Day 1 Auckland - Paihia (201 km)
Depart from Auckland, we will head northbound for the relaxed seaside town of Paihia, gateway to the beautiful Bay of Islands. On the way we'll learn about the rich early European and Maori history of the region. After stopping to see giant kauri trees en-route, we will continue on to Paihia, where we will have our free afternoon to explore this charming seaside town.
Day 2 Paihia - Cape Reinga - Paihia (426 km)
Today, we will travel to Cape Reinga, the northernmost point in New Zealand. One of the highlights of the day will be our visit to 90 Mile Beach and the chance to sample some delicious fish and chips on the way back to Paihia.
Day 3 Paihia - Auckland (184 km)
This morning, we will take the famous Hole in the Rock cruise and stop on an island in the bay. We should keep an eye out for dolphins and other marine life. In the afternoon, we will make our way back to Auckland, where we will be able to spend the evening free in the city.
Day 4 Auckland - Hahei (109 km)
In the morning, we will depart Auckland and head south to the Coromandel Peninsula via the old colonial town of Thames. We will settle into our accommodation in Hahei before heading to Hot Water Beach.
Day 5 Free day in Hahei
Today, we will have the full day free to explore Hahei at our own leisure. In this laid-back environment, we can wake up early to watch the sunrise on the beach, take a scenic coastal walk or take an optional kayaking trip to Cathedral Cove. We will also be able to take a glass-bottom boat tour through the nearby marine reserve.
Day 6 Hahei - Rotorua (149 km)
We will leave Hahei early travelling through to Paeroa, where we'll stop for breakfast. Then we will be taken through the Waikato region, known for its many dairy farms, rolling hills and the mighty Waikato River. This afternoon we'll have free time to explore the sights and smells of Rotorua.
Day 7 Rotorua
Today we will have a full free day in Rotorua to discover an area rich in Maori heritage. There are plenty of exciting local activities such as whitewater rafting, ziplining through native bush, zorbing or a guided jet boat adventure up to bath in a hot waterfall. Alternatively, we can also take a guided tour through the world famous Hobbiton Movie Set.
Day 8 Rotorua - Lake Aniwhenua (40 km)
Today we will head to the remote area of Lake Aniwhenua. A local
Maori guide will share the area's history and lead us to visit the area's sacred archaeological
sites. Tonight, your hosts will teach you how to prepare a traditional 'Hangi' (a feast cooked
underground) and introduce us a fun stick game to challenge your hand-eye
coordination. For those visiting during school term, you will learn about a local community program.
Day 9 Lake Aniwhenua - Whakahoro (148 km)
After breakfast, we will travel to Taupo to see Huka Falls and go skydiving if we are brave! In the afternoon, we will make our way to the Blue Duck Station, a 7,200 acre farm that is also a leader in environmental conservation, where we will spend the night.
Day 10 Free Day in Whakahoro
Today, we will have a free day to explore amazing, secluded Whakahoro in-depth. There are plenty of farming and conservation-based activities, allowing us to immerse ourselves in an authentic New Zealand station experience.
Day 11 Whakahoro - Tongariro National Park - Raetihi (88 km)
At 6:00am, we will make our way to Tongariro National Park to explore a landscape marked by active volcanoes. We will walk the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, getting to see some epic scenery and the chance to walk along the base of the mountain that served as Mount Doom in the Lord of the Rings movies. In the evening, we can enjoy in the spa pool in the hotel or relax with a
celebratory drink by the fire.
Day 12 Raetihi - Tongariro National Park - Wellington (330 km)
Today, we will head to Wellington, the capital of New Zealand. We will have the afternoon available to explore the local shops and cafes along Cuba Street, explore the wonders of Te Papa Museum or stroll along the waterfront.
Day 13 Wellington - Auckland (493 km)
Early in the morning, we will depart from Wellington to return to Auckland, where the tour will come to an end.