12 Day North Island Explorer Southbound Itinerary

This tour of New Zealand captures the highlights of the country's North Island. Cruise the Bay of Islands, visit Huka Falls, Waitomo, Nelson and Kaikoura.

    • 12
    • PTONU
    • Total price tool tip
    • Original
There is a later version of this trip also available for travel from May 1, 2015 to May 31, 2016. View later 12 Day North Island Explorer Southbound.
Maori wood carving


Bubbling geyser, Rotorua

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 well positioned cafes that bask in the lively atmosphere.
ACCOM: Lodge - 1

Days 2-3 Bay of Islands

Cross lush green farmland and peer up at the ancient trees of the kauri forests before arriving in the legendary Bay of Islands. Explore this spectacular region by kayak, on walks or by boat.
ACCOM: Lodge - 2

Day 4 Waitomo

Discover Waitomo, which is famous for its limestone caves, glow worms and blackwater rafting - an unforgettable trip involving hiking and descending an underground river floating on an inner tube.
ACCOM: Lodge - 1

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.
ACCOM: Lodge - 1

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 recommended.
ACCOM: Lodge - 2

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.
ACCOM: Lodge - 1

Days 9-10 Nelson

On the way to Nelson, take a ferry across the Marlborough Sounds from the North to the South Island. Be sure to make time to visit Abel Tasman National Park or perhaps indulge in a local winery tour.
ACCOM: Lodge - 2

Day 11 Kaikoura

Travel to Kaikoura, where animal lovers can spot sperm whales, dolphins, seals and wandering albatrosses in this wildlife mecca.
ACCOM: Lodge - 1

Day 12 Christchurch

Finish this northern New Zealand adventure in Christchurch.