21 Day North Island Explorer Private Guided Tour

From NZ$7349 per person

21 Day North Island Explorer Private Guided Tour Package

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
  • 21 Nights in 4 Star Accommodation
  • Whale and Dolphin Safari
  • Bay of Islands Dolphin Cruise or 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
  • Peek at Lake Taupo Scenic Floatplane Flight
  • Overland Safari to Cape Kidnappers Gannet Colony
  • Waitomo Caves Combo (Waitomo Glowworm Cave and Ruakuri Cave)
  • Airport transfers

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 personal tour guide will meet you at Auckland International airport and transfer you to your inner city accommodation.  Start off your holiday by exploring Auckland with your tour guide visiting attractions such as the Sky Tower, Auckland Zoo and Viaduct Harbour.

Activity Option: this evening to venture out onto Auckland’s Waitemata Harbour for a unique dining experience. This is an on water dining experience not to be missed in any harbour city especially in Auckland. Enjoy great sailing and as the sun sets watch the night lights of this photogenic city come alive. Your experienced crew talk about Auckland’s unique features and there is plenty of opportunity to participate in the sailing or sit back and enjoy the sights. Choose from a set menu served by the crew during the dinner stop at a sheltered mooring.

Stay 2 nights in Auckland City.

Day 2 Auckland

Today 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.

Explore Auckland in the afternoon with your guide, travel to the top of Mt Eden for a spectacular view over the city, or if wine is of interest tour the Auckland Region and visit some of the wineries in the area for a tasting.

Day 3 Bay of Islands

Travel time Auckland to Bay of Islands 219 km / 136 miles, 3 hours

Travel 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 relax on one of the many warm secluded beaches and explore the area with your tour guide.

Stay 3 nights in Paihia, Bay of Islands.

Day 4 Bay of Islands

Today discover the world famous ‘Hole in the Rock Cruise’ 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.

In the afternoon option to experience Maori culture by visiting Waitangi’s treaty house, gardens and national marae (meeting house).

Day 5 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 6 Coromandel Peninsula

Travel time Bay of Islands to Coromandel Peninsula 406 km / 252 miles, 5 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 7 Coromandel Peninsula

Today join Glass Bottom Boat for a unique boat cruise. Depart from the Whitianga Wharf to explore the breath taking volcanic coastline, including the world famous CATHEDRAL COVE. See the stunning Champagne Bay plus a range of blow holes and sea caves, such as Orua’s Sea Cave, the 2nd largest sea cave in New Zealand! See what lies above and below the surface in the ‘Te Whanganui-A-Hei Marine Reserve and be amazed by all the marine life to be seen. You can choose your own level of fun. Either sit back and enjoy the amazing marine life through the glass bottom or take the plunge and snorkel amongst the fish. All equipment supplied and no experience necessary. Blue penguins are a common sight and can be seen all year round.

In the afternoon visit attractions, such as Hot Water Beach with your tour guide.

Day 8 Tauranga

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 2 nights in Tauranga.

Day 9 Tauranga

Relax in the Bay of Plenty for the day. Around Tauranga are hectares of orchards and gardens producing everything from kiwifruit and citrus fruit to avocados. Add to this bounty the local wines and the plentiful fresh seafood and you just know that this is a place where you will dine well. Mount Maunganui, a short distance from Tauranga, has spectacular beaches which are a magnet for surfers all year round and voted New Zealand’s best by TripAdvisor.

Day 10 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.

Driving 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 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.

Stay 2 nights in Rotorua.

Day 11 Rotorua

Today relax and explore Rotorua.

Activity Options: ride up the Rotorua Gondola to enjoy stunning views over Rotorua and enjoy a fantastic buffet lunch or dinner at the top of the Gondola. Hells Gate Geothermal Reserve is a great place to visit and view steaming hot pools, bubbling mud pools and geysers. With the option to sit back and relax in a mud pool or sulphur pool.

Day 12 Taupo

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 13 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.

Day 14 Napier

Travel time Taupo to Napier 142 km / 88 miles, 2 hours

Head to the East Coast and discover Napier, the Art Deco Capital of New Zealand, which is also within the country’s oldest and second largest wine growing region, the Hawkes Bay.

Explore the Napier and Hasting wine region in the afternoon with your guide and visit vineyards and cellar doors at your leisure.

Stay 2 nights in Napier.

Day 15 Napier

Enjoy the drive along the scenic coast from Napier to Te Awanga and then visit the worlds largest, most accessible gannet colony at Cape Kidnappers, New Zealand. Gannet Safaris has been guiding visitors over Cape Kidnappers for over 35 years. The safaris are the only way to be driven right to within a few feet of these remarkable birds. There is absolutely no walking required. You will travel in comfort in the air conditioned 4 x 4 Mini Coach, through Cape Kidnappers Station – traversing riverbeds, broad rolling pastures, through stands of native bush, steep gullies and breathtaking inclines. There is a stop on the way at a spectacular cliff top with panoramic views of Hawkes Bay right across to the Mahia Peninsula. The amazing geology of the area can also be taken in. The 36 km, three hour trip includes a commentary by your tour guide / driver on the farming operation on Cape Kidnappers Station and an introduction to the gannets. On arrival at the gannets you can stretch your legs and take in the mouthwatering scenery from your position at the brink of the cliffs edge – 100 metres above the ocean. Here your driver / guide will serve you light refreshments whilst you enjoy watching the gannets perform around you.

Day 16 Wellington

Travel time Napier to Wellington 319 km / 198 miles, 4 hours

Wellington, New Zealand’s capital city, has so much to offer. Set on the edge of a stunning harbour, surrounded by rolling hills, it’s a city rich in culture waiting to be explored. From shopping and picturesque walks, to concerts, live theatre, exhibitions, festivals, Te Papa Tongarewa the Museum of New Zealand and more – Wellington has something for everyone.

Stay 2 nights in Wellington.

Day 17 Wellington

Explore Wellington with your guide today visit the top of Mt Victoria, drive around the Wellington coastline, visit Te Papa, New Zealand Parliament with the option to ride up the historic cable car.

Day 18 New Plymouth

Travel time Wellington to New Plymouth 351 km / 218 miles, 4.5 hours

As a popular tourist destination, New Plymouth is well-known for its black sand surf beaches which offer some of the best surfing in the country. Other attributes include Mount Taranaki and the Egmont National Park, a Mecca for trampers. In contrast with the outdoors lifestyle, New Plymouth also has an artistic side as it is home to the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, NZ’s only contemporary art museum with a permanent collection.

Stay 2 nights in New Plymouth.

Day 19 New Plymouth

Explore New Plymouth’s beaches, famous walkway and unique city with your tour guide.

Day 20 Waitomo Caves > Hamilton

Travel time New Plymouth to Waitomo Caves 180 km /111 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.

Driving 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 21 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 22 Depart Auckland

Travel time Hamilton to Auckland 126 km / 78 miles, 2 hours

Depart Auckland. Your guide will personally deliver you to the airport ready for your flight.