Northern Trail
Rotorua, Coromandel Peninsula, Auckland, Lake Taupo, Wellington
Adventure, Water Sports, Active, Nature & Wildlife, Photography, National Parks, Culture, Cities
Tour Type
Small group tour
Physical Level
Season Season
January - December

From New Zealand’s biggest city to the nation’s lively capital, you’ll take in a whole host of North Island gems, enjoying beautiful landscapes, spectacular coastal walks and geothermal wonders.

Travelling between Auckland and Wellington (or vice-versa), this North Island trip includes activities such as hiking to photogenic Cathedral Cove, a traditional Māori meal, and a walk amidst towering — and magically lit — treetops. Optional excursions include hiking the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, kayaking to a natural hot pool and flying above an active volcano — you're free to choose the activities you want to do.

Along the way, you’ll encounter an array of landscapes: lush, green rolling hills; beautiful golden sand beaches, tumbling waterfalls, geothermal valleys filled with bubbling mud and sulphuric lakes, magnificent mountains, cosy laid-back surf towns and vibrant cities.

This tour can also be completed in reverse. Departure dates listed include both directions. Enquire for more details.

Tour itinerary

What you'll see and do

Auckland is New Zealand's biggest city and is known in Māori as Tamaki Makaurau — the place of many lovers.

Settle into your accommodation and be ready for the 6pm pre-tour meeting. Here you will get to know your Tour Manager and be introduced to your new roadtrip friends.

Afterwards, the evening is yours to enjoy. We recommend a good night’s sleep to be ready for tomorrow’s early start, but you may want to experience Auckland’s exciting nightlife.

Auckland to Coromandel

Leaving Auckland behind, you'll head to the Coromandel Peninsula, a veritable paradise of beautiful beaches and misty rainforests.

You'll get a chance to visit the famous Hot Water Beach before arriving in Whitianga where you can sample the sandy beaches, take a surf lesson with the locals or simply enjoy the relaxed vibe.

Includes: breakfast
Coromandel to Raglan

Today’s road trip to the arty surf mecca of Raglan will give you a first glimpse of the North Island’s rolling tree-lined hills and valleys. Your guide will show you some great sights en route, including the 55-metre high Bridal Veil Falls. If you have always wanted to try surfing, or if you’re dying to get back on your board, Raglan is the perfect destination both for beginners and experienced surfers.

If you're not interested in surfing there’s plenty to enjoy in this laid-back township. With a fantastic blend of cafes, bars, surf shops and galleries, the streets here ooze character and creativity. Relax on the beach and leave any lingering jet-lag behind, or enjoy a variety of bush and coastal scenery on Raglan’s walking trails.

For dinner tonight, tuck into New Zealand’s unofficial dish of fish and chips, before going on a sunset boat cruise of Raglan Harbour.

Includes: dinner
Raglan to Waitomo and Rotorua

Your first stop of the day is the Waitomo Caves famous for its glow worms. There are fantastic and informative walking tours of the caves where you can learn more about the history, geology and Māori mythology of this unique area of New Zealand. For those who prefer to stay above ground, you can explore the tree-studded gorges and limestone arches of the nearby Ruakuri Forest Walk.

In the afternoon you'll make your way to Rotorua, where you'll visit the Redwoods Treewalk — a series of suspension bridges and living platforms which weave through the majestic Redwood Forest.


Today you'll have a full day to explore Rotorua and its surrounding area. While the majority of the North Island is volcanic in some way, Rotorua is exceptional for its geothermal activity. With neon blue and red lakes, steaming rivers, active volcanoes and geysers galore, there are more unique natural wonders to be found in Rotorua than many other places in the world.

You can take a day trip the picturesque Hobbiton movie set in Matamata. For Lord of the Rings fans a fully guided tour of the 12 acre Middle-earth set is a must-do — you will see Hobbit Holes, the Mill, and even enjoy a drink at the Green Dragon Inn.

In the evening you will be welcomed to a Māori village for an unmissable cultural experience featuring combat demonstrations and — of course — the breathtaking haka. This experience extends beyond the performance — you’ll have the chance to see magnificent geothermal activity and get to spot kiwi birds.

Includes: breakfast, dinner
Rotorua to Lake Taupō and Tongariro National Park

Rotorua is a spectacular whitewater rafting destination, and with expert guidance it can be experienced by first timers and pro-paddlers alike. For the ultimate thrill this morning you can raft the highest commercial waterfall drop in the world — the 7-metre Tutea Falls, on the Kaituna River.

If that’s not your cup of tea, spend the morning exploring Rotorua’s many attractions such as the ultra-relaxing Polynesian Spa, or perhaps the naturally-impressive Kuirau Park full of steaming, hissing, and boiling geothermal pools.

From Rotorua it’s a quick drive to Taupō; a beautiful lakeside town with a stunning mountain backdrop. It’s a short drive but you'll take our time, checking out bubbling mud pools and thundering waterfalls en route.

You will finish your day nestled in Tongariro National Park, where we’ll spend the next 2 nights, home to one of the 10 best one-day walks in the world — the Tongariro Crossing.

Includes: breakfast
The Tongariro Crossing

Considered one of the world’s top 10 best one-day walks, this 19.4km mountain trek boasts emerald green lakes, venting steam, lava flows, craters and rich green bush.

Not for the faint-hearted — it’s a challenging day! But every step of the way the views are spectacular. Our Haka guides highly recommend this activity, it’s definitely a highlight.

If 19.4km is a little too far for you, there are plenty of shorter walks and hikes to enjoy. However you choose to spend today in this UNESCO World Heritage Area, we guarantee you won’t forget it.

Includes: breakfast
Tongariro National Park to Wellington

It’s a big drive from Taupō to Wellington, but there’s some unmissable scenery on offer. You'll journey through Tongariro National Park and the Rangipo Desert, which is home to three active volcanic peaks — Mount Tongariro, Mount Ngauruhoe, and Mount Ruapehu. You'll also pass through two of the North Island’s quirkier towns which you'll get a chance to explore.

After a quick afternoon orientation from your guide, head up Mount Victoria for some of the best views in town, before heading out to enjoy the capital's fantastic food and craft beer scene.

Includes: breakfast

Soak up the atmosphere of vibrant Wellington.

Your guide will introduce you to the city with an orientation tour — including a drive around the bays through central Wellington to the Botanic Gardens and Parliament Buildings.

You will also stop by Weta Studios, most famous for its creative contribution to all things Lord of the Rings. Take an optional tour to see prop-makers in action and learn about the immersive world of filmmaking.

Wellington has a feast of cultural attractions and its crowning glory is Te Papa, the national museum of New Zealand. Situated on Wellington’s magnificent waterfront, this internationally acclaimed museum combines leading edge technology with traditional exhibits to tell the stories of New Zealand’s land and people. The museum is free for all.

If being outdoors is more your thing, head off to Kapiti Island for an optional nature tour. Here you can see endangered birds up close and learn more about New Zealand’s unique flora and fauna.


Today is the final day of tour – so prepare to bid farewell to all your new friends before you head in your own directions. You’ll all have some incredible shared memories to take with you on your next adventure.


Upcoming departures

Departing Returning    
More dates available   Enquire

Where to stay

Sample accommodation suggested by our New Zealand experts.

All accommodation is in twin-share 3/4 star accommodation, upgrades to private rooms available on request.

Haka Hotel Newmarket

Haka Hotel Newmarket

Hake Hotel Newmarket is Auckland’s first 3-star rated hybrid hotel...

Tour inclusions

Get in touch now for more details

Included Some meals

Five continental breakfasts are included on this trip and 2 dinners, including a traditional Māori hāngī cooked in an underground oven.

Included Accommodation

All accommodation is included in the tour price.

Included Guided excursions

All tours include a passionate Kiwi guide.


What people are saying about Haka Tours


Don't give it a second thought — visit New Zealand and sign up for a Haka Tour! I just got back from the South Island Haka tour and definitely have to say it was one of the best vacations ever. The trip was entirely stress-free and fun, every city we visited was amazing, scenery unbeatable, accommodation was clean and nice and I made lifelong friends that I hope to travel with again in the future. Worth every penny!


Best tour ever! Did the Amplified New Zealand Tour from Auckland to Christchurch. It was an amazing experience from front to back, enabled by the flexibility and experience of Andy advising where and when to do activities. Would absolutely recommend this as a great way to see and experience New Zealand quickly!

Helena Anne

Amazing trip last week with Haka Tours. Perfectly paced and flawlessly organised thanks to Andy. Nice size group, good accommodation and long drives were never frustrating. It's lovely to be on an organised tour and still have independence. Very impressed with Haka, I'll certainly be back to explore the North island!



From only

NZ$3,039 pp

This tour is operated by Haka Tours
  Start here

Other tours you might like

North Island Adventure

Road trip through New Zealand's North Island

7 daysFrom NZ$1,329
Rotorua, Coromandel Peninsula, Auckland, Lake Taupo, Wellington
Tour Type Small group tour
Activity Active, Nature & Wildlife, Culture

New Zealand Wanderer

The best of the north with a taste of the south

12 daysFrom NZ$3,609
Rotorua, Coromandel Peninsula, Kaikoura, Auckland, Lake Taupo, Christchurch, Wellington
Tour Type Small group tour
Activity Active, Nature & Wildlife, Culture

Amplified New Zealand

Total Kiwi experience

16 daysFrom NZ$2,849
Queenstown, Lake Tekapo, Rotorua, Coromandel Peninsula, Kaikoura, Wanaka, Auckland, Franz Josef Glacier, Lake Taupo, Christchurch, Wellington
Tour Type Small group tour
Activity Active, Nature & Wildlife, Culture

Why Horizon Guides?

Impartial guidebooks

Impartial guidebooks

Our travel guides are written by the leading experts in their destinations. We never take payment for positive coverage so you can count on us for impartial travel advice.

Expert itineraries

Expert itineraries

Suggested itineraries and routes to help you scratch beneath the surface, avoid the tourist traps, and plan an authentic, responsible and enjoyable journey.

Specialist advice

Specialist advice

Get friendly, expert travel advice and custom itineraries from some of the world’s best tour operators, with no spam, pressure or commitment to book.