Nine days in New Zealand's North Island
This is a typical example of a nine day escorted coach tour of the North Island of New Zealand. Cost for a tour of this length depends on the quality of the accommodation. Accommodation is always the biggest cost factor in a coach tour, so you really do get what you pay for. In the North Island most hotels are up to par, although in some the smaller towns there are not many options for tour operators to select from.
Coach tours are generally fairly easy going and cater for all age groups. When touring the North Island it's best to bring the appropriate clothing for the time of year you are traveling. The weather in the North Island is temperamental, however the temperature rarely falls lower than five degrees in winter and is rarely hotter than 28 degrees in summer.
Day 1: Auckland / Bay of Islands Cross Auckland's Harbor Bridge for the drive north along the scenic Hibiscus Coast with its numerous beachfront holiday settlements and on to Matakohe for a visit to its museum that houses an exceptional display highlighting the region’s early settlement and kauri gum industry, which was so important to the region’s early development. Continue to Paihia in the picturesque Bay of Islands for visits to Waitangi with its famous Treaty House and giant Maori war canoe. All are set in spectacular grounds overlooking the bay.
Day 2: Bay of Islands This is a day free for you to relax and enjoy the many optional activities available. Your coach captain will happily assist with details. A full day tour to Cape Reinga, New Zealand's northern most point and Ninety Mile Beach are suggested or explore historic Russell, New Zealand’s first settlement and visit its original Church, Mission House and Museum.
Day 3: Bay of Islands / Auckland This morning, a launch cruise will take you across the bay and some of its world-acclaimed fishing grounds to Cape Brett and the famous "Hole in the Rock", cruising amongst picturesque islands with pristine sandy beaches and sparkling clear water. Returning to Paihia, board your coach for the journey south through Whangarei and Warkworth, passing the satellite tracking station. Auckland city and harbor come into view with a late afternoon arrival.
Day 4: Auckland At Leisure Explore the city, the Viaduct Basin, museum, the Waitakere Ranges including one of NZ's top surf beaches Piha Beach, or visit Waiheke Island. Enjoy New Zealand's largest and most cosmopolitan city.
Day 5: Auckland / Whangamata Go on a tour of Auckland, all the way to the summit of Sky Tower at 328 metres. It's the tallest building in the Southern Hemisphere. Then experience the downtown city area and waterfront drive and the thrill of sailing aboard a 12 m. yacht on Auckland Harbour. Visit the Maritime Museum and finally drive to the Coromandel Peninsula.
Day 6: Coromandel Peninsula A day of fun and entertainment with Kiwi Dundee Adventures is in store. Explore regenerating Kauri forest and lush fern groves, the old roads to Puketui, which is an 1890’s gold mining town, and visit a gold mine studded with glowworms. Walk on isolated beaches and if conditions permit, take a dip in the springs at Hotwater Beach.
Day 7: Whangamata / Rotorua Today it's on to Rotorua and the Agrodome to see New Zealand's various sheep breeds and a shearing demonstration. Stroll through Rainbow Springs Park to see Rainbow and Brown Trout plus native birds and animals including the Kiwi. Take the spectacular Skyline Skyride for superb views over the city, lake and mountains and try a luge ride. This evening enjoy a Maori Hangi (meal), a selection of traditionally prepared meats and vegetables plus more conventional dishes, all followed by a concert featuring Maori songs, chants and the stirring haka.
Day 8: Rotorua / Turangi Visit Whakarewarewa, the Maori Arts and Crafts Center and Thermal Reserve with its boiling mud, silica terraces and Pohutu Geyser. Pass massive pine forests, see the Wairakei Geothermal Valley and Huka Falls and finally reach Taupo, New Zealand’s largest lake. Skirt its shores to Turangi with time for trout fishing, many picturesque walks or white water rafting.
Day 9: Turangi / Wellington Cross the National Park with its volcanic peaks to Bulls and Levin, then go along the Kapiti coast to the capital city, Wellington. A tour includes Mt Victoria, the Houses of Parliament, Wellington Cathedral and Oriental Bay with time to explore the city and Te Papa, the Museum of New Zealand, or an optional ride on the famous cable car.