Search entire travel group

Essence of North Island

(11813)
Experience the intriguing culture and explore the natural wonders of New Zealand's North Island with this 10-day private escorted holiday.
New Zealand
Cultural
Luxury
Private Escorted Tours

Highlights

Stay in luxury 5-star hotels in Auckland, Rotorua & Whitianga

Taste gourmet local products like Manuka honey & Cheese

Enjoy the breathtaking Cathedral Cove and the unique thermal pools at Hot Water Beach

Explore the village of Matamata, home to the famous Lord of Rings Movie

See the stunning geothermal Valley of Rotorua

Freedom of choice Days

During this itinerary, you will not only discover the highlights and the history of the second largest city of the North Island: Auckland and wonder at Cathedral Cove & Hot Thermal Mineal Pool Hot Beaches in the Coromondel Penisula but also learn about Maori Culture in the region of Rotorua.

Read more Read less

Included

4 nights in Auckland at the Hilton Auckland - 4*
3 nights in Rotorua at the Pullman Rotorua - 5*
2 nights in Whitianga at the Sovereign Pier - 5*
Meet & Greet on Arrival
Fully Private Escorted in a Luxury Mercedes
Daily Breakfast
Geothermal valley tour
Matakana Sculpture park, honey & cheese tasting tour
Hobbiton Movie Set & High Tea at Zealong Estate
Tour of Hamilton Gardens
Hot water beach & Cathedral cove tour
2 Freedom of Choice Activities
Freedom of Choice Days

Freedom of Choice

For this package we have included Freedom of Choice days in the itinerary. Our per person price includes one tour on each Freedom of Choice day.

Pre-select one tour on the following days:

  • One "Freedom of Choice" tour on day 2
  • One "Freedom of Choice" tour on day 6

Expand the itinerary below for more details.

Intro
Privately Escorted in Luxury Mercedes

Your luxury itinerary begins with a meet and greet transfer at Auckland airport upon arrival by your chauffeur driver/guide. Throughout your journey, you will be privately escorted in a luxury vehicle such as the 6-seater Mercedes V-Class (pictured below) for 2 to 4 guests. 

Privately Escorted in Luxury Mercedes
Day 1
Auckland Airport

Arrival into Auckland. Private transfer to the Hilton Auckland with the rest of the day at leisure.

Overnight stay in Auckland at Hilton Auckland.

Auckland Airport
Day 2
Auckland

After breakfast, enjoy your pre-selected tour from our Freedom of Choice options:

  • Waiheke Island Sightseeing & wine tasting tour

    Walk from your hotel to the ferry terminal (10 minutes) followed by a 40-minute ferry ride to Waiheke Island. On arrival, your tour guide will be waiting at the terminal. You will visit two of Waiheke’s top vineyards and sample a range of their wines plus a olive oil tour & tasting. Along the way enjoy a commentated scenic drive, learning about the Island’s history, geography, people and culture from your knowledgeable local guide. After your wine tasting experience sit back, relax and lunch at one of our world class vineyards, or choose a more casual affair at a beachfront café. Lunch is not included. Your guide will return you to the ferry terminal for your cruise back to Auckland. 

OR

  • West coast waterfalls, beaches wine tasting tour​

    Your private tour guide will pick you up in a luxury vehicle to take you on an adventure on the Wild West of NZ’s North Island to discover one of the most beautiful beaches in New Zealand. Explore the famous Black Sands of Piha Beach and walk up the Scenic Lion Rock for breath-taking views of the West Coast. Watch the incredible Waterfalls running in the middle of the lush forest while you enjoy a tasty Kiwi Picnic Lunch. Then, visit the Cultural Arataki Centre where you will get an amazing panoramic view over the Waitakere Ranges and learn about the Maori background of the land. Explore one of the oldest wineries in New Zealand for a unique wine tasting experience. Tour ends by drop off back at your hotel. 

Overnight stay in Auckland at Hilton Auckland.

Breakfast
Auckland
Waiheke island
Day 3
Auckland → Matakana → Auckland

After breakfast, your private tour guide will pick you up from your hotel. Enjoy an amazing day out exploring Auckland’s hidden Gem: Matakana Village, situated only 1 Hour North of Auckland city a world-class village with a small town charm, full of beautifully landscaped open spaces, river and boutique shops. Discover Matakana’s fantastic outdoor Sculpture Gardens & Indoor Art Galleries at one of the area’s newest attractions “The Sculptureum”.

Stop to taste the award-winning cheese then enjoy a hot chocolate drink or a refreshing ice-cream, then continue to a local farm to discover the famous New Zealand honey making processes. Sit back, relax and enjoy the ride in your private transfer to your hotel 

Overnight stay in Auckland at Hilton Auckland.

Breakfast
Auckland → Matakana → Auckland
Matakana
Day 4
Auckland → Hobbit Village → Rotorua

After breakfast, check out of your hotel and meet your driver to start your day trip. You will enjoy a private two-hour scenic drive South of Auckland into Waikato, with a Scenic Stop for amazing photos and any other stops if needed. Then, visit Zealong Tea Estate, the only commercial tea estate in New Zealand, producing 100% organic award-winning tea, and a world-leading destination for tea, art and hospitality.  Enjoy a Signature High Tea showcasing the freshest, locally sourced ingredients to compliment your Zealong tea served amidst breath-taking views of the Waikato region. 

Next stop is your Middle Earth Journey. Your Hobbiton tour guide who will take you to The Hobbit Village where you’ll enjoy a two-hour Guided Group Tour through The Hobbit Holes, The Mill, The Double Arched Bridge & a complimentary drink at The Green Dragon Inn.  At the end of the tour, sit back and enjoy the ride in your private transfer to your hotel in Rotorua. 

Overnight in Rotorua at Pullman Rotorua.

Breakfast
Auckland → Hobbit Village → Rotorua
Hobbiton Set Movie
Day 5
Rotorua

After breakfast, your guide will pick you up and take you on a sightseeing trip to the largest active geyser in the Southern Hemisphere, Pōhutu Geyser, as well as the New Zealand Māori Arts and Crafts Institute – training the next generation of artists from around the country. Then, join a guided walking tour showcasing the geothermal valley, Māori culture and Kiwi Conservation Centre with five Kiwi in a state of the art enclosure. At the end of the tour, you will be dropped off at your hotel.

Overnight in Rotorua at Pullman Rotorua.

Breakfast
Rotorua
Geyser
Day 6
Rotorua

After breakfast, enjoy your pre-selected tour from our Freedom of Choice options:

  • Skyline Gondola & Redwoods Tree Walk

    Your guide will pick you up and take you to Skyline where you will jump onboard the eight-seater Gondola cabins and experience spectacular views of Lake Rotorua, the city and steaming geothermal vistas. The 900-metre long Doppelmayr cableway system will transport you and your friends on a gentle, scenic ride up to the Skyline Rotorua complex. Your guide will then take you to Redwoods forest. Explore tree walking though tranquil and serene 118-year-old giant redwood trees.  This award-winning, eco-tourism walk has extraordinary views of New Zealand silver ferns and exotic forest. Tour ends by drop off back at your hotel. 

OR

  •  4WD Buggy Tour

    Your guide will pick you up from your hotel. Learn the local Maori history of Rotorua’s sacred Spirit Mountain as well as enjoying the great views & surroundings on our 4WD off road buggies. Our guides are passionate about the environment, Rotorua and Maori history, culture & legends associated with the mountain. Our off road experience takes you through lush NZ native bush showcasing our famous New Zealand Silver Ferns and a variety of native birds and animals. The highlight of the off road experience is the breathtaking views from our highest lookout, extending across Lake Rotorua, Mokoia Island and the city of Rotorua. Tour ends by drop off back at your hotel.

OR

  •  Rainbow Springs Nature Park

    Your guide will pick you up from your hotel. Explore New Zealand's fascinating and rare wildlife. Lose yourself in acres of native bush and natural springs. Rainbow Springs is proud to be home to the world's leading kiwi hatchery! Enjoy a special 'behind the scenes' tour of our Hatchery to see real kiwi conservation in action. Learn all about the efforts of our kiwi husbandry team, discover what it takes to hatch a chick... and if you're really lucky, see baby chicks in person! Some visitors may have the chance to witness the Kiwi chicks getting a health check, being weighted or fed - the routine usually takes place in the morning; regardless of the time of day you visit the Hatchery, our guides and Kiwi caregivers always aim to give our manuhiri [visitors] the best Kiwi experience! Tour ends by drop off back at your hotel. 

Overnight in Rotorua at Pullman Rotorua.

Breakfast
Rotorua
Tree-walk
Day 7
Rotorua → Hamilton Gardens → Coromandel

After breakfast, your guide will pick you up from your hotel on a scenic countryside drive to Hamilton Gardens. The Gardens are located alongside an attractive stretch of the Waikato River, merging old landscape features with creative development and design. The collections of gardens at Hamilton Gardens explore the history, context and meaning of gardens. Each tells a story and offers an insight into a different civilisation. Tour the Hamilton Gardens with one of our experienced guides who will share their behind-the-scenes knowledge about the award-winning garden designs created here over the last 30 years. Tour ends by drop off back at your hotel in Coromandel. 

Overnight stay in Coromandel at Sovereign Pier Coromandel.

Breakfast
Rotorua → Hamilton Gardens → Coromandel
Hamilton Gardens
Day 8
Coromandel

After breakfast, your guide will pick you up from your hotel and show you around the famous  Coromandel Peninsula. Dig a private pool at the famous Hot Water Beach for a unique experience of your own natural spa pool. There are two fissures at Hot Water Beach issuing water as hot as 64C (147F) at a rate as high as 15 litres/minute. This water contains large amounts of salt (NOT salt water), calcium, magnesium, potassium, fluorine, bromine, and silica. 

Overnight stay in Coromandel at Sovereign Pier Coromandel.

Breakfast
Coromandel
West Coast of North Island
Day 9
Coromandel → Auckland

After breakfast, private transfer to Auckland and the rest of the day at leisure.

Overnight stay in Auckland at Hilton Auckland.

Breakfast
Coromandel →  Auckland
Auckland
Day 10
Auckland

After breakfast, check out and private transfer to Auckland Airport.

Breakfast
Auckland
Auckland

Additional information

Official language
English, Māori and New Zealand Sign Language
Local currency
New Zealand Dollar (NZD)
Private Escorted Tour

These packages are much more intimate and include a private guide/driver that will be with you throughout the duration of your stay.

9 nights
from AUD8,231
per person, twin share
New Zealand
Auckland Airport
Auckland
Cultural, Luxury
Private Escorted Tours
01 June 2021- 31 March 2022

Hotel options

Hilton Auckland
Hilton Auckland

Auckland
On the oceanfront, 5 minutes from the business district, Hilton Auckland has a lap pool, gym, restaurant and bar. Bellini Bar is situated in prime location to enjoy a drink and a bite to eat while watching the harbour activity. Ask about Bellini’s signature Cocktail Classes, or their delicious Twisted High Tea. Served with spectacular harbour views, FISH restaurant features warm timber tones and an outdoor deck with fireplace for alfresco dining. At FISH Restaurant, sustainable, local produce comes first and ensures the finished product is of the highest possible quality. 

 

Pullman Rotorua
Pullman Rotorua

Rotorua
Pullman Rotorua is located in the city and only moments away from the lakefront. It is surrounded by surreal scenery and iconic attractions. Discover shooting geysers, bubbling mud, natural hot springs and magical forests. The hotel has 130 rooms and suites, a gym, vibrant restaurant, chic bar and 5 dynamic meeting rooms with internet connectivity. The perfect base to explore the region's geothermal paradise.

Sovereign Pier On The Waterways
Sovereign Pier On The Waterways

Whitianga
One of the top picks in Whitianga. Sovereign Pier On The Waterways offers 5-star luxury waterfront accommodation with kitchen facilities and a private balcony with stunning views. Guests have access to a private marina and a swimming pool with 20 person spa pool. Free WiFi is included. Each 1, 2 and 3-bedroom suite features full kitchen and laundry facilities and Sky TV 50+ Channels.  Private Barbecues and outdoor seating is provided. Each villa has it's own garage, boat trailer parking and extra carpark.
Sovereign Pier Whitianga has its own marina and boat launching ramp. 

Important notes

  • We work with a selection of hotels in each location. All bookings are subject to availability, which means our team will confirm your specific hotels upon confirmation and payment of deposit. The package price is based on 4-star accommodation.

Blackout dates may apply during festive season.