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Cities, Volcanoes and Vineyards Luxury Tour

10 nights, Auckland to Auckland

Cities, Volcanoes and Vineyards Luxury Tour

Explore the Central North Island's jewels. You'll be met by your private transfer at Auckland Airport and whisked to meet your ferry to the idyllic Waiheke Island.  Delamore Lodge is the perfect spot to recover from a long flight and the included wine tour will introduce you to the delights of this charming island retreat.  Returning to Auckland you pick up your car and travel south to Rotorua and Solitaire Lodge.  Here you’ll encounter the fascinating Maori Culture and enjoy a fabulous day trip to the volcanic White Island by helicopter.  Next stop is Lake Taupo, where you try your hand at trout fishing and relax at the world renowned Huka Lodge.  The final stretch of your North Island experience takes you to the Hawkes Bay, New Zealand’s oldest wine region and the impeccable Farm at Cape Kidnappers, here you have time to explore the wineries or play a round of golf or simply relax.  You’ll be flow back to Auckland to meet your departing international flight.

Tour map

Included in this New Zealand self drive holiday

Tour map
 

Day 1 - Welcome to New Zealand, you'll be transferred to your Waiheke Island ferry

Private transfer Auckland airport to Fullers Ferry Terminal

Private transfer Auckland airport to Fullers Ferry Terminal
Private transfer Auckland airport to Fullers Ferry Terminal
Private transfer Auckland airport to Fullers Ferry Terminal
Private transfer Auckland airport to Fullers Ferry Terminal

A private transfer will meet you from your flight and drive you to the Fullers Ferry Terminal.

Your tour documentation pack and support

Your tour documentation pack and support
Your tour documentation pack and support
Your tour documentation pack and support
Your tour documentation pack and support

Once you touch down in New Zealand your detailed tour pack will be hand delivered by one of our trusted representatives. The pack contains everything you need for the duration of your stay. It will include a comprehensive, printed and bound version of your itinerary as well as clear driving instructions and maps for each leg of your journey. It also contains all the reservation details for your accommodation and activities - along with relevant brochures and information. While in New Zealand we offer 24 hour support - details on how to contact us at any time will be well documented.

Fullers Ferry Auckland to Waiheke Island

Fullers Ferry Auckland to Waiheke Island
Fullers Ferry Auckland to Waiheke Island
Fullers Ferry Auckland to Waiheke Island
Fullers Ferry Auckland to Waiheke Island

A scenic 40 minute (approximate depending on departure time/route) cruise through the Hauraki Gulf between the Auckland down town ferry terminal and Matiatia Wharf on Waiheke Island.

Explore Waiheke Island

Explore Waiheke Island
Explore Waiheke Island
Explore Waiheke Island
Explore Waiheke Island

Waiheke Island is the most visited island in the gulf. A delightful 45 minute ferry ride from downtown Auckland will find you standing at Matiatia Wharf set to enjoy a multitude of diverse attractions. The island is home to around 7,000 people but during the summer weekends there can be as many as 35,000 people enjoying the vineyards, restaurants, cafes, arts and the idyllic scenery. Among the two dozen or so vineyards on the island, Mudbrick, Goldwater Estate, Stoneyridge and Te Whau are some of the best known. The beaches are pristine and the countryside provides many interesting walks. Most notable is the trip to Stoney Batter where you can enjoy breathtaking views of the Hauraki Gulf. The area also has the remains of gun emplacements and a series of tunnels and chambers, protected by the historic places trust.

Accommodation: The Boat Shed

Accommodation type: Luxury Lodges & hotels

Meals included: Dinner

Accommodation: The Boat Shed
Accommodation: The Boat Shed
Accommodation: The Boat Shed
Accommodation: The Boat Shed

Accommodation features

  • Check in time: 2 pm
  • Check out time: 12 noon
  • Walk time to shops/restaurants: 10-15 mins
  • Internet facilities: In room free access
  • Breakfast service available
  • Dinner service available
  • Tea/coffee facilities in room
  • All rooms non smoking

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Day 2 - Explore the boutique vineyards of Waiheke Island

The Essence of Waiheke Wine Tour

The Essence of Waiheke Wine Tour
The Essence of Waiheke Wine Tour
The Essence of Waiheke Wine Tour
The Essence of Waiheke Wine Tour

Enjoy the stunning scenery of Waiheke Island as you are entertained by the commentary of your experienced local guide. Visit 3 of the islands top wineries for tastings and relax during a two-hour lunch stop before heading back to the ferry. Lunch is an additional cost, but your guides can reserve a table for you in advance at at a beachside cafe or, for a memorable gourmet experience at one of Waiheke's top vineyard restaurants.

Accommodation: The Boat Shed

Accommodation type: Luxury Lodges & hotels

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Accommodation: The Boat Shed
Accommodation: The Boat Shed
Accommodation: The Boat Shed
Accommodation: The Boat Shed

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Day 3 - Return to Auckland, then drive to Rotorua and your lakeside retreat at Solitaire Lodge

Driving distance and time: 220 kms / 136 miles : 2.6 hours

Times are based on averages for this specific route and allow for stops. Use these times as guidelines and to assist in the planning for your day.

Fullers Ferry Waiheke Island to Auckland

Fullers Ferry Waiheke Island to Auckland
Fullers Ferry Waiheke Island to Auckland
Fullers Ferry Waiheke Island to Auckland
Fullers Ferry Waiheke Island to Auckland

A scenic 40 minute (approximate depending on departure time/route) cruise through the Hauraki Gulf between Matiatia Wharf on Waiheke Island and the Auckland downtown ferry terminal.

Private transfer Auckland ferry terminal to Rental Car Depot Auckland City

You will be met at the Auckland City ferry terminal and transferred to your rental car depot in Auckland City to collect your rental car.

Collect your rental car

Collect your rental car
Collect your rental car
Collect your rental car
Collect your rental car

Our rental car range includes the latest vehicles from the top suppliers. Insurance is included with a small excess or deductible. All airport fees, additional driver fees and unlimited kilometres are also included. To help you navigate your way around New Zealand all rentals also come with GPS. Our range included small compact cars to mid-size saloons to large 4WD and people movers.

GPS navigation system

Use the latest GPS technology as you tour New Zealand. Your portable GPS features a simple touch screen interface with automatic route calculation and turn-by-turn voice-prompted directions including street name announcement. The automotive-grade GPS unit is easy to use and has multiple language options.

Auckland to Rotorua

Auckland to Rotorua
Auckland to Rotorua
Auckland to Rotorua
Auckland to Rotorua

The drive south from Auckland takes you past the Bombay Hills and into the rolling farmland and rich dairy pastures of the Waikato. The Bombay Hills mark the outer boundary of greater Auckland area and it's here you turn inland to central Waikato. You’ll soon go through the town of Matamata where you can visit the fully intact Hobbiton film set used in the shooting of the Lord of The Rings and Hobbit trilogies. Continuing on, you’ll pass several small farming communities before telltale signs of steam and other geothermal activity signal your arrival into Rotorua.

Solitaire Lodge

Solitaire Lodge
Solitaire Lodge
Solitaire Lodge
Solitaire Lodge

Nestled on the shores of lake Tarawera, Solitaire Lodge offers guests the ideal blend of indulgence and adventure from a picture perfect setting. Luxurious and elegantly appointed with floor to ceiling windows and stunning panoramic views across the lake, guests can choose to relax in front of an open fire with a book from the library, enjoy the bar facilities or take a stroll in the expansive herb garden. Nearby is the Lodge’s private jetty with complimentary use of the lodge’s kayaks, motorised dinghies and trout fishing gear.

Each of the suites are styled for comfort and feature panoramic views of the lake and volcano. Bringing the outdoors in, you are invited unwind and soak up the peace and quiet of this tranquil setting.
 

Accommodation: Solitaire Lodge

Accommodation type: Luxury Lodges & hotels

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Accommodation: Solitaire Lodge
Accommodation: Solitaire Lodge
Accommodation: Solitaire Lodge
Accommodation: Solitaire Lodge

Accommodation features

  • Check in time: 2 pm
  • Check out time: 11 am
  • Parking: onsite free parking
  • Internet facilities: In room free access
  • Includes continental breakfast
  • Includes cooked breakfast
  • Includes dinner
  • Tea/coffee facilities in room
  • Hairdryer
  • Laundry facilities: Drycleaning service available
  • All rooms non smoking

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Day 4 - Discover the unique Maori cuisine and culture, then spend the rest of the day exploring

Te Puia - Steambox Interactive Maori Experience and Lunch and Cultural Performance

Te Puia - Steambox Interactive Maori Experience and Lunch and Cultural Performance
Te Puia - Steambox Interactive Maori Experience and Lunch and Cultural Performance
Te Puia - Steambox Interactive Maori Experience and Lunch and Cultural Performance
Te Puia - Steambox Interactive Maori Experience and Lunch and Cultural Performance

Begin this unique cultural experience by viewing a traditional performance in the Marae, a Maori meeting house. Listen to beautiful harmonies, see the seductive poi dance and experience the powerful Haka - a fearsome Maori war challenge. You will then choose from a variety of meats and vegetables for your Steambox lunch. The Steambox cooking method utilises the steam and hot water naturally available within thermally active landscape. Historically, this method has been used by early Maori settlers, and is a traditional way of preparing a meal. While your food is being cooked in the Ngā Whā steam vent, You will be taken on a guided tour of Te Puia thermal reserve. Beginning with an interactive flax weaving session, you'll learn to weave flax before exploring the geothermal valley including the Kiwi house, mud pools and bubbling hot springs. Return in time for your steaming lunch - eaten as you enjoy an impressive view of the geyser terrace.

Explore Rotorua

Explore Rotorua
Explore Rotorua
Explore Rotorua
Explore Rotorua

Peppered with natural hot springs, boiling mud pools and steaming geysers, Rotorua sits within one of the worlds most active volcanic regions. But geothermal landmarks aside, this city of sulphur has a rich indigenous history. Home to several prominent Maori tribes, a visit to the Mitai Maori Village should be high on your agenda, as should an excursion to the Polynesian Spa for an invigorating soak in its natural mineral hot springs.
Live on the edge when you hop aboard a helicopter bound for White Island, New Zealand’s most active volcano. Spike your adrenaline at Agroventures on stomach-dropping attractions such as static skydiving, or a giant swing reaching 130 km per hour. Go up the Gondola for soaring lake views, and ride the luge at night for an extra thrill.
Fans of Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit should drive to nearby Matamata and experience the actual movie set ‘Hobbiton’. Make the most of your time in Rotorua with an excursion through the Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, one of the area’s most colourful volcanic attractions.

Accommodation: Solitaire Lodge

Accommodation type: Luxury Lodges & hotels

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Solitaire Lodge
Accommodation: Solitaire Lodge
Accommodation: Solitaire Lodge
Accommodation: Solitaire Lodge

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Day 5 - A fascinating helicopter tour to the volcanic White Island off New Zealand's East Coast

White Island Helicopter tour with Volcanic Air Safaris

White Island Helicopter tour with Volcanic Air Safaris
White Island Helicopter tour with Volcanic Air Safaris
White Island Helicopter tour with Volcanic Air Safaris
White Island Helicopter tour with Volcanic Air Safaris

Today take an exhilarating helicopter flight north over Hell's Gate Thermal Valley to active volcano, White Island. Land inside the crater and enjoy an hour long guided tour. See the main erupting crater, active steam vents known as 'fumaroles', hot streams and vibrant sulphur formations. You'll also be able to view the remains of the old sulphur mine and see the deposits left behind.

Accommodation: Solitaire Lodge

Accommodation type: Luxury Lodges & hotels

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Accommodation: Solitaire Lodge
Accommodation: Solitaire Lodge
Accommodation: Solitaire Lodge
Accommodation: Solitaire Lodge

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Day 6 - From Rotorua follow the geothermal highway to Taupo

Driving distance and time: 75 kms / 47 miles : 0.8 hours

Times are based on averages for this specific route and allow for stops. Use these times as guidelines and to assist in the planning for your day.

Rotorua to Taupo

Rotorua to Taupo
Rotorua to Taupo
Rotorua to Taupo
Rotorua to Taupo

Your drive today takes you through the Central North Island volcanic plateau. See thermal hotspots Wai O Tapu Thermal Wonderland and Waimangu Volcanic Valley before arriving into the town of Taupo Just north are the Huka Falls and a short detour to view is highly recommended. Go close to the spray with a thrilling jet boat ride or see the nearby Craters of the Moon geothermal reserve with its boiling pools and steaming vents.

Huka Lodge

Huka Lodge
Huka Lodge
Huka Lodge
Huka Lodge

Enter a world where elegant and generous hospitality meets sophistication and style - creating a welcoming haven. Founded in the 1920s, Huka Lodge is considered to be the iconic New Zealand retreat.  The rooms are harmonious and deliberately simple in approach, designed to allow the beauty of the landscape to dominate, while providing soft light and layers of luxury.

Activities available within the Lodge include tennis, petanque and croquet.  There is a swimming pool and two spa pools and for the adventurous mountain bikes and helmets are available for your use.  There are a range of spa treatments available, please enquire at reception for current prices.

Dining at Huka Lodge
Cuisine continues to define the iconic nature of the experience at Huka Lodge. Over the years Huka Lodge has been fortunate to have had many outstanding chefs, cooking superb food for its guests. The tradition of generous and fine hospitality is deeply embedded within the Huka Lodge philosophy and the quality of this bears testament to our commitment. Current Executive Chef, Michel Louws, comes from a prestigious history of Michelin ranked restaurants, including his last role as Head Chef of T-Veerhuis in the Netherlands which achieved 1 Michelin star during his tenure.

Accommodation: Huka Lodge

Accommodation type: Luxury Lodges & hotels

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Accommodation: Huka Lodge
Accommodation: Huka Lodge
Accommodation: Huka Lodge
Accommodation: Huka Lodge

Accommodation features

  • Check in time: 2 pm
  • Check out time: 11 am
  • Parking: onsite free parking
  • Internet facilities: In room free access
  • Includes continental breakfast
  • Includes cooked breakfast
  • Includes dinner
  • Tea/coffee facilities in room
  • Hairdryer
  • All rooms non smoking

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Day 7 - Try your hand at fishing for trout on New Zealand's largest lake, Lake Taupo

Half Day Lake Taupo Fishing Charter

Half Day Lake Taupo Fishing Charter
Half Day Lake Taupo Fishing Charter
Half Day Lake Taupo Fishing Charter
Half Day Lake Taupo Fishing Charter

Fish for Trout on lake Taupo with the experts. Chris Jolly Outdoors have been taking clients fishing in Taupo for more than 30 years. Lake Taupo offers excellent trout fishing all year round; there is no closed season on the Lake. Most fishing takes the form of trolling either lures or flies. You do not need any experience or fishing gear, your experienced hosts are there to help. Trout averages about 4 pounds and a typical excursion on the Lake will see your crew prepare your catch for a delicious snack either barbequed or sashimi style. You can even have your catch smoked and couriered to your destination in New Zealand at a small cost. Your half day charter includes a 4 hour private charter on stunning Lake Taupo. fishing licences and a delicious luncheon on board with wine and beverages. Try your hand at trout fishing and stop and see the Maori rock carvings - only accessible by water. Swimming is available during the summer months and clay target shooting is available on request if conditions are suitable.

Accommodation: Huka Lodge

Accommodation type: Luxury Lodges & hotels

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Accommodation: Huka Lodge
Accommodation: Huka Lodge
Accommodation: Huka Lodge
Accommodation: Huka Lodge

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Day 8 - From Taupo head to the Hawkes Bay wine region

Driving distance and time: 131 kms / 81 miles : 1.5 hours

Times are based on averages for this specific route and allow for stops. Use these times as guidelines and to assist in the planning for your day.

Taupo to Napier

Taupo to Napier
Taupo to Napier
Taupo to Napier
Taupo to Napier

The road from Taupo climbs high onto the plateau crossing the Ahiminawa Range before arriving onto the Pacific Coast just north of the worlds finest art deco city of Napier.
Napier, the city by the sea, is renowned for its 1930s Art Deco architecture, events such as the Art Deco Weekend in February, stately Norfolk pines, surrounding wineries and local fresh produce. Supported by a Mediterranean climate and over 2,200 hours of sunshine a year this popular year-round destination boasts a vibrant cafe culture amongst the splendour of the Art Deco buildings. Around 30 cafes are within walking distance of the central city area, while Ahuriri, just over Bluff Hill, is home to a further cluster of up market establishments. Marine Parade overlooks the Pacific Ocean and out towards Cape Kidnappers, home to the world's largest mainland gannet colony. A full day can be taken visiting Ocean Spa hot pools and swimming complex, the Hawke's Bay Museum and the National Aquarium of New Zealand.

A landmark of Napier is Bluff Hill, which is home for many Napier residents and provides views of the town,  beaches of Perfume Point and Westshore and out towards Whirinaki. Bluff Hill also overlooks the Port of Napier, one of New Zealand's busiest ports, transporting timber, local fruit and meat products to worldwide destinations.

In 1931, New Zealand's greatest natural disaster struck Hawke's Bay. At 10.47am on Tuesday February 3rd, an earthquake of magnitude Richter 7.8 struck. In a minute and a half, in two separate shocks, the centre of Napier was almost totally destroyed. Fires quickly broke out and reduced to ashes or gutted what the tremors had left standing. Damage in Hastings was also devastating, although the fires were contained. Wairoa and the smaller towns to the south as far as Dannevirke were affected. There were 258 deaths - 162 in Napier, 93 in Hastings and 3 in Wairoa along with many injuries. The reconstruction of Napier and Hastings were costly but the benefit was two modern cities and the Ahuriri Lagoon, or Inner Harbour as it was usually known, was raised over 2 metres, creating the land, which Napier desperately needed to expand.

The Farm at Cape Kidnappers

The Farm at Cape Kidnappers
The Farm at Cape Kidnappers
The Farm at Cape Kidnappers
The Farm at Cape Kidnappers

With spectacular panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean, nestled among 6,000 acres of rugged  coastal farmland, The Farm at Cape Kidnappers offers a multitude of activities within a five-star luxury setting. Offering many comfortable spaces to relax and unwind, including an intimate snug, stylish lounges, outdoor conservatory areas - there is no better way to take in this picturesque landscape.
Choose from a range of leisure facilities such as: a heated infinity pool and jacuzzi, spa treatments with beautiful forest and ocean views, a world class  golf course and clubhouse and a  fully equipped gym, offering yoga, pilates, golf specific fitness and personal training.
The Farm is also home to some of the best trails in the north island, from independent forest walks to ocean stroll or guided farm tours - pack a picnic and set off on an afternoon of outdoor fun. Also on offer are mountain, bikes, quad bikes and horse treks for the more adventurous traveller.

Accommodation: The Farm at Cape Kidnappers

Accommodation type: Luxury Lodges & hotels

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Accommodation: The Farm at Cape Kidnappers
Accommodation: The Farm at Cape Kidnappers
Accommodation: The Farm at Cape Kidnappers
Accommodation: The Farm at Cape Kidnappers

Accommodation features

  • Check in time: 2 pm
  • Check out time: 11 am
  • Parking: onsite free parking
  • Internet facilities: In room free access
  • Restaurant on site
  • Includes continental breakfast
  • Includes cooked breakfast
  • Includes dinner
  • Bar on site
  • Tea/coffee facilities in room
  • Room service available
  • Hairdryer
  • Swimming pool
  • Gym/fitness centre
  • All rooms non smoking

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Day 9 - Explore the Hawkes Bay or spend the day golfing at Cape Kidnappers

Explore Napier and the Hawke's Bay

Explore Napier and the Hawke's Bay
Explore Napier and the Hawke's Bay
Explore Napier and the Hawke's Bay
Explore Napier and the Hawke's Bay

With is mediterranean climate and Art Deco style, Hawke's Bay is an attractive holiday prospect. As the nation's first winemaking region, a visit to one of its 30 wineries is a must. A trip to Mission Estate, touted as the the birthplace of NZ wine, can't be missed. For the truly enthused, head out on a tour of the vines. We recommend the to make the most of what's on offer. Those into Gatsby will enjoy the chance to view prominent Art Deco landmarks on a 1930s Vintage Car Tour. Passengers will spend just over an hour learning about the history of the city's architecture - including the Napier Municipal Theatre, one of the top ten Art Deco Buildings in the world. If you're after some fresh air, hire a bike and take your pick of one of over 200km of cycling trails or head on down to one of the many beaches that ring the area. Ocean or Waimarama beach are good choices, and both are patrolled by surf lifeguards during the summer. Indulge in some local produce and head out on a cheese, chocolate, honey or orchard tour. End on a high with another ride, this time in comfortable trailer pulled by a tractor en-route to Cape Kidnappers Gannet Colony - the largest of its kind in the world.

Accommodation: The Farm at Cape Kidnappers

Accommodation type: Luxury Lodges & hotels

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Accommodation: The Farm at Cape Kidnappers
Accommodation: The Farm at Cape Kidnappers
Accommodation: The Farm at Cape Kidnappers
Accommodation: The Farm at Cape Kidnappers

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Day 10 - Fly from Napier back to Auckland, where you have the rest of the day to explore the City of Sails

Driving distance and time: 0 kms / 0 miles : 0.0 hours

Times are based on averages for this specific route and allow for stops. Use these times as guidelines and to assist in the planning for your day.

Air New Zealand flight Napier to Auckland

Personal meet and greet, and private transfer to your accommodation

On arrival you will be met by one of our team and driven to your Auckland accommodation.

Explore Auckland City

Explore Auckland City
Explore Auckland City
Explore Auckland City
Explore Auckland City

On the edge of a natural harbour, 'City of Sails' offers the best of both worlds. Behind a vibrant urban culture are sandy beaches, native bush and lush rainforests. Start your day with a coffee in town and watch the sailboats from the Viaduct Harbour. Wander the docks and take the helm of an America's Cup Yacht for a trip across the Waitemata. If food and wine is more your thing relax on the Quickcat to nearby Waiheke Island for a five star food and wine experience. Hike the summit of Mt Eden -  Auckland's highest volcano. Choose one of 800 regional national parks to explore -  Hunua Falls - located within the Hunua Ranges - is one not to be missed. If relaxing is more your style, find a good book and head out to a deserted beach. Try Orewa - located an hour north of the city - or stay a little closer and head to Cheltenham Beach in Devonport. Make time to ascend the Sky Tower or The Harbour Bridge and spike your adrenaline by bungy jumping off either (or both!). Finish on a high with dinner at one of the many trendy eateries to be found on Ponsonby Road.

Accommodation: Hilton Hotel Auckland

Accommodation type: Luxury Lodges & hotels

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Accommodation: Hilton Hotel Auckland
Accommodation: Hilton Hotel Auckland
Accommodation: Hilton Hotel Auckland
Accommodation: Hilton Hotel Auckland

Accommodation features

  • Check in time: 3 pm
  • Check out time: 12 noon
  • Walk time to shops/restaurants: 1-2 mins
  • Parking: valet paid parking NZ$40-NZ$50 per 24 hrs
  • Internet facilities: In room paid access
  • Restaurant on site
  • Breakfast service available
  • Bar on site
  • Tea/coffee facilities in room
  • Room service available
  • Swimming pool
  • Gym/fitness centre

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Day 11 - Depart for home

Transfer to Auckland airport

Transfer to Auckland airport
Transfer to Auckland airport
Transfer to Auckland airport
Transfer to Auckland airport

You will be collected from your Auckland hotel and transferred to the airport to meet your departing flight.

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