7 Day Best of the Lower North Island Summer Tour

Auckland to Wellington and Everything in Between

If you are short on time and want to get a taste of the North Island of New Zealand then this tour will allow you to see the northern highlights of the island.  

Highlights include a stay at Hahei beach and walk to the world famous Cathedral Cove. Visiting Hot Water Beach - dig your own spa pool in the sand! Seeing bubbling hot mud pools in Rotorua. Experiencing Maori culture with a traditional Hangi meal, Kapa Haka (Maori song and dance) and interactive cultural performance. Exploring the Whanganui National Park and learn about conservation on a 4WD bush safari / eco-wilderness farm tour. Traversing volcanic plateaus and complete the most famous day walk in New Zealand - the Tongariro Crossing

Top rated activities:

  • Walk to the world famous Cathedral Cove.
  • Visit Hot Water Beach 
  • See bubbling hot mud pools in Rotorua.
  • Experience Maori culture at Tamaki Maori Village
  • See the mighty Huka Falls
  • 4WD eco-wilderness farm tour
  • Tongariro Alpine Crossing

Booking Conditions

Age Restriction: N/A

Fitness Requirement: N/A

What's included

  • All transport
  • Experienced tour guide
  • Accommodation: 6 nights
  • Meals: 5 breakfasts and 4 dinners

What To Bring

  • Sturdy walking shoes/boots
  • Camera
  • Warm clothing/Waterproof jacket
  • Sunscreen/Hat
  • Bathers/towel
  • Water bottle
  • Toiletries



Day 1 : Auckland to Hahei
Nau mai, haere mai (welcome)! Your journey kicks off from New Zealand’s largest city Auckland, heading southeast to the pristine sands of Hahei Beach, from which you can access the famous Cathedral Cove. Accessible only by foot, boat or kayak, you’ll discover some of New Zealand’s most spectacular scenery and stunning sea views in this beautiful coastal spot. Cathedral Cove is a ‘must see’ on the Coromandel Peninsula. Afterward an afternoon of seaside exploration, we gather for an entertaining hands-on ‘Kaimoana’ (seafood) cooking class to prepare a delicious feast of fresh local seafood for dinner (non-seafood option available). Accommodation included: Comfortable beachside accommodation Activities included: Walk to Cathedral Cove, Kaimoana cooking class Optional activities: Cathedral Cove Kayaks
Meals :Dinner

Day 2 : Hahei to Rotorua
Today we start by driving to Hot Water Beach, a unique surf beach where you can dig a hole in the sand to create in your own personal spa pool (tide dependent). After the beach, we’ll make our way towards Rotorua, stopping before we get to town to stretch our legs with an easy walk to watch white water rafters navigate the waterfalls of the Kaituna River. This evening you will be welcomed into the authentic Tamaki Maori Village, where you will discover Maori art, ancient rituals and traditions. Tonight we dine on a delicious hangi (Maori feast), enjoy an interactive cultural performance and the company of our Maori hosts. Accommodation included: Central city lodge Activities included: Dig your own spa pool at Hot Water Beach, Kaituna waterfall walk, cultural experience with traditional hangi meal, kapa haka (Maori song and dance) and interactive performance
Meals :Breakfast, Dinner

Day 3 : Full day in Rotorua
You have a full free day in Rotorua to discover an area well-known for its Maori heritage, adventure and geothermal activity. Here you have the chance to do some great optional activities, such as a visit to the Hobbiton Movie Set, white water rafting, ziplining through native bush, mountain biking and more. A great option to finish the day is to spend the evening soaking in the hot pools at the luxurious Polynesian Spa. Accommodation included: Central city lodge Optional activities: Visit Hobbiton, white water rafting, Zorbing, the luge, ziplining, mountain biking, Polynesian Spa
Meals :Breakfast

Day 4 : Rotorua to National Park
It’s a very early start this morning so we can make our way to the UNESCO World Heritage Site ‘Tongariro National Park,’ where you’ll get the chance to do what is rated as one of the world’s best one day walks, the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. Trek through dramatic natural scenery past volcanic peaks, vast craters and stunning turquoise lakes on one of the most spectacular treks in New Zealand. Alternatively you can go on one the shorter walks around this volcanic region or visit the Volcanic Centre Museum. Accommodation included: Alpine lodge Activities included: Tongariro Alpine Crossing and transfers, or Taranaki Falls walk and Tawhai Falls (Gollum’s Pool)
Meals :Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5 : National Park to Blue Duck Station
After your big day of hiking, you get a chance to sleep in and we won’t depart until mid-morning. Our destination today is one of the most remote parts of the North Island by road. We’re heading for the award winning Blue Duck Station in Whakahoro, a 7,200 acre high country farm that is both a working sheep and beef station and an environmental conservation leader. This afternoon you get the opportunity to take part in a 4WD Bush Safari and farm adventure, where you’ll explore this vast land and the New Zealand native bush, discover the remains of an unbelievable local history, and learn about the farm’s conservation efforts. Your dinner is cooked using local produce. Accommodation included: Remote country station lodge Activities included: 4WD eco-wilderness farm adventure
Meals :Breakfast, Dinner

Day 6 : Blue Duck Station to Wellington
We depart early to arrive into Wellington around midday. Wellington is known as the ‘coolest little capital in the world’ thanks to Lonely Planet, and it’s a great place to check out the lively arts scene, shopping, craft breweries and café culture. As New Zealand’s capital city, it is home to New Zealand’s parliament and the iconic Beehive government building. This afternoon, you have the option to tour the world famous Weta Workshop, marvel at the wonders of Te Papa National Museum or wander along the Oriental Parade. Accommodation included: Central city hostel Optional activities: Weta Workshop Tour, Te Papa National Museum, craft beer sampling
Meals :Breakfast

Day 7 : Wellington to Auckland
Today is an express day via National Park back to New Zealand’s largest city Auckland. We stop along the way for photo opportunities and have lunch in National Park town, before heading back to Auckland for a late afternoon arrival. We hope you had a blast on your New Zealand journey!
Meals :Breakfast


Start:               Auckland CBD

Start time:      7:45am

Finish:             Auckland CBD

Finish time:     6:00pm

Duration:        7 days/6 nights


Tours run from 3rd October 18 to 1st May 19


Optional Excursions

Optional Activities (Available to sign up on tour with your guide)

  • Adventure

No Credit Card or Booking Fees!!

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Recent Independent Reviews

  • On Tourradar

    It's a unforgettable trip! I got to enjoy so many places in 7 days with other 19 fun-driven travelers, age from 18-75. Honestly I didn't really know what I signed up initially and doubted if this was the right tour for me when sharing room with a bunch of young backpackers, after all it's the very first time I've ever taken such trip. However as the tour unrolled I became to enjoy it exponentially, we had so much fun together everyday, the 9 hour Tongriro Alpine Crossing brought it to the climx. In the end we formed such comradery that we tried to meet up after the tour. This tour wouldn't be the same without our driver/guide Moose, he is very friendly and fun. He drove us around, kept us well informed and entertained on the long bus rides, coordinated everything, cooked for us and hang out with us, he became part of us. Thank you Moose! It's a life changing experience to me, I'm so glad I booked this tour! It made me fall in love with beautiful New Zealand and the nature-loving adventure-driven Kiwis.

    On Tourradar

    Sweet as. This was my first time on a tour like this and it was amazing. I cannot recommend it enough. Saw so much in such a little amount of time, it was great. Our guide Moose was extremely knowledgeable and fun to hang out with. I could not ask for a better experience.

    On Tourradar

    I loved every bit of the tour. I usually plan my trips alone, so I took a leap by doing a group tour. It was the perfect size (there were around 19 of us) and sharing a room with 3-4 people was fine. Most of the rooms were excellent - some were a little more cramped than others, which can be hard work with 4 bags to stow. Our driver, Whaea, was fantastic fun. She made the tour even more special. The group ranged from around 18 to 40 year olds and it wasn't crazy partying all the time. The occasional drink but everyone was quiet come bed time. I made some great friends and did things I probably wouldn't have done on my own. I am ready to book the next trip !

    On Tourradar

    This tour turned out to be one of the best trips I have ever taken!! I was a little nervous that we wouldn't get picked up since we were the only people being picked up at that certain location, but our tour guide, Seagull, turned up on time and it was smooth sailing from there. Everywhere we went was beautiful and majestic, almost Jurassic Park like! We went kayaking, had a 'safari' on side-by-sides at Blue Duck Station, went on a hike over an active volcano, and went out on the town on our last night as our make shift family! We all got along well, which is always a plus, but I loved our tour guide, he was hilarious and had a ton of knowledge about the land and it's its native people!! I would LOVE to go back one day !! Thanks so much!!

    On Tourradar

    This was without a doubt one of the best experiences of my life. I recently quit my job and decided to travel for a while (alone), and I was looking for a tour where I could meet people while also covering a lot of ground. Stray did not disappoint. I did the six-day, five-night tour of the North Island, and it was truly life changing. I met incredible people and saw/did things that I will remember forever. I'm a bit of an introvert by nature and I've never done a group tour by myself, so I was really worried I would end up feeling isolated, but within the first hour of the trip that was so not the case. My driver, Lego (yes, like the brick), was awesome, knowledgeable, and hilarious. He made a great trip even more unforgettable and always accommodated our group's needs and requests. The sights that Stray picks are extremely impressive and definitely not things I would have discovered on my own. The accommodations are what you would expect for the price, but honestly I was always so busy doing things or going out that I only used the rooms to sleep anyway. As someone who went into this experience very skeptical, I can honestly say it is very well worth the money and time. I'm already looking into booking again in Asia. Can't speak more highly of this unforgettable experience.