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Medium
OPERATOR

Flying Kiwi

DETAILS

This full North Island tour covers all the cultural, activity and scenic highlights that make the North Island of New Zealand so unique. From thermal wonders and Maori culture to golden coastlines and ancient Kauri forests, there is something for everyone.  There are a few options to complete your 9 or 10-day loop but all include the following awesome highlights:

  • Try the World's best one day walk: The Tongariro Crossing is highly rated as one of the World's best one-day walks. The variety of scenery is unmatched from lunar landscapes to turquoise pools
  • Travel like a local and experience Maori culture: We are proud to be Kiwi owned and operated. One thing that makes our tours so unique is our focus on sharing our knowledge and passion for kiwi culture and heritage. On this adventure, you will get the chance to learn and immerse yourself in the locations and history that shaped New Zealand. From historic Maori buildings to the Haka and rock carvings we will share all our historic treasures with you.
  • Wake up to spectacular views: This tour has an excellent mix of remote and more commercial campsites with cabin upgrades available most nights (typical cost is around $NZ15 per night). You will get direct access to spectacular beaches, beautiful forests and also enjoy a big city fix with a couple of nights in the cities of Wellington and Auckland.
  • Once in a lifetime activities: Our tours are designed to enjoy as much adventure as you want.  Every day you will get the chance to choose your own combination of activities, hikes and bike rides. Some of the activities available on this trip include zorbing, skydiving, black water rafting, kayaking, diving,  sandboarding, fishing, Maori cultural shows, glow worm cave tours, Weta workshops, Hobbiton, giant swing, zip line canyoning and much more.
  • Lord of the Rings fans will be in their element on this trip. We have an amazing optional visit to the otherworldly Hobbiton + you can hike via Mount Doom and in Wellington, there's the chance to visit the Weta workshop where you can get up close and personal with life-sized sculptures.
  • Great free walks every day: We pass through a real diversity of landscapes on this tour and give you plenty of time to stretch your legs and explore. From towering rainforests to golden beaches you will discover many of NZ's most celebrated landscapes - don't forget the camera!
  • Excellent cycle options: Bikes are available to hire on this trip we'd highly recommend this option.  We have a range of rides (see the itinerary for more details) but as always you choose the distances and terrains that suit you.  There are some excellent road rides and a highlight for many is the awesome off-road tracks through the forests of Rotorua.  Bike hire costs just $NZ210 for the entire trip.
  • Lots of free inclusions: Everyone loves a freebie and this tour is crammed with them.  Some of our favorites include digging your own hot pool in the sand under the stars at Hot Water Beach, Wai-O-Tapu thermal park (featuring a number of exhilarating mud pools, geysers and sulphur pools) and the captivating National Museum of Te Papa to name a few.

Message Operator
ACTIVITY LEVEL
Medium
OPERATOR

Flying Kiwi

Itinerary

List View

Departing Auckland at 10 am we head to the Coromandel, renowned worldwide for its natural beauty, misty rainforests and pristine white, sandy beaches. The beautiful Coromandel Peninsula is just a short distance from Auckland but it feels like a different world! It only takes around two hours to reach the region but the volcanic hills, fern forests and stunning beaches make it an idyllic escape from the city. Locals and others are attracted by the endless white beaches, lovely turquoise waters and the great mix of architecture old and new. The peninsula is home to some of the most impressive coastlines in the country. We will be dropping you off at Hahei beach where you can make your way to Cathedral cove, here you will find an iconic limestone archway that sits right down at the beach. Take the coastal walkway or take in the coastline from the water while on one the best-guided sea kayak trips in New Zealand. We will then travel a short distance to camp at Hot Water Beach. This beautiful beach offers a unique experience as geothermal water reservoirs under the ground bring hot water to the surface at low tide allowing you to dig your very own hot pool in the sand. Bike Rides: 8km road cycling Walks and Hikes: Stunning coastal walk with views over the Pacific – distances vary Optional Activities: Sea Kayaking Available Upgrades: Yes Drive Distance: Approx 3 hours
Before heading south into the heart of the North Island (where you’ll be amazed by the natural wonderland that is Rotorua), we’ll drive the scenic route out of the Coromandel giving you an opportunity to explore by foot or pedals, the stunning Karagahake Gorge. If the sun is out, we’ll even have a delicious picnic lunch (kiwi styles) to break up the drive. Continuing south we drop off Hobbiton fans then it’s onto Rotorua where you can explore the city, the gardens, spas or take in some Maori Culture at the Tamaki Maori Village. Experience the only native forest zipline canopy tour in New Zealand, enjoy the thrills of OGO or the scenic gondola and luge. Take in the geothermal wonders with walks or relax in the hot pools. For cyclists, there is the chance to enjoy a world-class mountain bike park and the geothermal featured Te Ara Ahi Cycle Trail. Bubbling mud pools, geysers and Maori culture are the main reasons that visitors head to the thermal resort of Rotorua. It is the oldest and most established thermal resort in the country and the ancestral home of the Te Arawa people who settled here over 600 years ago. Bike Rides: Peddle through subtropical forest, mining heritage and don’t forget your headlamp for the tunnels and bridges (trail ride)! In the afternoon, ride through Rotorua to a world-class Mountain Bike Forest Walks and Hikes: Enjoy an awesome little walk through Coromandel lush forest and explore early mining history through caves, tunnels and a pretty beautiful waterfall to complete a great walk! Optional Activities: Hobbiton, Tamaki Maori Village, OGO, Luge, hot pools, Zipline Canopy Tour Available Upgrades: Yes Drive Distance: Approx. 3-4 hours
Leave camp for Wai-O-Tapu geothermal Wonderland before continuing on to the impressive Huka Falls. We then head to Taupo, nestled next to one of the largest crater lakes in the World with some great hiking and cycling opportunities. Taupo is also a great place for adventure with heaps of optional activities to choose from. Tonight we enjoy a camp near Tongariro National Park. This region is centered around Lake Taupo, NZ's largest lake at 619sq km - about the size of Singapore! The Lake is in a caldera created by the Taupo supervolcano some 26000 years ago and the area is still considered dormant today with moderate geothermal activity in the area such as the mud pools, hot springs, and vents. Bike Rides: Ride an awesome single track from Huka Falls stopping in for a quick soak in a natural hot stream on your way into Taupo or grab the bike in the city for a cruisey ride around the edge of the lake. Walks and Hikes: Follow the trail from an iconic waterfall alongside the mighty Waikato River winding past a natural hot spring that you can soak in followed by walking past a Bungy jump watching adrenaline junkies dive into the river! Optional Activities: Skydiving, Bungy, giant swing, Wai-O-Tapu (free - this one is on us!) Available Upgrades: Yes Drive Distance: Approx. 2 hours
Experience one of NZ’s great walks, The Tongariro Alpine Crossing, rated as the best one day walk in the World. This dual listed World heritage area is set to inspire with towering mountains, turquoise lakes, sparkling rivers, lush rainforests and lunar landscapes. For those that don’t fancy the hike, take on some grade 3 whitewater rafting rapids, cycle, enjoy short walks or relax in this beautiful area with an awe-inspiring mountain backdrop. We then head south to our wonderful stunning beach camp – home to amazing coastal sunsets. The 80,000 hectare Tongariro National Park is a World Heritage Area, with its centerpiece Mount Ruapehu rising dramatically 2797m from the surrounding area. Next to Mt. Ruapehu are two smaller volcanic mountains - Mount Ngauruhoe (Mount Doom from Lord of the Rings) and Mount Tongariro, which is where you be hiking! Bike Rides: If you’re not doing the Tongariro Crossing, leave camp on a bike and head towards to the Tongariro River Trail. Cycle this loop, over bridges and past huts or a trout center, keep an eye out for trout fishermen as this is the capital for trout fishing! Walks and Hikes: The best one day hike in New Zealand! Traverse the Tongariro, steam vents, crater lakes and more! Optional Activities: Tongariro Alpine Crossing, white water rafting (grade 3 rapids) Available Upgrades: Yes Drive Distance: Approx. 4 hours
After a short journey to Wellington arriving there by 9 am you will have a couple of hours to check out the sights of New Zealand’s beautiful capital city. Departing at 11 am, travel up the scenic Kapiti Coast towards the Taranaki region – home to wonderful beaches, crashing waves and the spectacular Mount Taranaki, one of the most symmetrical volcanic cones in the world. Our campsite is beside the Taranaki coastline offering a short scenic walk or cycle to camp at the end of the day. Bike Rides: the coastal walkway, easy path cycling from camp Walks and Hikes: the coastal walkway from camp Optional Activities: Te Papa Museum (free) Available Upgrades: Yes Drive Distance: Approx. 7 hours
Early departure to the limestone wonderland of Waitomo Caves. The glow-worm (Arachnocampa Luminosa) is unique to our shores and thousands of these tiny creatures radiate their unmistakable luminescent light through this network of caves. The black water rafting is a totally unique experience – sitting in your rubber ring, your experienced and knowledgeable guides will take you through a maze of underground caves and streams whose ceilings are coated in glow-worms that produce a radiant light to lead you through. There is a range of options to explore the caves, from walks to rafting, dependent upon your adrenalin levels. We take time to enjoy a picnic lunch overlooking farmland before heading to Auckland and a taste of big city life “kiwi style”. Auckland nightlife is second to none and it’s a great chance to join your group for a taste of the harbor bars and restaurants. Camping isn’t feasible in the heart of the country’s largest city, so we will be staying in a great hostel giving you the best access to explore the city. We have dorm beds reserved for everyone on board and private rooms can be booked subject to availability. Payment is to be made to Flying Kiwi prior to arrival into Auckland. Auckland is bordered by 2 harbors, Waitemata and Manukau and lies at the southern end of the Auckland Peninsula. Auckland is NZ's largest city and the main gateway for all elements of commerce, tourism and industry. Although this is the largest urban area its also has great beaches, excellent shopping and the buzzing nightlife and culture you'd hope for in a large city. Auckland is also known as the City of Sails and this has been added to with America’s Cup event regularly held here. Bike Rides: If you’re not doing any Waitomo activities, jump on a bike and enjoy a countryside road ride into Waitomo. You’ll be riding through the Waikato District, home to many four-legged wooly friends, sheep! Walks and Hikes: Enjoy a trail walk taking you through forest in Waitomo to caves and a lookout overlooking the Waitomo district. Optional Activities: Blackwater rafting, glowworm cave tour Drive Distance: Approx. 4-5 hours
We leave the City of Sails (Auckland) at 10 am heading north to the golden beaches and warm waters of the Bay of Islands. On route, we take time for a break, and a quick swim for those that are keen, at beautiful Uretiti beach. It’s a great place to relax and make use of the Frisbee, football and rugby ball on board. We then head to the historically significant town of Paihia, the main gateway for the Bay of Islands before doing a highly recommend mangrove walk from the thundering Haruru waterfalls. Our campsite is nestled next to the estuary and we will be spending 2 nights here giving you time to explore the best of the Bay. Bike Rides: Forest trail rides that will give you views of the Bay of Islands, good exercise and go past the Haruru Waterfalls. Walks and Hikes: A great afternoon walk taking you past mangroves, over boardwalks, through forest before ending at the Haruru Waterfalls. A beautiful walk and highly recommended! Optional Activities: Waitangi Treaty House (Maori culture), twilight kayaking Available Upgrades: Yes (limited options) Drive Distance: Approx. 4 hours
Experience a full day exploring the Bay of Islands and its turquoise waters. This subtropical region is the perfect playground for water lovers and a great place to soak up the sunshine. With a staggering 144 islands, the Bay of Islands offers swimming, sailing, dolphin viewing, kayaking plus much more along with some excellent walks in the native forests. This region is also home to some of the oldest European settlements in New Zealand. Bike Rides: If not doing an activity hop on a bike to explore Paihia Walks and Hikes: If not doing an activity walk into Paihia or take a trip over to the historic town of Russell Optional Activities: Sailing, fishing, diving, kayaking, Maori Culture Available Upgrades: Yes (limited options) Drive Distance: No driving today
Today we cross the top of the north to the giant sand dunes of Opononi for beach fun and optional sand boarding. After time on the dunes we head to Waipoua Forest, home to the giant Kauri trees and a variety of scenic short walks and bike rides. We end the day heading down the Hibiscus Coast to our beachside camp at Orewa. Enjoy a tasty evening meal with a sea view before a spot of star gazing in the crystal-clear skies. The roads around this region pass through forest dominated by huge kauri trees. These towers above you stand at heights of up to 60 meters with a trunk five or more in diameter. These trees are slow-growing and some are over 2000 years old. Beautiful Opononi is an excellent stop with its endless dunes lined by beautiful pohutakawa trees (the New Zealand Christmas tree). Bike Rides: Ride through the Waipoua forest and the historic settlement of Donnelley's crossing and later on in the day there's a short casual ride around quiet estuary walkway Walks and Hikes: Enjoy getting up close and personal as you walk through one of New Zealand’s largest remaining protected Kauri tree forests. Optional Activities: Sandboarding Available Upgrades: Yes Drive Distance: Approx. 3-4 hours
Orewa is often blessed with a beautiful sunrise over the sea which is well worth an early start before we travel the short distance to Auckland arriving by 9:30 am where we say our final farewells. Bike Rides: 8km – Te Ara Tahuna Estuary Cycleway Optional Activities: Sandboarding, hot pools Drive Distance: Approx 50 minutes
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