Map of New Zealand's North Island Adventure (Southbound) including New Zealand

Buckle up for the ultimate North Island adventure

From heart-racing moments to awe-inspiring scenery, a road trip through New Zealand’s North Island is one to remember for a lifetime. Join a local leader for an 8-day adventure taking in epic landscapes, wildlife and culture. Take it easy at Coromandel’s Hot Water Beach, check out simmering mud pools and geysers in Rotorua, learn the Haka and tuck into a traditional hangi at a Maori village and make the most of all Taupo has to offer. Whether you’re looking to amp it up or take it slow, the North Island has you covered.

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Terms & Conditions

Start
Auckland, New Zealand
Finish
Wellington, New Zealand
Destination
New Zealand
Style
Basix
Theme
Explorer
Code
PHRN
Physical rating
Ages
Min 18
Group size
Min 4, Max 16

Why you'll love this trip

  • A little piece of paradise awaits on the Coromandel Peninsula – dig your own natural hot tub on Hot Water Beach and check out the much-photographed Cathedral Cove.

  • Experience the geothermal delights of Rotorua, watch New Zealand’s largest geyser erupt and observe adorable kiwis in a nocturnal house at a conservation centre.

  • Head to a Maori village where profits from your visit are fed back into the community, learn the haka and Maori weaving before tucking into a traditional hangi dinner.

  • Chill out next to New Zealand’s largest lake in Taupo. Whether you fancy bungy-jumping, sky diving, kayaking or relaxing, Taupo has something for you.

  • With a local leader at the wheel, every journey will be one to remember, broken up with stops in scenic spots well off the tourist trail.

Is this trip right for you?

  • This trip is operated and run by our trusted partner Haka Tours. You will be travelling with a mixture of both Haka customers and Intrepid customers. Intrepid works closely with Haka Tours to ensure that all of our customers enjoy their time in New Zealand.

Itinerary

Welcome to the North Island! Your adventure begins in Auckland where you’ll meet up with your local leader and new travel buddies for an 8am welcome meeting and included breakfast. You won’t hang around in the city for long – after your meeting, get on the road and travel towards the Coromandel Peninsula. This super scenic drive sets the tone for the rest of your journey, as you cruise down the coastline past views of glittering water and white sands. The Coromandel Peninsula is known for its lush rainforests and gorgeous beaches, but there’s one that tops them all! Hot Water Beach is made famous by the warm waters that run beneath its sand, meaning all you need to do to make your own hot tub is dig a hole. If the tide times line up with your visit, take advantage of this unusual phenomenon and relax in a natural hot tub. Continue to Whitianga, where your leader will show you around the laidback town. The rest of the day is yours to chill out on the beach or enjoy the cool little town.
Accommodation
  • Multi-share hostel with shared facilities (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Coromandel Peninsula - Cathedral Cove
  • Coromandel Peninsula - Hot Water Beach
Optional Activities
  • Coromandel Peninsula - Cathedral Cove Kayaking - NZD131
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
It’s very important that you meet the group at 8am this morning to begin your tour. Find more details in the ‘Joining Point Instructions’ section of your Essential Trip Information. If you are going to be late, we recommend spending a night before your tour begins in Auckland. If so, we’ll be happy to organise additional accommodation (subject to availability).
Take a deeper dive into the inspiring landscapes of the Coromandel Peninsula with a walk along the clifftops and down to Cathedral Cove, one of the region’s most beautiful and photogenic spots – the rock arches, columns and pristine beaches are a truly impressive sight. While here you may like to take the chance to explore the coastline on a guided kayaking tour – if you do, be sure to keep an eye out for dolphins swimming alongside the boat! In the afternoon, pay a visit to Matamata, where Lord of the Rings fans will have the opportunity to take a tour of Hobbiton. If you’re not keen on the movie set tour, there are heaps of beautiful walks in the area. Continue to the special town of Rotorua, known for its incredible geothermal activity and Maori culture.
Accommodation
  • Multi-share hostel with shared facilities (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
There’s so much to see and do in Rotorua, so today is free to discover it all. Have a chat to your local leader for tips on how to get the most out of your day here. You may like to take an unforgettable stroll through Kuirau Park, surrounded by bubbling and boiling mud pools. If you feel like getting your heart racing, the Kaituna River is one of the world’s top white water rafting destinations. A day trip to the Waitomo Caves is a must for anyone interested in seeing glow worms – this illuminated underground world really has to be seen to be believed!
Accommodation
  • Multi-share hostel with shared facilities (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Rotorua - River Sledging - NZD114
  • Rotorua - Mt Tarawera Crater Hike - NZD156
  • Rotorua - Guided Glowworm Kayak, Hot Pools & Dinner - NZD252
  • Rotorua - Forest Ziplining Canopy Tour - NZD156
  • Rotorua - Whitewater Rafting - NZD109
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Start the day with a visit to the Te Puia Maori Village, where you’ll get firsthand insight into Maori culture. You’ll also have the chance to see Pohutu, New Zealand’s largest geyser, in action – this is a sight that will blow you away! A visit to the kiwi conservation centre will allow you to observe this endearing nocturnal bird as it behaves at night. This afternoon, travel to the Kohutapu Lodge in Murupara – the majority of proceeds from the activities you take part in here are fed back into the local community. You’ll be greeted by a Maori elder who will show you around the Ngati Manawa Tribal Lands while sharing the history and culture of this tribe. Meet with other members of the village and learn a famous haka war dance, then weave a plate for tonight’s dinner out of flax plants. Dinner tonight is one for the books – tuck into a traditional hangi meal, cooked underground to create a delicious, earthy flavour.
Accommodation
  • Multi-share hostel with shared facilities (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Murupara - Learn the Haka
  • Murupara - Learn to Weave Flax
  • Murupara - Hangi Dinner
  • Rotorua - Visit Te Puia Maori Village
  • Rotorua - Pohutu Geyser
  • Murupara - Village Tour with Maori Elder
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Hit the road this morning and head to Taupo, but not before making some interesting stops along the way. Check out simmering mud pools, the rushing waters of the Huka Falls and the impressive Aratiatia Dam and rapids. Arrive in Taupo, nestled into the shores of Lake Taupo, New Zealand’s largest lake. With calm waters fringed by mountains, this is one of the prettiest spots in the country. If you’re after an adrenaline rush, you’re in the right place! The afternoon is yours to try out bungy jumping or skydiving, or you may prefer to take it easy with peaceful sunset lake cruise.
Accommodation
  • Multi-share hostel with shared facilities (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Taupo - Skydive - NZD293
  • Taupo - Water Touch Bungee - NZD189
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
The day is yours to enjoy all Taupo has to offer. Chill out lakeside to soak in the inspiring views, or get active and take on one of the awesome hiking trails in the area. If you’re feeling extra adventurous, the Tongariro Crossing in the nearby Tongariro National Park is considered one of the best one-day walks in the world (but it’s not for the faint hearted!). Carved into the cliff faces surrounding Lake Taupo you’ll find 14-metre-tall Maori artwork that can only be accessed on a boat trip. Want to relax and unwind? A visit to the natural hot pools at Otumuheke Stream is a must! However you decide to spend the day, it’s sure to be one to remember.
Accommodation
  • Multi-share hostel with shared facilities (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Taupo - Tongariro Crossing Day Trip - NZD331
  • Taupo - Lake Taupō Sailing - NZD53
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Get ready for a long drive from Taupo to Wellington with views so incredible you’ll wish the drive was longer! Weave through the barren landscapes of the Rangipo Desert and pass through Tongariro National Park. Look out for the volcanic peaks of Mount Ruapehu, Mount Tongariro and Mount Ngauruhoe, the latter of which was used as Mount Doom in the Lord of the Rings film trilogy. Your local leader will ensure your journey is broken up with plenty of interesting and photo-worthy stops. Arrive into Wellington, New Zealand’s cool and creative capital city. There should be time for a visit to Weta Workshop, the special effects studio famous for its work on Lord of the Rings, King Kong and Avatar. Celebrated for its amazing food and craft beer scene, Welly is the perfect place to grab dinner and a drink with your group.
Included Activities
  • Wellington - Mount Victoria Lookout
  • Tongariro National Park - Scenic Drive
Optional Activities
  • Wellington - Weta Workshop - NZD29
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Your North Island adventure wraps up this morning after breakfast. Keen to see more of Wellington? Get in touch ahead of time and we’d be happy to arrange additional accommodation (subject to availability).
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

8 breakfasts, 1 dinner

Transport

Private vehicle

Accommodation

Multi-share hostel with shared facilities (7 nights)

Included activities

  • Coromandel Peninsula - Cathedral Cove
  • Coromandel Peninsula - Hot Water Beach
  • Murupara - Learn the Haka
  • Murupara - Learn to Weave Flax
  • Murupara - Hangi Dinner
  • Rotorua - Visit Te Puia Maori Village
  • Rotorua - Pohutu Geyser
  • Murupara - Village Tour with Maori Elder
  • Wellington - Mount Victoria Lookout
  • Tongariro National Park - Scenic Drive

Dates & availability

Trip departures are unavailable.

There are currently no scheduled departures on our New Zealand's North Island Adventure (Southbound) 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.

ROOMING
Accommodation on this trip is in dormitory style hostels, with 4 to 6 people per room on a mixed-gender basis.

PRIVATE ROOM SUPPLEMENT
A supplement for a private room is bookable on this trip, subject to availability at the time of booking. If you are a single traveller this will give you a single room, if you are travelling as a couple a double room will be allocated to you. Please note that due to the small properties we use there is only a limited amount of private room supplements available per trip departure. If you would like to book this service or enquire about availability please speak to your booking agent.

START & END TIME
This trip start with an early morning meeting over breakfast on day 1 and ends after breakfast on the last day.

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.

View Essential Trip Information

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