[9D8N] Winter in New Zealand - North Island

New Zealand

Changi Airport

This adventure is: #far far away, #scenic, #suitable for children

New Zealand: [9D8N] Winter in New Zealand - North Island

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Highlights

This trip will start from Auckland all the way to Wellington. As it is during the winter season in New Zealand, expect to experience colder weather. The activities will be around sightseeing, cultural, a little hiking, and snorkelling, plus many other optional activities of your choice. :)

This trip will only cover North Island of New Zealand. You will only need to take about 4-5 days leaves.
If you prefer to explore South Island instead, please go to [10D9N] Winter in New Zealand - South Island (Southern Light Alert!) or if you prefer to cover both islands, please go to [18D17N] Winter in New Zealand (Southern Light Alert!) 

This trip is suitable for anyone including children. There are days that we are fully-guided and there are free times where we can spend to do optional activities or just have a slow day as we wish to be. This is a trip of our lifetime if I may say so.

[9D8N] Winter in New Zealand - North Island starting at New Zealand


ITINERARY
DAY 1: AUCKLAND
 (D)

We will be welcomed to NZ by our guide and here is where our trip begins. We will be taken on a tour of the city, which could include a visit to one of Auckland’s inner city beaches, Mission Bay where it is possible to see stunning Pohutukawa trees. The trip could also take in sights such as Mt Eden, a stunning viewpoint and one of Auckland’s most famous volcanic craters, and perhaps a gander at one of the local’s lookout spots that boast great views of both Rangitoto Island and Waiheke Island.

Tonight we will take a trip to the top of the Auckland Skytower and view the City of Sails from above. At 328 metres, the Sky Tower is the tallest man-made structure in New Zealand and offers breath-taking views for up to 80 kilometres in every direction. We will dine at the Orbit 360 Restaurant atop the Sky Tower, a truly iconic New Zealand brasserie offering diners sensational views – and food to match. The dining room rotates once every hour, providing a truly unique experience with amazing 360-degree panoramas of the city, the Hauraki Gulf and beyond.

DAY 2: AUCKLAND – WHITIANGA VIA COROMANDEL (B)

210 km, 4 hours driving

South we go. Leaving New Zealand’s largest city, we head for the Coromandel, one of the key locations for the New Zealand gold rush in the 1800s. En route depending on how we feel there may be time for a walk through one the region’s many Kauri Tree forests, where we will encounter the flora and fauna of New Zealand’s North Island at its best.

We follow the coast road to the town of Coromandel, where we will take a trip on ‘The Driving Creek Railway’- New Zealand’s only narrow-gauge mountain railway, with a working pottery and wildlife sanctuary (included activity). From there we will take the stunning inland route to the coastal town of Whitianga, known for the famous Buffalo Beach and its palm trees that line the shore.

[9D8N] Winter in New Zealand - North Island starting at New Zealand[9D8N] Winter in New Zealand - North Island starting at New Zealand

This morning we will visit the world famous Hot Water Beach. This is one of the only places in the world where one can discover thermal water underneath a beach! Water in places can be as hot as 70 degrees Celsius though, so approach with caution.

Bring your swimming gear, as we will have the opportunity to dig our very own thermal pool and bathe in its waters (35-40 degrees Celsius in the right areas). This afternoon we will take a ride on the glass bottom boat and have the chance to get in the water and snorkel. This 2-hour cruise takes us to the famous Cathedral Cave.


[9D8N] Winter in New Zealand - North Island starting at New Zealand[9D8N] Winter in New Zealand - North Island starting at New Zealand[9D8N] Winter in New Zealand - North Island starting at New Zealand

DAY 4: WHITIANGA – ROTORUA VIA HOBBITON (B)

232 km, 4 hours driving

Late morning bid farewell to the Coromandel and head south to Rotorua; a hot spot for Maori culture and thermal activity. En route you will visit Hobbiton and The Shire’s Rest, the only remaining film set from The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit Trilogies (included activity).

Arrive in Rotorua in the afternoon and you have the opportunity to take a city tour featuring Kuirau Park mud pool reserve and view the stunning government gardens and lakefront. Tonight you will visit Mitai Maori Village where you will enjoy a traditional Maori dinner (Hangi) and see a cultural performance.[9D8N] Winter in New Zealand - North Island starting at New Zealand

This morning we will take a guided walk around Te Puia and experience mud pools and geysers and visit the Maori Weaving School and Kiwi House (included activity). This is a chance to see the national bird up close. This afternoon is free for leisure activities.

Available optional activities (at extra cost): Rotorua Gondola and Luge, a trip to Rotorua Agrodome to experience zorbing, a visit to a kiwifruit farm, a trip to The Buried Village of Te Wairoa, a walk through the redwood forest or the ultimate experience of a helicopter flight and guided walk around White Island; NZ’s most active volcano! Tonight perhaps relax and enjoy a soak in the famous Polynesian Spa.

218 km. 2 hours 40 minutes driving

Our first stop for the day is Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland – a Wonderland of Stunning Geothermal Activity. We will see New Zealand’s largest thermal mud pool, sinter terraces and stunning hot and cold pools of many different colours (included activity). Heading south and stopping at the mind-blowingly powerful Huka Falls we will take an exhilarating ride on the Huka Falls Jet Boat.

Continue on to Lake Taupo, New Zealand’s largest lake where we may wish to stop for lunch. Winding our way around Lake Taupo, we will eventually reach Tongariro National Park where we may wish to take a hike in the National Park itself. One of the local’s favourites is 2 hours long featuring native bush, volcanic views and stunning waterfalls. In clear weather, there is a great opportunity to spot New Zealand’s 3 most active volcanoes – Tongariro, Ruapehu and Ngaurauhoe (also known as Mt Doom). Tonight we will be staying and dining at the Chateau Tongariro.

[9D8N] Winter in New Zealand - North Island starting at New Zealand

DAY 8: TONGARIRO NATIONAL PARK – WELLINGTON (B)

218 km. 2 hours 40 minutes driving

If we are feeling active this morning there is a possibility of doing one of the many stunning short walks in the Tongariro National Park. One of the local’s favourites is 2 hours long featuring native bush, volcanic views and stunning waterfalls. Heading south, we arrive in Wellington in the afternoon to discover New Zealand’s capital city.

We can take a city tour taking in sights such as Mt Victoria – Wellington’s most spectacular viewpoint with 360 degrees of the city, harbour and mountain ranges in the background, Te Papa – the national museum, or Zealandia – A huge wildlife sanctuary on the outskirts of the city.  In the evening perhaps have a wander through the bustling streets of Wellington where we can enjoy a meal on the waterfront (optional – extra cost).

[9D8N] Winter in New Zealand - North Island starting at New Zealand[9D8N] Winter in New Zealand - North Island starting at New Zealand[9D8N] Winter in New Zealand - North Island starting at New Zealand
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DAY 9: WELLINGTON 
(B)

This morning, after further exploring Wellington, you are transferred to your onward travel arrangements. Trip ends.

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ACCOMMODATIONS
8 nights’ accommodation in 4 star and best available motel and/or hotel accommodation featuring mountain and lake views in locations that offer this (views subject to availability)
– 1 night in Auckland (Rose Park Motel or similar)
– 2 nights in Whitianga (Ocean Resort or similar)
– 2 nights in Rotorua (Silver Fern Motel or similar)
– 2 nights sin Tongariro (Chateau Tongariro or similar)
– 1 night in Wellington (Apollo Motor Lodge or similar)

Photo for references.
[9D8N] Winter in New Zealand - North Island starting at New Zealand

IMPORTANT NOTE:

Please read through the following terms of participation before RSVP: http://www.threeplaygrounds.com/pages/champion-terms-of-participation
 
DISCLAIMER: Your safety and well-being during the trip are your sole responsibility. By RSVP for this event, you have confirmed that you have read, acknowledged, agreed and accepted the terms and conditions of participating on this trip.

Itinerary

DAY 1: AUCKLAND (D)
DAY 2: 
AUCKLAND – WHITIANGA VIA COROMANDEL (B)
DAY 3: 
WHITIANGA (B)
DAY 4: 
WHITIANGA – ROTORUA VIA HOBBITON (B)
DAY 5: 
ROTORUA (B)
DAY 6: 
ROTORUA – TONGARIRO NATIONAL PARK (B,D)
DAY 7: 
ROTORUA – TONGARIRO NATIONAL PARK (B)
DAY 8: 
TONGARIRO NATIONAL PARK – WELLINGTON (B)
DAY 9: 
WELLINGTON (B)