorism, accidents to or failure of machinery or equipment, or industrial action. The passage contract in use by the carriers concerned, when issued, shall constitute the sole contract between the transportation companies or firms and the purchasers of these tours and the passengers. Baggage is at own risk throughout the tour. The contract shall be construed in accordance with the laws of the State of Victoria and any legal action must be undertaken in the State of Victoria.
Delays and unforseen events: You engage Travelrite International to book this tour on your behalf and you acknowledge that Travelrite International acts as your agent for the purpose of making contracts between you and the various providers of accommodation, transportation and other services that comprise the tour. Travelrite International may without reference to you provide or make available to you, or may as your agent engage any third party to provide or make available to you, any good or service which Travelrite International reasonably believes is necessary for your benefit to maintain the tour itinerary, repatriate you or otherwise accommodate, transport or sustain you in circumstances in which the tour itinerary fails wholly or partly for any reason. You appoint Travelrite International your attorney for this purpose. You agree to pay Travelrite International any cost thereof and you indemnify Travelrite International in respect of any cost it incurs in this regard. Travelrite International advises you to obtain travel insurance generally including in respect of the risk that any such good or service may become required.
How to Book: Bookings can be made by completing a booking form and sending it with a deposit of $500 per person to:
Travelrite International Pty Ltd
423 Whitehorse Road Balwyn, Victoria 3103
Further information can be obtained by telephoning
About Travelrite International: Travelrite International Pty Ltd (ABN 64 005 817 078) is a well-established family-owned business that’s been operating in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs for more than 35 years. Travelrite International is a full member of the Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA), is fully Accredited with ATAS (A10538) and IATA. As such they directly represent the major airlines of the world and all major domestic and international hotel, tour and transport operators.
“One of the best tours we have ever done. Great program and lovely people.”
“Well organised tour that ran smoothly. Very impressed with Wayne Horsburgh, intelligent, talented and caring.”