AAT Kings 8 Day Northern Spotlight Itinerary

Stunning Bay of Islands

Welcome to Auckland!!

‘Haere Mai’ … welcome to New Zealand. Now you can relax - you are officially on holiday. 

Enjoy a relaxing day exploring Auckland, also known as the ‘City of Sails’.  Situated amongst a cluster of extinct volcanic cones, next to a large harbour that bustles with life, both on water and on land. The Auckland isthmus straddles a slim piece of land with coastline facing both the Pacific Ocean, and, on the wild West Coast, the Tasman Sea. Relax you are on holiday, take time to stroll around the Viaduct Harbour, sit in a cafe and enjoy your surroundings - this is a friendly easygoing city. 

Some Activities and sightseeing options if you have time:

Explore Waiheke Island    Island Kayaking Adventure    America’s Cup Sailing
Auckland's Sky TowerRelax on the BeachRangitoto Island Cruise & Walk
West Coast Wine TourWhale and Dolphin SafariMuriwai Surf Beach

Accommodation: Auckland - 1 night

Auckland Viaduct
With its unbeatable location in Auckland’s epicentre on the corner of Wyndham and Albert Street, the brand new Holiday Inn Express Auckland City Centre is as convenient as it gets when visiting New Zealand’s harbourside city on business or on holiday.
Holiday Inn Express


The Beautiful 'Bay of Islands'

Say goodbye to the ‘City of Sails’ as you journey north to New Zealand’s dramatic Bay of Islands from Auckland – 140 droplets of land ringed by turquoise sea. It’s undeniably beautiful, but it also holds a special historical secret: this is where the Treaty of Waitangi was signed in 1840, between Captain William Hobson and Māori chiefs. Your guide, likely an ancestor of one of the original signatories, will explain the significance of the site, while pointing out the world’s largest ceremonial war canoe and a carved meeting house.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Accommodation: Paihia - 2 nights

Beautiful Bay of Islands
This four star hotel offers uninterrupted Bay views surrounded by 60 acres of subtropical gardens and the historic Waitangi Treaty Grounds. It features a spectacular, lagoon style swimming pool and rock pools of cascading water. The hotel’s 180 guest rooms have individual patios or balconies from which to enjoy the water or garden views. Taking inspiration from nature, rooms have been designed to blend into the natural environment whilst offering a serene escape.
Copthorne Hotel and Resort Bay of Islands


Free Day to explore the Bay

Today is a free day to explore. Why not visit historic Russell, only a 10 minute ferry ride away, Russell is a favourite destination for holidaying New Zealanders, with outstanding beaches and opportunities for boating. Settle in and enjoy while indulging in a fine dining experience at one of the seafront restaurants in Russell.

Excursions available if you want to get 'Out and About' are:

Historical Island Cruise  Diving Rainbow Warrior  4WD Adventure Cape Reinga
Sailing the Islands  Dolphin Swimming  Giant Kauri Forest Walk
Cultural Tour of Waitangi  Golf at Kauri Cliffs  Sea Kayaking the Bay

Meals: Breakfast

Helicopter from Paihia


City of Sails

Today we head South through the city of Whangarei and down thriugh through the Johnstone's Hill Tunnel, soon Auckland and its majestic harbour soon come into view.

Suggested Sight Seeing: Visit to the summit of the Skytower. At 328m (1076 ft) one of the tallest buildings in the Australasia, offering spectacular panoramic views across the city and its two harbours, what will surprise you is the 48 volcanoes in the Auckland volcanic field, all within about 20 km of the city centre.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Accommodation: Auckland - 1 night


Right on the main street of Auckland City's CBD, this brand new VR Hotel has proudly opened its doors to accommodate travellers who are exploring Auckland and surroundings. The location is on walking distance from the harbour, SkyCity, many shops and restaurants and the city's most popular attractions. Furthermore, public transport is easily accessible from this location. Many bars and restaurants are also available in nearby suburbs Mount Eden and Ponsonby.

VR Queenstreet


Waitomo Caves & Rotorua Cultural Feast

Waitomo – the name coming from the Maori words wai (water) and tomo (hole) is home to an astonishing landscape. Hidden under the green hills of Waitomo lies a labyrinth of caves, sinkholes and underground rivers. The caves were carved by underground streams pushing through soft limestone over thousands of years.

Tour the amazing limestone caverns and sail through the still waters of the sparkling Waitomo Glow Worm Grotto - with plenty of time for your eyes to adjust to the darkness - intensifying the effect of thousands of softly shining glow worms. Enjoy your packed lunch today knowing that a donation is being made on your behalf to local charity Auckland City Mission, where real change can start with just one meal.

Tonight enjoy a traditional Maori Hangi Feast and Concert.

Meals: Breakfast, Highlight Dinner

Accommodation: Rotorua - 2 nights

Maori Rotorua

Situated on the picturesque shores of Lake Rotorua, this hotel offers tranquil surroundings with sensational views, near to many bars, restaurants and main attractions. The Ibis Rotorua offers great accommodation to travellers that want to make most out of their stay in New Zealand's geothermal area. 

Ibis Rotorua


Rotorua Free Time

Today is at leisure, you may wish to relax lakeside, or you may prefer to choose from one of the varied Optional Experiences on offer. Your Travel Director will assist you in booking all of your chosen optional experiences.

Recommended excursions in and around Rotorua:

See Geysers & Boiling Mud    Polynesian Hot Springs  Whirinaki Forest Walk
Thermally Active GolfBiking the Mighty ForestsFlight to Volcanic Island
Museum of Art & HistoryEvening Cultural Experience   White Water Rafting

Meals: Breakfast

geothermal Rotorua


Great Lake Taupo & Wellington

The road this morning takes us to a grand view of Lake Taupo, New Zealand’s largest lake. The stunningly blue fresh water of Lake Taupo is sitting in the South Pacific's largest volcanic crater. Heading further South we follow the Desert Road and enjoy amazing views of Tongariro National Park’s Volcanoes. The landscape becomes dominated by rivers and valleys. The Mangaweka Gorge is a scenic masterpiece and as you follow the state highway, the Kapiti Coast becomes New Zealand’s capital city, Wellington.

Wellington is a compact, cultured and full of character. Nestled between the harbour and the hills, the downtown area is ideal for explorations on foot. Enjoy cafes, restaurants, museums, theatre and all kinds of shops. Dance, theatre and musical performances are a Wellington specialty. As New Zealand’s capital, this city is rich in political history.

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Wellington - 1 night


Located in a modern tower 300m from the waterfront, the Travelodge is just a few minutes walk from the harbour and the centre of Wellington. Main attractions such as the famous Cable Car, Botanic Garden and Te Papa (the national museum) all are situated within walking distance so transportation in the city centre is unnecessary. From here it is easy to enjoy a city trip that includes everything you don't want to miss when visiting New Zealand's (culture) capital! 

Travelodge Wellington


City Tour & Bon Voyage

Your special packed lunch today won’t only be wholesome, it will also feed a Kiwi child who may otherwise go without, through the charity ‘Eat My Lunch’. This morning enjoy a city tour of Wellington, taking in panoramic views from the summit of Mt. Victoria. There’ll be time to explore the Parliament buildings and the ‘Beehive’, home to New Zealand’s politicians, as well as the many fascinating exhibits at Te Papa Museum of New Zealand. Your holiday ends in the early afternoon.

Meals: Breakfast and Lunch




  • Tour of Waitangi Treaty Grounds
  • Relax in the Bay of Islands
  • Explore Auckland’s city sights
  • Discover the fascinating Glowworm Grotto at Waitomo Caves
  • Explore ancient limestone caves
  • Immerse yourself in Maori culture at a Hangi & concert
  • Experience farm life at the Agrodome Farm Show
  • View mighty Huka Falls
  • Marvel at crystal clear Lake Taupo
  • Journey through spectacular scenery of Tongariro National Park
  • Discover New Zealand’s capital Wellington on a city tour
  • Breathtaking views over Wellington from Mt. Victoria
  • Explore Te Papa, Museum of New Zealand


  • Comfortable accommodation
  • Travel by luxury coach
  • Experienced Travel Director and Driver Guide


  •  7 Full Buffet Breakfasts
  •  1 Lunch
  •  1 Dinner
  •  1 Highlight Dinner
tour map

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Profile picture for user Narissa
What Narissa says about this tour: You'll get to relax early in this tour with a free day to explore the Bay of Islands, before travelling back to Auckland and some city time. A bonus trip to the glow worm caves of Waitomo and then more time in Rotorua with 2 nights which is plenty of time for both the geothermal aspects as well as the Maori Cultural elements. A good indepth look at the North Island recommended to all.
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The price is based on current exchange rates but is only an approximation. Please contact us for a final price