Northern Explorer

Explore the North Island of New Zealand and learn about its fascinating history, culture and myths on a journey that takes you from Auckland to Wellington.

12 Day
From (AUD)
$ 5,295
  • 2017/2018 Auckland > Wellington

    Myth and legend come alive

    The North Island is a wonderland of history, culture and myth. From ancient Maori legends to the beginnings of European settlement, there are a host of intriguing stories to unearth during your time here.

    The vibrant city of Auckland bids you Kia Ora. Spend time sailing its beautiful harbour, walking the black sand beaches of the West Coast or taking in the sights on a city tour, before travelling towards the Bay of Islands region. Here you’ll meet Tane Mahuta, a 2,000-year-old kauri tree, and enjoy the sweeping sunset over Hokianga Bay. Visit the significant Waitangi Treaty Grounds before heading to Rotorua. Known for bubbling mud pools, shooting geysers and natural hot springs, it also showcases the captivating Maori culture. The magnificent Art Deco town of Napier awaits before you end your journey in the national capital Wellington. You’ll leave no stone unturned during this quest for the essence of the North Island.

    Tour Code:

    NEI

    Duration:

    12 Days

    Departure City:

    Auckland

    Return City:

    Wellington

  • 12 Day Itinerary

    • Day 1 - Auckland
      Highlights:
      Welcome dinner

      Kia Ora and welcome to Auckland for a two night Special Stay. Celebrate the wonder of New Zealand at a welcome dinner.

      Meals included: Dinner

    • Day 2 - Auckland
      Highlights:
      Freechoice and Freechoice Dining
      Freechoice

      Choose from a range of Auckland’s attractions – enjoy an exhilarating sail on an authentic America’s Cup yacht and be part of the crew. Take the helm or simply sit back and enjoy the ride as you sail Auckland Harbour. Or explore the wine and cuisine of Waiheke Island and enjoy tastings of olive oil, wine and beer as well as a vineyard tour. Alternatively, take a leisurely morning cruise of Auckland’s beautiful harbour and see highlights including Devonport and the Harbour Bridge, or discover the Waitakere Ranges, walk in the lush rainforest and stroll along the black sand beaches. Or choose to join a small group tour and discover the history and sights of Auckland.

      Freechoice Dining

      Your dining choices for tonight include a sunset dinner yacht cruise, Harbourside Ocean Bar, Orbit 360 Restaurant at Sky City or dinner at Palm Court in your hotel.

      Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

    • Day 3 - Auckland > Omapere
      Highlights:
      Enrich - Tane Mahuta

      Travel north across Auckland’s busy Harbour Bridge, along the Hibiscus Coast towards the Bay of Islands. Visit Matakohe’s award-winning Kauri Museum and gain an insight into the rich pioneering history of New Zealand’s Northland region. The museum specialises in the legacy of the ancient kauri forests, specifically the strong durable timber and the highly prized kauri gum. Continue to the Waipoua Forest, an ancient green world of towering trees and rare birds, and travel past natural gateways created by huge kauri trees and the fringing of colourful ferns along the road’s edge.

      Enrich

      The sense of awe you feel as you see the mighty Tane Mahuta kauri tree for the first time is unforgettable. Listen to the interactive interpretation from your local Maori guide about the importance of the ‘Lord of the Forest’ to both the natural environment and the Maori people.

      Sundowners

      Watch the sunset on Hokianga Bay with a drink on the terrace of your hotel.

      Enjoy your overnight stay in Omapere.

      Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

    • Day 4 - Omapere > Paihia
      Highlights:
      Freechoice
      Freechoice

      Cruise the calm inland waters of the Bay of Islands including lunch or enjoy a ferry ride to Russell, the birthplace of European settlement in New Zealand. You could also cruise to Cape Brett Lighthouse and through the Hole in the Rock (weather permitting) or try your luck at fishing.

      Your base for the next two nights is Paihia.

      Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

    • Day 5 - Paihia
      Highlights:
      Enrich - Cape Reinga
      Enrich

      Travel to the very top of New Zealand – Cape Reinga. Explore the magnificent lighthouse and see where the waters of the Tasman Sea and the Pacific Ocean meet. Discover this remote and magical place of deep spiritual significance to the Maori then enjoy the thrill of travelling along Ninety Mile Beach and marvel at the immense sand dunes.

      Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

    • Day 6 - Paihia > Auckland
      Highlights:
      Waitangi Treaty Grounds

      Discover the birthplace of modern New Zealand at the Waitangi Treaty Grounds with a Maori guide. See the world’s largest waka – a ceremonial war canoe, over 70 years old but still used every year on 6 February to celebrate New Zealand’s national Waitangi Day.

      Enrich

      Be entertained by an authentic Maori cultural performance inside the beautifully carved meeting house including a traditional Maori welcome, waiata (singing), poi, stick games, Maori weaponry, as well as the famous haka.

      Return to your hotel in Auckland for an overnight stay.

      Meals included: Breakfast

    • Day 7 - Auckland > Rotorua
      Highlights:
      Hobbiton Movie Set

      Lose yourself in ‘Middle Earth’ on your visit to the Hobbiton Movie Set. Travelling through the rolling farm land of the Waikato, arrive in Rotorua, home of Maori culture and bubbling mud pools. Explore the National Kiwi Trust’s kiwi hatchery and nursery on a guided tour. Enjoy two nights in Rotorua.

      Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

    • Day 8 - Rotorua
      Highlights:
      Te Puia; Freechoice

      Be amazed by Rotorua’s geothermal activity during a visit to Te Puia.

      Freechoice

      Witness a farm experience, take an amphibious duck tour or relax in the geothermal pools. Or enjoy the view from Skyline Rotorua while wine tasting.

      Tonight immerse yourself in Maori traditions at an authentic hangi dinner.

      Optional flight - Fly to Mount Tarawera including a volcanic landing. Additional expense.

      Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

    • Day 9 - Rotorua > Napier
      Highlights:
      Enrich - Mission Estate Winery

      Witness the force of nature at Huka Falls before cruising on Lake Taupo. Enjoy our overnight stay at in the home of Art Deco, Napier.

      Enrich

      Meet the makers at a special wine tasting and dinner at Mission Estate Winery.

      Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

    • Day 10 - Napier > Wellington
      Highlights:
      Art Deco Tour

      Take a walking tour of Napier’s Art Deco buildings. Discover the nation’s capital Wellington with your two night stay.

      Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

    • Day 11 - Wellington
      Highlights:
      Te Papa

      Explore Wellington’s sights on your city tour before visiting the National Museum of New Zealand, Te Papa.

      Enrich

      Take an in-depth journey of Te Papa to discover the treasures and stories of New Zealand’s land and people, told with authority and passion.

      Meals included: Breakfast

    • Day 12 - Wellington

      It’s time to bid a fond farewell to your new friends and the wonders of New Zealand.

      Meals included: Breakfast

  • Tour inclusions

    Scenic highlights
    • 5 exclusive Enrich experiences
    • Your choice of 17 Freechoice activities and dining
    • 1 Sundowners event
    • 1 memorable Special Stay
    • 20 meals – 11 breakfasts, 2 lunches and 7 dinners