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 13 Day Full North Island Auckland to Auckland Winter Tour
The perfect North island tour of New Zealand in our beautiful winter months. We pick you up in Auckland and return to Auckland, in 13 days you will experience everything the North has to offer. From off the beaten track destinations to more famous hot spots this tour takes it all in. Plus throws a good dose of adventure in!
Key spots visited on this tour Paihia, Day trip to Cape Reinga, Hole in the Rock Marine Cruise, Parry Kauri Forest, Auckland, Kohutapu Experience: guided tour of sacred Maori rock carvings, Marae experience, ground cooked hangi feast, Lake Aniwhenua, 4WD farm adventure at Blue Duck Station, Wellington, Taranaki Falls, optional Tongariro Alpine Crossing, Waitomo Valley Caves Walk, Cathedral Cove, Hot Water Beach.
13 Day Full North Island Auckland to Auckland Winter Tour Itinerary - 13 days
Auckland to Paihia
Haere mai (welcome)! Your Stray adventure kicks off in New Zealand’s largest city, Auckland. We depart northbound for the relaxed seaside town of Paihia, gateway to the beautiful Bay of Islands. On the way you’ll learn about the rich early European and Maori history of the region. After stopping to see giant kauri trees en-route, we continue on to Paihia, where you have the afternoon free to explore this charming seaside town.
Accommodation included: Hostel along from the beach Activities included: Hug huge kauri trees at Parry Kauri Forest Optional activities: Skydiving
Paihia to Cape Reinga and back
Today you travel to the northernmost point of the country, the spiritually significant Cape Reinga. Highlights of this day trip include a visit to 90 Mile Beach, dune surfing and seeing the clashing of two oceans! You have the option to sample some of the best fish and chips available on your way back to Paihia (own expense). Make sure you pack a lunch, snacks and enough water to fuel you through the day.
Accommodation included: Hostel along from the beach
Activities included: Cape Reinga day trip, surf massive sand dunes Optional activities: Sample fresh fish and chips
Paihia to Auckland
This morning you will do the famous ‘Hole in the Rock’ cruise and make an island stop in the bay. Keep a watchful eye out for playful dolphins and other marine life. We depart in the afternoon to head back to Auckland, where you have the evening free in the city.
Accommodation included: Central Auckland hostel Activities included: Hole in the Rock marine cruise
Auckland to Hahei
Depart Auckland in the morning 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 included: Exclusive accommodation by the waterfront Activities included: 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. Another option is to take a guided boat tour through the cliffs and caves of the nearby marine reserve.
Accommodation included: 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 Raetihi
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 8:30 am. 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 New Zealand Journey!
Saturdays from May 2019 to 7 September 2019
Travelling in summer? Check out our 10 Day North Island Summer tour.
Important NotesThings you need to know about this tour
Itinerary is subject to change due to cultural or seasonal conditions
*Twin / Double upgrades based on two people sharing.
Winter tours will operate in conjunction with the Stray Travel Network allowing all Real Kiwi winter departures to be 100% guaranteed. Clients will still have a set itinerary with included accommodation and activities however less meals are included and the guide and group may change during the tour.
Luggage should be restricted to 15kg in a single bag, plus a small day pack.
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