Northern Explorer - North Island Tour

Starts in Auckland

Ends in Wellington

7 days

6 nights

Explore New Zealand's North Island

Welcome aboard Kirra's Northern Explorer tour, a 7 days, 6 nights small-group tour. It's an immersive journey that unfolds the wonders of New Zealand from Auckland to Wellington. Encounter the true spirit of the country, ranging from the 'City of Sails', Auckland, to the captivating Art Deco charm of Napier, with this meticulously designed North Island tour that will leave you in awe of the diverse landscapes and rich cultural experiences of Aotearoa.

Embark on an epic journey with Kirra's Northern Explorer tour, a 7-day adventure that promises a rich tapestry of experiences spanning from Auckland to Wellington. This adventure-packed guided tour offers a fascinating blend of natural beauty, rich Maori culture, and unparalleled hospitality.

From Auckland's cityscape and harbours to the luminous spectacle of glowworms in Waitomo caves, every destination unfolds a new chapter of enchantment. Discover Rotorua's geothermal marvels, the serene beauty of Lake Aniwhenua, and the mesmerizing blue of Lake Taupo and Huka Falls.

Indulge in a flavourful journey as well with traditional hangi meals in Murupara, wine tastings in the vineyards of Napier's Mission Estate Winery, and Wellington's unbeatable coffee culture.

Travel comfortably in a luxury coach, rest in thoughtfully selected accommodations, savour diverse culinary experiences, and delve deep into local cultural experiences, all meticulously curated and guided by our expert tour leader.

Itinerary of the 7-Day Northern Explorer Tour

  • Tour Guide
  • Small Group Tour - Max 24
  • Luxury Coach
  • 6 nights’ accommodation
  • 6 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
  • Waitomo Glowworm Caves
  • Visit the Buried Village
  • Lake Aniwhenua Cultural Experience
  • See the Huka Falls
  • Lunch at Mission Estate Winery

Season 2024 - 2025

  • Single: NZ$4,495
  • Twin-share: NZ$3,699

Prices per person, in New Zealand Dollar (NZD).

Why So Many Travellers Love This Northern Explorer Tour

Travellers worldwide have fond memories and still share stories of their Kirra Tour. We have been creating memorable New Zealand experiences since 1968. Our passion for this country is displayed through our unique itineraries.

See what's included in our Northern Explore Tour: 7-day North Island Tour.

Superior Accommodation

6 nights accommodation in high-end hotels

Premium Coach

luxury coach and world-class tour guide

Small Group Tour

minimum of 9 travellers, maximum: 28


6 breakfasts, 2 lunches and 2 dinners included

Map of 7-Day Northern Explorer Tour by Kirra Premium Coach Tours

Itinerary of the 7-day Northern Explorer Tour

Day 1: Arrival day to Auckland

Haere Mai and Welcome to Aotearoa/New Zealand. The first stop on your adventure is Tāmaki Makaurau/Auckland, the largest city in New Zealand. Often referred to as the ‘City of Sails’ by locals, Auckland is home to 2 harbours and over 44 volcanoes!

On arrival in the city, make your way to the Nesuto Stadium Hotel in Downtown Auckland where you can check in and drop your bags. At the hotel reception, you’ll receive a welcome letter with some tour information, and this evening you’ll meet your group and welcome host at 6:15pm and head for a delicious welcome dinner at 6:30pm.

Arrival: Anytime

Accommodation: Nesuto Hotel @ 40 Beach Road, Auckland City (or similar)

Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Auckland to Rotorua

This morning our North Island tour leaves Tāmaki Makaurau (Auckland) and makes our way to Waitomo, famous for its enchanting glowworm caves. We’ll be visiting the brightest glowworm cave in Waitomo, which was even visited by Sir David Attenborough! You’ll take a spectacular boat ride through a cave lit entirely by glowworms and experience the magical sight of hundreds of glowworms shining just for you. We'll follow this with a walking tour of another amazing limestone cave shaped over millions of years.

Afterward, we’ll continue down to Rotorua, the geothermal wonderland of New Zealand. This evening we’ll enjoy a delicious dinner together and then settle in for a luxurious night’s sleep in Rotorua.

Visit: Waitomo, Rotorua

Activity: Waitomo Glowworm Caves

Accommodation: Distinction Rotorua (or similar)

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 3: Free Day in Rotorua

This morning we’ll skirt around the edge of Lake Rotorua to a lookout point where we’ll have a view of the infamous Mount Tarawera, once the home of the renowned pink and white terraces before a violent eruption destroyed them. We’ll end with a visit to the Buried Village, New Zealand's most visited Archaeological Site, where we’ll learn about the famous 1886 eruption and visit the site of the now-buried Te Wairoa village.

This afternoon we’ll go for a walk in the Whakarewarewa forest where we’ll see towering Redwoods, magnificent Douglas firs, and New Zealand’s native Silver fern and then you have some free time to explore Rotorua on your own. If you’d like to see some geothermal activity for free, we recommend taking a walk around Kuirau Park to see boiling mud pools and steaming lakes. Go for a walk to the lake's edge and through the government gardens, spend some time relaxing at the Polynesian Spa, or take the Gondola up to see the amazing Rotorua Skyline.

Visit: Rotorua

Activity: Visit the Buried Village and take the Waitawa Walk in Whakarewarewa Forest

Accommodation: Distinction Rotorua (or similar)

Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 4: Rotorua to Lake Aniwhenua to Taupo

This morning we’ll travel to the shores of Lake Aniwhenua in Murupara, where you’ll get to experience a slice of the real New Zealand. Owned by a passionate local Maori family who have dedicated their lives to making a difference in their local community, Kohutapu Lodge is situated on the lake, and has been helping to transform the local town of Murupara through community-driven initiatives for years.

Your experience will begin with a guided tour of the sacred Maori rock carvings and then you’ll travel to the Lodge to witness the preparation of a traditional ground-cooked hangi. Once the food is ready, you’ll dine at the lodge on arguably the best meal you’ll have in New Zealand! After lunch, we’ll depart for Taupo where you’ll get to see the fiercely blue Huka Falls and gaze at the epic views around Lake Taupo.

Visit: Murupara, Whirinaki, Taupo

Activity: Kohutapu Lodge Tribal Tour

Accommodation: Anchorage Taupo or similar

Meals Included: Breakfast, Hangi Lunch + Dessert

Day 5: Taupo to Napier

After breakfast this morning our North Island tour will head to the stunning Hawke’s Bay region. Napier boasts some of the best wineries in New Zealand/Aotearoa and a visit here would not be complete without a trip to Mission Estate Winery. After a wine tasting, you’ll sit down for lunch to enjoy an afternoon of delicious food and exceptional wines, while soaking up sunshine and the ambience of this stunning estate.

Later, it’s an easy drive into the beautiful coastal town of Napier, known for its perfectly preserved Art Deco facades. Go for a stroll along the tree-lined promenade this evening and sample some fresh seafood at one of the many restaurants overlooking the beach.

Visit: Mission Estate Winery

Accommodation: Scenic Hotel Te Pania (or similar)

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 6: Napier to Wellington

This morning we’ll depart Napier and journey down to Wellington, the capital city of New Zealand and the home of the best cup of coffee in the country!

On the way down, we’ll make a stop in Greytown, Wairarapa's oldest town, for a spot of lunch. A picturesque village with restored Victorian buildings, Greytown is a charming place to stop, refuel and browse the boutiques before our North Island tour continue down to Wellington.

With a population of fewer than 220,000 people, no city in NZ combines a relaxed atmosphere and a cultured, bohemian spirit better than Wellington. The afternoon is free for you to spend exploring the city - we highly recommend a visit to our national museum Te Papa which offers free entrance and boasts some incredible exhibits.

Visit: Wairarapa, Wellington

Accommodation: Novotel Wellington (or similar)

Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 7: Depart Wellington

Today is the final day of the tour, our trip has come to an end. Enjoy breakfast before saying a fond farewell to your tour leader and all your travel companions. Whether you’re travelling home today or staying in Wellington for longer, we hope you leave this tour with some happy memories and friends for life.

Meals Included: Breakfast

What Travellers Say About Kirra

Tour Dates

7-Day Northern Explorer 9-Day Southern Dream 10-Day North & South 17-Day Ultimate NZ
SEASON 2024-2025
SEASON 2024-2025
SEASON 2024-2025
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15 March 2025
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7 March 2025
14 Mar 2025
28 March 2025
7 March 2025
14 Mar 2025
28 March 2025
4 April 2025
18 April 2025
5 April 2025
12 April 2025
26 April 2025
4 April 2025
18 April 2025
4 April 2025
18 April 2025
Northern Explorer InfoSouthern Dream InfoNorth & South InfoUltimate New Zealand Info

Compare our Premium Coach Tours

Cheers to the good life in Taupo

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10-Day North & South Tour: Auckland to Christchurch

The mysterious Moeraki Boulders

17-Day Ultimate New Zealand: explore both islands

Ready to book a Kirra Premium Coach Tour?

Visit your local travel agent or contact us directly to make a booking.

Immerse in New Zealand's Scenic Wonders: 7-Day North Island Tour

Set off from Auckland and dive straight into the natural wonders that New Zealand is so well known for with a visit to Waitomo, home to an enchanting glowworm cave, a sight so spectacular it captivated even Sir David Attenborough. Marvel at the mesmerizing spectacle of thousands of glowworms illuminating your path through the cave, an experience like no other.

Next, we journey into the heart of the geothermal wonderland that is Rotorua. Discover the intriguing history of the 1886 volcanic eruption at the Buried Village archaeological site and get lost in the towering Redwoods of the Whakarewarewa forest. Our New Zealand North Island tour then takes us to Lake Aniwhenua where you will savor a traditional hangi meal at Kohutapu Lodge, renowned for its community transformation initiatives.

Relish the natural beauty of Taupo, including the strikingly blue Huka Falls before heading to the serene Hawke's Bay region. Napier will enchant you with its perfectly preserved Art Deco façades, and the delightful culinary experience at Mission Estate Winery will be a treat for your palate.

The tour of New Zealand's North Island culminates in Wellington, the capital city with a heart for the arts and a soul for the perfect cup of coffee. The city's bohemian spirit perfectly complements the relaxed atmosphere and offers the perfect opportunity to explore at your leisure before bidding farewell to your travel companions.

Travel in a luxurious coach, stay in handpicked accommodations, savor delectable meals, and immerse in local experiences, all under the expert guidance of our tour leader. Limited to just 24 guests, this intimate, all-inclusive bus tour promises an unrivaled exploration of New Zealand, filled with unforgettable memories and friends for life.

Discover the best of New Zealand's North Island on the 7-Day Northern Explorer Tour with Kirra – an experience that stays with you long after you've returned home. Come, join us on this extraordinary adventure. Haere Mai!

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