Northern Wanderer North Island Tour

Northern Wanderer North Island Tour

  • Auckland
  • Wellington
  • 8 days
  • 4.8 / 5.0 (28 reviews)
  • from NZD$1,920.00

Main Highlights

  • NZ cycle trail
  • Tongariro Alpine Crossing
  • Rotorua
  • Bay of Islands
  • Wellington
  • Kayaking
  • White water rafting
  • Te Papa Museum
  • Excellent bike rides
  • Sandboarding
  • Thermal pools
  • Accommodation by coasts, mountains & lakes
  • Maori cultural show.
  • ...and many more

Northern Wanderer North Island Tour - Overview:

If you’re coming to the North Island and have limited time, read on - the Northern Wanderer tour is a jam packed 8 days that will allow you to experience Kiwi scenery & outdoors in all its glory.

In just over a week (from Auckland to Wellington) you’ll get to experience the best of the North Island, from white sand beaches, hot beaches and bays full of idyllic islands to the inland Tongariro Crossing, and much, much more!

Not only will you witness exhilarating mud pools, geysers and sulphur pools but you will also experience beaches and scenery that we promise will WOW you. You will also have the opportunity to kayak, go deep sea fishing and sail just to name a few fantastic optional activities. Be prepared to let the inner child out with a sand boarding experience and get up close and personal to some of the oldest and most special trees in the world - Giant Kauri’s.

The hikes and biking in the North are epic, with options to visit the Waitangi forest trails, (bordering fantastic beaches and historical villages), trail around waterfalls or volcanic features as well as peddling around protected Kauri Tree Forests. A highlight for many is the chance to do one of New Zealand’s Great Hikes and the greatest one day alpine hike - the Tongariro Crossing. This hike takes you through an active volcanic field!

Finish in style in our capital city- affectionately dubbed “the capital of cool”. Wellington is a funky city, with a plethora of quirky cafes, boutique shops and bars, live music and shows. Visit the interactive Te Papa Museum, leisurely stroll the waterfront, or visit the Botanical Gardens. You will find plenty of things to see!


The Northern Wanderer trip is an intensely fun immersion in the best cultural and scenic experiences that the North Island has to offer in a single week. This 8 day trip has you starting in Auckland and finishing in Wellington.

Customise Your Trip: You have friends in Taupo you want to visit, why not include an extended stopover. Talk to our crew in the office about how we can make it work.


If you have a few extra days and would like to spend it in the South Island, add on one of the below tour extensions:

Southern Light - Starting in either Nelson or Picton if you don’t have time for the full South Island tour (Summer Blast) then this is an excellent way to see and experience some of the most beautiful and diverse scenery on the planet.

Summer Blast - Explore the four corners of the Mainland on this complete South Island round trip. From the golden beaches of Abel Tasman to the blue ice of Franz Josef Glacier you will get to immerse yourself and experience some of the finest natural wonders in the World. Most popular departure spots are Picton and Christchurch.

Christchurch - A ferry crossing to the South Island and an additional two 2 days will have you finishing in Christchurch


This trip is the best short trip we can offer of the North Island, ensuring you get to experience the memorable things that you’ll talk about over beers for years to come! We have chosen our favourite destinations and paired them with the best and coolest activities to make sure you have the most memorable Flying Kiwi experience possible. Here are just a few of the things that you will find included in your Northern Wanderer Tour:

Accommodation: A spacious shared tent is included in the tour price and if travelling alone you will be paired with someone of similar age and same gender. Upgrade to your own tent for the duration of the tour for a small additional cost.

Food: Most meals are included, as detailed in the itinerary and we cater for a broad range of dietary requirements. 

Wai-o-tapu Thermal Area: Wai-o-tapu is New Zealand’s most colourful geo-thermal area featuring unique volcanic activity, bubbling mud pools, and steaming geysers. Explore the park either on your own or with your newfound travel family.

Hikes: There are plenty of free hikes to enjoy including the full-day Tongariro Crossing hike (bus transfer not included), Kauri forest walks and the Huka Falls walk to name a few.

Bike Rides: We have some great cycle options ready for those that have hired a bike including the chance to cycle on one of the oldest mountain bike networks in the country, Redwoods!


There are lots of free attractions to make the most of, including Te Papa museum, Wellington Botanical Gardens, access to National Parks (Tongariro), dig your own thermal pool on Hot Water beach (we provide the spades!), explore the Bay of Islands region, use of sports equipment on board (bodyboards, frisbee and more dependent upon bus), amazing sunrises and sunsets at beautiful beachside campsites, and so much more!

Visit our bike rides and hiking pages for more details.

Our activities page gives more detail on many of the free and optional activities that you might choose to do on your Northern Wanderer Tour and how it all works while on tour.


Please visit our 'how it works page' for everything you need to know. 

  1. We leave the City of Sails (Auckland) at 10am heading north to the golden beaches and warm waters of the Bay of Islands. On route we take time for a break, and a quick swim for those that are keen, at beautiful Uretiti beach. It’s a great place to relax and make use of the Frisbee, football and rugby ball on board. We then head to the historically significant town of Paihia, the main gateway for the Bay of Islands before doing a highly recommend mangrove walk to the thundering Haruru waterfalls. Our campsite is nestled next to the river and we will be spending 2 nights here giving you time to explore the best of the Bay.

    • Meals: Dinner
    • Bike Rides: Forest trail rides that will give you views of the Bay of Islands, good exercise and go past the Haruru Waterfalls.
    • Walks and Hikes: A great afternoon walk taking you past mangroves, over boardwalks, through forest before ending at the Haruru Waterfalls. A beautiful walk and highly recommended!
    • Optional Activities: Waitangi Treaty House (Maori Culture), twilight kayak
    • Available Upgrades: Yes
    • Drive Distance: Approx. 4 hours
  2. Experience a full day exploring the Bay of Islands and its turquoise waters. This subtropical region is the perfect playground for water lovers and a great place to soak up the sunshine. With a staggering 144 islands, the Bay of Islands offers swimming, sailing, dolphin viewing, kayaking plus much more along with some excellent walks in the native forests. This region is also home to some of the oldest European settlements in New Zealand.

    • Meals: Breakfast and Dinner
    • Bike Rides: If not doing an activity hop on a bike to explore Paihia
    • Walks and Hikes: If not doing an activity walk into Paihia or take a trip over to the historic town of Russell
    • Optional Activities: Sailing, fishing, diving, kayaking, Maori Culture
    • Available Upgrades: Yes (limited options)
    • Drive Distance: No driving today
  3. There is a day full of adventure ahead as we travel to the rugged and soulful West Coast. Our first stop comes with a chance to try your skills sand boarding or if you don’t fancy heading down the sandy slopes there’s a nice coastal walk. Then it’s back on board as we head south towards the Waipoua Forest, travelling through the largest remaining tract of native kauri forests in northland. We leave the West Coast and cross back over to the East towards our final destination and camp for tonight, Orewa. Home to one of the Auckland regions longest and safest beaches it’s a great place for a stroll and a swim, or relax at the local hot pools.

    • Meals: Breakfast & dinner
    • Bike Rides: 32km road cycling, Twin Coast Cycle Way, Te Ara Tahuna Estuary Cycleway
    • Walks and Hikes: coastal walk to Omapere, walk amongst the Kauri trees of the Waipoua forest
    • Optional Activities: Sand boarding, hot pools
    • Available Upgrades: Yes
    • Drive Distance: Approx 4.5 hours
  4. Orewa is often blessed with a beautiful sunrise over the sea which is well worth the early start to check it out. We then travel the short distance to Auckland where we farewell those finishing their tour and welcome new travellers joining us there.

    Leaving Auckland at 10am we continue onwards to the Coromandel, renowned for its natural beauty, misty rainforests and pristine white, sandy beaches. Marvel at the views on a beautiful coastal walk or take in the coastline from the water by kayak. Visit the unique and famous Hot Water Beach to dig, then relax, in your own thermal pool!  Soak up the breath-taking scenery and cameras ready for spectacular sunsets at our beachside camp.  

    • 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 4 hours
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. 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


Tour price


Bike hire


Bring your own bike


Single tent upgrade


Sleeping bag hire



Please note: Due to Covid-19 we have a reduced number of departures for our 2021 season. 


Departing Auckland North





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Trip Reviews

  • Excellent trip and well supported by friendly and helpful guides. I really enjoyed travelling with like minded individuals.

    , travelled Northern Wanderer North Island Tour on 20/11/2019

  • Great way to meet people from all over the world

    , travelled Northern Wanderer North Island Tour on 03/01/2020

  • I had a fantastic time on my tour with Flying Kiwi. I got to see and experience NZ beautiful nature and our guides always had a story or joke ready about the places we got to see so the atmosphere in the group was very good.

    , travelled Northern Wanderer North Island Tour on 03/01/2020

  • Travelling with Flying Kiwi was so much better than expected. I've had a great time! The enthusiasm of the guides was great and very motivating to ensure we didn't miss anything. A truly action packed adventure!

    , travelled Northern Wanderer North Island Tour on 01/04/2019

  • I loved it and would do it all again. It's a unique experience and everyone I met on the trip was amazing. I'll be coming back for a trip to the South Island.

    , travelled Northern Wanderer North Island Tour on 01/03/2019