From beautiful vineyards and exhilarating adventures to glittering glowworm caves and geothermal wonders, this itinerary introduces you to some of New Zealand's most spectacular attractions.
Walk the famous Tongariro Alpine Crossing, skydive from 15,000ft and visit the famous Hobbiton Movie Set when you journey through the North Island via the Volcanic Loop.
Spend the day getting to know the vibrant ‘City of Sails’. With outstanding food, natural attractions, and plenty of adventure, Auckland is the perfect place to start your holiday.
Climb the Auckland Harbour Bridge and take in the vistas of New Zealand’s biggest city, from the city centre to the island dotted Hauraki Gulf. While you’re there, bungy jump off the bridge to touch the water below.
Nature lovers should kayak across the harbour to hike the iconic Rangitoto volcanic cone.
If luxury and relaxation is what you're after, take the ferry to Waiheke and explore the island's many secluded beaches, wineries and walking trails.
Make your way south to Hamilton. Spend the morning with a visit to Hamilton Zoo, home to New Zealand's largest free-flight aviary. Discover a plethora of unique native birds around every corner, including the endangered Blue Duck.
Beyond Hamilton, Waitomo is an underground world of stalactites, stalagmites and glittering glowworms. Explore this extensive network of caves, from a relaxing boat ride through the glowworm grotto or for the more adventurous take a 4-hour abseil journey deep into a lost world.
If you have time after your caving adventure, stop at Otorohanga Kiwi house and meet our national bird.
Stay in Waitomo for the night or return to Hamilton.
Journey on to the beautiful Pureora Forest Park, taking time to explore some of the small towns you pass on the way.
At Pureora hire a bike and spend the day cycling though ancient forests and across graceful suspension bridges, as you follow old logging roads to Piropiro. The full Timber Trail route from Pureora to Ongarue crosses 35 bridges and includes a fascinating array of timber industry relics along the way.
For non-cyclists, an abundance of walking tracks, swimming spots and native wildlife, make this park a must-do for nature lovers.
One of the best ways to see this part of the country is with a Forgotten World Adventure tour. With railcarts and jet boats, the combo tour will give you the best of both worlds.
Depart Taumarunui and journey down a decommissioned railway line, through picturesque valleys, hidden townships and deep into the Whanganui National Park. Along the way you will discover a fascinating mixture of nostalgia and adrenalin. A jet boat up the Whanganui River returns you to Taumarunui. For something a little different try a tour to the famous ‘Bridge to Nowhere’, a stunning stone bridge with a strange history.
Spend the night in Ohakune, gateway to Tongariro National Park.
A challenging journey across a remarkable volcanic landscape.Read more
Just a trip from National Park is Tongariro Alpine Crossing, widely considered New Zealand's best day walk.
The walk traverses the stark volcanic terrain between Mount Tongariro and Mount Ngauruhoe. Taking in lava flows, steam vents, emerald-coloured lakes and an active crater this walk is an unforgettable experience.
If the Crossing isn't for you try whitewater rafting on the Whanganui River or take an easy stroll to the stunning Taranaki Falls.
End the day with relaxing spa at DeBretts Hot Springs in Taupo.
Please note: The Department of Conservation recommends that visitors access the Crossing via a shuttle, a full list of local operators can be found here.
The volcanic eruption that created Lake Taupo nearly two thousand years ago is said to be so big the effects were seen in Europe and China. Today it is New Zealand's largest lake and a haven for water based activities.
Spend the morning exploring the lake by kayak. Float through secluded inlets and paddle to Mine Bay where you will discover stunning maori designs carved into the cliff-face.
Change pace in the afternoon with a thrilling jet boat ride in the raging waters of Huka Falls, or jump out of a plane at 15,000ft and experience the adrenalin pumping sensation of freefall.
Continue your journey on to Rotorua, where you will spend the night.
Your journey back to Auckland takes you though rolling countryside and unique geological features. It's easy to see why Peter Jackson chose this area to play The Shire in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies.
Visit Hobbiton Movie Set in Matamata to see how Middle‑earth was brought to life.
As you travel, take time to explore the variety of quintessential kiwi towns on the way and get to know a piece of rural New Zealand.