New Zealand’s North Island offers active volcanoes, island sanctuaries and immense culture and history for an authentic experience.
From the far north where New Zealand’s political history began, journey through landscapes that blend magnificent beaches, sprawling farmlands and geothermal wonders. Māori culture is rich and ever-present in many parts of the North Island.
Welcome to Aotearoa – land of the big white cloud. Be greeted on arrival at the airport and transferred to your accommodation. You will meet your tour guide at your accommodation.
Drive north to Paihia in the Bay of Islands. On the way first sights of the beautiful scenery of New Zealand. After arriving to the Bay of Islands, visit to New Zealand’s birthplace, Waitangi. A self-guided tour through the Treaty House, the Maori Meeting House and war canoe. This afternoon enjoy a cruise to Russell, first capital of New Zealand. (B)
Today is at your leisure, take the time to relax and enjoy the scenery of the Bay of Islands. Your guide can help you with arranging activities for you. Why not try a day trip to Cape Reinga, The northern most point of New Zealand and Ninety Mile Beach. Alternatively, take a cruise to famous ‘Hole in the Rock’, swim with dolphins. (B)
Travel south through famous Waipoua Forest on the west coast, just north of Dargaville. As the largest remaining tract of native forest in Northland, Waipoua is an ancient green world of towering trees and rare birds. The highway through the forest is memorable for the natural gateways created by huge kauri trees and the fringing of colourful ferns along the road’s edge. This forest is the home of Tane Mahuta, the country’s largest kauri tree, which is approximately 2,000 years old and still growing. Nearly 18 metres to the first branch and 4.4 metres in diameter, Tane Mahuta is rightly called ‘The Lord of the Forest’. Stop at the Kauri Museum where you will discover a lot of interesting facts about kauri forest. Drive to Auckland for sightseeing. View the panorama of the city from a top of ancient volcano crater at Mt Eden. (B)
Cross the Bombay Hills to the lush farmlands of the Waikato region to famous Hobbiton Movie Set village. Experience the real Middle-earth with a visit to the Hobbiton Movie Set, featured in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit films. Your guided tour starts with a drive through picturesque 1,250 acre sheep farm with spectacular views across to the Kaimai Ranges. After your visit to Hobbiton drive to Rotorua, the centre of Maori culture. (B)
Rotorua will captivate you with its shooting geysers, intriguing Maori villages and thrilling adventure activities. Rotorua sits squarely on the Pacific Ring of Fire, so volcanic activity is part of the city’s past and present. The city is also the tribal home of the Te Arawa people, who settled in its lakeside geothermal areas more than 600 years ago. Geysers, boiling mud pools, marae stays, hangi feasts, an authentic pre-European Maori village and indulgent spa therapies promise to impress. Rotorua also has a well-developed adventure culture. Today you will visit Te Puia, geothermal village, have a walk through sequoia forest. This evening enjoy a Maori Hangi (meal) with traditionally prepared meats and vegetables followed by a concert featuring Maori songs.(B,D)
View the Huka Falls and the Wairakei Geothermal electricity project. Stop at Lake Taupo, the largest lake in New Zealand. Enjoy super view across the lake, have a cup of coffee. Continue on to Napier, regarded as the world’s Art Deco capital. On arrival, enjoy a walking tour of the city where you can feel the past of times. The Hawke’s Bay region combines art-deco with agriculture and vineyards galore. (B)
Today we leave The Hawke’s Bay landscape which is a mix of stunning mountains, pastoral plains and wild ocean beach. On the way to Wellington, stop at historic Greytown to view excellent examples of Victorian colonial architecture before travelling over the Rimutaka Ranges to Wellington, the nation’s capital, where you enjoy a city tour on arrival. Visit to Te Papa – national museum, drive to the top of Mt Victoria for panoramic view of the city.(B)
Time to say good bay to new friends and be transported to the airport for your flight home. (B)