Begin with the idyllic Coromandel Peninsula with its white sandy beaches and lush forests. You then tackle one of the world’s greatest one day hikes, the Tongariro Crossing. Located in the striking volcanic plateau of Tongariro National Park, a world heritage area of outstanding beauty. You’ll also have time to discover the unique Maori culture in Rotorua and the fascinating limestone caves and glow worms of Waitomo.
Starts in: Auckland
Finishes in: Auckland
Day 1: Arrive in Auckland
Welcome to New Zealand. On arrival at the airport you will be met and transferred to your city accommodation. A tour pack containing everything you need for the duration of your stay will be handed to you.
Tonight's accommodation is the SkyCity Hotel which has more than 20 restaurants, cafes and bars, a theatre, and a world-class casino.
Day 2: Auckland to Tairua via Coromandel Township
Collect your rental car and travel across the fertile plains of the Hauraki - toward the Thames Estuary, a haven for wildlife and short birds. At the historic gold mining town of Thames, choose to follow the scenic route along the Pohutukawa Coast (part of the Pacific Coast Highway). This is one of the most spectacular drives in the region and not to be missed.
Day 3: Kiwi Dundee Wilderness Adventure Walk
This day will take you into tranquil and remote pristine rainforest surrounded by giant rock faces, rugged volcanic peaks, ancient Kauri, Timu and Rate trees. Wonder at the world's largest tree ferns, crystal clear rivers and rock pools. Visit historic gold caves, home to sparkling glowworms. Your experienced guide ensures you enjoy the region to the fullest and also carries your picnic lunch.
Day 4: Tairua to Rotorua
Today you will pass through the town of Whangamata, a popular tourist destination for Kiwi holidaymakers and home to one of the best beaches in the region. Stop in Waihi to view its operational open cast gold mine. For rail enthusiasts, be sure to take a trip on the Goldfields Railway along its historic and scenic track. Continue on through the Bay of Plenty and the portside city of Tauranga, then along the Pyes Pa Road to Rotorua. As you arrive into Rotorua take in the spectacular lake views along with clouds of steam rising from multiple geysers across the region.
Day 5: Explore Rotorua
Peppered with natural hot springs, boiling mud pools and steaming geysers, Rotorua sits within on of the worlds most active volcanic regions. Make the most of your time in Rotorua with an excursion through the Wai-O-Tapu Wonderland, one of the area's most colourful volcanic attractions.
Home to several prominent Maori tribes, a visit to one of the Maori villages should be high on your agenda, as should an excursion to the Polynesian Spa for an invigorating soak in its natural mineral hot springs. Fans of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit should drive to nearby Matamata and experience the actual movie set.
Day 6: Rotorua to Whakapapa Village
Today you'll drive to Tongariro National Park along the thermal highway. Enroute at Taupo visit the Huka Falls - New Zealand's largest volume of water or take in the boiling mud pools and steam vents as you wander the nearby geothermal reserve, Craters of the Moon.
Day 7: Exclusive Guided Tongariro Alpine Crossing
This trip will give you a really personal, informative and friendly day you will never forget. Your guide will also 'work behind the scenes' constantly assessing the weather and track conditions, timing for your personalised transport pick-up at the end of your hike. They can also tailor the trip to axccommodate different fitness levels and know a few tricks about avoiding weather exposed or crowded areas.
Day 8: Whakapapa Village to Auckland via Waitomo
Head through National Park and across rich rolling farmland to the limestone regions of Waitomo and the famous Waitomo Caves complex.
Explore a 30 million year old cave network spread across three levels. You'll travel deep underground through the limestone caves viewing stalactites and stalagmites as well as hearing about the caves historical and geolocical significance. You'll then hop into a boat and glide silently through the glow worm grott - a grotto of tiny living lights.
The lush farmland of the Waikato and the limestone hills of the Waitomo region provide some great scenery as you head north. Visit the Otorohanga Kiwi House enroute for a great look at some of New Zealand's native birds in particular our famous flightless namesake.
Day 9: Depart Auckland today
Explore more of vibrant Auckland city before dropping your rental car at the airport depot and continuing your onward journey.
This itinerary can be customised to suit you perfectly. We can add or remove days, change accommodation, mix it up, add activities to suit your interests or simply design and create something from scratch.