Day 1 Auckland - Paihia (211 km)
Nau mai, haere mai! Welcome to New Zealand! Our journey begins in Auckland, the country's largest city. After guests have been picked up, we will drive north to the seaside town of Paihia. On the way, we will stop to see some might trees, native kauri, hike to a beautiful waterfall, enjoy lunch and stop for a swim at scenic Waipu Cove. After that, we will visit the historic Waitangi Treaty Grounds at our own expense before settling in our lodging and enjoying the rest of the night.
Day 2 Paihia - Opononi (86 km)
In the morning, we will take a wildlife cruise through the beautiful Bay of Islands, a collection of 144 islands all bursting with marine life. In the afternoon, we will travel to Hokianga Harbour, where we will see huge sand dunes. In the evening, we will have the option of taking part in a Maori-guided twilight encounter in Waipoua Forest to learn about local Maori legends and the spirits that inhabit the forest. We will also visit the largest kauri tree in the world, Tane Mahuta, known as the "god of the forest."
Day 3 Opononi - Auckland (225 km)
We will begin the day with a ferry ride across Hokianga Harbour to go sand boarding down massive dunes (dependent on weather). Then, we will make our way south through the mighty Waipoua Forest before visiting the idyllic Kai Iwi Lakes to swim in the region's crystal-clear waters.
Day 4 Auckland - Hahei (92 km)
Today, we will depart from Auckland, heading south to walk around famous Caathedral Cove. Accessible only by foot or boat, this place holds some of New Zealand's most spectacular scenery and stunning coastal views. Afterwards, we will continue to Hot Water Beach. In the afternoon, we will have time to go kayaking before we feast on a delicious BBQ dinner.
Day 5 Hahei - Rotorua (149 km)
Today, we will travel to Rotorua, arriving around midday, to explore this area known for its Maori heritage and geothermal activity. We will get the chance to partake in many activities in the area, including a visit to Hobbiton. In the evening, we will feel welcomed into authentic Tamaki Village, where we will learn all about Maori culture, feast on a delicious meal and partake in an interactive cultural performance.
Day 6 Rotorua
Today, we will have one free day to enjoy ourselves in Rotorua.
Day 7 Rotorua - Tongariro National Park (107 km)
Today we will make our way to Tongariro National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where we will have the chance to walk along the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, trekking through dramatic natural scenery and past volcanic peaks, vast craters and stunning turquoise lakes. Alternatively, we can go to the Volcanic Centre Museum at our own expense.
Day 8 Tongariro National Park - Whakahoro (88 km)
After your big day of hiking, you get a chance to sleep in and we won't depart until mid-morning. TOur destination today is one of the most remote parts of the North Island by road - Blue Duck Station in Whakahoro, a 7,200 acre country farm that is both a working sheep and beef station as well as a leading site in environmental conservation leader. This afternoon, we will get the opportunity to take part in a 4WD Bush Safari adventure to explore the vast land, learning about the local history and the farm's conservation efforts. We will enjoy a dinner cooked with all local produce.
Day 9 Whakahoro - Wellington (243 km)
We depart early to arrive into Wellington by early afternoon. This modest city is known as the "coolest little capital in the world," according to Lonely Planet. It's a great place to check out the lively arts scene, go shopping, sip coffee in a local café or try some craft beers. The city is also home to the New Zealand Parliament and the iconic Beehive Government Building. This afternoon, we will have the options of touring the world famous Weta Workshop, marvel at the wonders of the Te Papa National Museum or wander along the Oriental Parade.
Day 10 Wellington - Auckland (493 km)
Today, we will return to Auckland, stopping along the way to take photos and enjoy lunch in the National Park Village. When we reach Auckland in the late afternoon, the tour will come to an end. We hope you had an unforgettable time!