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New Zealand North Island Explorer (ex Auckland)

From US$ 3,200
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highlights
  • Discover Waitomo's limestone caves
  • See Rotorua's geysers
  • Visit the spectacular Huka Falls
  • Be inspired by the majesty of Mt Ruapehu
The New Zealand North Island Explorer (ex Auckland) tour starts in Auckland and ends in Christchurch. The New Zealand North Island Explorer (ex Auckland) is an Explorer tour that takes 12 days taking you from Auckland to Christchurch and through other destinations in Oceania.

Explore New Zealand's heartland from the secluded beaches of the coast to the volcanic craters of the central plateau. Travel from Auckland in the north to Christchurch in the south on a journey that is bound to captivate. And if it's adventure you're after, you've come to the right place. Sea kayaking and snorkelling in the Bay of Islands, black-water rafting in Waitomo, bungee and jet boating in Taupo, as well as mountain biking and kayaking in Nelson - the options are endless. This all-encompassing tour of New Zealand's North Island is bound to captivate all travellers.
Kia-ora! Welcome to New Zealand.

Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6.00PM on Day 1.

Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader.

New Zealand's largest city with a population of just over one million people. There is a distinct Pacific flavour to the 'City of Sails' and this can be seen in the streets and the local markets. The vibrant waterfront region, built to its current state for the America's Cup sailing challenges, is now a well-frequented local bar and restaurant hub. If you have extra time you might like to take a day trip to one of the many outer islands found in the Hauraki Gulf. This trip doesn't spend much time in Auckland so we recommend you arrive a few days prior so you can explore.
Accommodation
  • Lodge
Optional Activities
  • Skytower, Auckland
We leave Auckland and drive north through fantastic scenery towards New Zealand's winterless north. There are beautiful beaches and unspoiled places to explore. The next day we have a host of available activities including kayaking, a boat trip to the islands or just relaxing Visit the village of Russell for a look into NZ´s past.

Notes: Total driving time is around four hours (approximately 225kms).
Accommodation
  • Lodge
Today we have a range of available activities including kayaking, a boat trip to the islands or just taking it easy and relaxing. You can also visit the village of Russell for a look into NZ´s interesting past.
Accommodation
  • Lodge
Optional Activities
  • Boat Trip - Hole in Rock - NZD 110
  • Kayak Tours - NZD 79
We have an early start and make our way south to Waitomo via Auckland. We cross the harbour bridge and get a great view of the city of sails. Here we stop for lunch and then carry on through to Waitomo which is famous for its limestone caves, glow worms and black water rafting.

Notes: Total driving time is around six and a half hours (approximately 420kms).
Accommodation
  • Lodge
Optional Activities
  • Black Water Rafting from
Today we have some great choices, maybe a boat trip and walk through the glow worm caves or black water rafting. This is an unforgettable trip involving hiking and descending an underground river floating on an inner tube. The sights are fantastic and this will be one of your highlights. After lunch we head to Rotorua, see geysers and boiling mud pools in an amazing display of mother earth's power. We check in to our lodging and you have the option of a Maori Hangi dinner and concert for afterwards.

Notes: Total driving time is around two hours (approximately 140kms).
Accommodation
  • Lodge
Optional Activities
  • Maori Cultural Evening - NZD 80
  • River Rafting - NZD 200
We drive around an hour south to Taupo. Taupo is the home of extreme sports on the North Island. On the way we visit the spectacular Huka Falls. Here you can bungy jump, jet boat or just relax by the world's biggest crater lake. We then drive on to Mt Ruapehu to be ready for our next day's activities.

There are several options for the next day. Many will want to hike the famous Tongariro Crossing track. A good day hike which is known as the best of its kind in New Zealand. This hike has spectacular views of the volcanic plateau and lakes. There are many short, easy hikes in the park, all accessible for people of all fitness levels and many with spectacular views of the surrounding mountains.

Notes: Total driving time is around two and a half hours (approximately 180kms).
Accommodation
  • Lodge
Optional Activities
  • Mountain Biking - NZD 60
  • Bungy Jumping from - NZD 170
  • Jet Boating from - NZD 120
  • Thermal Baths from - NZD 15
Today you have the option of walking the Tongariro crossing. This is a full day hike and people should have a decent level of fitness. It is considered NZ´s best one day hike and has fantastic views. For those not doing the hike there are lower altitude bush walks available from the Motel.
Accommodation
  • Lodge
Optional Activities
  • Tongariro Crossing
We leave the National Park and head through the central north island to the capital city; Wellington. Here you may visit the fantastic Te Papa Tongarewa museum, the museum of New Zealand. The museum holds many Maori cultural artifacts, and is home to the remains of the worlds largest specimen of colossal squid. Captured in 2007, it weighs in around 495kg. We spend some time today exploring Te Papa Tongarewa museum. In our free time perhaps jump in the cable car to the Botanic Gardens for spectacular views of Wellington city and harbour.

Notes: Total driving time is around four and a half hours (approximately 330kms).
Accommodation
  • Lodge
We cross to the South island on the inter island ferry and enjoy the fantastic scenery of the Marlborough Sound. We have a huge variety of activities to choose from including kayaking, boating, sailing in the Abel Tasman National Park, mountain biking or just relaxing in town or on the beach. Nelson is very picturesque and is a delight to visit.

Notes: Total driving time is around two hours (approximately 130kms).
Accommodation
  • Lodge
Today you can visit the Abel Tasman National Park (optional). Bushwalking tracks among these gorgeous inlets and coves are just begging to be explored and the boat ride in Water Taxi is spectacular. Have plenty of space left on your memory card as photo opportunities abound.
Accommodation
  • Lodge
Optional Activities
  • Kayak Tour from - NZD 140
  • Abel Tasman National Park - Free - NZD 140
Leaving Nelson we head to the beautiful coastline of Kaikoura where many adventures await us. Take a boat trip out to see the whales. Experience being close to some of the largest creatures in the world. For those who wish there are plane or helicopter flights to view the whales. Kaikoura is famous for its seafood and marine life with much to see and do.

Notes: Total driving time is around four hours (approximately 240kms).
Accommodation
  • Lodge
Optional Activities
  • Whale Watching
We have the morning in Kaikoura where you could take part in a swim with the dolphins.

We continue to Christchurch where this trip concludes at approx 6PM. Please take this into consideration when booking any onward flights.


Notes: Total driving time is around three hours (approximately 160kms).
Optional Activities
  • Dolphin Swim - NZD 170
  • Whale Watching - NZD 155
what’s included
Accommodation
  • Lodge (11 nights)
Meals
  • 8 Breakfast, 2 Dinner
Transport
  • Ferry , Van
Included Activities
  • Waitomo - Caves Entrance
  • Rotorua - Te Puia Maori Art & Cultural Centre
  • Wellington - Te Papa Museum
  • Scenic Cruise via Queen Charlotte Sounds
  • Kaikoura Seal Colony
what’s excluded
  • International Flights
  • Any international flights to Auckland and from Christchurch are not included in this price. We always recommend that you arrive 1 day prior to your tour starting date.
  • Travel Insurance
  • Travel insurance is not included in this New Zealand North Island Explorer (ex Auckland) tour. Travel insurance is mandatory to buy. We recommend purchasing it from World Nomads.
Tour details
Booking Type Instant Booking  
Duration 12 days
Tour Type Group Tour - Max 15 participants
guiding method Live guide/instructor
Guide Language English
Starts/Ends Auckland/Christchurch
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Good to know Payment

A deposit of 400 USD is required to confirm this tour. For any departures within 17 June 2018 full payment is required.

Travel Insurance

The New Zealand North Island Explorer (ex Auckland) tour requires that you have adequate and valid travel insurance covering medical and personal accidents, including repatriation costs and emergency evacuation. We recommend using World Nomads' travel insurance.

Visa

For this New Zealand North Island Explorer (ex Auckland) tour getting the required visa(s) is the responsibility for each individual traveller, as visa requirements vary depending on your nationality. We recommend to check with your local embassies representing the countries that you are travelling to, as part of this itinerary.

CancellationNo additional cancellation fees apply for this New Zealand North Island Explorer (ex Auckland) tour. You can cancel the tour up to 58 days prior departure and avoid paying the full amount, but your deposit paid is non-refundable. No refund applies for cancellations within 57 days of departure.
Trip Details
  • Last modified (date)

    18 Apr 2018

  • Trip title

    New Zealand North Island Explorer (ex Auckland)

  • Trip code

    PTONU

  • Validity

    Validity: 01 Jan 2018 to 30 Jun 2019

  • Introduction

    Explore New Zealand's heartland from the secluded beaches of the coast to the volcanic craters of the central plateau. Travel from Auckland in the north to Christchurch in the south on a journey that is bound to captivate. And if it's adventure you're after, you've come to the right place. Sea kayaking and snorkelling in the Bay of Islands, black-water rafting in Waitomo, bungee and jet boating in Taupo, as well as mountain biking and kayaking in Nelson - the options are endless. This all-encompassing tour of New Zealand's North Island is bound to captivate all travellers.

  • Style

    Original

  • Themes

    Explorer,Wildlife

  • Transport

    Ferry,Van

  • Physical Rating

    3

  • Group leader

    All Intrepid group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders. In New Zealand your group leader is also your driver, taking you from start to finish in a coaster vehicle. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Our crew are chosen for their driving skills, their knowledge of the country, their personality, and of course their leadership abilities. We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting - we think it's the best of both worlds.

  • Health

    Our trips require a level of independence and physical endurance. Before embarking on one of our trips, it is important to consider your physical and mental health and your suitability for the trip. It is recommended that you consult with your doctor about your current health and the possible implications of doing the trip. We also ask that you advise us of any mental or physical conditions you have and raise any concerns that you, or your travelling companions, may have with us before you travel.

    You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations and anti-malarial requirements before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements (including a spare pair of glasses) as they may not easily be obtained at the locations on this trip. For legal reasons our leaders and guides are prohibited from administering any type of drugs including headache tablets and antibiotics. Please ensure that you are adequately prepared.

  • Food and dietary requirements

    While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. On our camping trips we often cook the region's specialities so you don't miss out. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There's no obligation to do this though.



    New Zealand is renowned for its fresh air and clean waters. Fresh food, including dairy (amazing cheese and milk), produce, seafood and meat - especially lamb. From high end restaurants and gastro pubs and cafe's to local restaurants and suburban dairies there is plenty of choice for all budgets. Wine is also done extremely well in NZ and not just sav blanc, but excellent pinot's and cool climate red's.

    Vegetarians and Vegans are well catered for in New Zealand and most restaurants and cafe's will have a good selection of vegetarian meals. Gluten and Lactose free diets are also well catered for. 

    Tap water is safe and delicious in cities and towns. Further out of town its best to check with your guide if in doubt. Please bring a reusable bottle and drink tap water where you can. You'll use less plastic, saving both the environment and money.

    New Zealand has strict laws regarding arriving with fruit and veg into the country. Please pay attention to signs when arriving internationally.

    Please budget approximately $15 per lunch, and $20 - $40 for each dinner, perhaps a little more if you intend to also enjoy a glass of wine or beer with your meal.

  • Climate and seasonal

    FLEXIBLE ITINERARY:
    Our routes have been carefully chosen to include the best night stops and highlights. However, as road conditions, weather, local restrictions and group input may vary, no two trips will ever be the same. With the help of your tour leader and fellow travellers you may modify certain nightstops and highlights to give a truly unique experience!

  • A couple of rules

    Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land, but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for Intrepid travellers. Intrepid's philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter and in particular, the local people who make our destinations such special places. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our group leader has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.

    Everyone has the right to feel safe and secure on their trip. We don’t tolerate any form of violence (verbal or physical) or sexual harassment at Intrepid, either between passengers or involving our leaders, local operators or locals.

    Sexual relationships (consensual or otherwise) between a leader and a passenger are unacceptable. If you ever feel another person is behaving inappropriately please inform us immediately by contacting the emergency contact number detailed in these trip notes.

  • Accommodation notes

    Our accommodation in New Zealand are backpacker lodges which have a friendly festive atmosphere and good facilities. All bedding is included. Please note that whilst visiting Doubtful Sound, upgrade options are not available on the overnight cruise due to room restrictions, all accommodation is quad share.

    Accommodation is on a twin share basis, and single travellers are paired with someone of the same sex. On rare occasions there may be triple rooms. Single supplement room upgrades can be requested at the time of booking.

  • Transport notes

    You will be travelling in a coaster vehicle specially designed for local conditions.

  • Your fellow travellers

    As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part. Due to privacy reasons we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure.

    SINGLE TRAVELLERS:
    Our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and don't involve a compulsory single supplement. Single travellers share with people of the same gender in accommodation ranging from twin to multishare. Some of our itineraries have accommodation booked on a mixed gender share basis and where applicable this will be specified in our Trip Notes. On a selection of our trips, you have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure that you have your own accommodation (where available). Please note that this only applies to accommodation during the tour - pre-trip and post-trip accommodation will be booked on a single room basis.

  • Itinerary disclaimer

    Occasionally our itineraries are updated during the year to incorporate improvements stemming from past travellers' comments and our own research. The information given in this itinerary may be slightly different to that in the brochure. It's very important that you print and review a final copy of your Essential Trip Information a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans. If you have any queries, please contact your travel agent or our staff. We are here to help you! Please note that while we operate successful trips in this region throughout the year, some changes may occur in our itineraries due to inclement weather and common seasonal changes to timetables and transport routes. This can happen with little notice so please be prepared for modifications to the route. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary from time to time.

    OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES:
    A selection of optional activities are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only. Prices are approximate and are for entrance only and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability and it may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination. Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. This means that it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, however we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with booking these activities. The decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.

  • Accommodation

    Lodge (11 nts)

other information
Intrepid Travel / Product Category: Explorer
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