Call Scenic 138 128

Northern Explorer

This 12-day Northern Explorer tour showcases the best of New Zealand's north island, starting in Auckland & journeying to Wellington via the Bay of Islands.

12 Day
From (AUD)
$ 5,495
  • 2018/2019 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. 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 captivating M-aori 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:



    12 Days

    Departure City:


    Return City:


  • 12 Day Itinerary

    • Day 1 - Auckland

      Kia ora and welcome to Auckland for your two night Special Stay. Celebrate the wonder of New Zealand at tonight’s welcome dinner.

      Meals included: Dinner

    • Day 2 - Auckland

      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, as you 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, Degree Gastrobar, Orbit 360 Restaurant at Sky City or dinner at the hotel’s Grand Millennium Brasserie.

      Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

    • Day 3 - Auckland > Omapere

      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.


      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.


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

      Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

    • Day 4 - Omapere > Paihia

      Cruise the calm inland waters of the Bay of Islands with lunch included or enjoy a ferry ride to Russell, the birthplace of European settlement in New Zealand. Alternatively, discover the very best of the Bay on a scenic cruise and journey through the Hole in the Rock (weather permitting).

      Your base for the next two nights is Paihia.

      Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

    • Day 5 - Paihia

      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

      Discover the birthplace of modern New Zealand at the Waitangi Treaty Grounds with a Maori guide


      Enjoy an authentic Maori cultural performance inside the beautifully carved meeting house.

      Later, return to your hotel in Auckland for your overnight Special Stay.

      Meals included: Breakfast

    • Day 7 - Auckland > Rotorua

      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 M-a ori culture and bubbling mud pools. Explore the National Kiwi Trust’s kiwi hatchery and nursery on a guided tour. Enjoy your two night stay at  Rotorua.

      Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

    • Day 8 - Rotorua

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


      Witness a sheep show or take an amphibious duck tour of Rotorua’s city and lakes. Alternatively, relax in the geothermal pools or travel via gondola to Skyline Rotorua for extensive views over the city and winetasting.

      Immerse yourself in Maori traditions and culture at your authentic hangi dinner tonight.

      Optional Flight 
      Take a flight to Mount Tarawera including a volcanic landing. (Additional expense)

      Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

    • Day 9 - Rotorua > Napier

      Hear and see the force of nature at Huka Falls before cruising magnificent Lake Taupo. Enjoy your overnight stay in Napier.


      Meet the makers at a special wine tasting and dinner tonight at Mission Estate or similar in the award-winning Hawke’s Bay wine region.

      Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

    • Day 10 - Napier > Wellington

      Take a walking tour through Napier’s Art Deco buildings, view the famous landmarks of Napier on a vintage car tour or discover a diverse range of aquatic animals and wildlife at the Napier Aquarium.

      Explore the nation’s capital Wellington during your two night stay.

      Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

    • Day 11 - Wellington

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


      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 19 Freechoice activities and dining
    • 1 Sundowners event
    • 1 memorable Special Stay
    • 20 meals – 11 breakfasts, 2 lunches and 7 dinners