Arrive in Auckland - Coromandel
‘Haere Mai’ … welcome to New Zealand. Now you can relax - you are officially on holiday. Everything has been taken care of, we will meet you at the airport and transfer you to your accommodation.
Welcome to the New Zealand's North Island, New Zealand's beating cultural heart. A vibrant and diverse landscape made up of active geothermal areas, dormant volcanoes, pristine beaches, immense forests and subterranean wonders. After meeting your guide and fellow travellers in Auckland, we’ll head east to the white sand beaches of the Coromandel coast, a favourite spot for Kiwi’s to holiday.
View Majestic Kauri Trees on the Waiomu Kauri Walk
This afternoon we’ll stretch our legs on a hike to the Waiomu Kauri Grove. This trail makes its way through native forest to a grove of ancient Kauri trees, which hold a special place in the hearts of New Zealanders. We'll then travel through to Whitianga, our home for the evening.
Meals: Lunch and Dinner
Accommodation: Whitianga - 1 Night
Kayak Cathedral Cove & Rotorua Māori Feast
This morning we’ll travel the short distance along the Coromandel coastline to Hahei and get ready to paddle through tantalisingly turquoise waters out to Cathedral Cove. We’ll then take some time to explore the world-famous Hot Water Beach. Later this afternoon we'll make our way down to Rotorua, a rich cultural hub and geothermal wonderland where we'll spend the night.
Kayak Cathedral Cove
We’ll paddle our way through the Te Whanganui-A-Hei Marine Reserve exploring ancient sea caves and rock gardens along the way. Our destination is Cathedral Cove, accessible only by foot, boat or kayak, this natural rock archway joins two secluded coves shaded by magnificent pohutukawa trees.
Explore Hot Water Beach
This afternoon we head to world-renowned Hot Water Beach, famous for the warm geothermal waters that sit just under the sand. Enjoy a stroll along this gorgeous coastline and dip your toes in the turquoise waters of the Pacific ocean. If the tides are right your guide will help you dig your very own hot pool in the sand, a true-blue Kiwi experience.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Accommodation: Rotorua - 1 Night
Rotorua’s Geothermal Wonderland and Redwoods Hike
Set in a ‘land of lakes’, the bubbling mud pools, spewing geysers and rising steam give Rotorua an otherworldly quality. This morning we’ll return to Te Puia to witness the geothermal wonderland that the Te Whakarewarewa valley is famous for. Before travelling south to Taupo, we’ll pop our hiking boots on and walk amongst the jaw-dropping Redwood forest on the outskirts of Rotorua. We’ll be staying in Taupo the next two nights.
Geothermal Wonderland, Redwoods Hike & Huka Falls
Te Whakarewarewa valley is a unique geothermal landscape and home to the Tuhourangi Ngati Wahiao people. Here you can witness New Zealand’s largest geyser, Pōhutu, erupt up to 30 metres into the sky. As well as experiencing plenty of geothermal activity, the morning gives you an opportunity to see Kiwi and learn all about traditional Māori art and craft. Before leaving Rotorua we’ll stop by the Whakarewarewa forest to walk amongst the magnificent Redwoods. It’s an easy walk alongside these gentle giants that originate from California! After travelling south towards Taupo we’ll stop by the legendary Huka Falls and you’ll get to witness first hand the phenomenal power of this 11 metre high waterfall.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Accommodation: Taupo - 2 Nights
Hike the Tongariro Alpine Crossing
Tongariro is New Zealand’s oldest national park and boasts dual World Heritage site status, acknowledged for both its cultural and natural significance. As we make our way across this moonlike landscape dotted with turquoise and emerald lakes, you’ll discover why the Tongariro Crossing is known as New Zealand’s “best day walk”.
Hiking New Zealand's North Island Tongariro Crossing
We’ll make an early start this morning, taking on the 19.4kms of this famous volcanic crossing. Set high on the central plateau amongst three active volcanoes, the scenery is more akin to surrealist art than real life. With red rocks, deep emerald lakes, steam rising from craters, and the unmistakable cone-shaped mountains, it's as if you’ve stepped back in time or possibly onto another planet. It’s a good climb to the top on a well-formed track, and we’ll stop along the way to hear stories about the area from our local guides. Their knowledge of the area and affinity with the land really bring this place to life. We’ve got the whole day to appreciate our environment and enjoy this very special spot.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Waitomo Caves & Finish in Auckland
It may be the last day of your Sweet North trip, but it’ll be one to remember as we explore the hidden depths of Waitomo, marvelling at the limestone formations, crystal tapestries and thousands of glowworms that illuminate the cave system. We’ll then make our way back to Auckland where we’ll say our farewells. If you’re heading down to the South Island to join us on another trip, we’ll help with a smooth transition.
Spellbound Waitomo Caves
The last activity of our trip is a truly magical one! We’ll visit two vastly different caves and learn all about their formation. Stepping onto a raft, you’ll be transported into a unique environment where it seems the night sky is always shining. With glow worms galore you will marvel at the constellations they seem to create! In the next cave you will slowly wander through whilst gazing at these wonderful creatures that are only found here in New Zealand!
Finish in Auckland
After emerging from underground, we’ll enjoy our last lunch together before hitting the road back to Auckland, allowing plenty of time to happily reminisce about the last five days. New friends and wonderful experiences have had their share in creating a tonne of memories to last you all the way home and beyond.
We’re happy to drop you at the airport or at your Auckland accommodation. We recommend that you combine this trip with one of our South Island itineraries to enjoy the complete New Zealand experience. The Sweet North trip works particularly well in conjunction with the Pure South, if you're short on time, or any of our longer South Island trips if you really want to leave no stone unturned.
Meals: Breakfast and Lunch
"Haere rā" Goodbye! and Bon Voyage!
- An experienced New Zealand Trails Guide to guide you on your tour.
- Activities, hikes and guides as shown in the itinerary.
- Accommodation as indicated in your final itinerary.
- All meals.
On the Sweet North trip you'll experience the variety of the terrain in the North Island on the following hikes:
- The Tongariro Alpine Crossing, the best day walk in the world
- Waiomu Kauri Grove track
- Huka Falls track
- Redwoods track
On the Sweet North trip you'll get to experience these unique activities in the North Island:
- Kayak to Cathedral Cove
- Maori culture experience including a hangi feast
- Geyser and geothermal viewing
- See glow worms and explore the Waitomo Caves