Northern Light North Island Tour
Northern Light North Island Tour - Overview:
If your journey begins in Auckland and you want to head south towards Wellington then jump on to our action packed 5 day Northern Light Tour! Discover the best of New Zealand’s Northern hot spots and the remarkable contrasting northern landscapes on this quick thermal blast! In less than a week you will get to see an amazing diversity of destinations, enjoying fantastic hikes (including the world renowned Tongariro Crossing), a unique and famous Hot Water Beach to dig, then relax, in your own thermal pool and many other highlights!
In the middle of the North Island you’ll have the opportunity to take in some Maori Culture at the Tamaki Maori Village, cycle or hike in Redwoods (one of the world’s top mountain bike trails) and see some great thermal wonders such as Wai-O-Tapu geothermal Wonderland before continuing on to the impressive Huka Falls nestled next to one of the largest crater lakes in the World (Lake Taupo) with some of the greatest hiking and cycling opportunities NZ has to offer!
Finish in style in our Capital - affectionately dubbed “Wellington - the capital of cool”. Wellington is a funky city, with a plethora of quirky cafes and boutique shops or bars, live music and shows, Te Papa Museum (one of the best interactive museums), or you may prefer a leisurely stroll along the waterfront or botanical gardens. You will find plenty of things to see!
So, if 5 days is all you have, then this is the perfect way to cruise the central and lower North Island with plenty of beach action included!
The Northern Light trip is a 5 day trip that will see you leave Auckland and head south to Wellington, taking the best cultural and scenic experiences of the Central North Island.
If you have extra time available after your trip why not extend with one of these great options:
Summer Blast Tour - Departing from Picton or Christchurch, the Summer Blast is one of our favourites, taking in the best of the South Island. From the golden sand beaches of the Abel Tasman to the deep waters of Fiordland, experience some of the finest natural wonders in the World.
Southern Light Tour - This trip takes you to a huge range of natural wonders from glaciers and mountains to beautiful beaches and wild coastlines. Starting in either Picton or Christchurch we enjoy the highlights of the South and wrap things up in the adrenalin capital - Queenstown!
WHAT IS INCLUDED IN THE NORTHERN LIGHTS TOUR:
This trip takes in many of the best activity options available in the North plus some excellent free options. We have carefully constructed each tour so you can pick and choose the things you love to fill your day. Options include passive sightseeing to adrenalin junkie adventures - but always know that there's never any pressure to participate so whether you enjoy mud pools & museums or bungy & skydive you are guaranteed to enjoy some once in a lifetime experiences. Here are just a few of the things that you will find included in your Northern Light Tour:
- Accommodation: Your accommodation in our carefully selected campsites is included in a shared tent, two people per tent. If you want your own space you can upgrade to a single tent for a small additional cost.
- Food: Tasty healthy meals are all part of the package; see which meals are included on the day to day itinerary. If you have a specific dietary requirement, no problem we cater for most diets.
- Wai-o-tapu Thermal Area: Thousands of years in the making, Wai-O-Tapu is a wonderland of stunning geothermal activity. Explore spectacular nature at New Zealand's most colourful volcanic area.
- Hikes: We offer daily walk options including Redwoods Forest and the roaring Huka Falls but the most stand out is the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, heralded as the best one-day trek available in New Zealand, while others say it ranks among the top ten single-day treks in the world.
- Bike Rides: From mountain bike trails to scenic riverside tracks, if you have hired one of our bikes you won’t be disappointed as you cycle your way through the most scenic regions of the trip.
OTHER FREE INCLUSIONS:
While there are always optional activities for you to do if you choose there are also heaps of free options. We take in many of these on the Northern Light tour including access to Tongariro National Park, Te Papa museum, Wellington Botanical Gardens, heaps of free hikes, use of sports equipment on board (bodyboards, frisbee and more dependent upon bus), amazing sunrises and sunsets and more.
Our activities page above gives more detail on many of the free and optional activities that you might choose to do on your Northern Light Tour and how it all works while you are out there adventuring!
Our bike rides page and the hiking pages will also give you lots more details into the rides and hikes our guides will show you along the way. We include printed maps and route notes for any of the hikes and rides you might want to do.
IMPORTANT THINGS WE WANT YOU TO KNOW ABOUT THE NORTHERN LIGHT TOUR:
Please visit our How It Works page for everything you need to know.
Departing Auckland at 10am we head to the Coromandel, renowned worldwide for its natural beauty, misty rainforests and pristine white, sandy beaches. The beautiful Coromandel Peninsula is just a short distance from Auckland but it feels like a different world! It only takes around two hours to reach the region but the volcanic hills, fern forests and stunning beaches make it an idyllic escape from the city. Locals and others are attracted by the endless white beaches, lovely turquoise waters and the great mix of architecture old and new.
The peninsula is home to some of the most impressive coastlines in the country. We will be dropping you off at Hahei beach where you can make your way to Cathedral cove, here you will find an iconic limestone archway that sits right down at the beach. Take the coastal walkway or take in the coastline from the water while on one the best guided sea kayak trips in New Zealand.
We will then travel a short distance to camp at Hot Water Beach. This beautiful beach offers a unique experience as geothermal water reservoirs under the ground bring hot water to the surface at low tide allowing you to dig your very own hot pool in the sand.
- Meals: Dinner
- Bike Rides: 8km road cycling
- Walks and Hikes: Stunning coastal walk with views over the Pacific – distances vary
- Optional Activities: Sea Kayaking
- Available Upgrades: Yes
- Drive Distance: Approx 3 hours
Before heading south into the heart of the North Island (where you’ll be amazed by the natural wonderland that is Rotorua), we’ll drive the scenic route out of the Coromandel giving you an opportunity to explore by foot or pedals, the stunning Karagahake Gorge. If the sun is out, we’ll even have a delicious picnic lunch (kiwi styles) to break up the drive. Continuing south we drop off Hobbiton fans then it’s onto Rotorua where you can explore the city, the gardens, spas or take in some Maori Culture at the Tamaki Maori Village. Experience the only native forest zipline canopy tour in New Zealand, enjoy the thrills of OGO or the scenic gondola and luge. Take in the geothermal wonders with walks or relax in the hot pools. For cyclists, there is the chance to enjoy a world class mountain bike park and the geothermal featured Te Ara Ahi cycle Trail.
Bubbling mud pools, geysers and Maori culture are the main reasons that visitors head to the thermal resort of Rotorua. It is the oldest and most established thermal resort in the country and the ancestral home of the Te Arawa people who settled here over 600 years ago.
- Meals: Breakfast and Lunch
- Bike Rides: Peddle through subtropical forest, mining heritage and don’t forget your headlamp for the tunnels and bridges (trail ride)! In the afternoon, ride through Rotorua to a world class Mountain Bike Forest
- Walks and Hikes: Enjoy an awesome little walk through Coromandel lush forest and explore early mining history through caves, tunnels and a pretty beautiful waterfall to complete a great walk!
- Optional Activities: Hobbiton, Tamaki Maori Village, OGO, Luge, hot pools, Zipline canopy tour
- Available Upgrades: Yes
- Drive Distance: Approx 3-4 hours
Leave camp for Wai-O-Tapu geothermal Wonderland before continuing on to the impressive Huka Falls. We then head to Taupo, nestled next to one of the largest crater lakes in the World with some great hiking and cycling opportunities. Taupo is also a great place for adventure with heaps of optional activities to choose from. Tonight we enjoy a camp near Tongariro National Park.
This region is centred around Lake Taupo, NZ's largest lake at 619sq km - about the size of Singapore! The Lake is in a caldera created by the Taupo supervolcano some 26000 years ago and the area is still considered dormant today with moderate geothermal activity in the area such as the mud pools, hot springs and vents.
- Meals: Breakfast and Dinner
- Bike Rides: Ride an awesome single track from Huka Falls stopping in for a quick soak in a natural hot stream on your way into Taupo or grab the bike in the city for a cruisey ride around the edge of the lake.
- Walks and Hikes: Follow the trail from an iconic waterfall alongside the mighty Waikato River winding past a natural hot spring that you can soak in followed by walking past a bungy jump watching adrenaline junkies dive into the river!
- Optional Activities: Skydiving, bungy, giant swing, Wai-O-Tapu (free - this one is on us)
- Available Upgrades: Yes
- Drive Distance: Approx. 2 hours
Experience one of NZ’s great walks, The Tongariro Alpine Crossing, rated as the best one day walk in the World. This dual listed World heritage area is set to inspire with towering mountains, turquoise lakes, sparkling rivers, lush rainforests and lunar landscapes. For those that don’t fancy the hike, take on some grade 3 whitewater rafting rapids, cycle, enjoy short walks or relax in this beautiful area with an awe-inspiring mountain backdrop. We then head south to our wonderful stunning beach camp – home to amazing coastal sunsets.
The 80,000-hectare Tongariro National Park is a World Heritage Area, with its centrepiece Mount Ruapehu rising dramatically 2797m from the surrounding area. Next to Mt. Ruapehu are two smaller volcanic mountains - Mount Ngauruhoe (Mount Doom from Lord of the Rings) and Mount Tongariro, which is where you be hiking!
- Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
- Bike Rides: If you’re not doing the Tongariro Crossing, leave camp on a bike and head towards to the Tongariro River Trail. Cycle this loop, over bridges and past huts or a trout centre, keep an eye out for trout fishermen as this is the capital for trout fishing!
- Walks and Hikes: The best one day hike in New Zealand! Traverse the Tongariro, steam vents, crater lakes and more!
- Optional Activities: Tongariro Alpine Crossing, white water rafting (grade 3 rapids)
- Available Upgrades: Yes
- Drive Distance: Approx. 4 hours
This tour ends in Wellington with an early arrival at New Zealand’s beautiful capital city by 9am. Our nation’s capital offers great cafes and bars, along with plenty to see and do including the celebrated Te Papa Museum & the botanical gardens.
- Meals: Breakfast
- Bike Rides: n/a
- Walks and Hikes: n/a
- Available Upgrades: n/a
- Drive Distance: Approx. 1 hour
2021/22 SEASON TOUR PRICES:
Bring your own Bike
Single Tent Upgrade
Sleeping Bag Hire
2021/22 DEPARTURE DATES:
Due to the recent NZ Government announcement, we have cancelled our 2021/22 tours. Our International Borders will be open from May 2022 and we'll update this page when we've released our 2022/23 season tour dates.