Haka Plus Northern Trail Tour - 10 Day Wellington to Auckland
- Duration: 10 Days (approx.)
- Location: Wellington, New Zealand
- Product code: Haka Plus Northern Trail Tour - 10 Day Wellington to Auckland
Welcome to the 10 Day Northern Trail Haka Plus Tour!
From New Zealand’s lively capital to its biggest city, you’ll take in a whole host of North Island gems, enjoying cinemagraphic landscapes, spectacular coastal walks and geothermal wonders. We'll fill your days with highlights of the North Island and also give you a great insight into New Zealand life and culture.
Created for travellers in their mid-thirties and upwards, this North Island tour includes special activities such as walking to the spectacular and photogenic Cathedral Cove, a traditional Māori meal, and a walk amidst towering – and magically lit – treetops. You can also choose to select some tour add-ons such as hiking the Tongariro Alpine Crossing – otherwise known as Mordor, kayaking to a natural hot pool, visiting an off-shore eco-sanctuary, visiting Hobbiton, or flying over snow-capped mountains!
You’ll have the chance to swim, kayak, skydive, hike, see kiwis, relax in hot pools, roll down a hill in a giant ball, eat and drink like a local, and more! This is your trip, and it’s designed to be flexible. The choice is yours – pick the activities that appeal to you.
At the end of the day, you can relax in comfortable 3–4 star accommodation to ensure you have a great night’s sleep ready for the following day’s activities.
On this tour between Wellington and Auckland, you’ll encounter an array of landscapes: lush, green rolling hills; beautiful golden sand beaches, tumbling waterfalls, geothermal valleys filled with bubbling mud and sulphuric lakes, magnificent mountains, cosy laid-back surf towns and vibrant cities. Prepare you camera and get ready to make some magical memories!
WHAT’S INCLUDED ON THIS TOUR
- Stay 9 nights in twin-share 3–4 star accommodation: a mix of hotels, motels, and lodges.
- Feast on daily continental breakfasts and 2 dinners, including a traditional Māori hāngī cooked in an underground oven.
- Discover rare animal species tour of Zealandia Nature Reserve in Wellington (for tours starting from 1 September 2023).
- Stay in Tongariro National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Area.
- Hike through the forested gorge of Ruakuri (45 minutes) – bring your camera for this one.
- Brave the Redwoods Treewalk, crossing 23 raised suspension bridges.
- Soak up a sunset boat cruise in the West Coast surf town of Raglan – the fish and chips are on us!
- See endangered kiwi birds up close and personal.
- Watch a Māori cultural performance and check out a geothermal valley of bubbling mud pools including the famous Pōhutu Geyser in Rotorua.
- A guided visit to the filming location of the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings trilogy, Hobbiton (for tours starting from 1 September 2023).
- Walk a stunning coastal track to Cathedral Cove (as seen in the Chronicles of Narnia movies).
- Plus, many more surprise stops along the way!
ALL HAKA PLUS TOURS INCLUDE
- Passionate and knowledgeable local Kiwi guide
- Comfortable and air-conditioned bus transport
- Orientation tour of each and every location
- Small groups of maximum 16 people
- Experiences to teach you about our unique Māori culture
Kia ora (hello!) and welcome to Aotearoa (New Zealand). Settle into your accommodation and be ready for the 7.30pm pre-tour meeting. Here you will get to know your Tour Manager and be introduced to your new roadtrip friends. Afterwards, the evening is yours to enjoy. We recommend a good night’s sleep to be ready for tomorrow’s early start, but you may want to experience Wellington’s exciting nightlife - the choice is yours!
DAY 2: WELLINGTON
Soak up the atmosphere of vibrant Wellington. Famous for being a bit on the windy side, be prepared to ditch the hairspray and go with the flow. Your guide will introduce you to the city with an orientation tour – including a drive around the bays through central Wellington to the Botanic Gardens and Parliament Buildings. You’ll also get the chance to head up Mount Victoria for some of the best views in town. You will also stop by Weta Workshop, most famous for its creative contribution to all things Lord of the Rings. Take an optional tour to see prop-makers in action and learn about the immersive world of filmmaking. Wellington has a feast of cultural attractions and its crowning glory is Te Papa, the national museum of New Zealand. Situated on Wellington’s magnificent waterfront, this internationally acclaimed museum combines leading edge technology with traditional exhibits to tell the stories of New Zealand’s land and people. The museum is free entry but you may like to opt for a tour from one of their experienced guides for a more in depth visit. If being outdoors is more your thing, head off to Kapiti Island for an optional nature tour. Here you can see endangered birds up close and learn more about New Zealand’s unique flora and fauna.
For tours starting from 1 September 2023, Zealandia will be an included activity today.
Zealandia is a groundbreaking conservation project and the world’s first fully-fenced urban ecosanctuary. It has successfully reintroduced over 20 species of native wildlife into this area, some of which were previously absent from mainland New Zealand for over 100 years.
DAY 3: WELLINGTON TO NATIONAL PARK
This morning is your last chance to soak up Wellington – hit Cuba Street for brunch or take a quick stroll around the City Gallery, perhaps? Then it’s time to hop on the bus again, for the drive up north to Tongariro National Park. Our drive will take us through all kinds of scenery, from rolling hills to the spectacular peaks of the North Island’s volcanic plateau – Ruapehu, Ngauruhoe and Tongariro. If some of the mountains look familiar, it’s for good reason – Mount Ngauruhoe gained international fame as the real life version of Mount Doom in Lord of the Rings. We finish our day nestled in Tongariro National Park, where we’ll spend the next 2 nights, home to one of the 10 best one-day walks in the world – the Tongariro Crossing.
For tours starting from 1 September 2023, the tour will travel to Taupō instead of National Park.
DAY 4: NATIONAL PARK
Decision time – is today the day you brave the Tongariro Crossing? Considered one of the world’s top 10 best one-day walks, this 19.4km mountain trek boasts emerald green lakes, venting steam, lava flows, craters and rich green bush. Not for the faint-hearted – it’s a challenging day! But every step of the way the views are spectacular. Our Haka guides highly recommend this activity, it’s definitely a highlight. If 19.4km is a little too far for you, there are plenty of shorter walks and hikes to enjoy. However you choose to spend today in this UNESCO World Heritage Area, we guarantee you won’t forget it.
For tours starting from 1 September 2023, this day will be spent in Taupō instead of National Park.
Lake Taupō is actually a giant volcanic crater created 70,000 years ago in one of the biggest eruptions in history. Nowadays, it’s one of NZ’s best spots for a holiday escape. And being New Zealand, there are plenty of adventure sports to be found there too!
New Zealand’s most famous day hike is also in the area. The 19.4 km Tongariro Crossing is an alpine crossing around Tongariro, one of the country’s most famous and most beautiful volcanoes. It’s a serious leg workout, but it’s worth every minute for the incredible views and landscape. Turquoise and green lakes greet you at the top, along with vistas that stretch all the way to the coast.
If you’re looking for a thrill, we suggest skydiving over the lake or bungy jumping over New Zealand’s longest river (and for the really brave, getting dunked in!). There are heaps of other activities on offer such as quad biking, cruising the lake to see Māori rock carvings, hiking along the shores, mountain biking and even the chance to soak in some of the local geothermal pools.
DAY 5: NATIONAL PARK TO ROTORUA (VIA TAUPŌ)
We wave goodbye to National Park as we continue northwards – first stop, Taupō. It’s a beautiful lakeside town with a stunning mountain backdrop. There are options here for a lake cruise, or to skydive! Then, we head onward to Rotorua. It’s a short drive but we’ll take our time, checking out bubbling mud pools and thundering waterfalls en route. One not-to-be-missed highlight is Huka Falls – the most visited natural attraction in New Zealand! With its roaring rapids and turquoise colour, it’s not hard to see why. To make an awesome evening even more incredible, tonight we take on the Redwood Forest Canopy Walk – the ultimate way to get amongst these giants of the forest.
DAY 6: ROTORUA
Rotorua has it all: natural beauty, unique geothermal landscapes, and Māori culture. We stay here a full day to make the very most of it. This area is world-renowned for its geothermal activity, with neon blue and red lakes, steaming rivers, violent geysers, and bubbling mud pools galore. For a truly epic brush with nature, fly high through the lush ancient forest canopy on a zipline tour complete with swing bridges, crossings and treetop platforms. What better way to get to know the native plants and birds –many of which are unique to New Zealand. This evening we are welcomed to a Māori village for an unmissable cultural experience featuring combat demonstrations and – of course – the breathtaking haka. This experience extends beyond the performance – you’ll have the chance to see magnificent geothermal activity and get to spot kiwi birds.
DAY 7: ROTORUA TO RAGLAN (VIA WAITOMO and MATAMATA)
Once we’ve departed Rotorua, we head to Raglan, via Waitomo – famous for its glow worms. There are fantastic and informative walking tours of the caves where you can learn more about the history, geology and Māori mythology of this unique area of New Zealand. For those who prefer to stay above ground, we highly recommend exploring the tree-studded gorges and limestone arches of the nearby Ruakuri Forest Walk; definitely a favourite amongst the Haka guides. We also have the option to stop in at the picturesque Hobbiton movie set - a must-do activity for many. Even if you haven’t seen the films, it’s impossible not to be charmed by this gorgeous hobbit village set amongst the lush green hills of Matamata. For dinner tonight, once we’ve arrived in Raglan you’ll have a chance to tuck into New Zealand’s unofficial dish – fish and chips (or fush and chups, as it tends to sound in a Kiwi accent). And what better way to enjoy a tasty meal than on a sunset cruise of Raglan Harbour?
For tours starting from 1 September 2023, Hobbiton will be an included activity today.
DAY 8: RAGLAN TO COROMANDEL
Welcome to the arty mecca of Raglan! If you have always wanted to try surfing, or if you’re dying to get back on your board, Raglan is the perfect destination both for beginners and experienced surfers. Not keen on surfing? There’s plenty to enjoy in this laid-back township. With an awesome blend of cafes, bars, surf shops and galleries, the streets here ooze character and creativity. Relax on the beach, try kayaking or enjoy a variety of bush and coastal scenery on Raglan’s walking trails. As you make the trip across the North Island to the Coromandel Peninsula, your Haka guide has some great sights to show you en route, including the 55-metre high Bridal Veil Falls.
DAY 9: COROMANDEL TO AUCKLAND
In the beautiful Coromandel, you’ll have plenty of time for your guide to show you around. Sample the sandy beaches or simply enjoy the vibes. There are all sorts of ways to enjoy the Coromandel, including kayaking at iconic Cathedral Cove and soaking in hot pools. The Coromandel Peninsula is a paradise of beautiful beaches and misty rainforests. The drive here takes in plenty of quintessential North Island rolling farmland. It’s also home to the famous Hot Water Beach – thousands visit each year to dig their own personal hot tub. If the tide times allow, we’ll grab our buckets and spades and get busy. Then, we hit the road for the final stretch of our journey together. The drive to Auckland is truly spectacular – the road twists and turns dramatically round the coastline as the skyline of New Zealand’s largest city gradually comes into view.
DAY 10: AUCKLAND
Today is the final day of the tour, where we exchange photos and stories over breakfast before saying our goodbyes and parting ways.