New Zealand–Best of the North Island
Day 1 Auckland
Arrive in Auckland at any time. There are no planned activities during the day, so check into the hotel and explore the city. Please try to arrive before 7pm for an important group welcome meeting where you can meet the Chief Experience Officer (CEO) and the other group members. If you arrive early enough, you'll have time to head into the city to visit the Maritime Museum, walk the waterfront, or even take the ferry to Waiheke Island.
Day 2-3 Raglan (2B,1L,1D)
Travel the backroads to a remote conservation farm where they are using natural means to boost the stocks of traditionally farmed marine life. They have created a balanced ecosystem to attract the native birds and animals back to the area. Kayak to a remote part of the harbour for a picnic lunch and boat cruise before heading to our lodge in the famous surf and arts town of Raglan for the night. Nestled in native bush overlooking the sea, the lodge is located near one of the most famous surf breaks in the world. They also have a vegetable garden where they use as much fresh produce as they can and they treat their own waste adding to the sustainability of the lodge On Day 3 head down to the beach for an included surf lesson. The instructor chooses a secluded and safe part of the beach and we use large boards to ensure that you stand up and ride a wave. The afternoon is open for optional activities such as bone carving with local maori, mountain biking or exploring the many walks. At night opt for a fish and chips dinner. Estimated travel time: 3 hours Travel distance: 160 km
Day 4 Rotorua/Maori Village Visit (1B,1D)
Depending on the weather conditions and the desires of the group, we have an option to visit the Waitomo caves, famous for their glow worms. The glow worm is unique to New Zealand. Hundreds of thousands of these tiny creatures radiate their luminescent light in underground caves calved by rivers and time. Enjoy the tranquil boat ride under magical glowworms and become a part of over 120 years of cultural and natural history. For the adventurous, there is the option of ‘black water rafting’ (floating in an inner tube along the river, approximate cost NZD$120). Please note that if you choose to go to the Waitomo caves there is not enough time to go either skydiving or rafting in Rotorua. Your CEO will explain the pros and cons of these choices upon arrival. Continue to Rotorua for an engaging cultural experience on the grounds of a historic Maori village. Dine this evening in picnic fashion on traditional maori food (Hangi). Estimated travel time: 4 hours Travel distance: 250 km
Day 5 National Park (1B,1D)
An early start to walk across the Tongriro Crossing, New Zealand's top-rated 1-day trek. Collecting supplies before the trek, the transfer will drop the group off for the self-guided trek and collect eveyone at the other end. Experience spectacular views while traversing across the volcanic range, one volcano is currently active. We ensure that you are prepared by going through a safety checklist and taking you to buy the supplies you might not have for the 19.4 km trek. The elements can consistently be changing, remember to dress accordingly and bring snacks. If the weather is too bad for the trek there will be alternative options such as smaller walks in the area or a visit to remote hot springs. Additionally, if you do not wish to do the Tongriro Crossing other activities can be arranged. *Please note: In the winter months (usually between June and October) when there is snow on the mountains the crossing can only be done with special equipment and a guide. If you still wish to do the crossing your CEO can arrange it and there will be an extra cost of around $100 for the equipment and guidance. If you do not wish to do the walk in such conditions we include a couple of shorter walks and visit the Volcanic Information Centre as an alternative activity during these months. After finishing the trek travel to a ski lodge on the side of a mountain for the night. A spa and sauna on site will help ease those tired muscles. Estimated travel time: 3 hours driving time, walking time depending on group speed and size. Travel distance: 180 km driving, 19.4 km walking
Day 6 Wellington (1B)
Travel to the capital city, Wellington. Arrive early enough for a visit to New Zealand's National Museum, Te Papa. This is a must-see with great displays of historical Maori artifacts and relatively modern exhibits such as the motorbike that was built in a shed and won the world championships. Entrance to the museum is free (but there is a charge for special exhibits). Be sure to find the stairwell just outside the entrance and descent into the foundations of the building. See how the museum is constructed on shock absorbers to withstand the many earthquakes New Zealand encounters. A short walk from our accommodation displays the sights of the coastal central business district. Finish the day off with an optional night on the town. Wellington has an abundance of nightlife, bars, cafes and restaurants all located on and around the entertainment district of Courtenay Place. Wellington is also renowned for its coffee – be sure to grab a cup of java from one of the many cafes. Estimated travel time: 5 hours Travel distance: 400 km
Day 7 Wellington (1B)
Depart at any time. Looking for a lift back to Auckland? Add on the "Auckland Express" and ride with your CEO back north. Ask your sales CEO or agent about this Extra. What is the Auckland Express Extra?: Depart 6am and return to the Nomads Auckland hostel for around 5pm (8-9 hours driving time). If you have booked a transfer that is NOT on the last day of your tour, you must book post-accommodation through G Adventures. All services must be connected.