14 Day North Island Explorer Private Guided Tour
Explore the North Island with a private guided tour personalised to suit your group. Our private guided tours are hosted by one of New Zealand’s leading tour guides. Your guide will meet your group at the airport and chauffeur your group to explore the destinations and activities included in your personalised tour package. They will tend to your needs and share valuable local knowledge with your group to enhance your holiday experience. We can cater for groups between 1-20 people.
Our private guided tour packages are flexible and are booked to suit your group’s travel dates and interests.
Private Guided Tour Package Includes:
- Private tour guide / driver
- Private vehicle (0-18 months old) including fuel
- Airport transfers
- 14 Nights in 4 Star Accommodation
- Whale and Dolphin Safari
- Bay of Islands Hole in the Rock Cruise
- Hahei Explorer Boat Tour to Cathedral Cove
- Scenic Helicopter Flight over Mount Maunganui and Tauranga
- Hobbiton Movie Set Tour
- Te Puia Te Po Maori Evening Experience including Hangi Dinner
- Skyline Gondola and Buffet Dinner Combo Rotorua
- Peek at Lake Taupo Scenic Floatplane Flight
- Waitomo Caves Combo (Waitomo Glowworm Cave and Ruakuri Cave)
Day 1 Arrive Auckland
Arrive in Auckland – the “City of Sails” is New Zealand’s largest city and is bordered by two stunning harbours. Your tour guide will meet you at the airport and take you to your Auckland City accommodation. In the afternoon explore Auckland City with your tour guide.
Stay 2 nights in Auckland City.
Day 2 Whale and Dolphin Safari
Leave the hustle and bustle of the city and discover the beautiful Hauraki Gulf Marine Park – visited by a staggering one third of all the types of marine mammals found on earth. Departing directly from the Viaduct Harbour, be welcomed aboard the 20 metre, purpose-built vessel ‘Dolphin Explorer’ for an unforgettable marine mammal eco-safari out on the sparkling waters of the Hauraki Gulf. Be surrounded by some of the most abundant marine life in New Zealand, and discover what the beautiful Auckland area has to offer. Enjoy a 4.5 hour eco-cruise on Auckland’s Hauraki Gulf, including guaranteed whale and dolphin viewing – or you get a free trip! Friendly, knowledgeable guides. Commentary on the culture and history of the Hauraki Gulf. Fully licensed bar with snacks available for purchase.
Relax in Auckland for the afternoon exploring the city’s attractions with your guide such as Sky Tower, Auckland Zoo, Viaduct Harbour and the boutique shopping.
Day 3 Bay of Islands + Hole in the Rock Cruise
Travel time Auckland to Bay of Islands 219 km / 136 miles, 4 hours
Drive to the Bay of Islands, renowned for its 144 Islands and surreal maritime park where an abundance of marine life includes whales, penguins and dolphins.
In the afternoon discover the world famous ‘Hole in the Rock’ on the biggest vessel in the bay and look out for dolphins, whales, birds and other wildlife (lifetime dolphin viewing guarantee). Cruise among the 144 islands the Bay of Islands is famous for and enjoy the stunning scenery and informative commentary about marine mammals, geography and history.
Stay 2 nights in Paihia, Bay of Islands.
Day 4 Bay of Islands
Relax and explore the Bay of Islands with your guide today. Option to take a day trip to Cape Reinga, the northern most point of New Zealand.
Day 5 Coromandel Peninsula
Travel time Bay of Islands to Coromandel Peninsula 406 km / 252 miles, 6 hours
Renowned worldwide as a spectacular holiday destination, with warm white sandy beaches, misty rainforests and wilderness a-plenty, the Coromandel is the ideal place to relax and unwind. Relax on the coastline, exploring beaches, volcanic reefs and the world famous Cathedral Cove!
Stay 2 nights in Whitianga, Coromandel.
Day 6 Coromandel Peninsula + Cathedral Cove Tour
Today discover the excitement and adventure of the Hahei Explorer boat tour to Cathedral Cove – the most photographed beach in New Zealand. Penguins, seals and dolphins are a big favourite when they take time out of their busy schedule to visit the boat. Visit places only accessible by boat including coastal islands in the marine reserve and spectacular sea caves. When the tide is right you will be taken inside an amazing blowhole 80 feet high – a truly magical place.
In the afternoon visit attractions, such as Hot Water Beach with your tour guide.
Day 7 Tauranga + Scenic Helicopter Flight
Travel time Coromandel Peninsula to Tauranga 170 km / 106 miles, 2.5 hours
The Bay of Plenty is one of the most popular summer holiday destinations in New Zealand. Located along the idyllic Pacific Coast Highway it offers a great mix of activities, beaches and dining experiences. Tauranga is the main centre, whilst the coastal suburb of Mt Maunganui is the region’s seaside resort.
In the afternoon join Aerius Helicopters for an amazing scenic helicopter flight! Experience a different view of Mount Maunganui and Tauranga city. This flight will take you along the white sandy coastline to the Mount’s Main Beach. Fly around “The Mount” and over Matakana Island on your way to Tauranga city. Sharks and Stingrays are often seen in the shallows during the summer months. This is a great way to see the busy Port of Tauranga, along with the beautiful inner harbour. The Kaimai Ranges, Bowentown heads, and Mayor Island are all visible on a clear day.
Stay 1 night in Tauranga.
Day 8 Hobbiton > Rotorua
Travel time Tauranga to Matamata 48 km / 29 miles, 1 hour
Make your way to Matamata to discover the real Middle-earth on the most picturesque private farmland near Matamata to visit the Hobbiton Movie Set from The Lord of the Rings film trilogy in a fascinating two-hour guided tour. The set has been completely rebuilt and will remain as it was seen in The Lord of the Rings film trilogy. There are spectacular views across to the Kaimai Ranges from the rolling green hills of the movie set, which is still a working sheep and beef farm. You can relax and soak up the unique atmosphere with a great cup of coffee or a light meal in The Shires Rest Cafe.
Travel time Matamata to Rotorua 68 km / 42 miles, 1 hour
Enjoy the scenic journey to Rotorua, distinguished by Maori culture and geothermal activity. This diverse city will put on a display as you encounter geysers, mud pools, steaming craters and 16 beautiful lakes.
In the evening enjoy dinner at Rotorua’s most spectacular location – Skyline Restaurant. Sit back and relax as the views from the gondola unfold while you journey to the Skyline complex. The Skyline Restaurant will then serve you a mouthwatering taste of New Zealand, a buffet of legendary proportions. Feast on mouth-watering fresh soups and salads and seafood specialties such as mussels, queen scallops, sushi and sashimi. Enjoy carvery roasts of beef, lamb or pork with specialty sauces to match, with live cooking from your friendly chefs. The legendary Art of the Grill menu will tempt your taste buds even further, with a selection of fillet steak, prawn and Morten Bay Bugs – all cooked on the grill to your liking. Add to that mouth-watering desserts, and you’ve got yourself a unique dining experience not to be missed. Tiered seating guarantees stunning views from every table! After dinner enjoy the scenic ride back down on the gondola. At the top of the gondola you also have the option to add-on a thrilling Luge Ride, enjoy nature walks and visit the Jelly Belly Shop and Volcanic Hills winery and tasting room.
Stay 2 nights in Rotorua.
Day 9 Rotorua + Maori Cultural Experience
Relax in Rotorua for the day.
In the evening enjoy a Maori Cultural Experience including a Hangi Dinner. Hear stories and learn how Maori traditions live on today. Experience an authentic Maori welcome. Watch a challenge by the Maori warriors, a karanga (call) from the Maori women welcoming you onto the marae, and a whaikorero (welcome speech). Relax and enjoy the beautiful waiata (songs), the world renowned haka (challenge), and the elegant poi dance. Learn Maori customs including Maori musical instruments, haka and poi. The dining experience is a culinary opportunity like no other. Following dessert, you will be transported down into the valley to conclude your evening beside the awe inspiring Pohutu geyser.
Day 10 Taupo + Scenic Floatplane Flight
Travel time Rotorua to Taupo 76 km / 47 miles, 1 hour
Enjoy a short drive south to Taupo, rich in natural beauty with attractions such as the Huka Falls, relaxing boat cruises, and bungy jumping.
Enjoy a Peek at the Lake Scenic Floatplane Flight as you take off from Taupo Bay, past Acacia Bay to Rangatira Point, viewing the crystal clear waters of Whakaipo Bay. Climb up through Mapara Valley, view red scoria quarries, then discover the headwaters of the Waikato River. Fly over the Craters of the Moon and over the Borefields of the Wairakei Power Station, followed by a circuit of the Huka Falls, over Taupo to land on the lakefront (20 minutes approx).
Stay 2 nights in Taupo.
Day 11 Taupo
Relax in Taupo for the day. Taupo is a great lake for water-skiing, sailing and kayaking. The Maori rock carvings at Mine Bay, which can only be seen from the water, make for a great boat trip or kayaking excursion. The forests surrounding the lake offer hiking and mountain biking to suit all levels of experience. Just north of Lake Taupo you’ll find New Zealand’s most visited attraction, the magnificent Huka Falls, where more than 220,000 litres of water thunder over the cliff face every second.
Option to take the plunge and enjoy bungy jumping or skydiving.
Day 12 Waitomo Caves > Hamilton
Travel time Taupo to Waitomo Caves 164 km / 101 miles, 2.5 hours
Venture to the Waitomo Caves where you will enjoy the Waitomo Glowworm Caves and Ruakuri Caves Combo! Deep underground in the heart of the Waikato are a series of unique caves that will take your breath away. Ruakuri Cave is home to an innovative spiral entrance, echoing waterfalls, and limestone that flow into delicate shawl-like formations. Nearby, at the Waitomo Glowworm Caves, thousands of tiny glow worms cling to the cave ceiling, creating a starry sky within the underground night. You’ll also see a deep limestone shaft and a soaring subterranean cathedral that will leave you speechless.
Travel time Waitomo Caves to Hamilton 73 km / 45 miles, 1 hour
After your Waitomo Caves adventure journey to Hamilton, New Zealand’s largest inland city, situated on the banks of the Waikato River. Being in the hub of the central North Island, visitors have easy access to iconic attractions such as Waitomo Caves, Raglan’s surf coast and Te Aroha Mineral Pools. For fun – visit the chocolate and candy factory, Hamilton Gardens and the weekly markets. From cafes, art galleries and shopping, through to an ever changing calendar of high profile events, Hamilton is a great holiday destination.
Stay 2 nights in Hamilton.
Day 13 Hamilton
Relax in Hamilton for the day exploring attractions such as the Raglan’s surf coast, Te Aroha Mineral Pools, the chocolate and candy factory, Hamilton Gardens and the weekly markets with your tour guide.
Day 14 Auckland
Travel time Hamilton to Auckland 126 km / 78 miles, 2 hours
Journey back to Auckland at your leisure. Relax in Auckland for the afternoon or join the crew and enjoy an America’s Cup Sailing experience, a must do attraction in Auckland, spend 2 hours out on the harbour on an actual America’s Cup yacht!
Stay 1 night in Auckland City.
Day 15 Depart Auckland
Your guide will deliver you to Auckland Airport for your departing flight.