This trip showcases the absolute best of what the North Island has to offer. Visit stunning landscapes, soak in natural hot water pools on a sandy beach, tear up the town at night with the locals.
Day 1: Auckland - Coromandel - Whitianga (lunch, dinner)
Meet at Base Backpackers, 229 Queen St, Auckland.
Welcome aboard! It's an early start today as you leave Auckland and head to the beautiful Coromandel Peninsula. Discover why this region is a favourite for Kiwis on their summer holidays and why it’s constantly regarded as one of the most stunning parts of the world.
Explore historic Thames and enjoy a quick goldmine tour along the way. Afterwards, head to stunning Cathedral Cove beach, before grabbing a shovel and digging a hole at the unreal Hot Water Beach.
Later, after an epic day of sun, sand and surf, it’s time to head to your accommodation in Whitianga. Chat with your new travel buddies over a classic Kiwi BBQ. From there, the night is yours!
Day 2: Whitianga - Mount Maunganui (breakfast)
Today, it’s time to head south. From Whitianga, hit the road to famous Mount Maunganui.
On the way, stop in the popular beach/surfing town of Whangamata to stretch your legs and explore this idyllic beachside town.
Once you arrive at Mount Maunganui, the afternoon and evening are yours to enjoy! You have a whole lot of free time to explore, walk Mount Maunganui if you wish and enjoy the spectacular natural surrounds. It'll be an unforgettable night of one of New Zealand's most popular summer destinations.
Day 3: Mount Maunganui - Rotorua
It’s time to pack up the coach and head to New Zealand’s tourism Mecca Rotorua. Enjoy a free guided tour of the city, before deciding on your activity for the day.
If you want to immerse yourself in traditional Maori culture, a tour of Whakarewarewa Maori Village ($70) is an option.
If you'd rather save your cash, head to Rotorua’s impressive Redwoods Forest, where you’ll have the option to do a canopy tour ($25) or just take a stroll through the woods.
Day 4: Rotorua (breakfast, lunch, dinner)
You can't fit every Rotorua has to offer in just one day. Stay an extra night here to really soak it all in. You've got the entire day free, so go wild!
With plenty of optional paid activities on offer all around the city, there’ll be plenty to keep you busy. Whether you're an adrenaline junkie and want to tackle the world's highest commercially rafted waterfall, or you're a movie buff an want to explore the magical world of Hobbiton, you'll be spoiled for choice.
Day 5: Rotorua - Lake Taupo (breakfast, dinner and drink)
After two nights in Rotorua, you’re off! Your journey will take you to stunning Lake Taupo today, with some beautiful stops along the way.
Explore the breathtaking Huka Falls and fall in love. Here, 200,000 litres per second of crystal clear water flows from the great lake into the start of New Zealand’s longest river, the Waikato River.
After taking in these mighty Falls, hit the road again to Taupo. Optional paid activities like bungy jumping, skydiving, sailing or jet boat riding are on offer here, or simply ask your tour guide who'll point you towards some of Taupo's lesser-known gems. There are many free activities available too.
Tonight, enjoy a spread of dinner and drinks. Then, it's time to see what the Taupo nightlife has to offer.
Day 6: Taupo - Wellington (breakfast, lunch)
Feeling dusty after last night? Don’t worry, a drive this morning will give you plenty of time to nap and recover.
Heading south from Taupo, stop in at the home of New Zealand’s army base and Army Museum to stretch your legs and have some lunch.
From there, trek on to the nation’s capital - Wellington! Grab some dinner here before hitting the streets on a local pub crawl. If you're more interested in exploring at your own pace, don't worry - the night is yours to do as you please.
Day 7: Wellington (breakfast)
After breakfast, the day is yours! Time to get lost in Wellington.
Discover the cute local cafes, take photos of the local street art and head along to New Zealand’s famous national museum - Te Papa. It's free!
Day 8: Wellington - Taranaki - New Plymouth (breakfast, lunch)
After a couple of days in Wellington, it’s time to start the trek back up north.
There are a few hours of driving this morning before you reach New Zealand's best-kept secret, the beautiful Taranaki region. The first thing you'll notice here is the picturesque Mount Egmont looming over the countryside.
Later, hit the Surf Highway 45 to the small city of New Plymouth. This afternoon you'll visit the local Pukekura Park before heading into New Plymouth’s town centre to explore the great food, contemporary culture, cafes and more.
This evening, it’s time to head out as a group and take advantage of the city's nightlife.
Day 9: New Plymouth- Raglan-Bound (breakfast)
Saying goodbye to the stunning Taranaki, continue the adventure north to the world famous Glowworm Caves of Waitomo. Take a tour into the awe-inspiring subterranean world which you just have to see to believe ($74). Descend into the darkness with thousands of glow-worms lighting your way.
If money's on your mind, don't worry. The free Ruakuri walk is a great option and takes you through stunning native bush, limestone outcrops and natural caves. You won't be disappointed!
Next up, it's onto the popular surf town of Raglan, with a quick stop at the stunning Bridal Veil Falls on the way.
Once you arrive, head out on an unbeatable harbour cruise, where you'll eat, drink and party while watching the incredible West Cost Kiwi sunset ($49).
Day 10: Raglan - Auckland (breakfast)
Just because today is the last day of the tour, it doesn’t mean things are slowing down!
Raglan is home to some of New Zealand's best surf breaks, and if you're keen to give surfing a try, this is the perfect place as there's a surf school at your accommodation ($79)!
And it gets better. If you've fallen in love with Raglan you can stay a few extra days at a discounted rate on accommodation.
If you're not staying on, it's time to make the journey back to Auckland and say goodbye!
Tour runs October - April.