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13 unforgettable days on North Island

Updated: Aug 27, 2023


Route: Auckland – Karangahake gorge – Tauranga – Rotorua – Taupo – Wellington - New Plymouth – Waitomo Caves – Hobbiton - Hamilton - Auckland


Day 1

Place: Auckland

Itinerary:

Arriving to Auckland. Individual transfer to a hotel. Have a rest after a long international flight.


Day 2

Place: Auckland

Itinerary:

Private Auckland city tour.


Welcome to the City of Sails - Auckland! During your private city tour with a professional guide you will visit Albert park with view to Auckland University, Domain park with Auckland Museum, Mount Eden where you will enjoy 360 degrees city panorama. Then we will visit Muriway beach with a gannet colony and black sand. Taste local wine at one of Kumeu’s wineries on our way back to the city center.

Free afternoon in the city or on one of the local beaches.


Day 3

Itinerary:

08:00 – 12:00 Auckland city tour.

Welcome to the City of Sails - Auckland! During your private city tour with a professional guide you will visit Albert park with view to Auckland University, Domain park with Auckland Museum, Mount Eden where you will enjoy 360 degrees city panorama. Then we will visit Muriway beach with a gannet colony and black sand.

12:00 – 13:30 Lunch and wine tasting at one of Kumeu’s wineries (pay direct).

13:30 – 15:15 Driving to Karangahake gorge through small town Paeroa, motherland of popular New Zealand soft drink L&P – Lemon & Paeroa.

16:30 – 17:30 Driving to Tauranga.

Free evening in Tauranga. You may walk through an easy loop track around Mount Mounganui or do more intensive hiking to the top of Mt Maunganui with amazing views to the peninsula. Other options are surfing, shopping, or exploring local bars and restaurants.



Day 4

Place: Tauranga - Rotorua

Itinerary:

10:30 – 11:30 Driving from Tauranga to Kaituna River

11:30 – 12:00 Rafting check-in, changing. Warm wet suite will be provided.

12:00 – 16:30 The ultimate combo. White water rafting on the Kaituna river followed by a soak in the hot pools at Manupirua Springs Hot Pools. 2 hours for rafting, + 2.5 hours for the Hot pools.

Nestled on the shores of Lake Rotoiti, Lake Rotoiti Hot Pools is a unique Aotearoa New Zealand experience. Being accessible only by boat or by air is what keeps this haven so unspoiled and pristine. Transfer across Lake Rotoiti by water taxi.

16:30 – 17:30 Transfer to Rotorua. Hotel check-in.

Free evening in the town.


Day 5

Place: Rotorua

Itinerary:

09:00 – 09:30 Driving to Agrodome. Tour check-in

09:30 – 11:30 The world-famous Farm Show is a must-see for any visitor. Starring a whole cast of talented animals, the 19 breeds of champion sheep headline the show, one of which is sheared live using the world-record setting Bowen technique by a real Kiwi shearer. Not to be outshone, the farm dogs ‘show’ off their remarkable skills herding not only the sheep but the ducks too. To get a complete insight into the world of New Zealand farming, step up to hand feed a baby lamb or hand milk a cow.

On the Eco Farm & Orchard Tour you can explore the farm from the back of an all terrain vehicles, guided by one of our friendly knowledgeable staff. Learn fascinating facts but also stop off to get up close and personal with all kinds of friendly animals: sheep, deer, cattle, pigs, ostrich, llamas & alpaca! You can hand-feed some & pose for selfies with others! You’ll also be guided around the kiwifruit orchard & olive grove, giving you the chance to enjoy fresh kiwifruit juice or wine and sample delicious farm honey.

11:30 – 12:00 Shopping at a local store where multiple merino products are available.

12:00 – 12:15 Driving to Skyline Rotorua.

12:15 – 12:30 Riding the gondola to Skyline Rotorua, high on the side of Mount Ngongotaha gives you stunning panoramic views of Lake Rotorua, the town and the surrounding forest and geothermal areas.

12:30 – 14:00 Lunch at Stratosfare Restaurant is home to some of New Zealand’s best award-winning cuisine. Lunch in the contemporary designer elegance is an experience you’ll want to return to, as whatever you select from the gourmet menu will leave further gastronomic treasures undiscovered. Working in partnership with local farmers and growers who share a commitment to excellence, only the best, freshest ingredients are presented.

14:00 – 14:15 Going down by the gondola.

14:15 – 15:15 Visiting 3D Trick Art Gallery, the first and only 3D gallery in the country. Switch on your imagination and immerse yourself in a bottomless fantasy world.

15:15 – 16:00 Driving to Te Puia. Tour check-in

16:00 – 17:30 Guided Tour at Te Puia, an iconic destination for those wishing to immerse themselves in Maori culture and tradition and witness first-hand the power and spectacle of the geothermal forces that New Zealand is built on.

17:30 – 19:00 Dinner in Pataka Kai Restaurant.

19:00 – 19:45 Cultural Performance – traditional Maori songs and dances including the world famous Haka.

19:45 – 20:30 Hot Chocolate and Steamed Pudding at Geyser. See the world-famous Pohutu geyser unleash vapour jets up to 30 metres high.

20:30 Transfer to the hotel.


Day 6

Itinerary:

08:00 – 08:50 Driving from Rotorua to Orakei Korako geothermal park.

08:50 – 10:30 Tour to Orakei Korako geothermal park which has been named "One of the 20 Most Surreal Places on the Earth".

10:30 – 11:00 Driving to the base of HukaFalls Jet. The tour check-in.

11:15 – 11:45 Huka Falls Jet Ride. Travelling an incredible 80Km/ph low on the water, skimming past cliffs and trees, powering along a beautiful river environment before gripping on during the trademark 360-degree spin is an adrenaline-pumping experience you’ll never forget!

11:45 – 13:30 Try delicious fresh prawns at the restaurant of Huka Prawn Park (pay direct). You'll enjoy not only the taste but great views of Waikato River as well. When you are waiting for the meal don't miss a chance to take the foot SPA bath which is outside the restaurant.

13:30 – 18:30 Driving to Wellington

Hotel check-in. Dinner at your own expenses.


Day 7

Place: Wellington

Itinerary:

Private guided city tour. You will visit The Parliament’s grounds (Beehive), Cable car, Botanic gardens, Te Papa Tongarewa museum, Mount Victoria lookout.


Day 8

Place: Wellington - New Plymouth

Itinerary:

08:00 – 12:00 Guided city tour. You will visit The Parliament (Beehive), Cable car, Botanic gardens, Te Papa Tongarewa museum, Mount Victoria lookout.

The capital of New Zealand & the arts and cultural centre as well as the seat of government, Wellington was recently labelled the 'coolest little capital in the world' by Lonely Planet, and it's also been named as the world's most liveable city. The city is home to the National Archives the National Library, the Te Papa National Museum, numerous theatres, and two universities. So, it is famed for its vibrant creative culture driven by the arts, cuisine, wine, coffee and events, but it is also a launch point for multiple tour and outdoor activities, as well as the crossing point to the South Island. Ride the historic cable car from Lambton Quay to the lookout at the top, then walk back through the beautiful Botanic Gardens. Wander along Wellington's eminently walkable waterfront round to Oriental Bay, shop in the bohemian Cuba Street or enjoy the 360-degree views from the top of Mount Victoria. Of course, you cannot leave without visiting the Weta Cave, where you can glimpse the artistry behind some of the world's most spectacular movies.

12:00 – 13:30 Lunch at a local café (pay direct)

13:30 – 18:30 Driving to New Plymouth. Hotel check-in.


Day 9

Place: New Plymouth – Waitomo

Itinerary:

09:00 – 12:00 Visiting spectacular Te Rewa Rewa bridge. Easy hiking with views to Mount Taranaki.

According to Maori mythology the volcano, Mt Taranaki once stood in the center of the North Island near the volcanoes of Tongariro, Ruapehu, and Ngauruhoe. However, Taranaki and Tongariro clashed for the right to be the husband of another mountain, the beautiful Pihanga. Tongariro drove Taranaki southwest towards the coast and to where today sits the modern city of New Plymouth. From then on he has stood there alone and the eruptions of Mt Tongariro remind Taranaki that there is no way back for him. When viewed from above you will see that the picturesque Taranaki has a perfectly round base. Its height is 2518 meters above sea level and the last eruption occurred in 1854. In 1881 the Egmont National Park was founded around the volcano - a paradise for lovers of hiking and the great outdoors. Within it is The Goblin Forest, which was another setting for the filming of the movie The Lord of the Rings.

12:00 - 13:30 Lunch at a local café. Pay direct.

13:30 – 17:30 Driving to Waitomo. Hotel check-in.



Day 10

Itinerary:

08:30 – 08:45 Driving to Waitomo Caves.

08:45 – 09:00 Tour check-in.

09:00 – 10:00 Tour to Waitomo Glowworm Cave.

The name 'Waitomo' comes from the Maori words wai, water and tomo, hole or shaft. So Waitomo is naturally home to many awe-inspiring subterranean sights. Huge underground caverns that you can abseil into, or Ruakuri the only wheelchair-accessible cave in the southern hemisphere, serene boat rides along ancient watercourses and, of course the glow worms. World-renowned, the glow worm caves are a magical experience, with the lights from thousands of exclusively NZ glow worms illuminating the otherwise pitch-black cave system full of ancient stalagmites and stalactites (when the mites go up, the tites come down!).

10:00 – 11:15 Driving to Hobbiton

11:15 – 11:30 Tour check-in

11:30 – 13:30 Tour to Hobbiton. Open a door to the most famous fiery tail in the world.

If you are a Middle-earth fan of 'the Lord of the Rings' or 'the Hobbit', then you can't miss the opportunity to gain a first-hand insight into filming and the way things looked when shooting was in full swing by visiting nearby Hobbiton. Get up close with over 44 hobbit holes from the film including Bag End, Bilbo & Sam Gamgee's house, dance under the party tree or swig back a beer at the Green Dragon Inn.

13:30 - 14:30 Lunch at Shire Rest Café (pay direct).

14:30 – 15:20 Driving to Hamilton.

15:20 – 17:00 Walking around Hamilton themed gardens, the most visited tourist attraction in Waikato.

Hotel check in.


Day 11

Itinerary:

10:00 – 10:15 Driving to Zealong Tea Estate.

10:15 – 12:00 Tour around the tea estate, high tea ceremony.

The tour guide leads visitors along the tea trail through the history of tea as they explore unique sculptures and scenic stops to learn how tea is picked and processed.

A ceremonial Zealong tea tasting teaches the art of tea appreciation, of appearance, aroma, and taste, followed by an optional Signature High Tea at the Tea House overlooking the Estate.

12:00 – 14:00 Driving to Auckland.

Free evening in the City of Sails.


Day 12

Itinerary:

In the morning enjoy a wine tour to Waiheke island and taste world-class wines in the gorgeous atmosphere. 40 minute ferry ride in air-conditioned comfort will bring you to the island, where the magical blend of beach life, artisan creativity and wine culture attracts people worldwide. You’ll be met by luxury coach & whisked away to enjoy a tour of three of Waiheke’s premier wineries. Enjoy the romantic surroundings of olive groves and rustic herb gardens as you sample the varieties on offer at award-winning Mudbrick Estate. Breath in the stunning views across the Hauraki Gulf back to Auckland from Cable Bay as you sample their fine wines, accompanied by a delicious platter. Lastly, overlooking beautiful Onetangi Beach, Te Motu Vineyard specialises in Bordeaux-style wines.


Day 13

Place: Auckland

Itinerary: Transfer to Auckland airport. Flight back home.


Thank you for spending these amazing days with us!


We’ll be happy to arrange your further trip around New Zealand to show you southern gems - Milford and/or Doubtful Sounds, Queenstown, West Coast, Abel Tasman national park and many other magnificent places of Aotearoa.

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