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 past sprawling farmlands with geothermal wonders side by side. Maori culture is rich and ever-present in many parts of the North Island. Learn about our most famous love stories and visit the home of some of our most notorious Maori warriors and tribes. Have fun at an evening banquet-tour at the Hobbiton Film set and enjoy a private evening dinner cruise at Lake Taupo.
Private guided tour 4 nights
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
(Half day city tour or winery & food at Waiheke Island)
Day 2: Auckland – Waitomo – Matamata
(Glow-worm Caves, Evening banquet at Hobbiton)
Day 3: Waikato – Taupo
(Zealong Tea Estate, Huka Falls, Dinner Fishing Cruise)
Day 4: Taupo - Rotorua
(Jet boat to Mokoia Island and Cultural Performance, Hells Gate Geothermal Park Or: Private Dinner Cruise)
Day 5: Rotorua – Bay of Plenty – Auckland
(Visit Kiwi Fruit Farm, Mt Maunganui Beaches, Karangahake Gorge)
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. Discover the diverse range of cafes and restaurants offering cuisine from around the globe and check out the buzzing nightlife of the central city. Favourite spots include Wynyard Quarter, the Viaduct Harbour, the Britomart precinct and City Works Depot.
You have the option to visit The jewel of the Hauraki Gulf, Waiheke Island, a haven of beautiful vineyards, olive groves, farmland and golden beaches. Partake in a winery tour and sample some of the local cuisines with a lunch at one of the vineyards.
Accommodation: Auckland or Waiheke Island
Travel south through the lush green rural farmland of the Waikato region. The rich and fertile pastoral land of the Waikato is one of New Zealand’s major dairy producing and horse breeding areas, and host to incalculable stands of exotic timber. 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.
From Waitomo we drive further inland to Matamata. Famous for dairying and fine thoroughbred horses, it's easy to see why these green pastures and rolling hills were chosen to portray Hobbiton and The Shire. In the evening experience, the Hobbiton Movie Set as you have never seen it before with a guided tour through The Shire at dusk. You will be treated to a banquet in the Green Dragon and sample traditional Hobbit fayre!
Accommodation: Waitomo or Cambridge
You leave the lush rural farmland of the Waikato Region and your tour takes you through the Central North Island region of the Bay of Plenty. Widely regarded as a Waikato icon, Zealong Tea Estate is the only commercial tea estate in New Zealand, producing 100% organic award-winning tea. Stop for a light lunch or partake in the Tea Ceremony.
The Waikato River, New Zealand's longest river, moves gracefully north from Lake Taupo between banks 100 metres apart. Just before the Huka Falls it enters a shallow ravine of hard volcanic rock. The effect is nature's large-scale equivalent of a fire hose feeding into a very fine nozzle. The previously placid waters roar and rumble at great speed along the ravine before bursting into space out over Huka Falls to crash into the turbulent pool 11 metres below.
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 sky’s in Europe and China. Taupo is famous for its fishing and its trophy-sized trout. In the evening you have the option of boarding a luxury yacht for a scenic sunset cruise and dinner. You even have the option of doing a spot of fishing yourself!
Accommodation: Lake Taupo
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.
Experience beauty and history like no other on Mokoia Island. Located in the middle of Lake Rotorua, Mokoia Island is the site of one of our country's most famous love stories and the home of some of our most notorious Maori warriors and tribes. On arrival experience, an enchanting traditional Maori greeting and dance! Afterwards take a guided walk through the birdlife, wildlife, cultural events, history and geography of the island. This is one of the area’s most unique experiences, made even more exciting with the addition of the jet boat ride (or boat) to and from the Island.
Hells Gate geothermal attraction features boiling hot pools and erupting waters with temperatures in excess of 100 degrees Celsius; steaming fumaroles; hot water lakes; sulphur crystals and deposits; New Zealand's largest active mud volcano; Southern Hemisphere's largest hot waterfall and even examples of land coral. A primaeval setting displaying the awesome RAW POWER of the earth and its geothermal nature.
Or: Private Dinner Cruise: Experience an off the beaten track indulgence on stunning Lake Rotoiti under sail aboard the luxury sailing catamaran Tiua. Discover beautiful sandy coves, lake edge thermal hot springs, glow worm caves and cultural sites rich in history and legend. Enjoy a delicious BBQ meal, accompanied by a selection of fine New Zealand beverages. Truly a genuine, personal New Zealand experience.
The Bay of Plenty region is home to spectacular beaches, juicy kiwifruit and New Zealand's only active marine volcano. Experience the wonders of the kiwifruit industry on an idyllic working kiwifruit orchard. The rolling hills and plateaus provide spectacular views and vantage points.
Mount Maunganui which is a magnet for surfers all year round. At the very tip of the peninsula is a distinctive peak - Mauao - which rises to 230 metres above sea level. There's a choice of tracks leading to the summit, some more challenging than others. Huge views of the harbour, beach and Pacific Ocean make the effort totally worthwhile. If you love boutique shopping, Mount Maunganui's 'main street' is the ideal place for you.
Halfway from Tauranga to Auckland, you drive through the Karangahake Gorge. Discover mining relics, travel alongside the Ohinemuri River for a shorter loop section which can be walked, and includes two bridges and the 1100 m railway tunnel.
We take you back to Auckland