Spend a day relaxing in the city of sails and then take 3 days to visit the North Islands most cultural attractions.
Take a walk through geothermal activity and the volcanic areas, visit our famous Glowworm Caves in Waitomo. Experience today’s way of life and meet local people, and dine at a traditional Hangi dinner while learning about our Maori culture. Take a journey through Middle‑earth, and visit Lord of the Rings filming locations.Plan Your Tour
Privately guided tour itinerary - 3 nights
Category: Culture, Active
Location: North Island
Accommodation: 4* or 5* quality Hotels, boutique B&Bs, Luxury Serviced Apartments, Premium Lodges
Next Departure: Departs Daily
LOCATION AND HIGHLIGHTS:
Day 1: Auckland Arrival
(Relax and spend some time in the City - Optional half-day city tour)
Day 2: Auckland – Waitomo – Rotorua
(Waitomo Caves, Cultural performance and Hangi dinner - Or: Helicopter landing on Volcano)
Day 3: Rotorua – Day trip to Taupo
(Wai-o-Tapu geothermal area, Huka Falls – Or: jet boat trip)
Day 4: Rotorua – Matamata – Auckland
(Guided tour of Hobbiton Film Set, or visit the botanical gardens in Hamilton)
Imagine an urban environment where everyone lives within half an hour of beautiful beaches, hiking trails and a dozen enchanting holiday islands. Add a sunny climate, a background rhythm of Polynesian culture and a passion for outstanding food, wine and shopping, and you’re beginning to get the picture of Auckland, our largest and most diverse city.
Optional City Tour: Visit One Tree Hill with 360 views of Auckland City, historic Auckland Cathedral, relax at the waterfront, explore the Auckland Domain and Winter Garden, drive over the iconic Harbour bridge to historical Devonport or explore Auckland’s glorious West Coast and Waitakere Ranges.
Accommodation: Auckland City
One of the major attractions of the region is the famous Waitomo Caves. It is renowned for its underground adventure. Take a short walk through breath-taking 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.
Rotorua is known for bubbling mud pools, shooting geysers and natural hot springs, as well as showcasing our fascinating Maori culture. Sitting within the Pacific Rim of Fire, Rotorua is a geothermal wonderland. Journey to a time of proud warriors and an ancient way of life within a Maori Village. Embrace powerful performances, ceremonial rituals and a traditional Hangi feast.
Or: Helicopter to the site of the largest eruption in New Zealand’s living memory. Landing on Mount Tarawera offers a privileged view of spectacular craters and domes formed by the 1886 eruption. Here you will enjoy an interesting commentary based on the region’s history, culture and geology.
On the way to Taupo stop at Wai-O-Tapu geothermal wonderland, an area in which the landscape has been sculptured by geothermal activity and where unique volcanic features can be viewed from well-defined tracks. Unique features include the world famous Champagne Pool naturally coloured springs, bubbling mud, steaming ground, expansive vistas, huge volcanic craters and sinter terrace formations.
Lake Taupo, the largest Lake in this country and also the world’s largest volcanic crater, created in one giant explosion nearly two thousand years ago, it darkened the skies in Europe and China. Taupo is famous for its fishing and its trophy-sized trout.
The Waikato River, New Zealand's longest river, moves gracefully north from Lake Taupo between banks 100 metres apart. At Huka Falls you can witness the phenomenon of natural hydropower - more than 220, 000 litres of water per second. You have the option of taking an exhilarating jet boat ride.
New Zealand’s dramatic scenery - golden plains, towering mountains and enchanting valleys - plays the mythical world of Middle‑earth on the big screen in both The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit Trilogy. Experience the real Middle-earth at the Hobbiton Movie Set, where you can step into the lush pastures of the Shire.
The city of Hamilton is nestled on the banks of the mighty Waikato River and is known for its walks, gardens, cafes and nightlife.
Or: Visit Hamilton Gardens, a botanic garden like no other, with its 58-hectare site it is a world of horticultural skill and imagination.
We return to Auckland through the lush Waikato.