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North Island's Coasts & Culture Tour 7 Days (Auckland to Wellington)

  • 7days
  • NZ North Island

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Small Group Tours
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Discover the North Island with a 7 day Small Group Tour

The North Island is filled with surprising contrasts: from the idyllic Coromandel on the coast where you can soak in a hot pool dug in the sand, venture through a geothermal wonderland of geysers, take a side-trip to Middle Earth-esque countryside, have underground adventures in caves lit by glow worms, and admire lush rainforests and even a volcanic desert – you’ll be amazed by it all.

This small-group guided New Zealand North Island tour will visit Coromandel, Rotorua, Taupō, and Wellington, with the option to visit Hobbiton, Waitomo Glowworm Caves and the Tongariro Crossing along the way. You can choose to travel from Auckland through to Wellington, or take the reverse itinerary.

Highlights:

  • Journey through multiple National Parks
  • Stunning walk to the spectacular arched cavern of Coromandel’s Cathedral Cove
  • A guided visit to the filming location of the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings trilogy, Hobbiton
  • Learn a haka and learn to weave flax with a local iwi (tribe)
  • Visit Te Puia – a local arts and culture centre – to learn more about traditional Māori culture and discover Rotorua’s geothermal wonders.
  • See kiwi birds up close and personal
  • Eat a traditional Māori hāngī meal cooked in an underground oven
  • Follow your nose to Rotorua’s bubbling mud pools
  • Discover what makes Huka Falls the most visited natural attraction in NZ
  • Check out the views from Matairangi/Mount Victoria, Wellington
  • Fall in love with Wellington’s cafe and craft beer culture
  • Plus many surprise stops along the way

Included in this tour:

  • 6 nights in high end hostel accomodation and 1 night shared cultural experience
  • Daily breakfasts
  • Kiwi guides
  • Bus transport

Not included:

  • Add on activities: on request  
  • Private room upgrade (649 NZL) - Private rooms will have ensuite bathrooms where possible but cannot be guaranteed.
  • Anything not mentioned in 'included' and 'highlights'
  • Extra nights

Notes:

  • This tour can also be taken from Wellington to Auckland.
  • Extra activities can be purchased at the time but it is reccomended to purchase prior due to availabilities. Please ask us for a full list of extra activities.
  • Tour price includes dorm share accomodation (4-6 share), if you would like a private room please inform us and we can upgrade your room (640 NZL). Private room upgrades are not available for the one-night shared cultural experience (Murupara).
  • No single supplement

Slow Tours offers a range of tours in Australia/ New Zealand

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  • Day 1

    Auckland to Coromandel

    Leaving the big smoke behind, we head to the Coromandel Peninsula, a veritable 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. If the tide times allow, we’ll definitely grab our buckets and spades and get busy! We arrive in Whitianga with plenty of time for your guide to show you around. Sample the sandy beaches or simply enjoy the vibes.

  • Day 2

    Coromandel to Rotorua

    This morning walk 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 this afternoon we head towards Rotorua en route, we’ll visit Matamata – best known for being the home of Hobbiton. For Lord of the Rings fans, a visit to Hobbiton Movie Set is an absolute must-do. On a fully guided tour of the 12 acre Middle-earth set you will see Hobbit Holes, the Mill, and even enjoy a drink at the Green Dragon Inn! If hobbits aren’t your thing there are plenty of scenic short walks to enjoy Matamata’s lush green rolling hills. 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.

  • Day 3

    Rotorua

    Today is a free day to explore Rotorua and its surrounding area. Talk to your guide for the best free things to see and do in the neighbourhood (Kuirau Park’s steaming and hissing mud pools are a great option). There are also a number of optional activities you can choose from: If adrenaline is your thing, the highest commercial waterfall drop in the world, on the Kaituna River, is begging to be conquered on an exhilarating rafting trip. Perhaps you’d like to try thundering down grassy hills in a giant air-cushioned inflatable ball (aka ZORB)? Alternatively head deep into one of New Zealand’s most ancient forests and let the fun begin on a 3 hour eco canopy adventure. Experience over 600 meters of ziplines and swing bridges, plus about the native wildlife and ecology as you zipline from tree to tree. Or take a guided kayak trip across scenic Lake Rotoiti to the spectacular Manupirua Springs Hot Pools, which are only accessible by boat. Have a leisurely soak while your guide cooks an appetising Kiwi BBQ Dinner. After dinner enjoy a sunset paddle across the lake and a visit to the glow worm caves.

  • Day 4

    Rotorua to Murupara

    This morning we visit Te Puia Maori Village. Here you’ll learn more about Māori history and culture, come face to face with the Pohutu Geyser, see jumping mud pools and get up close and personal with kiwi birds. Later this afternoon we head to Kohutapu Lodge in Murupara – a living Māori village - where you will experience 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 hāngi 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! 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, Taupō, 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. Taupōis a beautiful lakeside town with a stunning mountain backdrop. Lake Taupō 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.

  • Day 6

    Taupo

    A full day in Taupō… are you in the mood for peaceful lakeside tranquility or unlimited adrenaline and adventure? Either way, Taupō’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 in Tongariro National Park 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 Māori 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 Taupō 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! The tour officially finishes at 8pm today in Wellington, but your accommodation tonight is included.

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Tours marked with are special prices.

Start End Max. No. Guests Accommodation Price p.p.
Apr 11 2024 Apr 18 2024 16 Single rooms AU$1,870
Double rooms AU$1,870
May 03 2024 May 10 2024 16 Single rooms AU$1,870
Double rooms AU$1,870
May 12 2024 May 19 2024 16 Single rooms AU$1,870
Double rooms AU$1,870
May 31 2024 Jun 07 2024 16 Single rooms AU$1,870
Double rooms AU$1,870
Jun 10 2024 Jun 17 2024 16 Single rooms AU$1,870
Double rooms AU$1,870
Jul 05 2024 Jul 12 2024 16 Single rooms AU$1,870
Double rooms AU$1,870
Aug 02 2024 Aug 09 2024 16 Single rooms AU$1,870
Double rooms AU$1,870
Aug 19 2024 Aug 26 2024 16 Single rooms AU$1,870
Double rooms AU$1,870
Aug 30 2024 Sep 06 2024 16 Single rooms AU$1,870
Double rooms AU$1,870
Sep 06 2024 Sep 13 2024 16 Single rooms AU$1,870
Double rooms AU$1,870
Sep 27 2024 Oct 04 2024 16 Single rooms AU$1,870
Double rooms AU$1,870
Oct 04 2024 Oct 11 2024 16 Single rooms AU$1,870
Double rooms AU$1,870
Oct 11 2024 Oct 18 2024 16 Single rooms AU$1,870
Double rooms AU$1,870
Oct 25 2024 Nov 01 2024 16 Single rooms AU$1,870
Double rooms AU$1,870
Nov 01 2024 Nov 08 2024 16 Single rooms AU$1,870
Double rooms AU$1,870
Nov 11 2024 Nov 18 2024 16 Single rooms AU$1,870
Double rooms AU$1,870
Nov 28 2024 Dec 05 2024 16 Single rooms AU$1,870
Double rooms AU$1,870
Dec 08 2024 Dec 15 2024 16 Single rooms AU$1,870
Double rooms AU$1,870
Dec 19 2024 Dec 26 2024 16 Single rooms AU$1,870
Double rooms AU$1,870
Jan 11 2025 Jan 18 2025 16 Single rooms AU$1,870
Double rooms AU$1,870
Jan 21 2025 Jan 28 2025 16 Single rooms AU$1,870
Double rooms AU$1,870
Feb 08 2025 Feb 15 2025 16 Single rooms AU$1,870
Double rooms AU$1,870
Feb 22 2025 Mar 01 2025 16 Single rooms AU$1,870
Double rooms AU$1,870
Mar 06 2025 Mar 13 2025 16 Single rooms AU$1,870
Double rooms AU$1,870
Mar 14 2025 Mar 21 2025 16 Single rooms AU$1,870
Double rooms AU$1,870
Mar 26 2025 Apr 02 2025 16 Single rooms AU$1,870
Double rooms AU$1,870
Apr 05 2025 Apr 12 2025 16 Single rooms AU$1,870
Double rooms AU$1,870
Apr 18 2025 Apr 25 2025 16 Single rooms AU$1,870
Double rooms AU$1,870
May 02 2025 May 09 2025 16 Single rooms AU$1,870
Double rooms AU$1,870
May 25 2025 Jun 01 2025 16 Single rooms AU$1,870
Double rooms AU$1,870

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