AUCKLAND - COROMANDEL
Today you will head up to the beautiful Coromandel Peninsula.
The Coromandel Peninsula lies east of Auckland, on the other side of the Hauraki Gulf. An impressive, heavily forested mountain range runs right up the middle of this peninsula - it’s bordered on each side by miles of spectacular coastline.
The idyllic seaside village of Hahei, (HA-hey) is a small settlement situated on the eastern side of the Peninsula. Yes there are a couple of restaurants, cafes and fish and chippy, but essentially this is a secret hideaway were Kiwi families take their holidays – its all about the beach, where the waves are generally safe for children and the wide beach is ideal for a game of volleyball or to throw a Frisbee. The bay also provided a location for the filming of the fantasy feature, The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian.
Accommodation Coromandel - 1 Night
COROMANDEL TO ROTORUA
Lets get beachy!
This morning walk along the cliffs and down to Cathedral Cove (which you might recognise from the Chronicles of Narnia). With perfect beaches and massive rock arches and columns, it’s one of the most popular spots in the Coromandel.
Alternatively, take an optional guided Cathedral Cove kayak trip and check out this stunning coastline from a different angle, accompanied by a local dolphin or two if you’re lucky!
Later this afternoon we head towards Rotorua; en route, we’ll visit Matamata – best known for being the home of Hobbiton.
For Lord of the Rings fans, a visit to Hobbiton Movie Set is an absolute must-do. On a fully guided tour of the 12 acre Middle-earth set you will see Hobbit Holes, the Mill, and even enjoy a drink at the Green Dragon Inn!
If hobbits aren’t your thing there are plenty of scenic short walks to enjoy Matamata’s lush green rolling hills.
While the majority of the North Island is volcanic in some way, Rotorua is exceptional for its geothermal activity. With neon blue and red lakes, steaming rivers, active volcanoes and geysers galore, there are more unique natural wonders to be found in Rotorua than many other places in the world.
Accommodation: Rotorua - 2 Night
Today is a free day to explore Rotorua and its surrounding area. Talk to your guide for the best free things to see and do in the neighbourhood (Kuirau Park’s steaming and hissing mud pools are a great option).
There are also a number of optional activities you can choose from –white water rafting, zip-lining, rolling down a hill in a giant inflatable ball, river sledging and more!
If adrenaline is your thing, the highest commercial waterfall drop in the world, on the Kaituna River, is begging to be conquered on an exhilarating rafting trip.
Perhaps you’d like to try thundering down grassy hills in a giant air-cushioned inflatable ball (aka ZORB)?
A day trip to Waitomo is another option today. Famous for its glowworms there are a number of ways to experience these twinkling creatures up close.
Discover the magic of both the world-famous Waitomo Glowworm Caves, as well as the enchanting Ruakuri Cave on a ‘2 cave combo’ walking/boat tour. Or you can float along an underground river on a Black Water Rafting trip as the glow worms light your path.
However you spend today, be sure to get a good night’s sleep as there are more Rotorua adventures tomorrow!
ROTORUA TO MURUPARA
This morning we visit Te Puia Maori Village. Here you’ll learn more about Māori history and culture, come face to face with the Pohutu Geyser, see jumping mud pools and get up close and personal with kiwi birds.
Later this afternoon we head to Kohutapu Lodge in Murupara – a living Māori village - where you will experience a tribal tour by a village elder.
Here you’ll also have a chance to learn the world-famous haka dance, and weave your own dinner plate using flax (a type of plant).
Tonight’s dinner is a traditional hāngi meal. Cooked in an underground earth oven you can expect tender meat and delicious vegetables infused with a smoky, earthy fragrance – it will fill your puku (belly) right up!
The best part about spending the evening at Kohutapu Lodge? The majority of proceeds from this activity go back to the local community.
- Visit Te Puia Maori Village
- See kiwi birds
- See the Pohutu Geyser
- Learn the haka
- Learn to weave flax
- Dinner (a hangi cooked in an underground oven)
Accommodation Rotorua - 1 Night
MURUPARA TO TAUPŌ
It’s only a short drive to our next destination, Taupō, and there’s plenty to discover along the way. From mesmerising mud pools to the thundering rapids of the Huka Falls and Aratiatia Dam, your trusty Haka guide will make sure you don’t miss a thing.
This place is all about the thrills and spills, and there are plenty of options in store this afternoon. Get your hair wet with a water touch bungy jump, take an unforgettable skydive or a sunset lake cruise for amazing lake and mountain views.
Accommodation Taupo - 2 Nights
TAUPO & Surrounding Area
Pack in a day of adventure in Taupo. Choose from many different optional activities, such as the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, a Skydive, the Water Touch Bungy or the Lake Taupo Sailing. (cost of activities not included)
On of the add-ons, the Tongariro Alpine Crossing is considered as the best one-day walk in New Zealand. This challenging hike weaves its way through awe inspiring volcanic landscapes with active steaming craters, limestone green coloured lakes and off course the massive dome volcanoes. The summit offers fantastic views over the Central North Island. A good level of fitness is required to enjoy this hike.
TAUPO - WELLINGTON
It’s a big drive from Taupō to Wellington, but there’s some unmissable scenery on offer. Lord of the Rings junkies, you’re in for a treat!
Our journey takes us through Tongariro National Park via the Rangipo Desert (bet you didn’t know New Zealand had one of those!). Some of your favourite Lord of the Rings battle scenes were filmed right here.
The Desert Road boasts incredible views of three active volcanic peaks – Mount Tongariro, Mount Ngauruhoe, and Mount Ruapehu. You may know Mount Ngauruhoe as Mount Doom, so be sure to snap a Mordor selfie!
We pass through two of the North Island’s quirkier towns – as ever, your Haka Guide has a couple of surprises up their sleeve…
We pull into Wellington in the afternoon, with just enough time for film buffs make a trip to Weta Workshop, where the special effects of Lord of the Rings and Avatar were produced.
New Zealand’s capital is famous for its bars and eateries, and is a paradise for lovers of craft beer – you’ll be spoilt for choice tonight!
The tour officially finishes at 8pm today in Wellington, but your accommodation tonight is included.
Accommodation Wellington - 1 Night
- Maori Cultural Evening Experience (including hangi meal)
- Expert Tour Guide
- All transport
- 7 x nights’ accommodation (max 6 share, upgrades available)
- All maps, passes and shuttles
- Daily breakfast
- All maps, detailed trail advice and recommendations
- Small group sizes (16 max)
- Guided tour of every location. We show you places you would miss when travelling on a bus pass
- Plus many surprise stops on the way