From beautiful cities with fantastic shopping and dining to secluded sandy beaches, beautiful remote island sanctuaries, Glow-worm Caves and rain forests; New Zealand's North Island has it all.
Drive pass sprawling farmlands with geothermal wonders side by side. Maori culture is rich and ever-present in many parts of the North Island. Learn where our political history began and how the Nation was built.Plan Your Tour
Private guided tour itinerary - 5 nights
Day 1: Auckland – Bay of Islands (Waitangi Meeting grounds, historic Russell)
Day 2: Bay of Islands (Boat trip to Hole in the Rock, relax in the afternoon)
Day 3: Bay of Islands – Auckland (Kauri Trees, Inner city tour)
Day 4: Auckland - Waitomo Caves (Glow-worm caves, farm-stay)
Day 5: Waitomo – Matamata - Rotorua (Hobbiton, Te Puia Art Center and Maori cultural performance)
Day 6: Rotorua – Taupo - Auckland (Wai-o-Tapu geothermal area and Huka Falls)
Prices: We recommend the following guidelines for customized tour packages, excluding international flights:
4* (3* internationally) to 5*: From around NZ$ $400 - $1150+ per person per day. The customized package will include accommodation, airport transfers and other transportation within New Zealand, guided tours or activities, unique experiences, trip planning, and 24X7 support during your trip. Please enquire for a custom quote. The price is customized based on final accommodation choices, travel dates, and other custom preferences.
Driving distance 3h
Start off your private guided tour! You will be met on arrival at Auckland International Airport (or picked up from your Auckland accommodation) by your Aroha NZ Tours Representative and transferred to Russell in the Bay of Islands. Dotted with 144 islands and a myriad of secluded beaches, the entire region offers a fantastic opportunity to fish in waters that are rich with an abundance of sea-life! We arrive in Paihia, the centre of the beautiful Bay of Islands, and the first European settlement in New Zealand. We take you on a walk along the spectacular Paihia waterfront and Waitangi beach to the historic Treaty grounds. The Waitangi Treaty Grounds, overlooking the Bay of Islands is New Zealand's pre-eminent historic site. It was here on February 6th, 1840, that the Treaty of Waitangi was first signed between Maori and the British Crown. The Treaty Grounds are part of the 506-hectare Waitangi National Trust estate, which was gifted to the nation by Lord and Lady Bledisloe in 1932. In the Deed of Gift, Lord Bledisloe stipulated that the estate was never to be a burden on the taxpayer, and as such it is not government funded. The estate is administered by the Waitangi National Trust Board, whose members represent various sections of New Zealand people. In Opua, you board the ferry to Russell, where you will experience New Zealand’s volatile colonial history. Take time out to have lunch in one of the historic buildings, enjoying glorious views out over the idyllic wharf. Settle into your accommodation for the evening, and enjoy a leisurely dinner in the Russell township.
Accommodation: Bay of Islands
Cruise and discover the very best of the Bay of Islands. Experience the spectacular scenery in an area that is soaked in rich culture and history. Encounter diverse wildlife in their natural surroundings. Explore the Bay of Islands with us. You cruise among the 144 islands with the skipper’s commentary. You cruise to the iconic ‘Hole in the Rock’ and when conditions permit, travel through it! There is the opportunity to meet the local dolphins/whales and stop at Otehei Bay on the Department of Conservation’s Urupukapuka Island while learning about Project Island Song.In the afternoon, we can organise a fast boat cruise around the many islands that make up the Bay of Islands, passing through the famous “Hole in the Rock” at Cape Brett, a fascinating natural geological attraction. If you just want to relax you can spend the afternoon strolling the beach, and the shops for local arts and crafts, enjoy a game of golf or maybe take to the waters of one of the world's most renowned game fishing regains and lunch at one of the areas wonderful vineyards... there are many excursions available. Highly recommended: (Optional) A fly/drive tour to Cape Reinga. The initial stage of the tour consists of a flight up to Cape Reinga via Northlands spectacular harbours, such as the Whangaroa Harbour and the Rangaunu Harbour. We also pass across some beautiful beaches such as Coopers Beach, Doubtless Bay and of course the famous Ninety Mile Beach. From Ninety Mile Beach we then fly inland and land at an airfield, which is only 20km from the Cape Reinga lighthouse. Once on the ground, a comfortable air-conditioned mini-bus will meet the aircraft. It will take you on a 2½ hour tour around the top of New Zealand. After a 20 minute drive, we reach the Cape Reinga Lighthouse where the Tasman Sea meets the Pacific Ocean. The local guide will accompany you on your walk to the lighthouse, sharing the myths and legends of this very spiritual area. The return flight to the Bay of Islands includes some of the most spectacular coastal scenery Northland has to offer.
Accommodation: Bay of Islands
Driving distance 4.5h
In the morning discover North Hokianga, which is also known as 'Te Kohanga o Te Tai Tokerau', the nest of the northern tribes as most Maori trace their ancestry to the discovery and settlement of this harbour, making it indeed the birthplace of the Nation. Visit the twin settlement of Omapere and Opononi made famous in 1955-56 by Opo the dolphin and get a view onto the 300-metre high golden Hokianga sand dunes. Meet our ancestors; the mighty Te Matua Ngahere ('The Father of the Forest') estimated to be between 3,000 and 4,000 years old, his mighty girth is over 5 metres (15ft) in diameter. 'The Four Sisters' are a graceful collection of kauri trees that have grown close together in sibling harmony and finally, Tane Mahuta ('The Lord of the Forest') who stands an impressive 51 metres (150ft) tall. In the afternoon we take you back to Auckland. Your small city tour starts with a relaxing sightseeing tour of Auckland, a chance to explore the CBD and outer area's of the city, taking in the spectacular harbour views of the Waitemata from Auckland's illustrious waterfront, and through some of the most expensive real estate in NZ. You will also have the opportunity to stop off and visit one of Auckland's most prestigious shopping areas 'Parnell Historical Village'. From there your tour continues on to the summit of Mt Eden one of 48 dormant volcanoes situated in and around Auckland. From the summit of Mt Eden you can take in a stunning 360-degree view of Auckland city and it's surrounding harbours. In the evening you can walk through America’s Cup Village and visit the nearby Viaduct Basin and its many lively bars and restaurants. Walk onto Queen Street and explore the new Britomart, a vibrant shopping, entertainment and business precinct in the heart of downtown Auckland. Surrounded by beautiful heritage buildings, it’s a neighbourhood of buzzing restaurants and bars, world-class fashion boutiques and interesting art spaces.
Driving distance 3h
As you depart Auckland your tour will take you through the Waikato region, one of New Zealand's greenest places, and richest agricultural regions. You will pass land with lush grass for raising cattle, thoroughbred horses and vast stands of exotic timber. One of the major attractions of the Waikato/King Country region is the famous Waitomo Caves (translation: 'where the water disappears into a hole in the ground'). Enjoy a short shuttle ride to the cave while your experienced guide reveals the rich history of Waitomo. Then, take a short walk through breathtaking New Zealand native bush to the cave entrance. There, your guide lights the candles setting the scene for an intimate cave experience, where you will see glow-worms and cave formations up close and appreciate the beauty of Footwhistle Cave (also known to local Maori as Te Anaroa Cave). The solar-powered lights are kept low so you can appreciate the magnificent glow worm displays at their best, only inches away. Around a corner lie the bones of one of New Zealand's lost treasures, the ancient Moa. The soothing sound of Footwhistle Cave stream flows in the darkness below. Formation lights are specially turned on to cast a warm glow over stunning cave formations. The guide tells the stories of the insect life that live here - titiwai, the glow-worm, and tuna, the eel. After enjoying a relaxed stroll through the cave, you'll be seated in Footwhistle's Cathedral to see it lit up by a dazzling magnesium torch. Although the display only lasts a few seconds, your memories of the Footwhistle Cave will last a lifetime. Tonight enjoy a home cooked meal at a luxury farm stay.
Driving distance 2.5h
Before midday, discover the real Middle Earth on the most picturesque private farmland near Matamata, where you can visit the Hobbiton Movie Set from The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings films in a fascinating two-hour guided tour. The set has been completely rebuilt and will remain as it was seen in the films. There are spectacular views across to the Kaimai Ranges from the rolling green hills of the movie set, which is still a working sheep and beef farm. As you depart Matamata your tour will take you through the Central North Island region of the Bay of Plenty. Your tour arrives in the geothermal capital of Rotorua. Visit Te Puia, the premier Māori cultural centre in New Zealand - a place of gushing waters, steaming vents, boiling mud pools and spectacular geysers. The Māori tradition lives on at Te Whakarewarewa, our Māori culture, and our National Carving and Weaving Schools of New Zealand. The environment alone is of enormous geological significance, with thermal activity ranging from boiling mud to the world famous 30-metre (100-foot) Pohutu geyser, erupting up to 20 times each day. The Kiwi Conservation Centre is a valuable part of a national Kiwi breeding programme. Here you can see our New Zealand native flightless bird and national icon in a specially lit purpose-built nocturnal house, with expert guides and information at hand. Watch a cultural performance and learn about the past of our native people, carvings and ta moko (tattoo art). Be captivated by the displays of weaponry and combat, coupled with the grace and beauty of the poi dance. You’ll be amazed by the spine-tingling haka finale. Optional: Relax in the geothermal bath of the Polynesian Spa in Rotorua.
Driving distance 4.5h
In the morning we take you to the fascinating “Champagne Pool” and experience the panorama of vividly colourful hot and cold pools, steaming fumaroles and hot boiling mud pools. Sculptured out of volcanic activity and thousands of years in the making, Wai-O-Tapu is considered to be New Zealand’s most colourful and diverse geothermal sightseeing attraction. You are introduced to a uniquely different natural landscape – the key to what you see lies below the surface – one of the most extensive geothermal systems in New Zealand. On the way to Taupo, we stop at Huka Falls - these spectacular falls roar through a 15m wide chasm before plunging a further 11m. Lake Taupo is also the world’s largest volcanic crater, created in one giant explosion. The ash cloud floated all over the world - ice samples from as far apart as Antarctica and Alaska have determined the explosion to have occurred in 186AD. The effects of the ash were even recorded in China and Rome. You can gather your own free volcanic souvenir from the shoreline in the form of very light pumice stones (great for cleaning off rough skin) which were spewed out in that eruption. Just about everywhere you look in the Lake Taupo region, you'll see a volcano. Late afternoon we take you to back to Auckland Airport. Last day of your private guided tour!