Auckland - Paihia (201 km)
Depart from Auckland, we will head northbound for the relaxed seaside town of Paihia, gateway to the beautiful Bay of Islands. On the way we'll learn about the rich early European and Maori history of the region. After stopping to see giant kauri trees en-route, we will continue on to Paihia, where we will have our free afternoon to explore this charming seaside town.
The main tourist destination in the Bay of Islands, Paihia is a seaside town with beautiful beaches. Visitors can explore the city center's many shops, cafes, and restaurants, take a ferry to nearby Russell, or enjoy swimming, fishing, and more.
Bay of Islands
The Bay of Islands is a subtropical micro-region known for its stunning beauty & history. For those that love beaches and water activities, it's paradise.
Standard Hotel: Hostel along from the beach
Paihia - Cape Reinga - Paihia (426 km)
Today, we will travel to Cape Reinga, the northernmost point in New Zealand. One of the highlights of the day will be our visit to 90 Mile Beach and the chance to sample some delicious fish and chips on the way back to Paihia.
Cape Reinga, NZD
Touted as one of the most beautiful places in New Zealand, Cape Reigna is located at the northwestern tip of the Northland region. A popular destination attracting over 120,000 tourists annually, visitors can enjoy scenic views, activities, restaurants, and more.
Standard Hotel: Hostel along from the beach
Paihia - Auckland (184 km)
This morning, we will take the famous Hole in the Rock cruise and stop on an island in the bay. We should keep an eye out for dolphins and other marine life. In the afternoon, we will make our way back to Auckland, where we will be able to spend the evening free in the city.
Commonly referred to as the City of Sails, Auckland is a populous urban area in New Zealand. An isthmus (narrow strip of land connecting two larger land areas) Auckland's harbors offer beautiful views and a wide range of water activities.
Standard Hotel: Central city hostel
Auckland - Hahei (109 km)
In the morning, we will depart Auckland and head south to the Coromandel Peninsula via the old colonial town of Thames. We will settle into our accommodation in Hahei before heading to Hot Water Beach.
Thames has all types of accommodation and a more diverse range of activities than any other region of the Coromandel – from hot pools, to overnight tramping, scenic flights to butterflies, hire a bike or take a gold mine tour. Check out the museums and enjoy the history – many of the buildings and some of the old hotels in Thames have been there since the incredible goldrush days.
Experience the many moods and stunning scenery of Hahei and Mercury Bay. Go scuba diving and explore the marine wildlife in the Hahei Marine Reserve or explore the wonderful coastline on a scenic boat trip or a guided sea kayak tour, dig your own spa pool at Hot Water Beach or enjoy a round of golf.
Hot Water Beach
An underground river of hot water flows from the interior of the earth to surface in the Pacific Ocean at Hot Water Beach. Families, kids and couples can been seen digging their own spa pool in the sand to lie back in and relax while the steam from their hot pool envelops them. The beach also boasts some great surf, cruisy cafés and galleries.
Standard Hotel: Hahei Holiday Resort - Exclusive accommodation by the waterfront or similar
Rotorua - Lake Aniwhenua (40 km)
Today we will head to the remote area of Lake Aniwhenua. A local
Maori guide will share the area's history and lead us to visit the area's sacred archaeological
sites. Tonight, your hosts will teach you how to prepare a traditional 'Hangi' (a feast cooked
underground) and introduce us a fun stick game to challenge your hand-eye
coordination. For those visiting during school term, you will learn about a local community program.
Lake Aniwhenua, NZD
This beautiful lake is off the regular tourist track and is rich in Maori culture and beautiful scenery.
Standard Hotel: Kohutapu Lodge - Scenic lakefront lodge or similar
Lake Aniwhenua - Whakahoro (148 km)
After breakfast, we will travel to Taupo to see Huka Falls and go skydiving if we are brave! In the afternoon, we will make our way to the Blue Duck Station, a 7,200 acre farm that is also a leader in environmental conservation, where we will spend the night.
Located at the center of the North Islands, Taupo resides along the shores of New Zealand's largest lake. In recent years, the town has become a popular venue for outdoor sporting events like sailing, cross country, biking, and more.
Experience the natural beauty of Haku Falls, a set of cascading waterfalls that drain into Taupo Lake, the largest lake in New Zealand. Located on the Waikato River, visitors can walk trails, jetboat, or admire views from various observation points.
A small (now mostly empty) settlement located on the junction of the Retaruke and Whanganui rivers.
Blue Duck Station
Tours stop here for the night and it's a great opportunity to enjoy some of the optional activities (horse riding, clay pigeon shooting and bush safaris to name but a few). You'll get to experience a unique slice of Kiwi farming culture and hospitality wrapped up within dramatic natural landscapes.
Standard Hotel: Blue Duck Station or similar
Whakahoro - Tongariro National Park - Raetihi (88 km)
At 6:00am, we will make our way to Tongariro National Park to explore a landscape marked by active volcanoes. We will walk the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, getting to see some epic scenery and the chance to walk along the base of the mountain that served as Mount Doom in the Lord of the Rings movies. In the evening, we can enjoy in the spa pool in the hotel or relax with a
celebratory drink by the fire.
Tongariro National Park, NZD
An UNESCO World Heritage Site, Tongariro National Park is the 4th oldest national park in the world. In addition to traditional outdoor recreational activities, visitors can visit sacred Maori religious sites and bird watch while surrounded by three active, volcanic mountains.
Tongariro Alpine Crossing
The Tongariro Alpine Crossing is heralded as the best one-day trek available in New Zealand, while others say it's among the top ten single-day treks in the world. Lava flows, an active crater, steam vents, emerald-coloured lakes and magnificent views combine to make this an unforgettable 19.4-kilometer walking journey.
Standard Hotel: Snowy Waters Lodge - Historic residence with mountain views or similar
Raetihi - Tongariro National Park - Wellington (330 km)
Today, we will head to Wellington, the capital of New Zealand. We will have the afternoon available to explore the local shops and cafes along Cuba Street, explore the wonders of Te Papa Museum or stroll along the waterfront.
As the capital of New Zealand, Wellington is a populous urban center that offers tourists an array of activities and attractions. Visitors can enjoy museums, architecture, theatre, and the arts, as well as music festivals, world class cuisine, and more.
The little stretch of shops, cafes, and bars along a brick road known as Cuba Street is one of the most prominent streets in Wellington.
Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
Established in 1992, the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa is the national museum and art gallery in the country. The museum exhibitions emphasize both New Zealand's cultural history as well as its innovation for the future.
Standard Hotel: Nomads Capital - Central city hostel or similar
Wellington - Auckland (493 km)
Early in the morning, we will depart from Wellington to return to Auckland, where the tour will come to an end.