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A 10-day trip around the North Island of New Zealand
Experience the famous Cathedral Cove & dig a mini-Jacuzzi at Hot Water Beach
Visit the fantastic Blue Springs & the stunning Okere Falls
- Relax in River Valley's Spa & Sauna & enjoy a beach day at Hahei Beach
See a living Maori & geothermal village – learn about the daily way of life
Enjoy a native rainforest guided cultural walking tour
Learn a haka and learn to weave flax with a local iwi (tribe)
Eat a traditional Māori hāngī meal cooked in an underground oven
Sail on a private charter around Lake Taupo & visit the breath-taking Huka Falls
Wander through the National Army Museum, then enjoy an epic night out in Wellington
All accommodation: Hostel (8 Nights), Shared Cultural Experience (1 Night)
Meals: 9 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 3 dinners
Transport: Comfortable mini-bus
What to Expect
New Zealand’s North Island is an adventure lovers' backyard. Rich in Maori history and tradition, there are numerous reasons why you should choose to discover this epic road trip from Auckland to Wellington.
Sparkling lakes, ancient forests, geothermal rock pools and bubbling mud baths, 30m exploding geysers, extinct volcanoes, and that’s just scratching the surface. Secure your getaway now, as this tour will be unmissable!
Day 1: Auckland to Thames to Coromandel
A nice early start sees you leave Auckland and head to the beautiful Coromandel Peninsula. Here, you'll see why this region is a favourite for Kiwis on their summer holidays and why it's constantly regarded as one of the most stunning parts of the world.
However, first, take a quick lunch stop in the Goldmine town in the historic Thames. Then you'll visit the famous Cathedral Cove beach (as seen in multiple Hollywood feature films). You have the option to do a free 30 min walk one way to this beautiful spot. Alternatively, you could choose to do a kayaking tour as an optional add-on.
Depending on the time of the tides, you may have time today or tomorrow to grab a shovel and dig a mini jacuzzi at the unreal Hot Water Beach.
After an epic day of sun, sand and surf, it's time to head to your accommodation in Coromandel township, where you can explore the local kai (food) – and from there, the night is yours!
Transport: Minibus with an approx driving time of 4 hrs
Day 2: Coromandel to Matamata to Rotorua
After breakfast, it's time to head south. From Coromandel, you'll head to New Zealand's tourism mecca – Rotorua. On the way to this geothermal wonderland, you will have the option to get lost in the magical world of Hobbiton or check out some of the clearest springs you've ever seen.
After you check out a beautiful waterfall, arrive in Rotorua, where you will be welcomed by a local tribe and be guided through Ohinemutu Village. Here you will experience a living Maori and geothermal village and learn about daily life.
The rest of the day is yours, so you can immerse yourself in more traditional Maori culture in Rotorua or try out any of the exciting, adrenaline-filled activities in this town.
Transport: Minibus with an approx driving time of 3 hrs
Day 3: Rotorua
With far more to do than you can fit in just one day, You'll stay an extra night in Rotorua, so you have a full day of free time! There are plenty of optional paid activities on offer all around the city to keep you and your new mates busy.
Explore Te Puia's world-famous Geothermal Valley and Kiwi Sanctuary, and learn about Maori history/culture with an option for a buffet lunch, including the famous Maori' hangi'. So whether you're an adrenaline junkie and want to tackle the world's highest commercially rafted waterfall or if zip-lining through the forest canopy sounds more like you, your guides will be sure to offer you all the best experiences based on what you're looking for.
Day 4: Rotorua to Lake Aniwhenua
After breakfast, it's your last day to enjoy this culture-filled town! You'll have free time today till the afternoon to tick off your last bucket list activities!
At midday, you will head over to start your overnight cultural experience close to Lake Aniwhenua. You will be welcomed to the Ngati Manawa tribal lands, learn about the history of forestry to their people, and stay overnight with them.
See hangi (cultural meal) being laid in the ground, and enjoy a haka lesson and weaving class. Then, see your hangi being pulled up from the ground and enjoy a buffet feast followed by storytelling around an outdoor fireplace! This is as authentic as it gets!
Transport: Minibus with an approx driving time of 1 hr
Accommodation: Shared Cultural Experience
Day 5: Lake Aniwhenua to Taupo
Wake up early and enjoy a breakfast prepared for you by your local hosts! Then, pack for the day ahead as you will be guided on a cultural walk through a Jurassic Podocarp Native Rainforest. See 1,000-year-old Totara, learn about Rakau Rongoa (Natural Medicine Plants), and hear and hopefully see some native and endangered birds in their natural habitat. Listen to their history as you walk in the shadows of giants and tread where dinosaurs once roamed.
Fill your water bottles from the pure waterfalls, and enjoy a picnic lunch infused with traditional cuisine – "Forest to Fork". See the tallest moss in the world, and enjoy 'forest bathing' – connecting with nature and enjoying the health benefits of simply just 'being' at one with the forest.
After this epic experience, it's off to your next destination – stunning Lake Taupo, stopping in at the breathtaking Huka Falls on the way. Here, 200,000 litres per second of crystal clear water flows from the lake into the start of New Zealand's longest river – the Waikato River.
Once in Taupo, optional paid activities like bungy jumping, skydiving or jet boat riding are available. Alternatively, ask your tour leader to point you towards some of Taupo's lesser-known gems or the many free activities available.
Finally, for sunset, you will board an exclusive yacht charter around the lake! Enjoy dinner on board, and feel free to order a few beverages for this epic experience.
Transport: Minibus with an approx driving time of 1 hr 30 min
Day 6: Taupo to Tongariro National Park to Taupo
After breakfast, you're free to explore the town and do as many activities or see as much as you want!
There is also an option to go for a trek and tick the Tongariro Alpine Crossing off your bucket list! This is heralded as the best one-day trek in New Zealand and is regarded as among the top ten single-day hikes in the world.
If you're not keen on that, you are welcome to spend the day in Taupo exploring the activities on offer or come for a drive and explore the town of Ohakune. You will all meet back in Taupo to explore the local cuisines with the crew! Then the night is yours!
Transport: Minibus with an approx driving time of 4 hrs
Day 7: Taupo to River Valley
After a few hours in the van, you'll arrive at New Zealand's best-kept secret – River Valley. This afternoon you'll chill out and enjoy the stunning lodge with an on-site cafe and bar, saunas, and spa. Using the lodge as a base, you can go on a rafting adventure, a horse trek, or explore some of the local rural back roads on an e-bike. Of course, you could simply relax beside the river and enjoy some delicious food, many of the ingredients of which come from the on-site organic gardens.
Tonight you're in for a treat as you'll be served a farm-to-table dinner with fresh seasonal vegetables harvested from the gardens and free-range organic or grass-fed local meats.
Transport: Minibus with an approx driving time of 2 hrs 30 min
Day 8: River Valley to Wellington
Enjoy a cooked breakfast before heading south from Taihape. You'll stop at the home of New Zealand's army base to stretch your legs and have some lunch.
From there, trek on to the nation's capital – Wellington! Once in 'Welly', grab some dinner and hit the streets of this incredible city on a local pub crawl. Doesn't sound like your cup of tea? No problem! The night is yours to explore what is often referred to as NZ's coolest city.
Transport: Minibus with an approx driving time of 4 hrs
Day 9: Wellington
After breakfast, the day is yours! Get lost in Wellington. Visit a local cafe, take photos of the local street art, head along to New Zealand's famous national museum – Te Papa (it's FREE!), or have your mind blown at Peter Jackson's famous 'Weta Workshop'. There are plenty of exciting things to choose from in New Zealand's coolest city.
Day 10: Wellington
Today is your last day and time to check out! After breakfast, you will wrap things up and say goodbye to your new best mates!
Tour departs from the meeting point at Haka Lodge Auckland, 373 Karangahape Road, Auckland CBD, Auckland (meeting location may change, please check your final documents for the confirmed location).
Frequently Asked Questions
The Operator uses a variety of accommodations, from entire beach houses, ski lodges, and cabins, to private hostel dorms/twin rooms. To create a ‘community vibe’, rooms are shared but exclusive to your group. This means you will be sharing your room but only with people on the tour. The tours are typically dorm share with the occasional twin share.
Absolutely! The Operator recommends people join these tours by themselves to embrace the whole experience of meeting new friends, trying new things, and pushing themselves out of their comfort zone. They also love couples joining the tours and a group of friends too. They welcome everyone and anyone!
The Operator asks that you bring a medium-sized bag for the 4-day tours and one large-sized bag for the 10+ day tours. The medium/large bag is for your clothes and general belongings, and they recommend taking one small day bag to keep with you on the bus. New Zealand weather can be unpredictable, so make sure you bring swimwear and a towel, as well as warm clothes and a rain jacket. All bedding is provided, but you can bring your favourite pillow if you like. And don’t forget your camera and chargers – you don’t want to miss out on all the photo opportunities.
The Operator will still run a tour for sure. Unfortunately, they can’t control the weather, but they can plan around it. They have backup plans always in case of bad weather, with replacement activities planned.
The Operator can cater to most dietary requirements; please just let them know when you book! They are also confident the menus at lunch stops are diverse enough to satisfy whatever you may crave.
Yes, the itinerary can change due to weather, road closures, or anything else that is out of the Operator's control. But they have procedures and plans in place for when this does happen. So don’t worry; they've got you sorted.
Meals not listed
The minimum age is 18 years
You must arrange and take out comprehensive travel insurance prior to the tour departure date if you are internationally travelling to New Zealand for this tour. If requested by your tour guide, you must produce evidence of your travel insurance prior to the commencement of the tour
You are entitled to have one piece of main luggage weighing no more than 23kg and one-day pack weighing no more than 7kg
All changes and cancellations of bookings by you must be made in writing by emailing The Operator. They will not regard a booking as cancelled unless email written notice has been received by them from you
Cancellations or changes can only be made up to 14 days before the departure date of your tour. Any cancellations or changes made within 14 days to the departure date of your tour will be rejected, and the relevant booking price cannot be refunded. If the cancellation is accepted, a refund of the total booking price (less the $99.00 deposit and any applicable credit card fees) will be paid to you
No refunds will be available for cancellations within 14 days of the departure date. If your booking was made via a travel agent, please contact them directly to discuss your options
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