A Quick New Zealand Fix - North Island Tour Itinerary

Geothermal Rotorua

Welcome to Auckland!

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. 

Visually one of the world's most stunning cities - and easily the country’s largest metropolis - the city of Auckland is flung over a narrow isthmus, characterised by numerous pa-sculptured   volcanic cones, sea-flooded caldera and  sparkling  beaches. The many reaches of Waitemata and Manukau, twin harbours, extend east and west, and irresistible regional parks are within easy reach.

After checking into your hotel, relax your New Zealand North Island Tour starts tomorrow. Take a stroll around our beautiful city, explore the highly acclaimed Waterfront Restaurant Quarter or choose one of the many activities available to give a more in depth understanding of Auckland and the surrounding area.

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 City

Within a stones throw of the Britomart & Harbour side entertainment and dining precinct - your stay in Auckland will be a memorable one. Fully equipped modern serviced one, two and three bedroom apartments are perfect for short or long term stays within Auckland City. Full kitchen and laundry facilities allow you the freedom to stay as if you had never left home. Newly refurbished hotel rooms are perfect for shorter stays.

Nesuto Stadium Apartments, Located in Auckland Central Business District.


Historic Russell in the Bay of Islands

After a pleasant drive north along the famed Hibiscus Coast to the Bay of Islands, its a quick ferry ride across the water is Russell. This is a small, historic seaside village on a peninsula in the eastern Bay of Islands. Since the 1700s it has provided a haven for visitors, offering shelter and hospitality. Because of its relatively remote location it retains an island quality and a charm that reflects the tranquility of earlier times. Despite this, it is a vibrant, cosmopolitan community that attracts visitors from New Zealand and all over the world. Russell was the first capital of New Zealand and one of the first European settlements. The town’s Victorian atmosphere has been carefully preserved, for here you will find two of New Zealand’s oldest buildings, Christ Church (1836) and Pompallier House (1841). The Russell Police Station built in 1870 originally as a Customs House is still in use today. On a more relaxing note there are numerous waterfront cafes and restaurants, making this a great place to soak up the atmosphere and really enjoy a most memorable holiday.

Approximate Distance: 232 kms | 145 miles  Total Driving Time: 3 hours 30 mins 

Accommodation Russell - 2 nights

Bay of Islands
The Duke of Marlborough Hotel is New Zealand's first licensed hotel, bar, and restaurant and is beautifully located on the waterfront in the historic village of Russell. There are three levels of accommodation each increasing in comfort and style. Available to all is the use of two excellent restaurants and a sundeck lounge from which to take a rest and enjoy the activity on the waterfront in the Bay. This truly historic establishment is a favorite amongst the locals and holidaymakers in the know.


Hole in Rock & Dolphin Viewing Cruise

This is the most popular dolphin watching cruise in the Bay of Islands, and for good reason! Board your cruise in Paihia or Russell 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 Piercy Island/Motukōkako, or as it is popularly known the 'Hole in the Rock'. This four-hour cruise includes an island stopover, dolphin viewing and the Hole in the Rock. Morning cruises depart daily and give you the rest of the day to explore at leisure.

Excursions available after your morning Dolphin Cruise.

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
Bay of Islands Dolphins


West Coast / Kauri Museum / Takapuna Beach

Heading south from Paihia take the opportunity and drive across to the West Coast on the road less traveled. The west coast village of Matakohe houses the Kauri Museum which is considered by many as one of New Zealand’s more substantial museum giving an interesting insight into Northland’s pioneering past  through the use of kauri timber and kauri gum. There are many fascinating displays and galleries inside the museum from the magnificent collection of antique kauri furniture and the largest collection of kauri gum in the world including restored steam operated forestry machinery and much much more.

Approximate Distance: 233 kms | 144 miles  Total Driving Time: 3 hours 35 mins

Accommodation North Shore Auckland - 1 night

Takapuna Beach Auckland

Within a stones throw of the Britomart & Harbour side entertainment and dining precinct - your stay in Auckland will be a memorable one. Fully equipped modern serviced one, two and three bedroom apartments are perfect for short or long term stays within Auckland City. Full kitchen and laundry facilities allow you the freedom to stay as if you had never left home. Newly refurbished hotel rooms are perfect for shorter stays.

Nesuto Stadium Apartments, Located in Auckland Central Business District.


Waitomo Caves - Rotorua

The green rolling landscapes of the Waikato region, seen as you drive south of Auckland, form some of the most fertile land in New Zealand, yet this is one region in particular which holds more than just surface appeal. The caves at Waitomo are one of New Zealand's most commanding wonders, the moment you enter this subterranean wonderland you'll discover an ancient underground labyrinth of limestone caves and grottos, and you'll marvel at the amazing stalactites and stalagmites - 'decorations' created by Mother Nature. 

Galaxy of Glowworms
As you enter this galaxy of tiny living lights, you will glide silently through the starry wonderland of the Glowworm Grotto, your way lit by a myriad of tiny glowworm lights, glittering, glimmering and reflecting off the water. This small group Personalized Glowworm Tour allows you to spend 40 minutes under glow worms. Continue on to Rotorua, set in a tranquil Lakeland with significant Maori culture and awesome geothermal activity.

 Sir David Attenborough: “An Astonishing Cave” And “one of natures most Magical Illuminations!”

Approximate Distance: 225 kms | 140 miles  Total Driving Time: 2 hours 50 mins

Accommodation Rotorua - 2 nights

Glowworm Caves

Rotorua’s designer 5 star Boutique Hotel and Spa offers stylish luxury accommodation, with accommodation to suit most groups of travellers from hotel rooms to 2 bedroom family apartments situated amidst the exciting attractions and experiences Rotorua has to offer. With excellent facilities such as the restaurant, heated pool, gym and mineral bathing facilities. 

Regent of Rotorua


Wai-O-Tapu & Maori Cultural Evening


Bernard Shaw: "the closest thing to hell existing on earth"

This is an eerie landscape and once you have see the boiling mud, the roaring geysers of hot boiling water, enormous steaming craters and sink holes and of course the all-consuming offensive sulfuric odour  -  It becomes quite clear you are somewhere resembling Hell! Yet Wai-O-Tapu has become one of the most visited attraction in New Zealand and houses some of the world’s most incredible geothermal forces. Take a walk through and observe the world famous and multicolored champagne pool, catch the daily eruption of the Lady Knox geyser that spurts out boiling liquid at 10.15 am daily to a height of 20 meters.

Maori Cultural Evening - Village, Hangi & Music

Spend an evening sharing and feasting on a selection of foods cooked the traditional Maori way - on hot stones in an authentic earthen oven (a Hangi). Understand the spiritual significance of the moko (facial tattoo) as warriors demonstrate with tools made of fine bird bone and sharpened greenstone and then perform a concert including the world famous ‘Haka’. An educational and enlightening experience, coupled with a ‘good feed’ and sing-a-long makes for a Unique Cultural and entertaining experience!

Rotorua Cultural Show


Free Time Rotorua - Auckland

Depending on your scheduling you may have time to partake in one of the many excursions available around the region before returning to Auckland for your homeward flight.

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

A "Haere rā" Goodbye! and Bon Voyage!

We know you will enjoy the Quick Fix New Zealand North Island Tour and our promise is to make your travels through New Zealand as hassle-free and hospitable as possible - ensuring that today you leave with a memory card full of photos, and huge smiles on your faces when recalling your time in New Zealand! Have a great homeward journey, farewell and hope to see you again soon in Aotearoa, New Zealand.

Approximate Distance: 225 kms | 140 miles  Total Driving Time: 2 hours 50 mins

Rotorua's Geothermal Activity

Profile picture for user Elizabeth
What Elizabeth says about this tour: This tour does cover those must see highlights of the north Island. Everyone loves the laid back feel of the Bay of Island and Rotorua’s wonderful geothermal activity. Waitomo is a surprise for those that experience the right cave. You will wish you had stayed longer and will certainly be back.
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