New Zealand's North Island Adventure (Northbound)
From 11/12/2023 to 03/06/2025
Kick off your adventure in Wellington, New Zealand’s cool little capital city.
Your local leader will introduce you to the city’s creative endeavours and local hangouts.
Chill out next to New Zealand’s largest lake in Taupo.
Whether you fancy bungy-jumping, sky diving, kayaking or relaxing, Taupo has something for you.
Head to a Maori village where profits from your visit are fed back into the community, learn the haka and Maori weaving before tucking into a traditional hangi dinner.
Experience the geothermal delights of Rotorua, watch New Zealand’s largest geyser erupt and observe adorable kiwis in a nocturnal house at a conservation centre.
A little piece of paradise awaits on the Coromandel Peninsula – dig your own natural hot tub on Hot Water Beach and check out the much-photographed Cathedral Cove.
Breakfasts Included: 7.
Dinners Included: 1.
Multi-share hostel with shared facilities (7 nights).
Age: min 18.
Group Size: 6 - 16.
Wellington - Mount Victoria Lookout.
Tongariro National Park - Scenic Drive.
Murupara - Learn to Weave Flax.
Murupara - Hangi Dinner.
Murupara - Village Tour with Maori Elder.
Murupara - Learn the Haka.
Rotorua - Visit Te Puia Maori Village.
Rotorua - Pohutu Geyser.
Coromandel Peninsula - Cathedral Cove.
Rotorua - Hobbiton Movie Set Tour.
Coromandel Peninsula - Hot Water Beach.
Itinerary / more information
1 - Wellington Welcome to the North Island! Your adventure begins in New Zealand's capital, Wellington, where you'll meet up with your local leader and new travel buddies for an 8am welcome meeting. Wellington is as cool and creative as it is windy (and it's thought to be the windiest city in the world!). After your meeting, your leader will show you around the capital. Depending on the interests of the group, this may include a visit to Weta Workshop of Lord of the Rings fame, the parliament buildings, cable car and Mt Victoria. Then it's time to leave the city behind and drive on to Taupo, nestled into the shores of Lake Taupo, New Zealand's largest lake. With calm waters fringed by mountains, this is one of the prettiest spots in the country.
2 - Taupo The day is yours to enjoy all Taupo has to offer. Chill out lakeside to soak in the inspiring views, or get active and take on one of the awesome hiking trails in the area. If you're feeling extra adventurous, the Tongariro Crossing in the nearby Tongariro National Park is considered one of the best one-day walks in the world (but it's not for the faint hearted!). Carved into the cliff faces surrounding Lake Taupo you'll find 14-metre-tall Maori artwork that can only be accessed by boat. Want to relax and unwind? A visit to the natural hot pools at Otumuheke Stream is a must! However you decide to spend the day, it's sure to be one to remember.
3 - Taupo Travel today to the Kohutapu Lodge in Murupara - the majority of proceeds from the activities you take part in here are fed back into the local community. You'll be greeted by a Maori elder who will show you around the Ngati Manawa Tribal Lands while sharing the history and culture of this tribe. Meet with other members of the village and learn a famous haka war dance, then weave a plate for tonight's dinner out of flax plants. Dinner tonight is one for the books - tuck into a traditional hangi meal, cooked underground to create a delicious, earthy flavour.
4 - Rotorua Your journey continues as you drive north towards Rotorua, known for its geothermal activity and the pervasive sulphur smell it lends the town. Fluorescent lakes, bubbling mud pools, active volcanoes and dramatic geysers punctuate the landscape here, making it feel like you're on another planet. Stop off at a thermal park to get your first look at Rotorua's otherworldly landscapes, then continue into the town where your leader will show you around the Government Gardens and pleasant lakefront. End the day with a visit to the Te Puia Maori Village, where you'll get firsthand insight into Maori culture. You'll also have the chance to see Pohutu, New Zealand's largest geyser, in action - this is a sight that will blow you away! A visit to the kiwi conservation centre will allow you to observe this endearing nocturnal bird as it behaves at night.
5 - Rotorua There's so much to see and do in Rotorua, so today is free to discover it all. Have a chat to your local leader for tips on how to get the most out of your day here. You may like to take an unforgettable stroll through Kuirau Park, surrounded by bubbling and boiling mud pools. If you feel like getting your heart racing, the Kaituna River is one of the world's top white water rafting destinations. Choose to head deep into one of New Zealand's most ancient forests for an exhilarating eco canopy adventure, learning about the native wildlife and ecology as you zipline from tree to tree. Or take a guided kayak trip where you'll enjoy a fun-filled evening of hot pools (which are only accessible by boat), BBQ dinner and paddling through magical glow worm caves.
6 - Coromandel Peninsula We start today with a visit to Hobbiton, an absolute must-do on the way through Matamata. On a fully guided tour of the set you will see Hobbit Holes, the Mill, and even enjoy a drink at the Green Dragon Inn. This afternoon we head to the Coromandel Peninsula, a land of beautiful beaches and lush rainforests. Take a walk along the clifftops and down to Cathedral Cove, one of the region's most beautiful and photogenic spots - the rock arches, columns and pristine beaches are a truly impressive sight. While here you may like to take the chance to explore the coastline on a guided kayaking tour - if you do, be sure to keep an eye out for dolphins swimming alongside the boat!
7 - Coromandel Peninsula Of all the Coromandel Peninsula's marvellous beaches, one stands out above the rest. Hot Water Beach is made famous by the warm waters that run beneath its sand, meaning all you need to do to make your own hot tub is dig a hole. Visit at low tide and get digging - unwinding in a natural hot tub on the beach is an experience second to none. Complete the final stretch of your journey as you travel to Auckland, hugging the glittering on your way there. New Zealand's biggest city has a privileged location where you're never far from the water, and the dining and nightlife scene is up there with the best of them. As it's your last night together, you may like to head out for a final dinner with the group before saying your goodbyes.
8 - Auckland Your North Island adventure comes to an end this morning after breakfast. If you'd like to spend more time getting to know Auckland, just get in touch ahead of time and we'd be happy to arrange extra accommodation (subject to availability).
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