- Breakfast everyday
- Accommodation (max 6 share, upgrades available)
- Passionate Kiwi Guide
- Maori Cultural experience in the Coromandel and Rotorua
- Traditional Maori ‘Hangi’
- Visit to Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland
- Carve your own ‘Tiki’ pendant from bone
- Stunning cliff top walk to Cathedral Cove
- Soak in a natural hot pool in the forest
- Guided tour to "off-the-beaten-track" locations
- Surprise stops along the way
- Optional extras can be booked directly with Backpacker Deals after booking your tour.
Why do we love this
We love how jam-packed these 7 days are! You see everything from Hot Water Beach to thundering Huka Falls.
WHAT TO EXPECT
You'll see it all in this amazing week-longNorth Island holiday. Volcanoes, beautiful beaches, glow worm caves, bubbling mud pools, Lord of the Rings locations and rich forests... and that's just the start! Join this captivating tour and learn all about the Maori culture and legends.
Day 1: Auckland to Coromandel
After breakfast, we kick off the tour in New Zealand’s largest city, Auckland. Have you noticed that it’s pretty hilly? Those aren’t just hills, they are actually 48 volcanic cones! Before we leave town we will walk up one of the most famous ones, Maungawhau, also known as Mount Eden, for 360 degree views of both city and sea.
Then, it's onto the Coromandel Peninsula, a paradise of beautiful beaches and misty rainforests. The drive here is epic – the road twists and turns dramatically round the coastline and the ocean gets clearer and more pristine before your eyes. Cameras ready – the views are magnificent!
The Coromandel is home to the famous Hot Water Beach – thousands visit each year to dig their own personal hot tub here. If the tide times allow, we’ll definitely grab our buckets and spades and get busy!
Later, travel on to Whitianga where you'll arrive in plenty of time for your guide to show you around. Sample the sandy beaches, take a surf lesson with the locals, or simply enjoy the vibes.
Day 2: Coromandel to Waitomo
This morning we’ll walk out together along the cliffs and down to Cathedral Cove (which you might recognise from the Chronicles of Narnia). With perfect beaches and massive rock arches and columns, it’s one of the most popular spots in the Coromandel.
Alternatively, take an optional guided Cathedral Cove kayak trip and check out this stunning coastline from a different angle, accompanied by a local dolphin or two if you’re lucky!
Later today we say goodbye to the east coast and hello to the west as we head for the tiny town of Waitomo. If you can’t wait until tomorrow to meet the resident glow worms, tonight’s optional cave-walking tour is a must. Or kick back with a beer and admire the stars – they put on a great show here when the skies are clear.
Day 3: Waitomo to Rotorua
Have you been caving in a place with twinkling glow worms on the ceiling? Now’s your chance! Daredevils can abseil 100 metres into the caverns on an epic 4-hour caving adventure. Or float along on an underground river on an optional Cave Tubing trip as the glow worms light your way. There are also excellent guided walking tours of the caves available if heights or wet feet aren’t your thing.
Later this afternoon we head to Rotorua (or Rotovegas as it is locally known). While the majority of the North Island is volcanic in some way, Rotorua is exceptional for its geothermal activity. With neon blue and red lakes, steaming rivers, active volcanoes and geysers galore, there are more unique natural wonders to be found in Rotorua than many other places in the world.
Here you will visit Te Puia – a well-known M?ori culture centre. At Te Puia you can explore Whakarewarewa geothermal valley, visit New Zealand’s native kiwi birds, and learn about M?ori history & culture.
Day 4: Rotorua to Murapara
There’s heaps of time to get amongst Rotorua’s diverse attractions while you’re here. Lord of the Rings fans, channel your inner hobbit with an optional visit to picturesque Hobbiton – have a ginger beer at the Green Dragon pub for us!
If adrenalin’s your thing, the highest commercial waterfall drop in the world, on the Kaituna River, is begging to be conquered on an exhilarating rafting trip. Or let your guide coax you into thundering down grassy hills in a giant aircushioned inflatable ball (or OGO) – you won’t regret it!
Later this afternoon we head to Kohutapu Lodge in Murupara - a living M?ori village - where you will be taken on a tribal tour by a village elder. Here you’ll also have a chance to learn the world-famous haka dance, and weave your own dinner plate using flax (a type of plant).
Tonight’s dinner is a traditional h?ngi meal. Cooked in an underground earth oven you can expect tender meat and delicious vegetables infused with a smoky, earthy fragrance – it will fill your puku (belly) right up! And the best part about spending the evening at Kohutapu Lodge? The majority of proceeds from this activity go back to the local community.
Day 5: Murupara to Taupo
It’s only a short drive to our next destination, Taupo, and there’s plenty to discover along the way. From mesmerising mud pools to the thundering rapids of the Huka Falls and Aratiatia Dam, your trusty Haka Guide will make sure you don’t miss a thing.
Taupo is a beautiful lakeside town with a stunning mountain backdrop. Lake Taupo is New Zealand’s largest lake – believe it or not, it’s roughly the same size as Singapore! This place is all about the thrills and spills, and there are plenty of options in store this afternoon.
Get your hair wet with a water touch bungy jump, take an unforgettable skydive or a sunset lake cruise for amazing lake and mountain views. Psst – bring your swimwear today, one of our favourite secret stops is on the cards!
Day 6: Taupo
A full day in Taupo... are you in the mood for peaceful lakeside tranquillity or unlimited adrenalin and adventure? Either way, Taupo’s got you covered.
For many, the ultimate adventure on offer here is the hiking (or tramping, as we Kiwis know it). The Tongariro Crossing is among the top 10 full-day walks in the world. This 19.4-kilometre mountain trek boasts emerald green lakes, venting steam, lava flows and craters. You’ll come back grinning from ear to ear before falling into bed and sleeping like a baby.
If you’d prefer to relax, jump on a boat for a sailing trip to view Maori rock carvings. Or head to Spa Park and soak until your fingers are wrinkly. However you choose to spend today we guarantee you won’t forget it.
Day 7: Taupo to Wellington
It’s a big drive from Taupo to Wellington, but there’s some unmissable scenery on offer. Lord of the Rings junkies, you’re in for a treat! Our journey takes us through Tongariro National Park via the Rangipo Desert (bet you didn’t know New Zealand had one of those!). Some of your favourite Lord of the Rings battle scenes were filmed right here. The Desert Road boasts incredible views of three active volcanic peaks – Mount Tongariro, Mount Ngauruhoe, and Mount Ruapehu. You may know Mount Ngauruhoe as Mount Doom, so be sure to snap a Mordor selfie!
We pass through two of the North Island’s quirkier towns – as ever, your Haka Guide has a couple of surprises up their sleeve...
We pull into Wellington in the afternoon, with just enough time for film buffs make a trip to Weta Workshop, where the special effects of Lord of the Rings and Avatar were produced. New Zealand’s capital is famous for its bars and eateries, and is a paradise for lovers of craft beer – you’ll be spoilt for choice tonight!