Experience the best of New Zealand’s spectacular North Island
The South Island may have larger-than-life landscapes, but the North Island has a bit of everything. Discover the best of New Zealand’s North Island – with a taste of the South Island too – on this action-packed and well-rounded Kiwi adventure from Auckland to Christchurch. Soak up the summer vibes in the Bay of Islands with kayaking and stunning short walks; experience Waitomo’s glow worm-riddled caves; learn the ancient ways of the Maori people in geyser-rich Rotorua; hike the iconic Tongariro Crossing at Mt Ruapehu; visit Wellington’s superb Te Papa museum; explore Nelson and Abel Tasman National Park; and go dolphin and whale watching in Kaikoura. With so many options packed into this 12-day itinerary, this is the North Island at its finest.
Discover Waitomo's incredible limestone cave system, with night walks to see the glow worms – or better yet, some underground black-water rafting
Watch geysers erupt on traditional Maori lands in Rotorua, and take the Maori experience to the next level with an optional cultural performance and traditional hangi feast
This trip has plenty of spectacular waterfalls, but Huka Falls is one you’ll want to pack the camera for. Get up close and personal with this foaming blue powerhouse en route to Taupo
The Tongariro Crossing is simply New Zealand’s greatest hike, with scenery that must be seen to be believed. And with a cosy mountain lodge as a base, there’s plenty of time to unwind before and after in the spa
Wellington is nirvana for epicureans, but the food and drink is only the start. Visit the world-class Te Papa Tongarewa museum for fascinating insight into Maori and Pacific cultures
Hit the trails of Abel Tasman National Park, the small but stunning coastal wilderness near sunny Nelson
Whales and dolphins watching in Kaikoura is sure to be a trip highlight for marine life enthusiasts, and the chances of sightings are high
The Tongariro Crossing is not an easy hike, so be prepared! It’s 20 kilometres long, and especially challenging in the wet. But it’s the best hike in the whole country, which is saying a lot in a country like New Zealand! So rest assured it’s worth the effort.
Accommodation on this trip isn't luxurious, but it's comfortable enough for you to relax after a day of adventure.
There are more optional activities on this trip than included ones. These activities range from trekking moderate hiking trails to white water rafting, so you'll be able to choose your own adventure level.
You'll be spending quite a lot of time in a minibus as you travel through the islands. The bus may be small, but it's comfortable, and offers a great opportunity to get to know your fellow travellers and gaze at passing landscapes.
This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 January 2018 to 30 June 2019. View the itinerary for departures between 01 October 2019 - 31 December 2020
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There are currently no scheduled departures on our New Zealand North Island Explorer (ex Auckland) trip. If you are interested in other trips in the region visit one of the links below.
1. Tour commences in Auckland with group meeting on day 1 at 6:00pm and finishes on arrival in Christchurch on day 12 at approx 6PM. Please take this into consideration when booking any onward flights. We recommend you book accommodation in advance and extend your stay.
2. A single supplement is available on this trip.
Our New Zealand North Island Explorer (ex Auckland) trips score an average of 4.74 out of 5 based on 27 reviews in the last year.
I have never faulted Intrepid travel as a solo traveller I never felt alone in all the countries I have travelled though. I love there way of travel small groups whether it be basic. original or comfort. I will defiantly be booking many more trips with them.
Review submitted 04 Jun 2018
A great way to see New Zealand's highlights efficiently. Because of lack of good public transport and the long distance between sites, this trip offers a cost-efficient way of seeing the most in a short period. Lots of optional activities allow you to tailor your experience.
Review submitted 21 Mar 2018