Experience the best of the North Island on this New Zealand guided tour. Offering the best flexible New Zealand escorted tours, with no date or itinerary restrictions. Book the best on this privately guided tour of the North Island of New Zealand, inclusive of a private tour guide/chauffeur plus private touring vehicle.
Auckland is a multi-cultural urban oasis of food, music, arts and culture. World-class shopping and phenomenal dining is never too far from harbours, islands, native bush and black-sand beaches.
Explore Auckland with your guide. The Auckland Museum is well worth a visit. With internationally significant Māori and Pacific collections to explore, the Auckland Museum is a must-see place to experience our rich culture.
In the evening the fairy lights of Federal Street will lure you into some of the finest restaurants in Auckland or head down to The Viaduct, a food and drinks hub in central Auckland.
Stay 2 nights in Auckland.
Explore Auckland with your guide.
Spend some time relaxing at one of the numerous local beaches, visit Waiheke Island or try local cuisine.
Mission Bay and St. Heliers urban beaches offer breathtaking views of the harbour and Rangitoto Island.
Take a day trip to Waiheke Island, where you’ll find beautiful galleries and craft boutiques in this homeland of artists. There are plenty of places to enjoy a good coffee or taste New Zealand’s fresh Pacific Rim cuisine. The island also boasts more than a dozen high-quality vineyards, many with relaxed restaurants onsite. Enjoy local wine while looking out over vine-covered valleys to the blue sea beyond.
In the evening, enjoy a unique dining experience on Auckland’s magnificent Waitemata Harbour. An on-water dining experience is not to be missed in any harbour city, especially in Auckland. Enjoy great sailing and, as the sun sets, watch the night lights of this photogenic city come alive. There is plenty of opportunity to participate in the sailing or sit back and enjoy the sights. Choose from a set menu served by the crew during the dinner stop at a sheltered mooring.
Travel time Auckland to Bay of Islands – 4 hours
Discover the stunning northern reaches of New Zealand today with your guide. The Bay of Islands is a subtropical micro-region made up of 144 islands known for its stunning beauty & history.
New Zealand’s newest Marine mammal sanctuary Te Pēwhairangi (Bay of Islands) boasts an abundance of marine life, which includes whales, dolphins, penguins, fur seals and a large variety of sea birds. For those that love nature, beaches and water activities, it’s paradise.
The bustling seaside town of Paihia has an extensive choice of activities, accommodation and delicious dining options. Paihia is the perfect base for discovering the coves and beaches of the Bay of Islands.
Stay 3 nights in Paihia.
Board your premium cruise ‘Discover the Bay’ and see for yourself the best of what the Bay of Islands has to offer. Journey to the Hole in the Rock and if weather permits, sail through it. See marine wildlife including Dolphins and stop off at Otehei Bay on Urupukapuka Island to have a swim, go for a walk, have a bite to eat and relax.
In the afternoon, you might like your guide to take you to Russell. Russell is a significant place in New Zealand’s history, being New Zealand’s first European settlement and sea port. Russell is also home to the Duke of Marlborough, New Zealand’s first licensed hotel and pub.
Or experience the rich Maori culture with your guide as you visit the Waitangi treaty house, gardens, and national marae (meeting house). The Waitangi Treaty Grounds is where the signing of New Zealand’s founding document Te Tiriti o Waitangi took place on February 6th 1840. The Te Kōngahu Museum of Waitangi and Te Rau Aroha Museum are located on the grounds along with the Treaty House and Te Whare Rūnanga (the House of Assembly), making this a fascinating place to explore.
Visit the top of Aotearoa (New Zealand) and venture to Cape Reinga. This full day trip takes you to one of the most northern points of New Zealand where the Tasman Sea and the Pacific Ocean collide.
On the way to Cape Reinga you could visit Gumdiggers park where ancient Kauri forest was buried thousands of years ago.
You could visit the world famous Mangonui Fish Shop for lunch and grab the freshest fish and chips as the sea washes gently beneath your feet.
If time permits visit Waipoua Forest. As the largest remaining tract of native forest in Northland, Waipoua is an ancient green world of towering trees and rare birds. This forest is the home of Tāne Mahuta, the country’s largest kauri tree, which is approximately 2,000 years old and still growing.
Travel time Bay of Islands to Hamilton – 5.5 hours
Hamilton’s warm and welcoming spirit, rich history and contrasting splendours ensure visitors are spoilt for choice. From magnificent parks and gardens to a thriving cultural precinct, the city offers a vibrant combination of dining, leisure and activity choices for your New Zealand family holiday.
Explore attractions with your guide such as Raglan’s surf coast; relax at a beachside cafe and enjoy the scenery or get amongst it and learn to surf! Soak in the natural, silky mineral water that has made Te Aroha Mineral Pools famous for over 100 years. Meander through the Hamilton Gardens and discover paths delivering mysterious surprises.
Stay 1 night in Hamilton.
Travel time Hamilton to Waitomo Caves – 1 hour
Venture off the beaten track as your guide takes you on a scenic drive to the Waitomo Caves. The land is wilder around here, with limestone outcroppings emerging from farmland. But the wildest landscape of all lies underground.
Witness the marvels of these vast caverns as you explore two fantastic caves – the Ruakuri Cave, home to a dizzying array of cave formations, and the Waitomo Glowworm Caves, where you will be dazzled by a galaxy of glowworms overhead.
Travel time Waitomo Caves to Taupo – 2 hours
Enjoy the scenic drive to Taupo, a small town set beside New Zealand’s largest lake. With the volcanic peaks of Tongariro National Park looming in the distance, and the lake itself formed from an ancient volcanic crater, you will get a close-up look at the immense forces that shaped New Zealand.
Taupo is rich in natural beauty with attractions such as the Huka Falls. The Huka Falls is New Zealand’s most visited attraction, where more than 220,000 litres of water thunder over the cliff face every second. Visit this stunning natural attraction with your guide.
Stay 2 nights in Taupo.
Sample the best of Lake Taupo on scenic floatplane flight. Take off from Taupo Bay before turning over Acacia Bay to the headwaters of the Waikato River. Fly over the Craters of the Moon, then over the Borefields of the Wairakei Power Station, followed by a circuit of the Huka Falls, before returning over Taupo to land on the lakefront.
The lakeside town of Taupo also provides a base for visitors who love to fish for trout; guided fly fishing or lake fishing trips are popular options.
With the recent completion of the Great Lake Trail, Lake Taupō is a fantastic region for year-round mountain biking. Add a guided mountain bike trip and take in the beauty of this unqiue landscape.
Travel time Taupo to Rotorua – 1 hour
Your geothermal experience will continue as you enjoy the short drive to Rotorua. Tour the exciting geothermal attractions with your guide, visiting sulphur springs, mud pools, geysers, and sinter terraces.
In the evening, enjoy a Maori Cultural Experience including a Hangi Dinner. Hear stories and learn how Maori traditions live on today. Experience an authentic Maori welcome. Watch a challenge by the Maori warriors, a karanga (call) from the Maori women welcoming you into the marae, and a whaikorero (welcome speech). Relax and enjoy the beautiful waiata (songs), the world-renowned haka (challenge), and the elegant poi dance. Learn Maori customs including Maori musical instruments, haka and poi. The dining experience is a culinary opportunity like no other. Following dessert, you will be transported down into the valley to conclude your evening beside the awe-inspiring Pohutu geyser.
Stay 2 nights in Rotorua.
Stroll through Hell’s Gate Geothermal Reserve in the morning – marvel at the bubbling mud pools and geysers, and soak in a relaxing sulphur spa.
In the evening, enjoy dinner at Rotorua’s most spectacular location – Skyline Restaurant. Sit back and relax as the views from the gondola unfold on your journey to the Skyline complex. The Skyline Restaurant will then serve you a mouthwatering taste of New Zealand, feast on mouthwatering fresh soups, salads, seafood, beef, lamb, add to that a range of sumptuous desserts, and you’ve got yourself a unique dining experience not to be missed. Tiered seating guarantees stunning views from every table! After dinner, enjoy the scenic ride back down on the gondola.
Travel time Rotorua to Matamata – 1 hour
Experience the real Middle-earth™ at the Hobbiton™ Movie Set, where, in the heart of the Waikato region, you can step into the lush pastures of the Shire™, as seen in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies. Your guide will then escort you around the set, showing the intricate detailing, pointing out the most famous locations and explaining how the movie magic was made. You will be fully guided around the 12 acre set; past Hobbit Holes™, the Mill and into the world-famous Green Dragon™ Inn, where you will be presented with a complimentary, exclusive Hobbit™ Southfarthing™ beverage to conclude your own Middle-earth™ adventure.
Travel time Matamata to Tauranga – 1 hour
Continue to the Bay of Plenty, one of the most popular summer holiday destinations in New Zealand. Tauranga is the metropolitan hub of the bay and offers a great mix of activities, beaches and dining experiences. Tauranga is just a 15 minute drive from one of New Zealand’s most popular beach towns, Mount Maunganui.
Stay 1 night in Tauranga.
Travel time Tauranga to Coromandel Peninsula – 2.5 hours
Renowned worldwide as a spectacular holiday destination, with warm white-sand beaches, misty rainforest and wilderness aplenty, the Coromandel is the ideal place to relax and unwind.
Whitianga is the main settlement of Mercury Bay, an attractive township with a deep-water harbour. Whitianga has an excellent selection of restaurants and cafes, and the thriving retail community provides an interesting collection of outlets.
Home to the world renowned Cathedral Cove and Hot Water Beach, Mercury Bay is known for its variety of marine experiences both on and under the water. From kayaking and fishing in and around the Mercury Islands to scenic boat trips in the Te Whanganui-O-Hei Marine Reserve, Whitianga and Mercury Bay have it all. Experience the magic and relax in the unspoiled playground of Mercury Bay – a recreational haven just waiting for you.
If the tide is right, visit Hot Water Beach, where you can dig your own hot pools and lap up the scenery.
Stay 2 nights in Whitianga, Coromandel.
Today, join the Glass Bottom Boat for a unique boat cruise. Depart from the Whitianga Wharf to explore the breathtaking volcanic coastline, including the famous Cathedral Cove. See the stunning Champagne Bay, plus a range of blow holes and sea caves, including Orua’s Sea Cave, the second largest sea cave in New Zealand! See what lies above and below the surface in the Te Whanganui-A-Hei Marine Reserve and be amazed by all the marine life to be seen. You can choose your own level of fun. Either sit back and enjoy the amazing marine life through the glass boat, or take the plunge and snorkel amongst the fish.
In the afternoon, your guide will show you some of the best hidden secrets of the Coromandel, including lush forest walks and secluded golden-sand beaches.
Hahei is located 35 km or 30 minutes drive South East of Whitianga. Hahei is an attractive beach, fringed with pohutukawa trees and drifts of pink shells at the northern end. The offshore islands provide something of a breakwater, making this sheltered beach ideal for swimming, boating and snorkeling. Hahei also offers a number of cafes making it the perfect spot for lunch.
Travel time Coromandel Peninsula to Auckland – 3 hours
As your holiday draws to a close, return to Auckland and spend your final evening shopping, touring around with your guide, or celebrating the end of a fantastic holiday with a delicious dinner in town.
This evening, if you would like to dine with a spectacular view, you might like to visit the Sky Tower. You are spoilt for choice with three restaurants and cafes up the Sky Tower, including the Orbit 360 degree dining revolving restaurant; The Sugar Club, which is superbly chic and elegant; or the Sky Café, where you can relax with a coffee, cheese board or ice cream. You will have the opportunity to view the city from 328 metres high above street level and take in the beautiful views, up to 80 kilometres in every direction. Spot the key landmarks, including a number of volcanoes and historical locations within the greater Auckland area.
Stay 1 night in Auckland.
Your guide will deliver you to Auckland Airport for your departing flight.
Each privately guided tour includes:
In addition, each New Zealand tour is fully customisable. Either choose one of our recommended itineraries as a starting point or ask us for a fully customised tour.
Our team is with you every step of the planning process, from conceptualising what you want to booking each component. After that, your guide will handle every detail of your tour. This includes timing, navigation, and restaurant recommendations.