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  • 7-12 Days NZ North Island Explorer
  • 7-12 Days NZ North Island Explorer

    Jam-packed with cool cosmopolitan cities, tranquil beaches, rolling farmland, authentic opportunities to experience Maori culture, and the country's bubbling volcanic heart, this trip is the perfect introduction to NZ.

    Experience vibrant cities, serene beaches, geothermal hotspots and awe-inspiring Maori culture in New Zealand's North Island. Start in the bustling Auckland before heading south along the coast, with its perfect blend of lush farmland and pristine shorelines. Journey inland and visit one of New Zealand’s three world heritage sites. Then spend a couple of days in Rotorua exploring its abundance of geological wonders.

    Waitomo Glowworm Pool
    Waitomo Glowworm Pool
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    YOU PAY FROM AFTER GCASH TRAVEL CREDITS

    DESTINATION
    NEW ZEALAND
    THEME
    HIGHLIGHTS
    PRICE FROM
    AUD $2,460
    FLIGHTS INC.
    PACKAGE TYPES
    SELF-GUIDED
    PHYSICAL LEVEL
    4/10
    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's so much to look forward to on this NZ adventure. Ascend the volcanic cones surrounding Auckland for super city views, follow along the west coast, taking in its stunning beaches and rich Maori history, head to Rotorua where you’ll visit New Zealand’s most dynamic geothermal attractions, and much more.

    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 AUD $2,460pp twin-share

    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.

    COMPARE PACKAGES|SHARE TYPES

    • Nature
    • Beach-side
    • On the water
    • Special interest
    • Shopping
    • Sightseeing
    • Rural towns
    • New cultures
    • Wildlife

    Skyline Rotorua 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.

    Tongariro National Park 2-Hour Sunset Guided Walk

    This is a superb way of experiencing the Tongariro National Park and enjoying this stunning time of day. The sunset tour is an easy 2 hours in amongst the Tongariro Volcanoes.

    Waitomo Glow Worm Cave tour

    Venture inside the Waitomo Glowworm Caves and enter a magical world shimmering with thousands of tiny glowworms.

    More trip highlights:

    local_activity
    Wai-O-Tapu Geothermal Tour

    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
    Cathedral Cove in Coromandel

    This popular track hugs the coast, providing dramatic views of spectacular coastal scenery along its length, finishing at the beach beneath an impressive rock archway (1hr 30m easy return walk). A loop track at the north-western end offers an extension to the main walk with amazing views.

    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'. (Optional extension activity)

    local_activity
    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! (Optional extension activity)


    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 AUD $2,460pp twin-share
    • Return flights to Auckland International Airport (AKL)
    • 7 days car hire included
    • 7 to 12 days of touring and sight-seeing
    • 16 towns and other places of interest visited
    • 6 nights' top-class accommodation
    • 2 excellent excursions and activities

    See full inclusions

    Ruby self-guided package
    Ruby Self-guided
    A marvellous, self-guided car trip for independent travellers!
    From AUD $2,768pp twin-share
    • Return flights to Auckland International Airport (AKL)
    • 7 days car hire included
    • 7 to 12 days of touring and sight-seeing
    • 16 towns and other places of interest visited
    • 6 nights' top-class accommodation
    • 4 excellent excursions and activities

    See full inclusions

    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 lot's of great North Island highlights at a leisurely pace, this trip serves as the perfect opportunity 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 AUD $2,460pp twin-share

    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.

    COMPARE PACKAGES|SHARE TYPES

    "Get ready for mammoth national parks, dynamic Maori culture, and world-class surfing and skiing. New Zealand can be mellow or action-packed, but it's always epic."

    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.

    Inclusions list:

    flight
    Return 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.
    drive_eta
    7 days car hire

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

    Hyundai i30 or similar; Suits max. 3 psns w/luggage; 4-door, Auto, Air con. Zero excess or excess cover optional.
    hotel
    1 night accommodation in Auckland

    Spacious rooms

    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 4.3+; Breakfast available (surcharge applies).
    hotel
    1 night accommodation in Waitomo

    Lots of facilities to enjoy in your room

    Under the green hills of Waitomo lies a labyrinth of caves, sinkholes and underground rivers. Discover Waitomo's world-famous tourist attractions when you spend some time here.

    Motel suite rated Silver standard or above; Ave. guest rating 4.4+.
    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+.
    hotel
    2 nights accommodation in Rotorua

    Excellent facilities to help you relax.

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

    Apartment rated Silver standard or above; Ave. guest rating 4.9+.
    hotel
    1 night accommodation in Coromandel

    Gorgeous self-contained cottages

    The Coromandel, renowned for its pristine beaches, misty forests and laid-back vibe, is one of New Zealand's most popular holiday destinations.

    Cottage rated Silver standard or above; Ave. guest rating 4.6+.
    local_activity
    Tongariro National Park 2-Hour Sunset Guided Walk

    Tongariro National Park 2-Hour Sunset Guided Walk

    This is a superb way of experiencing the Tongariro National Park and enjoying this stunning time of day. The sunset tour is an easy 2 hours in amongst the Tongariro Volcanoes.

    local_activity
    Wai-O-Tapu Geothermal Tour

    Wai-O-Tapu geothermal tour

    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

    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

    Exclusions and options:

    • Optional 5-day tour extension available from $599pp

    Other information:

    • Add extra nights wherever you want and pay the lowest member rates
    • Hand-picked, top-rated hotels, all tried and trusted
    • Variety of optional excursions and tours available

    Other information:

    This tour package is entirely flexible and can be customised to suit your requirements. 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.

    Optional 5-day tour extension includes:

    •     Additional 5-days car hire, zero excess on damage or theft, unlimited kilometres
    •     1-night Bronze or Silver standard accommodation in Waipu, Hokianga, and Auckland
    •     2-nights Bronze or Silver standard accommodation in Paihia
    •     Paihia’s ‘Hole in the Rock’ cruise

    * 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

     

    Embark on a 7-day adventure of New Zealand’s North Island. Packing in cosmopolitan cities, tranquil beaches, rolling farmland, authentic opportunities to experience Maori culture, and the country’s bubbling volcanic heart, the North Island is an exceedingly versatile destination. Consider maximising your NZ experience and extend your holiday, heading up north to the tropical Bay of Islands area for an extra 5 days or more. The picture-perfect scenery and unforgettable cultural experiences are just the highlights of this holiday.

    "Adventure is a path. Real adventure, self-determined, self-motivated, often risky, forces you to have firsthand encounters with the world" - Mark Jenkins

    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 AUD $2,460pp twin-share

    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.

    COMPARE PACKAGES|SHARE TYPES

    351 1894 1 false 0 18
    DAY 1
    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.

    Your hire car:

    drive_eta
    7 days car hire

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

    (Car type is subject to availability.)

    About today:

    Auckland Harbour

    Arrive into Auckland and relax before beginning your adventure

    Start your holiday with a morning flight into Auckland, New Zealand’s self-proclaimed ‘City of Sails’ and the country’s largest metro area. Surrounded by native bush, rainforests and an abundance of beaches, Auckland is a playground for both the city savvy and those with an eye for adventure. After picking up your hire car and checking into your accommodation, explore the central museums and galleries on foot, or take a drive through one of over 800 regional National Parks to see deserted beaches, waterfalls and native forest.

    Spacious rooms
    Lots of facilities for you to enjoy
    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.

    description
    Car excess insurance cover

    In the event of an accident or vehicle theft you will be funded the excess amount charged by the car rental supplier. It provides you with hassle free extra cover when renting a car.

    (Optional AUD $156 Adult price)
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    DAY 2
    AUCKLAND - WAITOMO (1 NIGHT)

    Under the green hills of Waitomo lies a labyrinth of caves, sinkholes and underground rivers. The glowworm studded Waitomo caves are a world-renowned destination within New Zealand.

    About today:

    Waitomo Glowworm Pool

    Marvel at the limestone hills of the Waitomo countryside

    Leaving Auckland, you'll journey through the Bombay Hills and into the rich dairy pastures of the Waikato. Marvel at the limestone hills of the Waitomo countryside before arriving in Waitomo itself, home to a huge underground network of caves. The drive from Auckland to Waitomo is approximately 3 hours, so you have time to explore Waitomo and its surrounds at your own leisure.

    *SAPPHIRE PACKAGE*: WAITOMO GLOW WORM CAVES

    Embark on a guided tour where you'll travel deep underground through the limestone caves viewing stalactites and stalagmites before hopping into a boat on which you will glide silently through the glow worm grotto - a galaxy of tiny living lights. The experience is unforgettable.

    Enjoy your own private balcony
    Lots of facilities to enjoy in your room
    hotel
    1 night accommodation in Waitomo

    Under the green hills of Waitomo lies a labyrinth of caves, sinkholes and underground rivers. Discover Waitomo's world-famous tourist attractions when you spend some time here.

    local_activity
    Waitomo Glow Worm Cave tour

    Venture inside the Waitomo Glowworm Caves and enter a magical world shimmering with thousands of tiny glowworms.

    (Optional AUD $53 Adult price)
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    DAY 3
    WAITOMO - 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:

    Whanganui National Park

    Journey through scenic townships on your way to Whanganui

    Continue your journey to the town of Whanganui, home to New Zealand's longest navigable waterway, The Whanganui River.  As the road heads North-West, lots of interesting townships pop up regularly. We recommend that you take your time and keep an eye out for small museums and quirky art shops.

    Once in Whanganui, there are lots enjoyable ways to spend your time. A perfect place to relax is Kowhai Park, with its lush green surroundings. The Bridge to Nowhere is another lovely local attraction and can be reached by a number of different ways including cycling and jet boating.  

    While there are several landmarks and important architectural buildings to visit, most of the local fun can be found in nature. The sheer peacefulness of this area is what keeps visitors coming back for more.

    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.

    354 1906 2 false 0 20
    DAY 4
    WHANGANUI - TONGARIRO NATIONAL PARK - ROTORUA (2 NIGHTS)

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

    About today:

    Tongariro National Park

    Watch the sunset in Tongariro National Park

    Today you will set out on the scenic drive up to Rotorua. Enjoy your morning exploring Whanganui more before returning to the road. Follow alongside the Mangawhero River, enjoying the scenic journey to Tongariro National Park where you will embark on a guided sunset tour.  Tongariro National Park is one of New Zealand’s three world heritage sites, and clouds permitting you can see the 2,500 meter peak of the still volcanically active Mt. Ruapehu. You might recognise the symmetrical shape of Mt. Ngauruhoe as this was used as the scenery of Mt. Doom in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy.

    After your tour, continue up to Rotorua where you will check-in to your accommodation and finish your day.

    Stylish and comfortable rooms.
    Excellent facilities to help you relax.
    hotel
    2 nights 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
    Tongariro National Park 2-Hour Sunset Guided Walk

    This is a superb way of experiencing the Tongariro National Park and enjoying this stunning time of day. The sunset tour is an easy 2 hours in amongst the Tongariro Volcanoes.

    (Included)
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    DAY 5
    ROTORUA

    About today:

    Skyline Rotorua

    Explore Rotorua's spectacular gysers

    Kia ora Rotorua! You will spend today exploring New Zealand’s most dynamic geothermal area and learning about its rich Maori culture and history.

    Start your day with a guided tour of Wai-O-Tapu’s geothermal geysers. Considered to be New Zealand’s most colourful and diverse geothermal sightseeing attraction, you will be introduced to a uniquely different natural landscape – the key to what you see lies below the surface. The nature of the reserve being an active volcanic area with undulating terrain.

    Once you have returned from your tour, the rest of the day is yours to explore at leisure. Rotorua itself is dotted with gorgeous lakes, mountains and other attractions. Relax in a thermal hot pool, take a picnic and enjoy popular lakeside reserves, or bike through Whakarewarewa Forest.

    Fans of Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit have the opportunity to drive to nearby Matamata and experience the actual movie set ‘Hobbiton’.

    *SAPPHIRE PACKAGE*: SKYLINE ROTORUA GONDOLA & DINNER

    This evening, experience Rotorua from above with Skyline Rotorua’s gondola and dinner
    package. Jump on board one of their Gondola cabins and experience spectacular views of Lake Rotorua, the city and steaming geothermal vistas. The 900-metre long Doppelmayr cableway system will transport you on a gentle, scenic ride up to the Skyline Rotorua complex. Once up top, enjoy an all-inclusive dinner at award-winning Stratosfare Restaurant and Bar.

    Activities:

    local_activity
    Wai-O-Tapu Geothermal Tour

    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

    (Included)
    local_activity
    Skyline Rotorua 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.

    (Optional AUD $75 Adult price)
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    DAY 6
    ROTORUA - COROMANDEL (1 NIGHT)

    With a mountainous interior cloaked in native rainforest and more than 400 kilometres of dazzling white sand beaches, The Coromandel is everything that a big city isn’t.

    About today:

    Coromandel

    Relax on a beach in Coromandel

    Today you’ll say goodbye to Rotorua before winding your way around the peninsula’s bays to Coromandel, a charming coastal gold rush-era town. As well as arty shops and several good eateries, there are enjoyable walks such as the Tucks Bay/Kauri loop. The town’s most famous attraction, however, is Driving Creek Railway where cute carriages clatter through native forest up to a spectacular lookout, while the departure depot doubles as a pottery workshop and gallery.

    Gorgeous self-contained cottages
    Spacious cottages
    hotel
    1 night accommodation in Coromandel

    The Coromandel, renowned for its pristine beaches, misty forests and laid-back vibe, is one of New Zealand's most popular holiday destinations.

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    DAY 7
    AUCKLAND - RETURN HOME/WAIPU (1 NIGHT)

    Waipu, a small settlement with Scottish heritage, is the perfect place to relax and enjoy the Pacific paradise of Bream Bay.

    About today:

    Waipu cove

    Return home or continue on to Waipu

    Spend your morning soaking up last-minute experiences before returning to Auckland for your return flight home.

    *OPTIONAL EXTENTION* DAY 7: WAIPU

    Today you’ll continue around the western bays of Coromandel’s peninsula to reach Waipu, a friendly town with an intriguing history, strong Scottish heritage and spectacular natural surroundings. Waipu is a fantastic place to sit back and relax, with its main attraction being Waipu Cove, a long, sandy beach with safe swimming, surfing and fishing opportunities.

    description
    Optional 5-day tour extension

    Extend your tour with the following package:

    • Additional 5-days car hire, zero excess on damage or theft, unlimited kilometres
    • 1-night Silver standard accommodation in Waipu, Hokianga, and Auckland
    • 2-nights Silver standard accommodation in Paihia
    • Paihia’s ‘Hole in the Rock’ cruise
    (Optional AUD $599 Adult price)
    358 1895 2 false 0 41
    DAY 8
    WAIPU - PAIHIA (2 NIGHTS)

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

    About today:

    Bay of Islands

    Explore Paihia, the jewel of the Bay of Islands

    Your next destination is gorgeous Paihia. Nicknamed “the jewel of the Bay of Islands”, not only does Paihia offer an easy access to almost 144 islands forming the Bay of Islands, but also provides an excellent glimpse of New Zealand’s Maori culture. It is a perfect example of a place where rich heritage blends well with modernity.

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    DAY 9
    PAIHIA

    About today:

    Hole in the Rock cruise

    Enjoy a scenic cruise to the Hole in the Rock

    Paihia is the setting off point to get to the Hole in the Rock - the famous maritime attraction of the Bay of Islands. Today, embark on a scenic cruise tour to see this and the other points of beauty on the coast appreciable only by sea.

    When you return, you have the rest of the day to enjoy at leisure. Swim with the dolphins. Go kayaking, swimming, fishing, or picnic along secluded beaches. Walk or drive to the spectacular Haruru Falls. Learn about early New Zealand history where the Treaty of Waitangi was first signed. Blessed with endless natural attractions and fantastic activities, Paihia has something for everyone.

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    DAY 10
    PAIHIA - HOKIANGA HARBOUR (1 NIGHT)

    The Hokianga is a harbour steeped in history. Maori call it “the nest of the northern tribes” because it was here that their great voyaging ancestor, Kupe, made landfall from Hawaiki, and here that his descendants settled.

    About today:

    Hokianga Harbour

    Relax in the quiet Hokianga Harbour

    Continue your journey West to the heavenly Hokianga Harbour. Check-in to your accommodation in Omapere and enjoy a slice of beachside living. Most notably, a white sand beach stretches all the way to Opononi Wharf, where you can catch a water taxi to the giant sand dunes on the other side of the harbour. Dune surfing on boogie boards is a thrill that leaves you sandy but extremely satisfied. Fishing trips can also be arranged at the wharf.

    A short drive out to the lookout point on the harbour’s South Head is rewarded with spectacular views of the turbulent sandbar at the entrance to the harbour and the opposite headland’s dunes.

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    DAY 11
    HOKIANGA HARBOUR - AUCKLAND (1 NIGHT)

    About today:

    Waipoua Forest

    Witness the largest living kauri in New Zealand

    Today you will commence the journey back to Auckland. There’s no rush, so take you time and enjoy the gorgeous scenery!

    As you head inland, make a stop at New Zealand’s ancient Waipoua Forest, home to huge native trees and rare birds.  Waipoua is the largest remaining area of native forest in Northland. Visit Tane Mahuta, the largest living kauri in New Zealand and the second largest tree in the world. At over 2000 years old he is revered by the Maori and truly is the ‘Lord of the Forest’.

    When you arrive into Auckland, check-in to your accommodation and enjoy the rest of your day at leisure.

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    DAY 12
    RETURN HOME

    About today:

    NZ self drive

    Return home after an unforgettable NZ getaway

    Spend your morning soaking up last-minute experiences before heading to the airport for your return flight home.

    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 AUD $2,460pp twin-share

    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.

    COMPARE PACKAGES|SHARE TYPES

    Accommodation standards applied:

    Auckland

    Spacious rooms

    Lots of facilities for you to enjoy

    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:
    4.3 out of 5
    Example Room Type:
    Hotel room

    Waitomo

    Enjoy your own private balcony

    Lots of facilities to enjoy in your room

    Under the green hills of Waitomo lies a labyrinth of caves, sinkholes and underground rivers. Discover Waitomo's world-famous tourist attractions when you spend some time here.

    Example Property Type:
    Motel & Apartments Complex
    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:
    Motel suite

    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

    Rotorua

    Stylish and comfortable rooms.

    Excellent facilities to help you relax.

    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:
    Apartment 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:
    4.9 out of 5
    Example Room Type:
    Apartment

    Coromandel

    Gorgeous self-contained cottages

    Spacious cottages

    The Coromandel, renowned for its pristine beaches, misty forests and laid-back vibe, is one of New Zealand's most popular holiday destinations.

    Example Property Type:
    Cottages
    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:
    4.6 out of 5
    Example Room Type:
    Cottage

    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 each overnight destination. It will be hotel style rated Bronze or 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.

    See a list of standard inclusions on the package details page. Some packages have two or three different package classes with different inclusions. Select the optional package class to see included activities. Optional activities are shown separately. Your travel consultant will discuss optional activities with you so you can decide what to include or leave out of your itinerary. You can also swap and change activities. A price variance might apply.

    "Self-guided" (self-drive) is a trip designed for singles, 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 depending on group size. It means that you drive yourself on the trip. "Group-guided" means the tour is for a larger group on a bus with a professional driver and the group leader (trip organizer) as tour director. A professional tour director can be supplied if required. A "fully-guided" bus tour is operated by a driver-guide or tour director. There are usually preset departures that you can join. Fully-guided tours can also be arranged exclusively for a group and this is called a "group charter".

    We will recommend accommodation to meet your preferences. All accommodation is selected using our exclusive hotel rating system. You can then change the accommodation if prferred. Often you will also have a choice of accommodation types at the recommended accommodation properties. We'll find out your preferences in the early stages of planning your trip.

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    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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