A perfect way to get a taste of New Zealand by exploring the beautiful Bay of Islands in three days and two nights. These sub-tropical islands, 140 in total are a taste of New Zealand nature and culture for those who only have a short time to travel in New Zealand.
All about the 10 Day Best of The North Island New Zealand Auckland to Auckland Winter Tour
Spend 10 days and 9 nights exploring the North Island including the famous surf beach of Raglan, Maori cultural sites, Tongariro National Park, a stunning conservation farm and the nation's capital of Wellington.
You'll travel along the Thermal Explorer Highway and experience hot water beach, the bubbling mud pools of Rotorua, Lake Taupo: a crater lake caused by the biggest eruption New Zealand has ever seen and the nation's capital of Wellington.
Visit our unique off the beaten track locations in New Zealand. Lake Aniwhenua a beautiful lake is off the regular tourist track and is rich in Maori culture and beautiful scenery. Whakahoro is off the beaten track, true outdoor playground., along an unsealed road, in the Ruapehu District on the banks of the Whanganui and Retaruke Rivers, and surrounded by Whanganui National park. You will stay at Blue Duck Station, a 5,200-acre high country farm that is a working station.
This New Zealand tour is an off the beaten track adventure, some bus companies will take you straight from A to B with barely a toilet break in between but, with us, you will experience great stops and inclusions en route to your next destination. A typical travel day can see you stopping off for a short walk to a waterfall, climbing to a lookout for a photo opportunity, pausing at an unusual piece of New Zealand art along the roadside, or stopping to check out a wild fur seal colony. You’ll fit so much more into your NZ road trip!
We know we live in an incredible country, and we are committed to playing our part, as an environmentally sustainable tourism operator, to keep it that way! We have been awarded the Enviro-Gold accreditation from Qualmark which is the highest accolade for quality, sustainably operated tourism operators in New Zealand. Qualmark recognizes businesses that a focused on protecting what makes New Zealand unique and special and at Stray, protecting our beautiful natural environment, enhancing local communities and delivering a high quality, safe experience for our passengers are things we feel extremely passionate about!
Travel in a small group with all transport by mini-bus or coach. We include all accommodation in quad share style rooms or upgraded if requested. You will be fully guided on tour with entertaining commentary by an expert including a few local secrets and plenty of support as you travel our wonderful country. You will stay with the same group on tour, meaning you will make lifelong friends while ticking off those bucket list destinations!
The perfect adventure for the North Island in winter!
10 Day Best of The North Island New Zealand Auckland to Auckland Winter Tour Itinerary - 10 days
Auckland to Hahei
Depart Auckland at 7:30am and head south to the Coromandel Peninsula via the old colonial town of Thames. We’ll settle into our accommodation in Hahei before heading to Hot Water Beach, where you can dig your own natural spa pool in the sand (tidal dependent).
Accommodation: Exclusive accommodation by the waterfront
Included Activities: Hot Water Beach visit
Day in Hahei
Today you have a full free day to embrace the laid-back Coromandel lifestyle. Get up early to catch the sunrise on the beach, then take a scenic coastal walk or opt to kayak to stunning Cathedral Cove. You can also take a guided boat tour through the cliffs and caves of the nearby marine reserve.
Accommodation: Exclusive accommodation by the waterfront
Optional Activities: Kayaking, guided boat tour
Free Activities: Walk to Cathedral Cove, sunrise on the beach
Hahei to Rotorua
Our drive today will take us through the Waikato region to Rotorua. You will have to option to a guided tour through the world famous Hobbiton Movie Set. Even if you’re not a fan, this truly unique experience which explores a whimsical garden village, home to Frodo and Bilbo in Peter Jackson’s epic trilogies is loved by all. If this is not for you, then you can continue on to Rotorua where there are plenty of other activities on offer. The Hobbiton goers will return early evening.
Accommodation included: Comfortable central city hostel
Optional activities: Hobbiton Movie Set tour, white-water rafting, zorbing, adrenaline-fuelled adventure park (big swings, bungees and more) Free activities: Whakarewarewa Redwood Forest walk
Often labelled the adventure capital of the North Island, you have a full free day in Rotorua to discover an area rich in Maori heritage, adventure activities and bubbling geothermal wonders. There are plenty of exciting local activities to get the adrenaline pumping, such as whitewater rafting, ziplining through native bush, zorbing or a truly unique guided jet boat adventure up to bath in a hot waterfall. You can opt to visit the incredible Waitomo Caves, or head out on the highly regarded White Island tour. The choice is yours!
Accommodation included: Comfortable central city hostel
Optional activities: Waitomo caving trip, White Island tour, river jet tour, zip lining, zorbing, geothermal parks, luging, Maori village & performance experience
Rotorua to Lake Aniwhenua
Today we head further off the beaten track to the remote area of Lake Aniwhenua. A local Maori guide will share the area’s history and lead us to visit the area’s sacred archaeological sites. Tonight, your hosts will teach you how to prepare a traditional 'Hangi' (a feast cooked underground) and introduce you to a fun stick game to challenge your hand-eye coordination. For those visiting during school term, you will be both touched and inspired as you learn about a local community program in which Stray passengers are participating. (D)
Accommodation included: Scenic lakefront lodge
Activities included: Kohutapu ‘Strademark’ Experience – guided tour of sacred Maori rock carvings, introduction to the Murupara area, delicious ground cooked hangi feast, dessert and continental breakfast.
Lake Aniwhenua to Whakahoro
After breakfast, we depart and head to Taupo to see Huka Falls and the impressive great lake. For the brave hearted, we have time for skydiving! At 10 am we make our way to Blue Duck Station, a 7,200-acre high country farm that is both a working station and an environmental conservation leader. Settle in and learn a little more about what makes this destination so special. Spend the evening listening to tales from this unique region. (B)
Accommodation: Country station lodge
Optional Activities: Skydiving
Free activities: Huka Falls, enjoy your hosts’ hospitality and stories on the local wildlife and history.
Day in Whakahoro
Today you have a free day to explore this truly amazing and secluded location in depth. The included 4WD farm tour will give you just a taste of life in remote, rural New Zealand. There are plenty of other farming and conservation-based activities for you to experience around the property as well.
Accommodation: Country station lodge
Included Activities: Eco-Warrior 4WD farm tour
Optional Activities: Horse riding, clay pigeon shooting and goat hunting
Free activities: Take in the lush scenery with a walk to the Kaiwhakauka waterfall.
Whakahoro to National Park
We depart at 6 am and head to the active volcanoes of the nearby dual World Heritage Site of Tongariro National Park. Today you get a chance to do one of the world’s best one day walks: the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. Be prepared for some epic scenery as you walk over active volcanos and around the base of “Mt Doom” from the Lord of the Rings films. Tonight, you can soothe your tired muscles from the big walk in the spa pool at your accommodation or relax with a celebratory drink by the fire.
Accommodation: Historic residence with mountain views
Optional Activities: Tongariro Alpine Crossing
Free activities: Taranaki Falls walk, visit the Volcanic Centre.
Raetihi to Wellington
Depart 8:30am. We head to Wellington, New Zealand’s capital city, via Ohakune, Taihape and Bulls. You have the afternoon to cruise around the shops and cafes along popular Cuba Street, explore the New Zealand wonders found in Te Papa Museum or stroll along the waterfront.
Accommodation: Central city hostel
Free Activities: Walk Oriental Parade, head up Mt Victoria for fantastic views, visit Te Papa National Museum.
Wellington to Auckland
Today is a very early departure out of Wellington - this is an express day via Raetihi to Auckland, where your trip comes to an end when you arrive in the early evening. We hope you had a blast on your journey!
Tuesdays from Auckland from 7 May 2019 to 10 September 2020.
Travelling in the summer? Check out our 6 Day Full North Island Auckland to Auckland Summer Tour
Important NotesThings you need to know about this tour
The itinerary is subject to change due to cultural or seasonal conditions
*Twin / Double upgrades based on two people sharing. Accommodation upgrades do not apply in Hahei. If an upgrade is available on the day, payable directly to the accommodation.
Luggage should be restricted to 15kg in a single bag, plus a small daypack.
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