8 Day North Island Escape

From top to bottom, Te Ika-a-Māui (North Island) boasts magnificent landscapes, friendly locals, and a range of world-class attractions to charm all visitors.

from NZ$1,025 pp - Twin Share

Inclusions

  • 7 nights accommodation
  • 7 days car rental
  • Entry to the Sky Tower
  • Cape Brett 'Hole in the Rock' cruise
  • Tamaki Māori Village evening experience
  • Please note that self-drive holidays depart on rolling start dates.

Itinerary

Haere mai, welcome to New Zealand’s North Island. Your rental car will be ready and waiting, so you can get started on your adventure right away. After checking in to your accommodation, visit the Sky Tower and take in the sprawling city from 220m above. For a unique dining experience, you may wish to stay for a meal in the rotating Orbit Restaurant.

Cross Auckland’s Waitemata Harbour and make your way north. Take a break in subtropical Whangarei to savour a leisurely lunch at a quayside cafe, then head to Paihia and spend the afternoon exploring the Bay of Islands. We recommend a visit to the Waitangi Treaty Grounds – New Zealand’s most significant historic site, and an award-winning visitor experience.

Enjoy a boat ride to the Hole in the Rock this morning. Cruise past the islands dotted throughout the bay and keep an eye out for dolphins, whales, and other marine life. Excitement grows as you pass through the Hole in the Rock and into the majestic Grand Cathedral Cave. This trip includes a stopover on beautiful Urupukapuka Island, a pest-free recreation reserve with numerous scenic walks and an unspoiled beach.

Depart Paihia this morning for the geothermal wonderland of Rotorua, and break up the long drive with a few stops along the way. South of Whangarei, the limestone caves in Waipu twinkle with glow worms, and feature natural rock formations and remnants of invertebrate fossils. The Hamilton Gardens are also a must-see, with 58 hectares of storytelling through themed garden collections.

Today is for exploring Rotorua. Check out Agrodome for a unique farm experience, ride the gondola up Mt Ngongotaha for extensive views over the city and lake, or visit Te Puia with its geysers and bubbling mud pools. This evening you will enjoy a delicious hāngi meal and cultural performance at Tamaki Māori Village.

Hit the road and travel south to Taupō. We recommended stopping at the Huka Falls viewpoint to watch the roaring waters rushing through the narrow gorge. Continue on to Napier where you have an afternoon to immerse yourself the Art Deco city centre. To see all the sites of interest and learn about the city’s rich history from an experienced guide, take a tour in a vintage car, or a 1½ hour evening walk.

Bid farewell to Napier and carry on to our nation’s capital city. You might like stop for a tour of the Tui Brewery in Mangatainoka, or visit one of the local wineries in the Martinborough region on your way through. Once in Wellington, we recommend an excursion to Te Papa, where you can explore New Zealand’s compelling cultural and environmental heritage through a range of exhibits that showcase our stories and taonga (treasures).

If you have some time before you leave, take a stroll along the bustling waterfront. Return the rental car to the airport in time for your flight home.

Please Note: Prices are per person twin/double share and subject to availability. For other room types or more information please enquire.

Conditions: Prices are per person, twin/double share and subject to availability. Prices were correct at the time of submission (FEB17) but are subject to change without notice. Valid for travel 01 May – 30 September 2017. Blackout periods and surcharges may apply. Car hire excess fees of NZ$3000 + GST applies. This will be imprinted on a credit card upon collecting the vehicle. Excess reduction options are available at an additional cost per day. Airport/Ferry pick up fee of NZ$45+ GST applies. This must be paid direct in New Zealand. Car parking fees may apply in some locations. Please enquire for more information.