Join us on tour and spend 10 days in New Zealand’s North Island. From New Zealand’s biggest city to the nation’s lively capital, you’ll take in a whole host of North Island gems, enjoying cinemagraphic landscapes, spectacular coastal walks and geothermal wonders. We’ll fill your days with highlights of the North Island and also give you a great insight into New Zealand life and culture.
Created for travellers in their mid-thirties and upwards, this North Island tour includes special activities such as walking to the spectacular and photogenic Cathedral Cove, a fully guided tour of Hobbiton Movie Set, a traditional Māori meal, a tour of Zealandia Nature Reserve in Wellington and a walk amidst towering – and magically lit – treetops. You can also choose to select some tour add-ons such as hiking the Tongariro Alpine Crossing – otherwise known as Mordor, kayaking to a natural hot pool, visiting an off-shore eco-sanctuary, or flying over snow-capped mountains!!
You’ll have the chance to swim, kayak, skydive, hike, see kiwis, relax in hot pools, roll down a hill in a giant ball, eat and drink like a local, and more! At the end of the day, you can relax in comfortable 3–4 star accommodation to ensure you have a great night’s sleep ready for the following day’s activities.
Across 10 days in New Zealand’s North Island between Auckland and Wellington, you’ll encounter an array of landscapes: lush, green rolling hills; beautiful golden sand beaches, tumbling waterfalls, geothermal valleys filled with bubbling mud and sulphuric lakes, magnificent mountains, cosy laid-back surf towns and vibrant cities. Prepare your camera and get ready to make some magical memories!
Welcome to Auckland! Settle into your accommodation and be ready for the 6pm pre-tour meeting. Here you will get to know your Tour Manager and be introduced to your new roadtrip friends.
Afterwards, the evening is yours to enjoy. We recommend checking out the Auckland Sky Tower, this is the tallest building in New Zealand. If you are feeling extra daring you can jump off the Sky Tower, attached to a harness of course! Or how about checking out the Auckland War Memorial Museum, located in the middle of the beautiful Auckland Domain.
After a hearty breakfast, it’s time to board our comfortable air-conditioned vehicle and leave the big city behind. The Coromandel Peninsula is a paradise of beautiful beaches and misty rainforests. The drive here is truly spectacular – the road twists and turns dramatically round the coastline and the ocean gets clearer and more pristine before your eyes. Cameras ready – the views are magnificent.
The Coromandel is home to the famous Hot Water Beach – thousands visit each year to dig their own personal hot tub. If the tide times allow, we’ll grab our buckets and spades and get busy. We arrive in the Coromandel with plenty of time for your guide to show you around. Sample the sandy beaches, kayak, soak in hot pools or simply enjoy the vibes.
Today’s road trip to the arty mecca of Raglan will give you a first glimpse of the North Island’s rolling tree-lined hills and valleys. Your Haka guide has some great sights to show you en route, including the 55-metre high Bridal Veil Falls.
If you have always wanted to try surfing, or if you’re dying to get back on your board, Raglan is the perfect destination both for beginners and experienced surfers. Not keen on surfing? There’s plenty to enjoy in this laid-back township. With an awesome blend of cafes, bars, surf shops and galleries, the streets here ooze character and creativity. Relax on the beach and leave any lingering jet-lag behind, or enjoy a variety of bush and coastal scenery on Raglan’s walking trails.
For dinner tonight, tuck into New Zealand’s unofficial dish – fish and chips (or fush and chups, as it tends to sound in a Kiwi accent). And what better way to enjoy a tasty meal than on a sunset boat cruise of Raglan Harbour?
Our first stop of the day is the Waitomo Caves famous for its glow worms. There are fantastic and informative walking tours of the caves where you can learn more about the history, geology and Māori mythology of this unique area of New Zealand. For those who prefer to stay above ground, we highly recommend exploring the tree-studded gorges and limestone arches of the nearby Ruakuri Forest Walk; definitely a favourite amongst the Haka guides.
The highlight of today is visiting one of NZ’s most iconic experiences – Hobbiton Movie Set. On a fully guided tour of the 12- acre Middle-earth set you will see Hobbit Holes, the Mill, and even enjoy a drink at the Green Dragon Inn! This afternoon we’ll make our way to Rotorua, famous for its geothermal activity and Māori culture. We start our time in Rotorua with The Redwoods Treewalk. This amazing included activity allows you to experience the majestic Redwood Forest from a series of suspension bridges and living decks (platforms), elevated from 9-metres to 12-metres at the highest point.
Rotorua has it all: natural beauty, unique geothermal landscapes, and Māori culture. We stay here a full day to make the very most of it.This area is world-renowned for its geothermal activity, with neon blue and red lakes, steaming rivers, violent geysers, and bubbling mud pools galore. For a truly epic brush with nature, fly high through the lush ancient forest canopy on a zipline tour complete with swing bridges crossings and treetop platforms. What better way to get to know the native plants and birds – many of which unique to New Zealand.
This evening we are welcomed to a Māori village for an unmissable cultural experience featuring combat demonstrations and – of course – the breathtaking haka. This experience extends beyond the performance – you’ll have the chance to see magnificent geothermal activity and get to spot kiwi birds.
Rotorua is a spectacular whitewater rafting destination, and with expert guidance it can be experienced by first timers and pro-paddlers alike. For the ultimate thrill this morning you can raft the highest commercial waterfall drop in the world – the 7-metre Tutea Falls, on the Kaituna River.
If that’s not your cup of tea, spend the morning exploring Rotorua’s many attractions such as the ultra-relaxing Polynesian Spa, or perhaps the naturally-impressive Kuirau Park full of steaming, hissing and boiling geothermal pools. There are also some fantastic cafes and bakeries in the area. Why not grab a sweet treat for the road – a ginger slice and a pie is as Kiwi as it gets!
From Rotorua it’s a quick drive to Taupō; a beautiful lakeside town with a stunning mountain backdrop. It’s a short drive but we’ll take our time, checking out bubbling mud pools and thundering waterfalls en route. We finish our day nestled in Taupō, where we’ll spend the next 2 nights, home to the biggest crater lake in NZ and the best access to one of the 10 best one-day walks in the world – the Tongariro Crossing.
Lake Taupō is actually a giant volcanic crater created 70,000 years ago in one of the biggest eruptions in history. Nowadays, it’s one of NZ’s best spots for a holiday escape. And being New Zealand, there are plenty of adventure sports to be found there too!
New Zealand’s most famous day hike is also in the area. The 19.4 km Tongariro Crossing is an alpine crossing around Tongariro, one of the country’s most famous and most beautiful volcanoes. It’s a serious leg workout, but it’s worth every minute for the incredible views and landscape. Turquoise and green lakes greet you at the top, along with vistas that stretch all the way to the coast.
If you’re looking for a thrill, we suggest skydiving over the lake or bungy jumping over New Zealand’s longest river (and for the really brave, getting dunked in!). There are heaps of other activities on offer such as quad biking, cruising the lake to see Māori rock carvings, hiking along the shores, mountain biking and even the chance to soak in some of the local geothermal pools.
Today we head to the coolest little capital city in the world, the hip and happening Wellington. Perched on the edge of a spectacular harbour, encircled by green, towering hills, Wellington is a stunning and compact city. Vibrant, exciting and cultured, the nation’s capital combines the stimulation and sophistication of a big city with the quirkiness and personality of a much smaller town.
After a quick afternoon orientation from your guide, head up Mount Victoria for some of the best views in town. This evening, the city lights are yours to enjoy. Discover why Wellington is celebrated for its foodie culture – you are truly spoilt for dining choices tonight.
Wellington is also widely regarded as the craft beer capital of New Zealand. Want to test this for yourself? Talk to your Haka guide to find the hidden gems.
Soak up the atmosphere of vibrant Wellington. Famous for being a bit on the windy side, be prepared to ditch the hairspray and go with the flow. As always, your guide will introduce you to the city with an orientation tour – including a drive around the bays through central Wellington to the Botanic Gardens and Parliament Buildings.
Today you’ll also visit a nature reserve, Zealandia. Zealandia is a groundbreaking conservation project and the world’s first fully-fenced urban ecosanctuary. It has successfully reintroduced over 20 species of native wildlife into this area, some of which were previously absent from mainland New Zealand for over 100 years.
You will also stop by Weta Studios, most famous for its creative contribution to all things Lord of the Rings. Take an optional tour to see prop-makers in action and learn about the immersive world of filmmaking.
Wellington has a feast of cultural attractions and its crowning glory is Te Papa, the national museum of New Zealand. Situated on Wellington’s magnificent waterfront, this internationally acclaimed museum combines leading edge technology with traditional exhibits to tell the stories of New Zealand’s land and people. The museum is free entry but you may like to opt for a tour from one of their experienced guides for a more in depth visit.
If being outdoors is more your thing, head off to Kapiti Island for an optional nature tour. Here you can see endangered birds up close and learn more about New Zealand’s unique flora and fauna.
Today is the final day of tour – so prepare to bid farewell to all your new friends before you head in your own directions. You’ll all have some incredible shared memories to take with you on your next adventure!
Get in touch for your unforgettable New Zealand holiday. That’s what we are here for. Behind this website are real people who are at your disposal with expertise and passion for this extraordinary place in the world. We know where to go as we live here – and we are looking forward to sharing our hidden gems with you.