Take a fantastic 7-day North Island Adventure tour from Auckland and travel down to New Zealand’s capital, Wellington, through the North’s hottest destinations.
• Explore the most stunning spots of North Island
• Explore underground cave system lit by glowworms in Waitomo
• Explore an extraordinary geyserland with candy colored water and geothermal activity at Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland
• Carve your own ‘Tiki’ pendant from bone
• Take a stunning cliff top walk to Cathedral Cove, which you might recognize from the Chronicles of Narnia
Day 1: Auckland – Coromandel
Welcome to New Zealand and Kia Ora.
We will meet today at the reception of Haka Lodge in Auckland, where your guide will set up a continental breakfast. Your guide will introduce you to the community over breakfast and will run through what you need to know to optimize your time in New Zealand!
This should take about an hour, but with larger groups, it can take a little longer.
We’ll launch our tour in the country’s largest city after breakfast: Auckland. When you consider it a region of beautiful beaches, enchanted holiday islands, a sunny environment, with a passion for excellent food , wine and shopping, it is unsurprising that a quarter of the population resides here! Your guide will take you on an orientation tour to help you get familiar with the area, depending on the season and weather for that day.
After saying goodbye to New Zealand’s own metropolis, on our way south to the best-kept secret of the North Island, the Coromandel, we’ll hit the road together.
The Coromandel is one of New Zealand ‘s favourite getaways: gorgeous remote beaches, thick wooded forest and bright blue waters.
Together, we’ll make our way to the world-famous Hot Water Beach at low tide. You can dig a hole in the sand when the tide is out, where natural hot springs bubble up to create your own personal hot tub!
Here, you can also carve your own bone tiki pendant, a very rare and exclusive Kiwi experience. What better souvenir to take home than a typical activity you made for yourself?
Day 2: Coromandel – Waitomo
It is no secret that, because of its incredible scenery, many blockbuster hits have been filmed in New Zealand.
We’ll walk down the cliffs together to Cathedral Cove (which you might remember from Narnia ‘s Chronicles). Beautiful in its own right, it’s one of the most famous spots in the Coromandel, with perfect beaches and huge rock arches and columns, and for a good reason: it doesn’t look real.
We’ll head west from the Coromandel through some lovely lush green hills dotted with iconic New Zealand sheep before we make our way to Waitomo, home of the glowworm caves that are one of a kind.
Day 3: Waitomo – Rotorua
Thanks to its spectacular glowworm caves, Waitomo has become popular around the world. How many opportunities do you get to cave in a spot with twinkling blue glowworms on the ceiling? There are several different ways to explore the caves, but if you’re open to adventure and having your feet wet, black water rafting is the perfect way to encounter Waitomo.
You can float down the caverns and underground maze, dressed in a wetsuit, sitting on top of an inner tube. It seems as though you’re staring up at the sky filled with blue stars while your headlamp is off. You can go for one of the caving tours if you feel even more adventurous, where you abseil down into the caverns, tube, zipline and climb waterfalls before popping out at the end. But don’t worry, there’s a different way for everybody to discover the caves.
We’ll hop on over to Rotorua after lunch, popular for its geothermal activity and Maori culture. Nicknamed New Zealand’s Vegas, Rotorua has plenty of events for everyone and stuff to do.
The Zorb-a Kiwi creation that involves rolling down a hill while inside a giant air cushioned disk, is a favorite activity for many! Another tour highlight is participating in one of the Maori cultural evenings, getting to experience and welcome the traditional Maori heritage.
Day 4: Rotorua – Taupo
Although the North Island is primarily volcanic, its geothermal activity makes Rotorua special. There are more unique natural wonders to be found in Rotorua than in many other locations in the world, with neon blue and red lakes, steaming rivers, active volcanoes and geysers galore.
We will start with optional white water rafting or sledging on the Kaituna River, which includes a waterfall of 7 meters, although there are plenty of other places to explore around the city if you choose something more casual, including some local hot springs if you want to take it easy.
Here you’ll have a chance to head over to Matamata and visit the Lord of the Rings Hobbiton movie set, as well as the Otorohonga Kiwi Building, where you’ll get a glimpse of our national icon. Reenact scenes with the rest of the party from the movies or just pretend to be a Hobbit while sipping some of the popular ginger beer at the bar.
We can take a trip up the Rotorua gondola (cable car) to another spectacular panoramic view after lunch in town and the opportunity to ride down on the Luge (like go-karts with no engine)-lots of fun!
We stop at what makes Rotorua popular on the way to Taupo, as well as giving it its special scent: Orakei Korako or Waiotapu. These are exceptional geyserlands and thermal parks where all the unique geothermal activity in the region can be walked around and tested.
Day 5: Taupo
A few thousand years ago, the world’s greatest volcanic eruption in 5000 years left the North Island and Lake Taupo. The eruption was so dramatic that documents say that in China the sun became hazy. The lake is fresh-water, and it tests Singapore’s size.
Feeling pretty adventurous? We urge you to begin the day with a skydive! When you drop 12,000 or so feet off the plane, you’ll forget your fear! Look down at the lake and you can see both the North Island’s west and east coast on a clear day. The greatest thrill is skydiving and a great number of travelers want to do it.
The Tongariro Crossing can also be walked today-it ‘s one of the most beautiful walks in the world and takes about 7-8 hours. Transport is included and in the winter you are allocated a guide. This is a definite highlight of their tour for all of our tour guests! We advise you to be fairly fit.
For starters, there are several other activities your guide can suggest on the day: quad biking, tennis, an indoor climbing wall, mountain biking and bungy over the longest river in New Zealand! In the afternoon, to see Maori rock carvings at Mine Bay, you can take a cruise on the Barbary sailing boat or take yourself for an exploration, indulge in some souvenir shopping or enjoy good food and drink at one of the many restaurants and cafes.
Your guide will treat you to a dip in some naturally-heated thermal rock pools in a nearby park in the evening. For hours, it’ll keep you warm!
Day 6: Taupo – Wellington
This is our tour’s longest trip, so we leave pretty early-there ‘ll be a few stops along the way! We travel around the lake and see the magnificent Mt Ruapehu, Mt Tongariro and Mt Ngauruhoe (the Lord of the Rings volcano known as Mt Doom). A photo stop will shortly begin!
The Desert Road follows us from the lake. You have a mountain range on your right, and the lesser-noticed Kaimanawas is on your left, home to a breed of wild horses that are seen on fortunate occasions. The Rangipo Desert, a region with low vegetation due to bad soil conditions and drying winds, belongs to this whole region. Having snow is not rare in winter.
We make a stop at Mokai Gravity Canyon upon request, an extreme adventure park that includes the world’s most extreme flying fox and the second largest bungy in New Zealand. Guests are welcome to do the swinging of the bungy, jumping fox or canyon and have no pre-book.
We pass through the cities of Bulls and Levin after this, before briefly reaching the west coastline.
We want to take a break along the Kapiti Coast in the summertime and have a BBQ on one of the beaches in front of the dying sun. Unfortunately, the weather is usually too cold in the winter or the sun has set already. Either way, by early evening, we’ll reach Wellington. You have the choice of dining in the funky Courtney District this evening or cooking together back at our accommodation as a group.
Day 7: Wellington
We will begin our tour of Wellington after breakfast. Wellington is a beautiful and compact community, perched on the edge of a magnificent harbor, encircled by lush, towering hills.
The capital of the country, lively, thrilling and cultured, combines the stimulation and sophistication of a large town with the quirkiness of a charming village. The capital, extending just two kilometers in diameter, is a truly ‘walking city.’
As always, with an introduction tour, your tour guide will introduce you to the city-including a drive around the bays, a visit to Weta Studios, up to the Mount Victoria lookout point and then through central Wellington, up the cable car, through the Botanic Gardens and the Parliament Buildings.
Wellington has a cultural feast, and Te Papa, the national museum of New Zealand, is its crowning glory. Situated on the beautiful waterfront of Wellington, this globally celebrated museum incorporates cutting-edge technology with conventional exhibits to tell the stories of the land and people of New Zealand. The museum is open for all.
For those of you still looking for an adrenaline boost, there is some great windsurfing here during the summer (Wellington is actually called “Windy Wellington”!), some great mountain bike paths, “Adrenalin Forest”-an adventure course with high ropes that is lots of fun, plus loads of more activities. Your Tour Guide will inform you of the best additional choices available, as usual.
Our tour officially ends at YHA Wellington at about 5:00pm this evening.
Attractions in this trip:
New Zealand Attractions
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