Travel to a place of untold natural beauty and cultural intrigue – New Zealand's North Island

Be immersed in New Zealand’s indigenous Maori culture, including sampling the local Kai (food) and meeting Maori (first nation) people. Be awed by unique natural attractions of the central North Island including active volcanoes, geothermal features; bubbling mud pools, geysers and natural hot pools. This trip will educate and give you insight into the cultural integration of Aotearoa and in depth knowledge of how Maori lived pre European settlement.

Lock in your 2020 holiday for 25 ZAR

Book a 2020 trip by 29 February and you’ll only pay a 25 ZAR deposit to secure your spot.

Terms & Conditions

Start
Auckland, New Zealand
Finish
Auckland, New Zealand
Destination
New Zealand
Style
Comfort
Theme
Explorer, Indigenous Culture
Code
PHCNN
Physical rating
Ages
Min 8
Group size
Min 1, Max 15

Why you'll love this trip

  • Get off the beaten track and explore the lesser visited East of the North Island

  • Feel like you are in another world by taking a journey on the 'Forgotten World' rail, a disused Heritage Railway line now travelled either in pedal power or electric custom built buggies.

  • Stay in 3.5 - 4* hotels and unique accommodation

  • See the light installation amongst the Redwoods

  • Visit the Waitomo caves and see the glow worms

Is this trip right for you?

  • This trip is a combination of somewhat active activities and you will need to be reasonably agile to participate

  • Some meals are not included so you will need to factor into your budget those not included

Itinerary

Kia ora! Welcome to New Zealand.

Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6.00 PM on Day 1.

Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader.

Auckland is New Zealand's largest city with a population of just over one million people. There is a distinct Pacific flavour to the 'City of Sails' and this can be seen in the streets and the local markets. The vibrant waterfront region, built to its current state for the America's Cup sailing challenges, is now a well-frequented local bar and restaurant hub. If you have extra time you might like to take a day trip to one of the many outer islands found in the Hauraki Gulf. This trip doesn't spend much time in Auckland so we recommend you arrive a few days prior so you can explore. Spend the evening getting to know your new group over an optional dinner, if you wish.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Begin your adventure in Rotorua, the cultural capital of New Zealand, sitting just a short drive away from Auckland. After a lunchtime arrival, take some time to explore the area. The natural hiss and roar of the exploding geysers, the hypnotic bubble of the mud pools and the awning redwood canopies are just a few charms this diverse ecosystem has to offer.

An evening walk into the redwoods offers an unforgettable night-time experience as the forest comes to light. Incorporating unique designs from world-acclaimed sustainability champion David Trubridge, the forest becomes illuminated by a series of multi-coloured lanterns, creating an otherworldly ambience for those strolling through this mystical realm.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Rotorua - Redwoods Nightlights Walk
Optional Activities
  • Rotorua - Whitewater Rafting - NZD109
  • Rotorua - Forest Ziplining - NZD149
  • Rotorua - Redwoods Mountain Biking - NZD60
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Spend the morning experiencing more of the exciting activities that Rotorua has to offer at your own pace – this geothermal wonderland has plenty of hot pools, spas or volcanic landscapes to uncover if you’re feeling adventurous.

After lunch, head completely off the beaten track to experience the real New Zealand (Aotearoa). Travel inland to share experiences with a local Maori family. Take a guided tour through the township, witness a traditional haka powhiri performance from the local children and finish up at a meeting house for afternoon tea with the elders. Weave a bracelet out of flax, play local stick games and learn the haka for yourself, then sit down to a Hangi buffet feast.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Traditional Maori Hangi dinner & performance
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Start off at Whakatane for an optional scenic trip to White Island, known in naïve Maori as Te Puia o Whakaari – ‘the dramatic volcano’. After arriving at sunny Gisborne, take in some of the world-class surf beaches and quality vineyards. This history rich city has played a crucial part in the country’s origins – not only did the Maori migratory wakas Horouta and Takitimu bring the first natives to the area, but Captain James Cook made his first New Zealand landfall at this site in 1796. Explore the city at your own pace, or speak to your leader for optional activities to do around the city. Definitely consider sampling some of the local wines in this ‘Chardonnay Capital of New Zealand’.
Accommodation
  • Motel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Murupara - Local community visit
Optional Activities
  • Whakatane - White Island Volcano scenic flight (60 minutes) - NZD249
  • Gisborne - Feed and snorkelling with stingrays - NZD70
  • Gisborne - Group Surfing lesson - NZD60
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Napier's city centre has the feeling of a time capsule - the seamless line of 1930s architecture is quite extraordinary. One of the ways to enjoy the streetscape is on a guided walk with your Intrepid guide. Take in all of the Art and amazing Wines that are on offer.

Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Travel inland to Taupo, home to Australasia’s largest freshwater filled crater lake. Take to the lake by boat. Experience a thrilling, scenic journey out to the Maori rock carvings, taking in splendid views of Te Kopua and Acacia Bay en route as you glide across the waters. Depending on the season, a swimming stop can be made to take a dip in the inviting (or freezing!) waters – be sure you bring a camera to snap some breathtaking views along the way.

Then it’s onto Taumarunui full of lots of greenery and friendly locals
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
You’ll be up early this morning to enjoy the best of both worlds, encountering 10 tunnels and 20 bridges, as you travel 40km by rail and 23km by jet boat on the Wanganui River, a mixture of nostalgia and adrenaline. The afternoon is then spent in the Waitomo Caves area, a great place for short walks and small adventures.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Taumarunui - Forgotten World Adventures pedal rail journey
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
This morning you have the opportunity to explore the Waitomo caves by foot and go deep inside what’s hidden from those above the ground. Unfortunately no photos are allowed but be sure to relax and enjoy if you choose to do a guided tour, you won’t regret it! Tonight in Auckland you will have a farewell dinner with the group.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Waitomo - Caves Entrance - NZD62
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Your trip ends after breakfast today.
Optional Activities
  • Auckland - Electric Ride Around Auckland - Urban Adventure - Free
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.

Meals

7 breakfasts, 1 dinner

Transport

Private vehicle

Accommodation

Hotel (7 nights), Motel (1 night)

Included activities

  • Rotorua - Redwoods Nightlights Walk
  • Traditional Maori Hangi dinner & performance
  • Murupara - Local community visit
  • Taumarunui - Forgotten World Adventures pedal rail journey

Dates & availability

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Important notes

1. Day 1 of this trip is an arrival day, you can arrive in Auckland at any time and check into your hotel.
2. Trip finishes after breakfast on day 8. Onward travel can be booked at any time.

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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