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.
Your fantastic guided holiday begins in New Zealand’s largest city, Auckland. Home to one third of New Zealand’s population and bordered by two stunning harbours, Auckland is thriving, diverse city surrounded by natural wonders.
Stay 2 nights in Auckland.
Explore Auckland with your guide, visiting top attractions such as the Sky Tower, Mt Eden’s volcanic crater, Waiheke Island, Sea Life Kelly Tarlton’s Aquarium, or Piha Beach.
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, which is defined by its two harbours. Enjoy great sailing and, as the sun sets, watch the night lights of this photogenic city come alive. Your experienced crew will talk about Auckland’s unique features, and 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
Leave the city behind as your tour continues north to the Bay of Islands, a stunning stretch of coastline with secluded beaches, forested hills, and fantastic marine wildlife.
In the afternoon, experience the rich Maori culture with your guide as you visit the Waitangi treaty house, gardens, and national marae (meeting house).
Stay 3 nights in Paihia.
Discover the wild northern reaches of New Zealand today with your guide – venture past forests and farmland and windswept beaches on the journey to Cape Reinga, where a lighthouse marks the northernmost tip of New Zealand.
On the way, take in the vast expanse of 90 Mile Beach and visit an ancient Kauri grove hidden within lush native bush.
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. Your Discover the Bay Cruise includes a delicious picnic lunch.
In the afternoon, relax on one of the secluded beaches nearby.
Travel time Bay of Islands to Hamilton – 5.5 hours
Your tour will pass through the City of Sails once more as you continue south to Hamilton, New Zealand’s largest inland city.
In the afternoon, visit the chocolate and candy factory or Hamilton Gardens with your guide, and relax in the city.
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 and densely forested hills rising all around, 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.
Stay 2 nights in Taupo.
As you explore Taupo today, visit the majestic Huka Falls with your guide and relax on the lakefront.
In the afternoon, sample the best of Lake Taupo on a Taste of Taupo 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.
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, and explore the city with your guide.
Stay 1 night in Tauranga.
Travel time Tauranga to Coromandel Peninsula – 2.5 hours
Embark on a scenic tour of the Coromandel Peninsula, taking in views of the lush rainforest and idyllic beaches. If the tide is right, visit Hot Water Beach, where you can dig your own hot pools in the sand, on your way to Whitianga.
Stay 2 nights in Whitianga, Coromandel.
Discover the excitement and adventure of the Hahei Explorer boat tour to Cathedral Cove – the most photographed beach in New Zealand. Penguins, seals and dolphins are a big favourite when they take time out of their busy schedules to visit the boat. Explore places only accessible by boat, including coastal islands in the marine reserve and spectacular sea caves. When the tide is right, you will be taken inside an amazing blowhole 80 feet high – a truly magical place.
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.
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.
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.
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