12 Day North Island Private Tour
This 12 day, private and fully guided vacation takes in all the North Island has to offer. We’ll explore golden sand beaches, meet a Kiwi Bird, a living dinosaur and learn about the local Maori and their customs. This itinerary will have you taking part in iconic rail car journey on the Forgotten World Railway. This all while riding in the comfort of your own vehicle with a very knowledgeable, experienced Driver/Guide.
Day 1 Arrive into Auckland Airport
Welcome to Aotearoa, New Zealand! You will be met at the airport by your Tour Driver/Guide and begin your New Zealand adventure. You will visit one of Auckland’s many extinct volcanoes for stunning views over Auckland, also known as the ‘City of Sails’. Other sights you’ll enjoy will be one of the city’s most popular beaches, historic cultural sites and the Auckland Harbour. This evening you will also visit the Skytower, the tallest tower in the Southern Hemisphere, taking in the 360 degree views over the city and beyond.
Day 2 Auckland to Whitianga
This morning your Driver/Guide will take you down to water front where you will catch the ferry across the Firth of Thames to the Coromandel Peninsula. When you arrive your Driver/Guide will be waiting for you to take you to the Driving Creek Railway, a narrow gauge railway that winds its way through the regenerating forest while overlooking the Hauraki Gulf. After some lunch in the village we make a short drive over to Whitianga. This evening you will be able to relax in the hot pools at The Lost Spring, what a way to relax.
Day 3 Whitianga to Rotorua
After breakfast we will travel down the peninsula through the gold mining region of Waihi where you will stop and look over the largest open cast mine named Martha. After a lunch break we will arrive at the world famous Hobbiton movie set where you will join a group tour through the movie set and finish with a cooling drink at the Green Dragon pub. Once completed, we will make the journey over to Rotorua. This evening we will visit Skyline Skyrides Gondolas and an evening buffet dinner.
Day 4 Rotorua Sights
Once we have fuelled up on a tasty breakfast we will be ready for an action packed day. First stop you will be visiting the Agrodome, a working farm which you will join one of the farm tours as well as enjoy the informative Sheep Show. This afternoon you will have time to explore the city before we head back to our accommodation and freshen up and then off to our last experience for the day, Tamaki Maori Cultural Evening. Here you will be taken back in time and receive a tradition Maori Haka (Welcome), tour of the village and a buffet Maori feast called a Hangi, the traditional way in which food is cooked in an earth oven.
Day 5 Rotorua to Taupo
Today we have a short drive to Taupo but first, a stop to see the cutest Kiwi you’ll meet while here in New Zealand, the actual Kiwi! A tour around the Kiwi House will give you a great perspective in how endangered these birds are and what is being done to protect them. You will also get to see many different birds and reptiles native to New Zealand, including the Tuatara who dates back to the age of the dinosaurs. We will arrive into Taupo Just after Midday where you will join a scenic cruise on Lake Taupo.
Day 6 Taupo to Wellington
We will load up this morning after day of leisure and adventure ready for more of what NZ has to offer. After winding around the edge of Lake Taupo we will travel over the Desert road where our three most prominent mountains of the North Island stand, across the central plateau. Continuing south we will make our way into New Zealand’s Capital City, Wellington. We will take a city tour which will include Mount Victoria, Oriental Parade, Cuba Street, Lambton Quay and Courtney Place before ending the day at our accommodation.
Day 7 Wellington Sights
After breakfast you will have the opportunity to visit Te Papa, the National Museum of New Zealand, Parliament House and Buildings, Weta Workshops Cave and have some shopping time in the busy CBD. In the afternoon we will take part in the Zealandia Wildlife Tour hosted by one of their knowledgeable local guides, learning about New Zealand’s unique flora and fauna. Later that evening there are many restaurants and eateries for dinner.
Day 8 Wellington to New Plymouth
This morning we will start our journey back north travelling along the Kapati Coastline and into the lush farmlands of the Taranaki region. We will arrive into New Plymouth in the early afternoon where you will have time to visit Pukekura Park and take a walk along the popular local seaside board walk. If you’re travelling in December and January your Driver/Guide will take you to Pukekura Park in the evening to walk around the park during the festival of lights, amazing!
Day 9 New Plymouth to Whangamomoana
Today is the start of an unforgettable 2 day rail car journey. You’ll go through 24 tunnels, cross 98 bridges and see the remnants of the original settlements along the line. The history of this unique landscape will resonate as you absorb the stories and relive the memories of New Zealand’s pioneering past with this two-day journey, travelling back in time. The first half of our trip is a 6 hour rail car ride, ending at the Whangamomoana Hotel, which will be your accommodation for the night.
Day 10 Whangamomoana to Waitomo
Day 2 of your adventure begins where you will enjoy the last half of your rail car journey (7 hours). When you arrive into Taumaranui your Driver Guide will be waiting for you to transfer you to Waitomo. Not only is it famous for its glow worms but its unique accommodation.
Day 11 Waitomo to Auckland
Today we will start by taking a journey through the famous Waitomo Glow Worm Caves, guides provide informative commentary on the Caves' historical and geological significance. You have the opportunity to take part in some of the local hikes before we make our way back up to Auckland.
Day 12 Auckland Departure
Today your Guide will take you to Auckland Airport for your departure flight. After an exciting and in-depth tour of New Zealand’s North Island we hope you’ve loved New Zealand as much as we have loved showing it to you!
What is included in this tour?
11 Nights’ Accommodation (4 Star)
10 Breakfasts, cooked or continental
3 Dinners, one Traditional Maori Hangi, Skyline Buffet and an evening meal in Whangamomoana.
Auckland to Coromandel Scenic Ferry
Driving Creek Railway journey
The Lost Spring Natural Pools Entry
Waitomo Glow Worm Caves Entry
Guided Tour of Hobbiton Movie Set
Agrodome Sheep Show and Farm Tour
Skyline Gondola Ride and evening buffet dinner
Rainbow Springs Entry and Kiwi Encounter
Maori Cultural evening with traditional Hangi meal
Zealandia Ecosanctuary Entry
Forgotten World two day Rail Car Experience
Want to see more? Feel free to contact us and customise this itinerary to suit your needs! Add additional days, activities and more.
Want to upgrade to luxury travel and accommodation? Contact us for a quote to upgrade this trip to suit your tour needs.
Want to go budget? No worries! Contact us for a quote to change this trip to hostel accommodation without breakfasts.
All pricing is in New Zealand Dollars.
Airfares are not included.
Travel Insurance is not included.