Map of Premium New Zealand North Island including New Zealand

Immerse yourself in the beauty of the North Island

This is natural beauty on the biggest scale – soaring volcanoes, vast lakes and never-ending caves. Spend eight incredible days exploring the best of New Zealand’s North Island with the guidance of a passionate local leader. On a journey from Auckland to Wellington, sip local wine on Waiheke Island, explore the mythical world of Hobbiton, marvel at the geothermal delights of Rotorua, relax on the shores of Lake Taupo, explore the volcanic landscapes of Tongariro and sail across Wellington Harbor. This is an adventure that surprises at every turn.


Start
Auckland, New Zealand
Finish
Wellington, New Zealand
Destination
New Zealand
Style
Premium
Code
PHPN
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 11

Why you'll love this trip

premium accommodation

Our best accommodation and highest level of service.

premium experiences

Unusual, exceptional and authentic on-trip experiences.

premium knowledge

Led by our most experienced and highest rated local leaders.

  • Sip your way around Waiheke Island off the shores of Auckland, visiting three cellar doors to learn about their production methods and sample their goods.

  • Enter a magical underground world at the Waitomo Glow Worm Caves, taking a guided tour to discover stalactites, stalagmites, waterfalls and luminous glow worms.

  • Explore Middle-earth during a fascinating tour of Hobbiton, where the iconic Lord of the Rings movies were shot.

  • Uncover the geothermal wonders of Rotorua during a guided visit to Te Puia, home to hot springs, geysers, mud pools, a Maori art gallery and a kiwi conservation centre.

  • Be amazed by Tongariro National Park as you spend the day exploring its volcanic landscapes, then retire to your chateau-style feature stay.

  • Cruise across Wellington Harbor on your own private catamaran.

Is this trip right for you?

  • This trip is new to our range this year. Despite rigorous planning and research, new itineraries can sometimes throw us some unexpected surprises. More often than not, it’ll be a welcome surprise, but every now and again there might be a hiccup. We like to think that is what puts the ‘adventure’ in ‘adventure travel’.

  • There are walking opportunities throughout this trip. We recommend you bring good quality walking shoes if you're keen to enjoy a hike - or two!

Itinerary

Welcome to the North Island! Your adventure begins in Auckland, New Zealand’s most populated city, fringed with beaches, harbours, volcanoes and farmland. You’ll be collected from the airport and transferred to your hotel. A welcome meeting will take place here at 6pm, where you’ll meet your local leader and the other travellers joining you on this adventure. If you arrive in Auckland with time to spare, you may like to uncover the story of New Zealand rugby during an interactive All Blacks experience where you’ll learn about the heritage of the sport and find out what it takes to wear the famous black jersey. After your meeting, get to know your group over dinner at an atmospheric local bistro in the heart of the city, championing New Zealand producers.
Accommodation
  • Comfortable hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Auckland - Welcome Dinner
Meals Included
  • Dinner
Leave the bustle of the big city behind and head offshore to Waiheke Island, famed for its sandy beaches and glorious wine. Board a ferry from Auckland – if you’re really lucky you may even see dolphins or orcas along the way. The day will be spent sipping your way around the island, stopping off at three unique wineries to learn about their production methods, and of course tasting the goods yourself. You’ll also enjoy an included lunch on the island, not to mention a few scenic drives with plenty of opportunities for beautiful photos. Return to Auckland in the late afternoon with an evening free for your own discoveries of the city.
Accommodation
  • Comfortable hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Waiheke Island - Day Trip by Ferry
  • Waiheke Island - Winery Visits with Wine Tasting & Lunch
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
After breakfast this morning, hit the road and drive to the Waitomo Glow Worm Caves, an extensive underground network of tunnels and caverns decorated with stalactites, stalagmites and luminous glow worms. Join a local expert for an in-depth tour of the Ruakuri Cave, descending a spiral entrance to a magical world below. Discover fascinating limestone formations, hear the roar of subterranean waterfalls and learn about the glow worms that light up the caves. Continue to Hobbiton, where the epic Lord of the Rings movies were shot. Take a tour around the set with a local guide, hear stories about the production of these iconic films, explore Hobbit holes and enjoy a drink at the mythical Green Dragon Inn. Finally, travel to Rotorua, where you will spend the evening.
Accommodation
  • Wai Ora Lakeside Spa Resort or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Hobbiton - Visit to the Lord of the Rings Movie Set
  • Hobbiton - Drink at the Green Dragon
  • Waitomo - Ruakuri Glow Worm Cave Visit
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Today’s total driving time is approximately 5 hours.
Wake up in Rotorua to the unmistakable scent of sulphur coming off the town’s many geothermal pools. After breakfast, pay a visit to Te Puia, over 70 hectares of land within the Te Whakarewarewa Geothermal Valley, dotted with hot springs, mud pools and geysers. A local expert will take you on a walk to learn about these geothermal wonders, including Pohutu, the largest geyser in the southern hemisphere. Next experience the Kiwi Conservation Centre where you’ll have the chance to observe the beloved nocturnal bird in a darkened enclosure and learn about the sanctuary’s efforts to protect them. Swing by the Ahua Gallery and watch culturally significant Maori carving and weaving demonstrations. Lunch is a treat today - a traditional hangi feast cooked beneath the earth in traditional style. In the evening, perhaps consider an optional tour of the geysers by night.
Accommodation
  • Wai Ora Lakeside Spa Resort or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Rotorua - Visit to Te Puia Geothermal Area with Local Guide & Hangi Lunch
  • Rotorua - Ahua Gallery & Kiwi Conservation Centre
Optional Activities
  • Rotorua - Polynesian Spa - from - NZD34
  • Rotorua - Redwoods Treetop Walkway - NZD35
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Say goodbye to Rotorua and drive on to Taupo, sitting on the shores of Lake Taupo – the largest lake in New Zealand. The rest of the day is yours to discover all that this picturesque part of the country has to offer. One of the best ways to enjoy the lake is to get on its waters – speak to your leader to find out about the sustainable sailing and cruising options available to you this afternoon. You may like to try your hand at fishing, or perhaps take a flight over the spectacular Tongariro National Park.
Accommodation
  • Millenium Hotel or Similar (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Taupo - Flight across Tongariro National Park - from - NZD425
  • Taupo - Lake Taupo Fly Fishing Experience - from - NZD200
  • Taupo - Lake Taupo Sailing Excursion - NZD59
  • Taupo - Lake Taupo Sunset Cruise - NZD69
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Today’s total driving time is approximately 1.5 hours.
Today will be spent uncovering the natural wonders of Tongariro National Park, as spiritually significant as it is spectacular. Your leader will guide you on a scenic two-hour walk to the Taranaki Falls, an impressive 20-metre cascade tumbling over volcanic cliffs. Then it’s time for a ride with a view – take the Sky Waka gondola up the top of Mt Ruapehu and be treated to some truly unforgettable scenes on the way. Later in the day, head to your accommodation at the Powderhorn Chateau and settle in. The chateau provides a stunning base for the evening, surrounded by the soaring peaks of Ruapehu, Ngauruhoe and Tongariro – the views are simply unbeatable.
Accommodation
  • Powderhorn Chateau or Similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Tongariro National Park - Sky Waka Gondola Ride to Summit of Mt Ruapehu
  • Tongariro National Park - Taranaki Falls
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Special Information
Today’s total driving time is approximately 2 hours. Please note the Sky Waka Gondola is closed for maintenance in October and November.
This morning, make tracks for Wellington, New Zealand’s trendy capital city. After settling in, hop aboard a wonderful catamaran and get to know the city on an evening cruise around Wellington Harbour. Return to land after an hour and join your group for dinner at a fantastic waterfront restaurant – the perfect chance to reminisce about your North Island adventure.
Accommodation
  • Comfortable hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Wellington - Evening Cruise on Wellington Harbour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Special Information
Today’s total driving time is approximately 5 hours.
Your North Island adventure comes to an end after breakfast this morning. If you would like to spend more time exploring Wellington, just get in touch in advance and we’d be happy to arrange additional accommodation (subject to availability). Alternatively, combine this trip with Premium New Zealand South Island for the ultimate tour of this special land. Search Premium New Zealand Encompassed PHPZC, or speak with your booking agent for more details.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

7 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 2 dinners

Transport

Private vehicle, Catamaran, Ferry

Accommodation

Resort (3 nights), Hotel (4 nights)

Included activities

  • Auckland - Welcome Dinner
  • Waiheke Island - Day Trip by Ferry
  • Waiheke Island - Winery Visits with Wine Tasting & Lunch
  • Hobbiton - Visit to the Lord of the Rings Movie Set
  • Hobbiton - Drink at the Green Dragon
  • Waitomo - Ruakuri Glow Worm Cave Visit
  • Rotorua - Visit to Te Puia Geothermal Area with Local Guide & Hangi Lunch
  • Rotorua - Ahua Gallery & Kiwi Conservation Centre
  • Tongariro National Park - Sky Waka Gondola Ride to Summit of Mt Ruapehu
  • Tongariro National Park - Taranaki Falls
  • Wellington - Evening Cruise on Wellington Harbour

Premium Inclusions

  • Arrival airport transfer
  • Tipping for accommodation, activities and transport
  • Luggage transfer
  • Daily breakfast and signature local meal experiences
  • 24/7 on-ground support

Dates & availability

Trip departures are unavailable.

There are currently no scheduled departures on our Premium New Zealand North Island trip. If you are interested in other trips in the region visit one of the links below.

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Important notes

All travellers on Intrepid trips (outside Australia, New Zealand and the Cook Islands) are required to produce proof of full vaccination against COVID-19. From 1 December 2021, all travellers on Intrepid trips, including in Australia, New Zealand and the Cook Islands, are required to produce proof of full vaccination against COVID-19. Read details here.

SINGLE SUPPLEMENT
A Single Supplement is bookable on this trip, subject to availability at the time of booking. Please note that due to the small properties we use there is only a limited amount of single supplements available per trip departure. If you would like to book a single supplement and enquire about availability please speak to your booking agent.

Essential trip information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

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