TOURS & BUS PASSES / 10 Day North Island Explorer Tour

10 Day North Island Explorer Tour

This nine day tour departing from Auckland will allow you to experience the very best of the North Island. Leave no corner of the North Island unturned with plenty of time to take in all of the highlights. 

You'll explore the Winterless North, Cathedral Cove, the central plateau, New Zealand's capital city and more. Read on to find out more about this incredible North Island adventure.  


  • Wildlife cruise in the Bay Of Islands
  • Hike to Cathedral Cove in Coromandel
  • Cultural Night and experience Rotorua
  • Experience life on a Working Sheep Farm
  • Get a Taste For Life on a Working Farm
  • Hike the famous Tongariro Alpine Crossing
  • Visit the Te Papa Museum for some culture in Wellington

What's Included

All transport: You'll travel in our comfortable mid-sized coaches around New Zealand.

Experienced tour guide: Expect entertaining commentary, insight into local secrets and extra support from your tour guide.

Accommodation: 9 nights’ quad share accommodation in a variety of quality backpacker hostels, wilderness lodges and cabins. Upgrades to twin (NZD $365pp) and single (NZD $660) rooms are available.

Meals: 8 breakfasts, 1 lunch and 6 dinners

Top rated activities:

- Tree hugging at Parry Kauri Forest
- Swim at scenic Waipu Cove
- Bay of Islands Wildlife Cruise
- Ferry ride across Hokianga Harbour
- Sand boarding
- Visit Waipoua Forest and Tane Mahuta (NZ’s largest Kauri tree)
- Swim at Kai Iwi Lakes
- Walk to the world famous Cathedral Cove
- Kai cooking demonstration
- Visit Hot Water Beach 
- See bubbling hot mud pools in Rotorua
- Experience Maori culture at Tamaki Maori Village
- 4WD eco-wilderness farm tour
- Tongariro Alpine Crossing

Important Notes

  • Departure Time / Location: 7am pick-up at your accommodation
  • Finish Time: Late afternoon arrival in Auckland

Book Now

PRICE: $1,695 NZD

Number of Days 10

Starts: Auckland Finishes: Auckland

Tour Type: Small Group Tour


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Tour Itinerary EXPAND ALL

The tour starts bright and early from Auckland to head north to Paihia with stops on the way to see giant kauri trees and to hike to a beautiful waterfall. Snorkel off the beach with the marine life at Goat Island followed by a trip to the historic Waitangi Treaty Grounds (own expense). After settling into our accommodation, the evening is yours to relax. (D)


Hostel near the beach.


Tree hugging huge kauri trees at Parry Kauri Forest, snorkel Goat Island

This morning we take a scenic cruise around the beautiful Bay of Islands, a collection of 144 islands bursting with marine life, and there’s no better way to see it than by boat. Keep a watchful eye out and you may see wild dolphins!

In the afternoon it’s off to the Hokianga Harbour, where we will see the huge sand dunes. Tonight you have the option to take part in a Maori-guided twilight encounter, where you’ll visit the Waipoua Forest, learn about Maori legends and the spiritual inhabitants of the forest, and visit the largest kauri tree in the world, the “God of the Forest” Tane Mahuta (own expense). Finish the day with a Kiwi classic for dinner, traditional fish and chips. Includes breakfast and dinner.


Waterside Lodge


Hole in the Rock cruise is included.

We start the morning with a ferry ride across the Hokianga Harbour to experience the thrill of sand boarding down massive dunes (weather dependant) before we start to make our way south through the mighty Waipoua Forest. Here we will have the opportunity to visit NZ’s largest kauri trees. We visit the idyllic Kai Iwi Lakes for a swim in the beautiful crystal clear waters surrounded by a pure white sandy beach, before returning to the ‘big smoke’ for a late afternoon arrival. Includes breakfast.


Central city hostel


Included: Hokianga Ferry ride, sand boarding, visit Waipoua Forest (NZ’s largest Kauri trees), swim in the Kai Iwi Lakes

We depart Auckland and head south east, stopping for a walk to the famous Cathedral Cove- a ‘must see’ on the Coromandel Peninsula.

Afterwards we’ll drive to Hot Water Beach, a unique surf beach where you dig a hole in the sand and sit in your own personal spa pool (tide dependent). In the afternoon there will be time for a kayaking tour (own expense) before we feast on a delicious BBQ for dinner.


Comfortable beachside accommodation


Walk to Cathedral Cove, and kayaking tour (as add-on). Dig a hole at Hot Water Beach

Today we head for Rotorua to discover an area well-known for its Maori heritage, adventure and geothermal activity. Here you will get the chance to do some great optional activities, such as a visit to Hobbiton. And in the evening we will be welcomed into the authentic Tamaki Maori Village, where you will discover Maori art, ancient rituals and traditions. Tonight we dine on a delicious hangi (Maori feast), enjoy an interactive cultural performance and the company of our Maori hosts. After dinner, relax in the mineral pools back at your accommodation. Includes breakfast and dinner.


Central city lodge


Cultural experience with traditional hangi meal, kapa haka (Maori song and dance) and interactive cultural performance. Optional add-ons are a visit to Hobbiton, white water rafting, Zorbing, the Luge

You have a full free day in Rotorua to discover an area well-known for its Maori heritage, adventure activities and geothermal wonders. Here you have plenty of great optional activities to choose from, such as white water rafting, ziplining through native bush, mountain biking and much more. A great option to finish the day is to spend the evening soaking in the hot pools at the luxurious Polynesian Spa.


Central city lodge


Optional paid activities: visit Hobbiton, whitewater rafting, zorbing, luging, ziplining, mountain biking, Polynesian spa

It’s a very early start this morning so we can make our way to the UNESCO World Heritage Site Tongariro National Park, where you’ll get the chance to do what is rated as one of the world’s best one day walks, the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. Trek through dramatic natural scenery past volcanic peaks, vast craters and stunning turquoise lakes on one of the most spectacular treks in New Zealand. Alternatively you can go on one the shorter walks within this volcanic region or visit the Volcanic Centre Museum. Includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.


Alpine lodge


Free activities: Tongariro Alpine Crossing and transfers or Taranaki and Tawhai  falls walks

After your big day of hiking, you get a chance to sleep in because we won’t depart until mid-morning. Our destination today is one of the most remote parts of the North Island accessible by road. We’re heading for the award winning Blue Duck Station in Whakahoro, a 7,200 acre high country farm that is both a working sheep and beef station and an environmental conservation leader. This afternoon you get the opportunity to take part in a 4WD Bush Safari and farm adventure, where you’ll explore this vast land and the New Zealand native bush, discover the remains of an unbelievable local history, and learn about the farm’s conservation efforts. Your dinner tonight is cooked using local produce. Includes breakfast and dinner.


Blue Duck Lodge


Included: 4WD eco-wilderness farm adventure

We depart early to arrive into Wellington around midday. Wellington is known as the ‘coolest little capital in the world’ thanks to Lonely Planet, and it’s a great place to check out the lively arts, shopping and craft beer and café culture scene. As New Zealand’s capital city, it is home to New Zealand’s parliament and the iconic Beehive government building. This afternoon, you have the option to tour the world famous Weta Workshop, marvel at the natural and cultural wonders of Te Papa National Museum or wander along the waterfront Oriental Parade. Includes breakfast.


Central city hostel


Optional paid activities: Weta Workshop, Te Papa National Museum, craft beer sampling

Today is an express journey from Wellington to Auckland.  We stop along the way for photos and to have lunch in the township of a dual World Heritage area – National Park. Includes breakfast.


Scenic drive back to Auckland. 

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1 reviews
March 2018

The North Island is incredible and will 100% be back to do the South Island. PlanitNZ made it all so simple and highly recommend them. Thank you for all of your help and for such an amazing experience.

Trip Date: February 2018

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