Northern Explorer

Experience the wonders of the North Island by rail, travelling on a magnificent, breathtaking journey between the big cities of Auckland and Wellington.


  • 7 nights accommodation
  • Visit to Huka Falls
  • Agrodome Sheep Show
  • Te Puia Thermal Reserve
  • Entry to Skytower
  • Kauri Museum
  • Waitangi Treaty Grounds
  • ‘Hole in the Rock’ Cruise
  • City Highlights Tour in Auckland
  • Waitomo & visit to Glowworm Grotto
  • Dining inclusions – 7 breakfasts, 6 dinners
  • Authentic Maori Village, Hangi & Concert, Rotorua

Day 01 – Arrive Wellington

Welcome to New Zealand! A Tours representative will greet you at the airport with transport waiting to take you to your hotel.

Overnight accommodation: 1 Night – 4 star - Bay Plaza Hotel

Day 02 – Wellington / Taupo / Rotorua

Drive to Paekakariki with views of Kapiti Island and on a clear day, the South Island. Cross rolling farmland to the central North Island National Park, dominated by the volcanic cone of Mt Ruapehu. Follow the Desert Road to Lake Taupo, New Zealand’s largest lake, which is famous for trout fishing. Stop at Huka Falls then skirt past massive pine forests to reach Rotorua, the centre of Maori culture. (B,D)

Overnight accommodation: 2 Nights – Sudima Hotel Lake Rotorua

Day 03 – Rotorua

A sightseeing tour visits the Agrodome Sheep show, then a visit to Te Puia, the Maori Arts and Crafts Centre and Thermal Reserve, with boiling mud, silica terraces and Pohutu Geyser. Time for optional activities this afternoon before a Maori hangi (meal) with a selection of traditionally prepared meats and vegetables plus conventional dishes, followed by a concert featuring Maori songs, chants and the stirring haka. (B,D)

Overnight accommodation: 4 star - Sudima Hotel Lake Rotorua

Day 04 – Rotorua / Waitomo / Auckland

Cross the Mamaku Ranges to the Waikato region, noted for dairy farming and world famous horse studs. At Waitomo, a guide will escort your group underground to the limestone caverns and glowworm grotto. See thousands of glowworms, which are unique to New Zealand. Travel north, crossing the Bombay Hills to reach New Zealand’s largest city – Auckland. A city tour will visit the summit of Skytower, at 328m the tallest building in the Southern Hemisphere, for superb city and harbour views, the downtown area and Waterfront Drive. (B,D)

Overnight accommodation: 1 Night – 4 and a half star - Rydges Hotel

Day 05 – Auckland / Bay of Islands

Cross Auckland’s Harbour Bridge and drive north to Matakohe, home of the Kauri museum. Learn about the Kauri tree and the history of the regions early settlement. Continue north through Kawakawa to Paihia where our local Maori guide, a descendant of the original settlers to the region, greets you. A self guided tour through the famous Treaty House, the Maori Meeting House and giant war canoe. (B,D)

Overnight accommodation: 2 Nights – 4 star - Tanoa Hotel Paihia


Day 06 – Bay of Islands

Today is at your leisure, take the time to relax and enjoy the beauty of the Bay of

Islands. If you want to take advantage of your time here your Coach Captain will happily assist with arranging activities for you. Why not try a full day tour to Cape Reinga, New Zealand’s northern most point and Ninety Mile Beach. Alternatively, explore historic Russell, New Zealand’s first settlement. (B,D)

Did you know?
In 1840, the Treaty of Waitangi was signed at the Treaty House in Waitangi, between Maori and the representatives of the British Crown. The Treaty of Waitangi is the founding document of New Zealand.

Overnight accommodation: 4 star - Tanoa Hotel Paihia

Day 07 – Bay of Islands / Auckland

A launch cruise will take you across the Bay and world acclaimed fishing grounds to Cape Brett and the famous “Hole in the Rock”. Returning to Paihia, board your Coach for the journey south through Whangarei and Warkworth passing the satellite tracking station. Shortly, Auckland city and Harbour come into view. (B,D)

Overnight accommodation: 1 Night – 4 and a half star - Rydges Hotel

Day 08 – Auckland / Home

It is farewell to your travelling companions. You will be transferred to Auckland International Airport to join your flight home. (B)