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  • Exciting 8 Days North Island Explorer
  • Exciting 8 Days North Island Explorer

    Packing in cosmopolitan cities, tranquil beaches, rolling farmland, and authentic opportunities to experience Maori culture, the North Island is an exceedingly versatile destination just begging to be explored.

    Travel through the heart of the North Island on this short 'highlights' New Zealand self-drive tour. From Auckland journey north to the gorgeous Bay of Islands area for 2 days before heading south through the Waikato countryside to Rotorua, the Maori culture capital of New Zealand. It's then on to the spectacular World Heritage Tongariro National Park for an unforgettable hiking experience. The final leg of your whirlwind tour of the North Island takes you past sheep farms and wineries as you travel through the Whanganui region to your final destination, the capital city of Wellington. With action packed activities, this is an experience not to miss!

    Black River Rafting in Waitomo
    Black River Rafting in Waitomo
    -

    YOU PAY FROM AFTER GCASH TRAVEL CREDITS

    DESTINATION
    NEW ZEALAND
    THEME
    ACTION ADVENTURE
    PRICE FROM
    $2,139
    FLIGHTS INC.
    PACKAGE TYPES
    SELF-GUIDED
    PHYSICAL LEVEL
    7/10
    Member offer

    3 months free membership

    Not yet a member? We will include 3 months' free membership with enough travel credits to get the maximum discount on this holiday.

    Trip Highlights

     

    There are so many fantastic highlights on this trip, but the standout is the Black Labyrinth Rafting experience in Waitomo. Float down an underground river, slip into fast waters, jump off waterfalls and take in the magic of the glow worm studded Ruakuri Cave.

    Select package type:


    Sapphire Self-guided

    A marvellous, self-guided car trip for independent travellers!

    This suits singles, couples and groups of up to 8 people. We organise everything for you saving you a lot of time and money. You drive and follow the great itinerary we organise for you to make the absolute most of your holiday.

    READ MORE

    Sapphire self-guided package

    Sapphire package - self-guided from $2,139pp twin-share [+ $1,102 GCash credits]

    Our base package class includes all of the essential trip elements including activities and allows you the option to choose from a range of other daily inclusions. Very high quality Bronze or Silver standard accommodation applies.

    SHARE TYPES

    Afternoon Dolphin Cruise to the Hole in the Rock

    Board your cruise in Paihia and take in the stunning views as we glide out through the islands and along the Rakaumangamanga Peninsula to Cape Brett, where a historic lighthouse keeps watch over and Piercy Island/Motukokako, or as it is popularly known, the 'Hole in the Rock'. Keep an eye out for bottlenose dolphins, whales and other marine life during your cruise - don't forget your camera!

    Black Labyrinth Rafting Experience

    Float down an underground river, slip into fast waters, jump off waterfalls and take in the magic of the glow worm studded Ruakuri Cave, on this 3-hour adventure.

    Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland Experience

    Wai-O-Tapu is considered to be New Zealand's most colourful and diverse geothermal sightseeing attraction. As you walk a series of different routes, you are introduced to a uniquely different natural landscape - the key to what you see lies below the surface - one of the most extensive geothermal systems in New Zealand.

    More trip highlights:

    local_activity
    Marvel at the magnificent Tane Mahuta tree

    Of all New Zealand's kauri forests, none is more famous than Waipoua Forest on the west coast. This forest is the home of Tane Mahuta, the country's largest kauri tree, which is approximately 2,000 years old and still growing. Standing at nearly 46 metres high, come and stand next to this magnificent tree and discover why it is rightly called 'The Lord of the Forest'.

    local_activity
    Tongariro Alpine Self-guided tour

    Explore the stunningly beautiful and popular area of Tongariro which is made up of 3 volcanic peaks on this self-guided audio tour.

    local_activity
    Dune Rider Cape Reinga Tour

    Sit back and soak up the full commentary from knowledgeable local driver guides as you make your way north on this full day adventure. Relax in comfort and explore Northland's must see spots including the remote Te Paki sand dunes, with an opportunity to climb up and sand board down them, drive along 90 Mile Beach with a stop to stretch your legs and visit the iconic Cape Reinga Lighthouse, and much more! (Optional)

    local_activity
    Rotorua Skyline Gondola & Dinner

    Take a scenic ride in the iconic Skyline Gondola and take in the stunning views as you ride the steepest cable car lift in the Southern Hemisphere! At the top of the Gondola, treat yourself to a sumptuous buffet dinner at Skyline’s Stratosfare Restaurant & Bar.

    local_activity
    Wellington Cable Car & Lunch Experience

    No trip to Wellington is complete without a quick historic journey on the Cable Car. Enjoy great views from the lookout and easy access to the Botanic Garden, Cable Car Museum, Space Place and Zealandia. At the end, enjoy a delicious lunch at Cable Top Eatery.


    View the itinerary for a comprehensive view of the trip highlights.

    Member Pricing

    Sapphire self-guided package
    Sapphire Self-guided
    A marvellous, self-guided car trip for independent travellers!
    From $2,139pp twin-share [+ $1,102 GCash credits]
    • Return flights to Auckland International Airport (AKL)
    • 8 days of touring and sight-seeing
    • 17 towns and other places of interest visited
    • 7 nights' top-class accommodation
    • 4 excellent excursions and activities
    Ruby self-guided package
    Ruby Self-guided
    A marvellous, self-guided car trip for independent travellers!
    From $2,679pp twin-share [+ $1,380 GCash credits]
    • Return flights to Auckland International Airport (AKL)
    • 8 days of touring and sight-seeing
    • 17 towns and other places of interest visited
    • 7 nights' top-class accommodation
    • 8 excellent excursions and activities

    FAQ: Single, twin-share and more

    What is twin-share, triple-share and quad-share?

    The share-basis is about accommodation pricing. It does not mean that you share a room with a stranger.

    "Twin-share" is where two people occupy a hotel room (open-plan style) or other accommodation such as an apartment, usually a couple or two friends. This is the normal way accommodation is priced. The price is shared between two people. Most accommodation properties (eg. hotels) offer rooms with king, queen or double beds. Most offer the option of "twin" beds as well which actually means two single beds to accommodate singles sharing, couples wanting space and so-on.

    "Triple share" is where three people occupy the accommodation and share the price. "Quad-share" is where four people occupy the accommodation and share the price. Family apartments and hotel rooms usually include a king, queen or double bed and one or more single beds to handle triple and quad-share arrangements. Sometimes other bedding configurations are available as well.

    What is a seasonal adjustment?

    Some accommodation providers, especially in very popular holiday locations, have higher room rates for busy holiday periods (usually spring and summer holidays). We must make an allowance for those price variations if applicable.

    What is a single supplement?

    A "single supplement" applies to single travellers who want a room to themselves. Because the price is not shared, a "single supplement" applies. This additional amount is based on the single covering the entire accommodation component of the trip that would normally be split between two or more people.

    Getaway Cash (GCash) travel credits reduce the price of your trip from retail down to industry-wholesale. Free Flights Vouchers further discount your holiday.

    More Details | Travel Club Free Trial

    Not yet a member? Submit a booking enquiry for any package and we'll automatically register you to receive $3,000 in GCash travel credits and 90 days to book a trip. There's no obligation to book and you can cancel any time.

    RETAIL VALUE

    GETAWAY CASH CREDITS APPLIED

    -

    YOU PAY*

    DISCOUNT OFF RETAIL VALUE:
    FFV Valid AUSTRALIAN ESCAPES FREE FLIGHTS VOUCHER (FFV) PACKAGES
    USE FREE FLIGHTS VOUCHERS TO SAVE AN EXTRA PER PERSON* (YOU PAY )

    * Limits may apply to group bookings. Details will be provided at the time of final pricing.

    Member offer

    3 months free membership

    Not yet a member? We will include 3 months' free membership with enough travel credits to get the maximum discount on this holiday.

    * All prices are per-person on a twin-share basis unless stated otherwise and bookings are subject to availability. Price, Getaway Cash travel credit usage, Free Flights Voucher usage and deposit amount varies according to travel date. All prices are estimates only. A firm quote (travel plan) with payment terms will be submitted for consideration prior to agreement to proceed. Full booking terms and conditions are available here.

    Not yet a member?

    Simply submit a booking enquiry and we'll automatically provide you with a 3-month Travel Club Trial account. No payment is required and you get instant access to member prices.

    Inclusions

     

    Covering an immense distance at a leisurely pace, this trip serves as the perfect getaway for those looking to unearth some of New Zealand's most serene delights and enjoy its abundance of exhilarating activities.

    Select package type:


    Sapphire Self-guided

    A marvellous, self-guided car trip for independent travellers!

    This suits singles, couples and groups of up to 8 people. We organise everything for you saving you a lot of time and money. You drive and follow the great itinerary we organise for you to make the absolute most of your holiday.

    READ MORE

    Sapphire self-guided package

    Sapphire package - self-guided from $2,139pp twin-share [+ $1,102 GCash credits]

    Our base package class includes all of the essential trip elements including activities and allows you the option to choose from a range of other daily inclusions. Very high quality Bronze or Silver standard accommodation applies.

    SHARE TYPES

    "With its endless coasts, pristine forests and geothermal valley, New Zealand's North Island is a land of unspoiled delights, incredible natural contrast, rich culture and local charm."

    This is a first-class itinerary that's fully flexible. Want more or fewer days or you want to include a special destination or activity? No problem, we’ll customise a travel plan for you.

    Border-proof

    Australian Escapes Border-proof Guarantee applies

    Guaranteed no cancellation or change fees. Travel today in Australia or New Zealand with genuine peace-of-mind.

    Inclusions list:

    flight
    Flight to Auckland

    Fly into gorgeous Auckland and start your unforgettable trip.

    Economy class; Up to 20kg checked-in luggage; Up to 7kg carry-on luggage.
    flight
    Flight home from Wellington

    Enjoy a return flight home from Wellington after your exciting holiday - no doubt you'll be back in no time!

    Economy class; Up to 20kg checked-in luggage; Up to 7kg carry-on luggage.
    hotel
    2 nights accommodation in Paihia

    On the edge of the bay, this property has unforgettable views.

    Located along the shore, just outside of the city centre, your accommodation provides a peaceful setting while ensuring easy access to all the area's highlights.

    Apartment rated Silver standard or above; Ave. guest rating 4.7+.
    hotel
    1 night accommodation in Auckland

    A luxurious property in the heart of the city.

    Auckland is New Zealand's most populous city and is a multi-cultural hub of food, music, arts, and culture. Centrally located, your accommodation provides a perfect base to explore this fantastic city to your hearts content.

    Hotel room rated Silver standard or above; Ave. guest rating 4.4+.
    hotel
    1 night accommodation in Rotorua

    Kick back and relax poolside.

    Rotorua is known for bubbling mud pools, shooting geysers and natural hot springs, as well as showcasing New Zealand's fascinating Maori culture.

    Hotel room rated Silver standard or above; Ave. guest rating 4.1+.
    hotel
    1 night accommodation in Tongariro National Park

    Gorgeous facilities to make your stay relaxing.

    Home to three active volcanic mountains, and iconic and majestic landscapes, Tongariro National Park has attracted adventurers of all ages since 1887.

    Cabin rated Silver standard or above; Ave. guest rating 4.2+.
    hotel
    1 night accommodation in Wellington

    Situated in the heart of the city, with all its highlights at your doorstep.

    Situated at the southern end of the North Island, Wellington, New Zealand, was recently named "the coolest little capital in the world" by Lonely Planet. Your accommodation is the perfect base to explore this fantastic city for yourself.

    Hotel room rated Silver standard or above; Ave. guest rating 4.2+.
    hotel
    1 night accommodation in Whanganui

    Heritage-styled rooms.

    Whanganui was one of the first cities to be founded in New Zealand. Whanganui, meaning 'big bay' or ‘big harbour', comes from the great river that flows through it.

    Studio rated Silver standard or above; Ave. guest rating 4.5+.
    local_activity
    Afternoon Dolphin Cruise to the Hole in the Rock

    Paihia's famous Hole in the Rock

    Board your cruise in Paihia and take in the stunning views as we glide out through the islands and along the Rakaumangamanga Peninsula to Cape Brett, where a historic lighthouse keeps watch over and Piercy Island/Motukokako, or as it is popularly known, the 'Hole in the Rock'. Keep an eye out for bottlenose dolphins, whales and other marine life during your cruise - don't forget your camera!

    local_activity
    Rotorua Skyline Gondola & Dinner

    Get spectacular views of the city as you ride Rotorua's gondola

    Take a scenic ride in the iconic Skyline Gondola and take in the stunning views as you ride the steepest cable car lift in the Southern Hemisphere! At the top of the Gondola, treat yourself to a sumptuous buffet dinner at Skyline's Stratosfare Restaurant & Bar.

    local_activity
    Wellington Cable Car & Lunch Experience

    Explore Wellington aboard it's famous cable car

    No trip to Wellington is complete without a quick historic journey on the Cable Car. Enjoy great views from the lookout and easy access to the Botanic Garden, Cable Car Museum, Space Place and Zealandia. At the end, enjoy a delicious lunch at Cable Top Eatery.

    local_activity
    Tongariro Alpine Self-guided tour

    Explore Tongariro National Park

    Explore the stunningly beautiful and popular area of Tongariro which is made up of 3 volcanic peaks on this self-guided audio tour.

    drive_eta
    8 days car hire

    Embark on an epic self-guided adventure of New Zealand's North Island. Marvel at the spectacular scenery and discover everything this exciting destination has to offer.

    Toyota Corolla 4 door or similar; Suits max. 3 psns w/luggage; 4-door, Auto, Air con. Zero excess or excess cover optional.

    Exclusions and options:

    • A professional tour director is available for medium to large groups

    Other information:

    • Add extra nights wherever you want and pay the lowest member rates
    • Flexible group size (6 or more)
    • Tour director notes supplied for great organisation and more fun
    • Self-drive package available for couples
    • Hand-picked, top-rated hotels, all tried and trusted
    • Variety of optional excursions and tours

    All packages include:

    • No fees to alter the itinerary (you just pay for the adjusted itinerary)
    • Extra nights at industry wholesale price (using GCash travel credits)
    • Google Drive folder with soft copies of all travel documents
    • Personal travel consultant to help plan and customize your holiday
    • Comprehensive, printed itinerary and travel documents

    Other information:

    This tour package is entirely flexible and can be customised to suit your group's interests and number of participants.

    Some substitution of activities might be required subject to travel date and/or day of week as not all activities operate seven days a week.


    * All prices are per-person on a twin-share basis and bookings are subject to availability. Price and deposit amount varies according to travel date. If flights are shown as included then a flight cost provision (allowance) applies and is based on travel from Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane. Travel can be arranged from any other major centre and for any number of people. All prices shown are estimates only. A firm quote (travel plan) with payment terms will be submitted for consideration prior to agreement to proceed. Total price after member discount (using Getaway Cash credits and Australian Escapes Free Flights Vouchers if applicable) is generally payable as follows: Deposit on booking, balance 120 days prior to departure. Packages can be priced for families and groups on request. Standard (retail) price comparisons are with similar packages offered elsewhere or what would be payable by a non-member for the same package. Travel insurance if included is a provision only and may be declined on requestTravel insurance pricing if stated is based on comprehensive travel insurance for two travellers aged 69 years or less as at the date of departure from Australia. No recommendations or advice are given in regard to travel insurance suitability. Travel Directions Pty Ltd (t/as Australian Escapes Holiday & Travel Club) standard booking terms and conditions apply to all booking enquiries and bookings and are available here to view (or visit our website and go to either the "Booking Enquiry" or "About Us" menu item.)

    Your Itinerary

     

    Explore the North Islands' major cities from Auckland, the geothermal wonderland of Rotorua, the world heritage listed Tongariro National Park, Whanganui, the gorgeous Paihia, New Zealand's capital city Wellington, and much more. With countless activities that gets your adrenaline pumping and opens your eyes to New Zealand's spectacular scenery, this will be an unforgettable holiday and perfect introduction to the North Island.

    "I travel a lot; I hate having my life disrupted by routine." Caskie Stinnett

    Your day-to-day itinerary:

    Select package type:


    Sapphire Self-guided

    A marvellous, self-guided car trip for independent travellers!

    This suits singles, couples and groups of up to 8 people. We organise everything for you saving you a lot of time and money. You drive and follow the great itinerary we organise for you to make the absolute most of your holiday.

    READ MORE

    Sapphire self-guided package

    Sapphire package - self-guided from $2,139pp twin-share [+ $1,102 GCash credits]

    Our base package class includes all of the essential trip elements including activities and allows you the option to choose from a range of other daily inclusions. Very high quality Bronze or Silver standard accommodation applies.

    SHARE TYPES

    32 681 2 true 0 41
    DAY 1
    AUCKLAND - MATAKANA - WHANGAREI - PAIHIA (2 NIGHTS)

    If you want to discover the coves and beaches of the Bay of Islands, Paihia is the perfect place to start.

    Getting here:

    flight
    Flight to Auckland

    Fly into gorgeous Auckland and start your unforgettable trip.

    Your hire car:

    drive_eta
    8 days car hire

    Embark on an epic self-guided adventure of New Zealand's North Island. Marvel at the spectacular scenery and discover everything this exciting destination has to offer.

    About today:

    The golden beaches of Whangarei

    The Bay of Islands awaits

    Arrive Auckland (time to be confirmed).

    Pick up your hire car and head north towards Paihia, a gorgeous base from which to explore the surrounding area. It's a 3-hour trip and if driving during the day, there's lots to see. Make a stop at Matakana and visit the unique Sculpture Garden. It will amuse, inspire and delight you with over 750 works of art in gardens and galleries bursting with colour and creativity. Further down the road, enjoy a break in the coastal town of Whangarei.

    Upon arrival in Paihia, check-in to your accommodation and spend the rest of the day exploring at your own pace. In the evening, why not take the option "Waitangi By Night" experience at nearby Waitangi with its after-hours museum access and a Kiwi barbecue and games on the Treaty Grounds. Beat the crowds and soak up the evening atmosphere at this important historic site.

    On the edge of the bay, this property has unforgettable views.
    Room with a range of facilities to make your stay comortable.
    hotel
    2 nights accommodation in Paihia

    Located along the shore, just outside of the city centre, your accommodation provides a peaceful setting while ensuring easy access to all the area's highlights.

    Activities:

    local_activity
    Explore Sculptureum Sculpture Garden

    Less than an hour's drive from Auckland a haven of art, food, wine and gardens awaits. Carefully curated to amuse, inspire and delight, over 750 works of art fill gardens and galleries bursting with colour and creativity.

    local_activity
    Waitangi Treaty Grounds by Night

    Visit New Zealand’s most important historic site and enjoy an evening at the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, located just 2km from Paihia offering extensive views of the beautiful Bay of Islands and across to Russell. History, performances, and a delicious BBQ awaits.

    (Optional)
    local_activity
    Piha by Night Canyoning

    Experience natures playground like never before with our night canyoning adventure. Arrive in Piha at dusk in time to see the sun setting. You enter into the canyon by abseiling under a cascading waterfall, then explore your way down through a cave, pools and ledges, illuminated by only your headlamp and the glow-worm lined rock walls.

    (Optional)
    local_activity
    Auckland Bridge Bungee Jump

    Old meets new - the most enduring sight on the Auckland horizon is also home to a Bungy operation of epic proportions. Our Bungy Pod is attached underneath the bridge, and is ready to go for thrill-seekers looking for a buzz in New Zealand's biggest city. You can even dip your head in the ocean below, bouncing back up feeling fierce and unstoppable.

    (Optional)
    local_activity
    Black Labyrinth Rafting Experience

    Float down an underground river, slip into fast waters, jump off waterfalls and take in the magic of the glow worm studded Ruakuri Cave, on this 3-hour adventure.

    (Optional)
    local_activity
    Explore Sculptureum Sculpture Garden

    Less than an hour's drive from Auckland a haven of art, food, wine and gardens awaits. Carefully curated to amuse, inspire and delight, over 750 works of art fill gardens and galleries bursting with colour and creativity.

    (Optional)
    33 682 0 false 0 41
    DAY 2
    PAIHIA

    About today:

    Hole in the Rock, Paihia

    Today is when the real adventure begins

    Today is when the real adventure begins! After breakfast, start your day off with a hike through the Horotutu Scenic Reserve to Opua Forest Paihia Lookout. The track is an easy 1.5km, taking roughly 40 minutes to reach the lookout. Come back to Paihia for lunch.

    In the early afternoon, you’ll head out onto the water and for your included cruise to the famous Hole in the Rock. Keep an eye out for bottlenose dolphins, whales and other marine life during the cruise, and have your camera ready as you get up close to the action.

    If an afternoon cruise isn’t your thing, there are plenty of other activities to enjoy. Try your hand at parasailing, cycle along the famous Twin Coast Trail, kayak to Urupukapuka Island, or explore nearby Cape Reinga and ride the dunes. See the Optionals for more information.

    Activities:

    local_activity
    Afternoon Dolphin Cruise to the Hole in the Rock

    Board your cruise in Paihia and take in the stunning views as we glide out through the islands and along the Rakaumangamanga Peninsula to Cape Brett, where a historic lighthouse keeps watch over and Piercy Island/Motukokako, or as it is popularly known, the 'Hole in the Rock'. Keep an eye out for bottlenose dolphins, whales and other marine life during your cruise - don't forget your camera!

    local_activity
    Dune Rider Cape Reinga Tour

    Sit back and soak up the full commentary from knowledgeable local driver guides as you make your way north on this full-day adventure. Relax in comfort and explore Northland's must-see spots including the remote Te Paki sand dunes, with an opportunity to climb up and sandboard down them, drive along 90 Mile Beach with a stop to stretch your legs and visit the iconic Cape Reinga Lighthouse, and much more!

    (Optional)
    local_activity
    Parasailing in Paihia

    You won’t believe how peaceful and quiet it is over the Bay of Islands. Just sit back relax and enjoy the amazing sceneries at 1300ft of line. Dolphins, Orca’s and other marine mammals regularily visit the Bay so keep your eyes out. You might see different current lines in the water and sailboats pass underneath you.

    (Optional)
    local_activity
    Twin Coast Cycle Trail

    A beautiful ride along the upper harbour estuary, you will experience rail history, spectacular scenery and a gentle ride to the vibrant town of Kawakawa with its cafes and attractions.

    (Optional)
    local_activity
    Urupukapuka Island Kayaking Tour

    This is a perfect way to experience the Bay of Islands. Take the ferry out and into the middle of the main Islands to Otehei Bay where you will paddle through rock gardens, check out caves, take in the amazing scenery and much more from your kayak.

    (Optional)
    34 662 1 false 0 18
    DAY 3
    PAIHIA - AUCKLAND (1 NIGHT)

    Also known as Tamaki Makaurau, Auckland sprawls over volcanic hills and around twin harbours, offering an exhilarating mix of natural wonders and urban adventures.

    About today:

    Tane Mahuta forest

    Visit New Zealand's largest kauri tree

    After breakfast, we say goodbye to the Bay of Islands and return to Auckland. Along the way back, follow the Western Coast to the towns of Omapere and Opononi, before making your way to Waipoua Forest where you will have the opportunity to marvel at Tane Mahuta, New Zealand's largest kauri tree. Continuing an hour south, you will arrive in Dargaville. Enjoy lunch overlooking a spectacular array of vineyards at Plume Vineyard Restaurant, followed by a visit to Dargaville Museum, where you can learn a bit more about the region's history.

    Upon arrival to Auckland, check-in to your accommodation and spend the rest of your afternoon simply exploring. Auckland is regularly rated one of the world's top cities for quality of life and livability, and you'll soon discover why.

    If you're itching to get back to the great outdoors, we suggest embarking on an unforgettable night canyoning experience in the nearby seaside village of Piha. Experience nature's playground like never before as you abseil under a cascading waterfall before exploring your way down through a cave, pools and ledges, illuminated by only your headlamp and the glow-worm lined rock walls.

    If canyoning isn't your thing, get your adrenaline pumping with bungee jumping off Auckland Bridge.

    A luxurious property in the heart of the city.
    Rooms with excellent views.
    hotel
    1 night accommodation in Auckland

    Auckland is New Zealand's most populous city and is a multi-cultural hub of food, music, arts, and culture. Centrally located, your accommodation provides a perfect base to explore this fantastic city to your hearts content.

    36 683 1 false 0 20
    DAY 4
    AUCKLAND - WAITOMO - ROTORUA (1 NIGHT)

    Rotorua is known for bubbling mud pools, shooting geysers and natural hot springs, as well as showcasing fascinating Maori culture.

    About today:

    Rotorua is home to some spectacular scenery

    Embark on an adrenaline boosting Water Rafting tour

    After breakfast you will return to the road; your first destination is the village of Waitomo, famous for its complex cave system and rich history. Here, you will embark on an adrenaline boosting Black Water Rafting tour. After gearing up and grabbing your tube, spend the next 3 hours weaving around and climbing over rocks, jumping off not-too-high waterfalls, floating beneath a sky of glow worms, and most importantly, having the most fun you’ve ever had in the dark.

    Afterwards, we will enjoy a delicious lunch before returning to the road. Our next and final destination for the night is the stunning geothermal wonderland of Rotorua. Checking-in to the accommodation, drop your bags off and spend some time exploring at your own pace before taking the gondola up to the Skyline Rotorua complex for dinner with spectacular views.

    A range of fantastic facilities to make your stay comfortable.
    Kick back and relax poolside.
    hotel
    1 night accommodation in Rotorua

    Rotorua is known for bubbling mud pools, shooting geysers and natural hot springs, as well as showcasing New Zealand's fascinating Maori culture.

    Activities:

    local_activity
    Black Labyrinth Rafting Experience

    Float down an underground river, slip into fast waters, jump off waterfalls and take in the magic of the glow worm studded Ruakuri Cave, on this 3-hour adventure.

    local_activity
    Rotorua Skyline Gondola & Dinner

    Take a scenic ride in the iconic Skyline Gondola and take in the stunning views as you ride the steepest cable car lift in the Southern Hemisphere! At the top of the Gondola, treat yourself to a sumptuous buffet dinner at Skyline's Stratosfare Restaurant & Bar.

    37 684 1 false 0 60
    DAY 5
    ROTORUA - WAI-O-TAPU - TONGARIRO NATIONAL PARK (1 NIGHT)

    A diverse and awe-inspiring landscape born from volcanic eruptions and carved by ice age glaciers, Tongariro National Park is a place of natural wonders and unforgettable experiences.

    About today:

    Spectacular geysers waiting to be discovered

    Experience NZ's breathtaking natural wonder

    Following breakfast, we will embark on a half-day tour of the extraordinary Wai-O-Tapu geysers - one of the most extensive geothermal systems in New Zealand. Along with a knowledgeable guide, embark on a journey through a series of clearly defined tracks, providing you with the opportunity to enjoy the diversity of the area through a series of different walks, each with their own unique volcanic vistas to fascinate all ages.

    Returning to Rotorua in the afternoon, we'll enjoy a delicious lunch before journeying down to Tongariro National Park; with its ruggedly diverse landscape, from volcanic peaks to lush native bush and rivers, this World Heritage Site is a natural wonder that beams quintessential New Zealand.

    Set amongst the spectacular mountains.
    Gorgeous facilities to make your stay relaxing.
    hotel
    1 night accommodation in Tongariro National Park

    Home to three active volcanic mountains, and iconic and majestic landscapes, Tongariro National Park has attracted adventurers of all ages since 1887.

    Activities:

    local_activity
    Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland Experience

    Wai-O-Tapu is considered to be New Zealand's most colourful and diverse geothermal sightseeing attraction. As you walk a series of different routes, you are introduced to a uniquely different natural landscape - the key to what you see lies below the surface - one of the most extensive geothermal systems in New Zealand.

    local_activity
    Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland Experience

    Wai-O-Tapu is considered to be New Zealand's most colourful and diverse geothermal sightseeing attraction. As you walk a series of different routes, you are introduced to a uniquely different natural landscape - the key to what you see lies below the surface - one of the most extensive geothermal systems in New Zealand.

    (Optional)
    53 663 1 false 0 59
    DAY 6
    TONGARIRO NATIONAL PARK - WHANGANUI (1 NIGHT)

    The city of Whanganui sits at the Tasman Sea end of the wild and wonderful Whanganui River. Discover heritage buildings, a paddle steamer and much more.

    About today:

    Hike through the Tongariro National Park

    A hiking experience like no other

    Today is all about exploring the area. Accompanied by an audio-guide, hike through the National Park and learn about the volcanic activity and the craters that are found in the area like the Red, Central and North Crater. This hike will tell you about Maori myths and legends while walking through this legendary area that was also made famous by the filming of The Lord of the Rings. You will also see the Lower Mangatepopo Valley, Soft drink Springs, the Emerald Lakes, Blue Lake, the Totara Forest, and much more. This is your tour to do at your own pace.

    If you're searching for something more endurance-based, join a guided tour through the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. Spanning over 7-9 hours, covering 20kms of distance with climbs reaching 776m and descents a total of 1126m, experience fascinating geology and areas of great cultural significance.

    In the evening, kick the snow and dirt off your boots and drive an hour down to the town of Whanganui where you will stay for the night.

    A charming hotel with fantastic facilities
    Heritage-styled rooms.
    hotel
    1 night accommodation in Whanganui

    Whanganui was one of the first cities to be founded in New Zealand. Whanganui, meaning 'big bay' or ‘big harbour', comes from the great river that flows through it.

    Activities:

    local_activity
    Tongariro Alpine Self-guided tour

    Explore the stunningly beautiful and popular area of Tongariro which is made up of 3 volcanic peaks on this self-guided audio tour.

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    DAY 7
    WHANGANUI - WELLINGTON (1 NIGHT)

    Situated at the southern end of the North Island, Wellington, New Zealand, was recently named 'the coolest little capital in the world' by Lonely Planet.

    About today:

    Canoe experience on the Whanganui River

    Canoe down the Whanganui River

    After fueling up with breakfast, embark on an exciting canoeing tour of the Whanganui River. Your guide will jet boat you upriver for 13 kms stopping along the way to share the local history and stories of the river, before giving you your own canoe and allowing you to paddle yourself back to Pipiriki, exploring and enjoying the native scenery, deep river gorges and some of the more exciting rapids along the way.

    After this exciting experience, say goodbye to Whanganui and head off on your last North Island destination: the city of Wellington. Surrounded by nature and fuelled by creative energy, Wellington is a compact city with a powerful mix of culture, history, nature and cuisine. After checking-in to the accommodation, enjoy some time to explore independently.

    Home to the famous Weta Workshop, why not embark on an evening tour of Wellington city, stopping in at key filming sites for the Lord of the Rings franchise.

    Situated in the heart of the city, with all its highlights at your doorstep.
    Luxurious facilities.
    hotel
    1 night accommodation in Wellington

    Situated at the southern end of the North Island, Wellington, New Zealand, was recently named "the coolest little capital in the world" by Lonely Planet. Your accommodation is the perfect base to explore this fantastic city for yourself.

    Activities:

    local_activity
    Jet Boat & Canoeing Experience

    Jet boat upriver as you listen to local history and stories of the river before you paddling yourself back to Whanganui, exploring and enjoying the native scenery, deep river gorges and some of the more exciting rapids along the way.

    local_activity
    Lord of the Rings Wellington City Tour

    This half day tour takes you to the best locations in Wellington City. Explore key sites in the film-making process with your specialist Lord of the Rings guide.

    (Optional)
    local_activity
    Jet Boat & Canoeing Experience

    Jet boat upriver as you listen to local history and stories of the river before you paddling yourself back to Whanganui, exploring and enjoying the native scenery, deep river gorges and some of the more exciting rapids along the way.

    (Optional)
    39 685 0 false 0 23
    DAY 8
    WELLINGTON - RETURN HOME

    About today:

    Explore Wellington and it's surrounds

    Say Kia Ora to New Zealand

    Spend the morning unwinding and collecting yourselves after such an exciting couple of days. Enjoy a delicious breakfast and simply relax.

    In the afternoon, head out on the famous Wellington Cable Car. Taking you through the heart of Wellington and beyond, enjoy the spectacular scenery and unique experience as you climb up to the Cable Car Summit, where lunch will be served. Climbing back down the mountain, soak up some last minute experiences before heading to the airport for your flight home. Having just tasted the highlights of the North Island, there's no doubt you will be back in no time!

    Activities:

    local_activity
    Wellington Cable Car & Lunch Experience

    No trip to Wellington is complete without a quick historic journey on the Cable Car. Enjoy great views from the lookout and easy access to the Botanic Garden, Cable Car Museum, Space Place and Zealandia. At the end, enjoy a delicious lunch at Cable Top Eatery.

    Accommodation

     

    All accommodation is carefully selected to meet the high standards defined by our accreditation system. Read about our accommodation rating standards and the methods used to assess quality.

    Select package type:


    Sapphire Self-guided

    A marvellous, self-guided car trip for independent travellers!

    This suits singles, couples and groups of up to 8 people. We organise everything for you saving you a lot of time and money. You drive and follow the great itinerary we organise for you to make the absolute most of your holiday.

    READ MORE

    Sapphire self-guided package

    Sapphire package - self-guided from $2,139pp twin-share [+ $1,102 GCash credits]

    Our base package class includes all of the essential trip elements including activities and allows you the option to choose from a range of other daily inclusions. Very high quality Bronze or Silver standard accommodation applies.

    SHARE TYPES

    Accommodation standards applied:

    Paihia

    On the edge of the bay, this property has unforgettable views.

    Room with a range of facilities to make your stay comortable.

    Located along the shore, just outside of the city centre, your accommodation provides a peaceful setting while ensuring easy access to all the area's highlights.

    Example Property Type:
    Holiday Apartments
    Minimum Standard:
    Silver standard

    About this

    Silver standard: Self/externally rated as 3.5 to 4.5 stars. Average guest rating 4.0 or higher with 70 to 80% 4 to 5-star recent reviews. High to very high standard of accommodation including quality king or queen-sized bedding, quality room decor, views from some or most rooms where available, very good range and quality of facilities. Praise for staff or host(s) is mentioned in some reviews. The hotel is in a safe, central location, near to the main places of interest and offers above-average design. Is very good, to exceptional value for money.

    About Hotel Standards

    Typical Guest Rating:
    4.7 out of 5
    Example Room Type:
    Apartment

    Auckland

    A luxurious property in the heart of the city.

    Rooms with excellent views.

    Auckland is New Zealand's most populous city and is a multi-cultural hub of food, music, arts, and culture. Centrally located, your accommodation provides a perfect base to explore this fantastic city to your hearts content.

    Example Property Type:
    Hotel
    Minimum Standard:
    Silver standard

    About this

    Silver standard: Self/externally rated as 3.5 to 4.5 stars. Average guest rating 4.0 or higher with 70 to 80% 4 to 5-star recent reviews. High to very high standard of accommodation including quality king or queen-sized bedding, quality room decor, views from some or most rooms where available, very good range and quality of facilities. Praise for staff or host(s) is mentioned in some reviews. The hotel is in a safe, central location, near to the main places of interest and offers above-average design. Is very good, to exceptional value for money.

    About Hotel Standards

    Typical Guest Rating:
    4.4 out of 5
    Example Room Type:
    Hotel room

    Rotorua

    A range of fantastic facilities to make your stay comfortable.

    Kick back and relax poolside.

    Rotorua is known for bubbling mud pools, shooting geysers and natural hot springs, as well as showcasing New Zealand's fascinating Maori culture.

    Example Property Type:
    Hotel
    Minimum Standard:
    Silver standard

    About this

    Silver standard: Self/externally rated as 3.5 to 4.5 stars. Average guest rating 4.0 or higher with 70 to 80% 4 to 5-star recent reviews. High to very high standard of accommodation including quality king or queen-sized bedding, quality room decor, views from some or most rooms where available, very good range and quality of facilities. Praise for staff or host(s) is mentioned in some reviews. The hotel is in a safe, central location, near to the main places of interest and offers above-average design. Is very good, to exceptional value for money.

    About Hotel Standards

    Typical Guest Rating:
    4.1 out of 5
    Example Room Type:
    Hotel room

    Tongariro National Park

    Set amongst the spectacular mountains.

    Gorgeous facilities to make your stay relaxing.

    Home to three active volcanic mountains, and iconic and majestic landscapes, Tongariro National Park has attracted adventurers of all ages since 1887.

    Example Property Type:
    Hotel
    Minimum Standard:
    Silver standard

    About this

    Silver standard: Self/externally rated as 3.5 to 4.5 stars. Average guest rating 4.0 or higher with 70 to 80% 4 to 5-star recent reviews. High to very high standard of accommodation including quality king or queen-sized bedding, quality room decor, views from some or most rooms where available, very good range and quality of facilities. Praise for staff or host(s) is mentioned in some reviews. The hotel is in a safe, central location, near to the main places of interest and offers above-average design. Is very good, to exceptional value for money.

    About Hotel Standards

    Typical Guest Rating:
    4.2 out of 5
    Example Room Type:
    Cabin

    Whanganui

    A charming hotel with fantastic facilities

    Heritage-styled rooms.

    Whanganui was one of the first cities to be founded in New Zealand. Whanganui, meaning 'big bay' or ‘big harbour', comes from the great river that flows through it.

    Example Property Type:
    Inn-style Hotel
    Minimum Standard:
    Silver standard

    About this

    Silver standard: Self/externally rated as 3.5 to 4.5 stars. Average guest rating 4.0 or higher with 70 to 80% 4 to 5-star recent reviews. High to very high standard of accommodation including quality king or queen-sized bedding, quality room decor, views from some or most rooms where available, very good range and quality of facilities. Praise for staff or host(s) is mentioned in some reviews. The hotel is in a safe, central location, near to the main places of interest and offers above-average design. Is very good, to exceptional value for money.

    About Hotel Standards

    Typical Guest Rating:
    4.5 out of 5
    Example Room Type:
    Studio

    Wellington

    Situated in the heart of the city, with all its highlights at your doorstep.

    Luxurious facilities.

    Situated at the southern end of the North Island, Wellington, New Zealand, was recently named "the coolest little capital in the world" by Lonely Planet. Your accommodation is the perfect base to explore this fantastic city for yourself.

    Example Property Type:
    Hotel
    Minimum Standard:
    Silver standard

    About this

    Silver standard: Self/externally rated as 3.5 to 4.5 stars. Average guest rating 4.0 or higher with 70 to 80% 4 to 5-star recent reviews. High to very high standard of accommodation including quality king or queen-sized bedding, quality room decor, views from some or most rooms where available, very good range and quality of facilities. Praise for staff or host(s) is mentioned in some reviews. The hotel is in a safe, central location, near to the main places of interest and offers above-average design. Is very good, to exceptional value for money.

    About Hotel Standards

    Typical Guest Rating:
    4.2 out of 5
    Example Room Type:
    Hotel room

    Carefully selected accommodation:

    Hotel Standards

    Read about our accommodation rating standards and the methods used to assess quality.


    Shown above are examples of the type and quality of accommodation to be supplied. When ready to proceed, we will confirm available accommodation at that time including any examples given here where possible. Any changes to accommodation will be approved by you prior to bookings being placed. Actual accommodation might need to be changed subject to availability and with the aim of working within the package price.

    FAQ's for This Package

    Yes, a provision for flights is included in this package. You can also use Australian Escapes Free Flights Vouchers at the rate of 1 per traveler to reduce the overall price.

    Pricing is based on a minimum of two travelers, however all of our travel and tour packages are fully flexible. Each is a TEMPLATE to be used as a framework around which you can customise an itinerary to suit. The minimum numbers are flexible as well and groups can be as small as two people for a self-guided holiday. After discussion, we'll go away and prepare a tour plan (including best value pricing) to suit your ideas and preferences.

    Accommodation is supplied in all overnight destinations. It will be hotel style rated Silver Standard or above. This means, very high quality accommodation. Bedding is arranged to suit the number of persons staying. All accommodation is subject to change subject according to availability however it will be as central as possible and very high quality.

    We try to include as much as possible to avoid any surprises however some optional activities might be offered. Included activities are shown on each listing. Also shown are exclusions.

    The introductory package is self-guided (self-drive) and exclusive to your group. All tour packages are flexible. If you represent a club or other group, please click the "Enquiry" button to request pricing for your group size as pricing is often affected by the number of people.

    This tour includes attractions where a guide will provide information to enhance your experience. A professional tour director is provided and recommended for exclusive charters of 20 or more people. A group trip organiser may also fill this role.

    General Tour Package FAQ's

    All tours can be operated on a "Group-guided" basis. A complete "Tour Manager Notes & Guide" manual is supplied to the group leader (trip organizer). Included is a comprehensive daily itinerary, driver instructions and information about each part of your tour to enable you to provide entertaining commentary. Also included are checklists and reminders about daily tasks. The end-result is easy-flowing trip organisation, fewer issues and very happy tour participants. Overall it means less stress and a lot more fun for everyone.

    If a tour director is supplied in an example tour package it will be shown as an inclusion. But this is very flexible and if not included as standard, can be arranged if preferred. If you are part of a social group such as Probus, the trip organiser will often enjoy taking on this role. We provide comprehensive information and guidance for "hands-on" trip organisers. This includes a "how-to" guide and starter information about the places visited on the tour.

    Yes, definitely. All charter tour packages are simply "templates" as a starting point for customising a tour to suit. We then we apply the discounts available to you, your club or corporate group.

    All tour packages are flexible. Various options are already published. (See the Pricing section for the tour you are interested in.) "Join departure" tour types are tours where you can join a tour group leaving on various departure dates. This suit couples and singles. If you represent a club or other group, please click the "Enquiry" button to request pricing for an exclusive charter to suit your group.

    We try to include as much as possible to avoid any surprises however some optional activities might be offered. Included activities are shown on each listing. Also shown are exclusions.

    "Self-guided" (self-drive) is a trip designed for couples and groups of up to 8 people (such as two to four couples) traveling together using a single car or 7 to 12-seater van. It means that you guide yourself on the trip. "Group-guided" means the tour is for a larger group on a bus with a driver and the group leader (trip organizer) as tour director. A professional tour director can be supplied if required.

    Top

    FAQ: Tour package types and flexibility

    What is a "Self-guided" tour?

    This means you are in full control of your trip including driving. You will have a rental car (uncluded in the package) to get you around. The vehicle size varies according to preference and/or group size. Self-guided is aimed at singles, couples and groups of up to 8 people.

    Our job is to organise most things for you in advance saving you a lot of time, stress and money. You'll receive a complete daily itinerary with lots of helpful information plus a FREE Lonely Planet guide to fill in the gaps. There is usually considerable flexible time at each destination enabling you to relax and enjoy the location and to do things spontaneously.

    What is a "Group-guided" tour?

    Group-guided is aimed at groups of 12 or more people. "Group-guided" means you or another person runs the tour as would a tour director. A tour coach and professional driver is supplied.

    The included "Tour Manager Notes & Guide" helps you run the tour, plus you receive a FREE Lonely Planet guide. Included is a complete daily itinerary with lots of helpful information as a well as a driver itinerary.

    We organise all aspects of the trip in advance saving you a lot of time and money and ensuring a smooth travel experience. There is usually considerable flexible time at each destination enabling you to relax and enjoy the location and do things spontaneously.

    What is a "Fully-guided" tour?

    Fully-guided tours are aimed at larger groups on a charter basis, the same as "Group-guided", except that the tour is run by a professional tour director.

    Transport is a tour coach and professional driver. We organise all aspects of the trip in advance saving you a lot of time and money and ensuring a smooth travel experience. There is usually considerable flexible time at each destination enabling you to relax and enjoy the location and do things spontaneously. A fully-guided tour means everyone can relax including the trip organiser.

    What is a "Join departure" tour?

    You join a fully-guided tour that starts on an available departure date. Small and large groups can join a departure, however the tour is focused on the interests of the broader group. You can appoint a leader specifically for your group if preferred to focus on separate interests.

    The tour is run by a professional tour director. Transport can vary from a 8 to 12-seater commuter bus, driven by the tour director, up to a 54-seat luxury coach with professional driver. We organise all aspects of the trip in advance and there is usually considerable flexible time at each destination enabling you to relax and enjoy the location and do things spontaneously.

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