Start touring the North Island in NZ’s capital city - exploring fascinating Weta Workshop and tranquil Zealandia Ecosanctuary. Then travel north by luxury coach to take in the beautiful vistas of Taranaki and New Plymouth. Head over to Tongariro National Park for a scenic gondola ride on the new Sky Waka. An art deco experience in Napier follows, with a visit to one of the wonderful Hawkes Bay wineries. Explore the uniquely themed Hamilton Gardens, have lunch at Zealong Tea Estate, visit fanciful Hobbiton and the famous glowworm caves of Waitomo. Finish the North Island off with an evening’s dinner and sail on Auckland’s glorious harbour before flying home.
Our Hidden Gems of the North tour will see you exploring the most iconic sites, delving into deep-rooted culture and dining on delicious cuisine.
Explore this ever-changing culturally diverse city.
Marvel at the natural beauty of the mountains.
Experience an underrated culinary paradise.
Home to some of the world's most extraordinary animals.
Our Hidden Gems of The North tour has been thoughtfully designed and thoroughly researched to bring you a range of once-in-a-lifetime experiences, many of which are entirely exclusive to us.
Take a walk through these wonderfully themed gardens, including the recently completed Surrealist Garden. These award-winning gardens are set on 54 hectares of picturesque surrounds on the banks of the Waikato River.
Enjoy a drink and three-course dinner while actively sailing on Auckland's Waitematā Harbour. On this 2.5 hour sailing experience, you'll also hear informative commentary from the crew, view the iconic city skyline from the water and sail under the Harbour Bridge itself.
We relive the glamour and style of the art deco era with a luxurious vintage car tour through Napier and its surrounds.
Near to Hamilton, Zealong Tea Estate is the only commercial tea estate in the country, producing 100% organic award-winning tea. A unique lunch here, overlooking the tea fields, awaits.
This adventure is ideal for traveller's with less time to spend and who want to see the very best bits of the North Island. We have designed the tour to make the most of the time available to showcase the key highlights and cities.
On arrival in Wellington, transfer to your hotel. After a welcome briefing later in the day, take a stroll to Courtney Place for a welcome dinner in the dining and entertainment hub of Wellington.
After breakfast head to Weta Workshop, the award-winning design studio that has created special effects for many blockbuster movies such as Lord of the Rings and Avatar. Our private tour will unlock some of the movie magic! Afterwards it’s a short drive to the tranquil urban forests of Zealandia Ecosanctuary for lunch and some time to enjoy a scenic guided walk. The Ecosanctuary is home to a huge variety of native birds and you may even spot a tuatara in the wild! On our way back to the hotel, you will have the option of being dropped off at the Botanical Gardens, for those who want to experience the Cable Car ride down to the city centre (at own expense). Dinner tonight will include a chance to taste some famous Wellington microbrews!
Leaving Wellington, travel north along the west coast, stopping for a short tour of the iconic Foxton Windmill - a full-size replica of a traditional 17th century Dutch flour mill. Our next stop will be the amazing Tawhiti Museum, widely acclaimed as the best private museum in the country. The creation of artist Nigel Ogle, this museum uses life size exhibits and minutely detailed historical dioramas to present NZ heritage in a series of engaging displays. Enjoy lunch in the Museum’s themed café and a wander through the museum itself afterwards. Later this afternoon, we arrive at our accommodation in New Plymouth and dine at a wee gem seaside.
You may fancy a long walk on the beach this morning before breakfast in the hotel? Official sightseeing however begins at Te Rewa Bridge - a New Plymouth landmark that is reminiscent of a whale skeleton or a breaking wave. Next, drive to the famous Pukeiti Gardens, at the foot of Mt Taranaki, for lunch in the Rainforest Eatery and to have a walking tour of their extraordinary seasonal gardens. This afternoon, drive back to New Plymouth to have a guided tour of the architecturally-stunning Govett-Brewster Gallery which celebrates the extraordinary work of Len Lye, modernist filmmaker and kinetic artist.
Relax and enjoy a scenic drive through some of the most untouched parts of New Zealand. Our first stop will be for a unique alpaca experience and light lunch at Nevelea Alpacas, nestled in the hills of the King Country on the adventure highway. Before arriving at our hotel in Taupo this afternoon, we'll stop and take a short walk to the magnificent Huka Falls where more than 220,000 litres of water per second barrel over an 11 m high waterfall. Dinner tonight will be in Taupo itself.
On our drive to Tongariro National Park this morning, we'll stop for a tour of the National Trout Centre - a fascinating museum, aquarium and hatchery near Turangi. Afterward, we'll continue on our journey into the National Park and ascend Mt Ruapehu on the new Sky Waka, New Zealand’s largest gondola, enjoying the panoramic views of its three volcanos. A buffet lunch will be at the Pinnacles - New Zealand’s highest dining experience. Later this afternoon, enjoy some free time back at the hotel before heading to dinner in the township of Taupo again.
After an early breakfast, take a scenic drive to Napier where you'll enjoy an Art Deco Vintage Car Tour of the city. Some wine tastings and lunch will also be had at one of Hawkes Bay’s leading wineries before checking into your hotel later this afternoon. Take the time to wander around Napier’s waterfront, botanical gardens and boutique shops. Dinner tonight will be at a local restaurant in the city.
On our journey to Hamilton today, we'll stop and explore one of the best thermal reserves in New Zealand - Orakei Korako. Before a light lunch at their Café, we'll take a short boat ride across the lake to explore the thermal park ourselves. Dinner tonight will be in Hamilton’s CBD and is walking distance from our hotel.
Explore the themed gardens at the award-winning Hamilton Gardens, including their recently completed surrealist garden. Lunch will be at New Zealand’s premier tea plantation, Zealong Tea Estate, in their luxuriously appointed restaurant. This afternoon we'll visit the enchanting village of Hobbiton – one of the locations used in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Dinner tonight is back in Hamilton.
Our last day of touring in the North Island is very special indeed - starting with a guided tour through NZ’s famous glowworm caves in Waitomo. After lunch, we travel up to Auckland and check into our hotel located right in the CBD. This evening, we’ll experience a bit of sailing, and our Farewell Dinner, on Waitematā Harbour.
After breakfast in the morning, your tour officially ends. We will transfer you to Auckland Airport (if required).
Places Visited: Wellington (2N), New Plymouth (2N), Tongariro National Park, Taupo (2N), Napier (1N), Hamilton/Rotorua (2N), Auckland (1N)
If the dates we have available for this tour don't suit your needs or you prefer travelling with your own personal guide, contact us to arrange this as a Private Tour.
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There are no dedicated Solo departures for this year. You can enjoy any of our tours with no Single Supplement on our Happy to Share option or explore the solo departures in other years.
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