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12 Day North Island Explorer Southbound Itinerary
This tour of New Zealand captures the highlights of the country's North Island. Discover the Bay of Islands and visit Huka Falls, Waitomo, Nelson and Kaikoura.
Day 1 Auckland
Arrive early to make the most of the distinctive Pacific flavour of Auckland, New Zealand's largest city. Enjoy a cosmopolitan vibe and a wide variety of restaurants and cafes.
Days 2-3 Bay of Islands
Cross green farmland and peer up at the ancient trees of the kauri forests on the way the unforgettable Bay of Islands. Set out exploring the pristine natural beauty of the Bay Islands by kayak or boat, or travel out to the quaint village of Russell for a taste of old-world New Zealand.
Day 4 Waitomo
Check out the limestone caves and glow worms of Waitomo. Opt to get a feel for this underground wonderland on a black-water rafting expedition, which will have you floating down underground rivers in an inner tube.
Day 5 Rotorua
Geysers, bubbling mud pools and volcanic cliffs shaped by seismic forces make Rotorua a must-see while travelling in New Zealand. This popular resort town also boasts a fine selection of restaurants and cafes.
Days 6-7 Taupo/Mt Ruapehu
Visit the beautiful Huka Falls on the way to Taupo. While in Taupo, take the opportunity to bungee jump or jet boat - this is the extreme sports capital of the North Island after all! Be inspired and captivated by the majesty of Mt Ruapehu. For the energetic, a hike along the Tongariro Crossing is highly recommended.
Day 8 Wellington
Spend time exploring Te Papa Tongarewa museum. In free time perhaps jump in the cable car to the Botanic Gardens for spectacular views of Wellington city and harbour.
Days 9-10 Nelson
Cruise the Marlborough Sounds from the North to the South Island on the way to Nelson. Be sure to make time to visit Abel Tasman National Park or perhaps indulge in a local winery tour.
Day 11 Kaikoura
Travel to Kaikoura, where animal lovers can spot sperm whales, dolphins, seals and wandering albatrosses in this wildlife mecca.
Day 12 Christchurch
End the adventure on arrival in Christchurch. If time permits, why not book in a few extra days to enjoy this picturesque city's laidback vibe and witness the various initiatives aimed at getting the city back on track post-earthquake.
Our small group style of travel means you’ll stay under the radar, travel the local way, eat the local way and sleep the local way.
Small groups, big adventures.
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