Summary of The Day: Kia Ora and welcome to New Zealand.
Today we'll meet at 8:00am at the reception of Wellington YHA where your guide will have set up continental breakfast. Over breakfast your guide will introduce everyone to the group and run through everything you need to know to maximize your time in New Zealand. Breakfast and the welcome meeting should take around an hour though can take a bit longer with larger groups.
Tucked away at the bottom of the North Island, New Zealand’s capital is anything but boring. A fun young city with tons of green spaces and beaches, it feels more like a small town than an urban capital. Packed with quirky bars, quaint cafes, beautiful street art and heaps of things to do, it’s impossible not to love Wellington.
There is something for everyone here: be amazed at Weta Studios, where the Lord of the Rings movies were produced; ride the old fashioned cable car to the Botanic Gardens; visit Te Papa, Wellington’s famous (and free) museum filled with peculiar things, interactive exhibits as well as the stories and legends behind the history of New Zealand; or explore the various beautiful beaches around town. Go on, let your inner kid come out to play.
Join the group on a trip up Mt. Victoria, one of Wellington’s most iconic spots. With the best views in town and plenty of walks and tracks to tackle, Mt. Vic is a Wellington icon and a highlight of the trip.
Summary of The Day: In the morning we’ll start with a tour of Wellington city and the surrounding bays. This includes a trip to Weta Studios, where films like Lord of the Rings have been made. We may also visit the parliament buildings, cable car and Mt Victoria.
On our way to Taupo, we will get spectacular views of the famous volcanoes - Ruapehu, Tongariro and of course, Ngauruhoe, which is better known as Mt Doom in the Lord of the Rings films. On the road we make a stop at Mokai Gravity Canyon, an extreme adventure park which offers a 1.2km flying fox style zipline, which reaches a top speed of 160kp/h. Pair up with a new buddy or two on the tour and fly down the canyon together. Go on, we dare you!
If you are looking for a bit of a challenge or to take on one of New Zealand’s famous adrenaline sports, you’ll have the chance for a cliff jump into the lake or the second highest bungy swing at the Gravity Canyon; your guide will definitely have a surprise or two in store as well.
Summary of The Day: Lake Taupo is actually a giant volcano crater created 70,000 years ago in one of the biggest eruptions in history. Peaceful nowadays, it’s one of New Zealand’s best places to escape to. Also, being New Zealand, there are plenty of adventure sports to be found here too.
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 activities on offer here such as quad biking, cruising the lake to see Maori rock carvings, soaking in some of the local geothermal pools, hiking along the shores and even mountain biking. There is definitely an activity for everyone in Taupo and your guide will have plenty of tips and suggestions.
If you want to experience New Zealand’s most famous day hike, the 19.4 km Tongariro Crossing is begging you to visit. An alpine crossing around Tongariro, one of the North Island’s most famous and most beautiful volcanoes, it may be a calf burner but it’s worth every minute for the great views and volcanic landscape. Turquoise and green volcanic lakes greet you at the top, along with vistas that stretch on for miles to the coast.
If you are feeling fit, you can even scramble up Mt. Ngauruhoe, which starred as Mt. Doom in the Lord of the Rings.
Summary of The Day: While the North Island is predominantly volcanic, Rotorua is exceptional for its geothermal activity. With neon blue and red lakes, steaming rivers, active volcanoes and geysers galore, there are more unique natural wonders to be found in Rotorua than many other places in the world.
Here you’ll have to chance to head over to Matamata and tour the Hobbiton film set from the Lord of the Rings, as well the Otorohonga Kiwi House where you can get a glimpse of our national icon. Reenact scenes from the movies with the rest of the group or just pretend to be a Hobbit while sipping some of the pub’s famous ginger beer.
On the way to Taupo we stop at what makes Rotorua famous, along with giving it its unique smell: Orakei Korako or Waiotapu. These are extraordinary geyserland and thermal parks where you can walk around and check out all the unique geothermal activity in the area.
A favorite activity for many is the Zorb - a Kiwi invention that involves rolling down a hill whilst inside a giant air cushioned ball! Taking in one of the Maori cultural evenings, getting to experience the traditional Maori heritage and welcome, is another tour highlight.
Summary of The Day: We’ll start out with optional white water rafting or sledging on the Kaituna River which includes a 7 meter waterfall, though if you prefer something a bit more relaxed, there are plenty of other spots to explore around town, include some local hot springs if you want to take it easy.
Together we’ll ride up the Rotorua cable car for great views of the area with the chance of racing each other down to the bottom in a Luge (included in the tour). Have your cameras ready!
At Waitomo there is a distinctive limestone region where surface water and underground streams have dissolved the rock over tens of thousands of years, creating an amazing system of underground caves. As the small town is only two hours from Rotorua, we reach our accommodation by late afternoon.
Summary of The Day: Waitomo has become famous around the world thanks to its magnificent glowworm caves. How many chances do you get to go caving in a place with blue glowworms twinkling on the ceiling? There are many different ways to explore the caves, but if you are open to adventure and getting your feet wet, the best way to experience Waitomo is by black water rafting.
Dressed in a wetsuit, sitting on top of an inner tube, you can float down the caverns and underground maze. With your headlamp off, it seems as if you are looking up at the sky filled with blue stars. If you’re feeling even more adventurous, you can opt on one of the caving tours where you abseil down into the caverns, tube, zipline and climb waterfalls before popping out at the end. But don’t worry, there’s a different way to explore the caves for everyone.
It’s no secret that many blockbuster hits have been filmed in New Zealand due to its incredible landscapes. Around lunchtime we head of to the Coromandel to discover them first-hand.
We’ll walk together out along the cliffs down to Cathedral Cove (which you might recognize from the Chronicles of Narnia). Beautiful in its own right, with perfect beaches and massive rock arches and columns, it’s one of the most popular spots in the Coromandel and for a good reason: It doesn’t look real.
Summary of The Day: Beautiful remote beaches, dense wooded forest and clear blue waters make the Coromandel one of New Zealand’s favorite getaways.
Together, at low tide, we’ll make our way to the world-famous Hot Water Beach. When the tide’s out, you can dig a hole in the sand where natural hot springs bubble up to create your own personal hot tub!
You’ll also carve your own Kiwi pendant from bone here, a very special and unique Kiwi experience. What better souvenir to take home than one you made yourself in a traditional activity?
Finally, we head to Auckland, NZ’s biggest city. Auckland sits on the narrow sliver of land where the Northland peninsula tapers south to meet the rest of the North Island. Therefore the sea is ever present, and it isn’t difficult to guess the origin of its nickname ‘City of Sails’.
We'll arrive at Haka Lodge Auckland around 5:00pm, and this is where our tour comes to an end.
* Customers under 18 years old are not permitted on this tour.|
* The included accommodation is dorm share with maximum 6 guests.
* Due to limited availability at time of booking, multi-share accommodation for two or more guests may be provided in separate rooms. Every endeavor will be made to ensure this does not occur, but should this be necessary you will be advised at check-in.
* Tour prices are based on NZD and are converted into USD. Prices will change day to day, due to the currency exchange rates. Tours booked and paid for will be charged at the current rate at which the tour price is shown. We will not refund any price differences, should prices drop for the tour. Tours will be subject to Cancellation Fees, should any changes be made for a reservation.
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