24 Feb, 2020
Make your way down from Auckland to Wellington on this incredible 7-day journey of adventure and fun discovering North Island highlights.
It’s your first day in Auckland so don’t rush it. Go slow and ease into this week with a carefree day on Waiheke Island. A super scenic and smooth 40-minute ferry ride from Auckland city, you can whisk yourself away to sheltered beaches and world-class vineyards for the day. Enjoy some airtime ziplining, go wine tasting, kayaking, stroll along white sand beaches, or explore the arts scene – you can do as little or as much as you’d like while on island time. There are boutique shops and incredible eateries along the way so make sure you have your fill and discover the brilliant flavours of Waiheke.
When you’ve got one day to explore the city of sails, do it on your own terms. There’s just something about discovering Auckland powered by your own two feet – seeing the sights, popping into a café you fall in love with along the way, and going at your own pace and leisure. Or you can hop on and hop off to discover Auckland’s top attractions on the Auckland Explorer Bus. Discover the rhythm of the big city as you take on Sky Tower, Queen Street and an evening feast at Auckland Night Market. Walk along the waterfront from Queens Wharf to Silo Park where there’s always something happening – from outdoor concerts, films and markets, it’s definitely the place to be.
A 2.5 hours’ drive south of Auckland, Hobbiton Tours is a must-stop for any North Island itinerary. Whisk yourself into a world of fantasy and legendary film stars at the enchanting village of Hobbiton™ Movie Set. You can enjoy a fully guided tour from the Shire’s Rest, partake in an evening banquet tour, or even organise a private tour for a more intimate experience at Hobbiton. Lush pastures and into the heart of middle earth, see for yourself the wonder and magic of Hobbiton Tours as the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit Trilogies come to life.
Lake Taupō is the largest freshwater lake in New Zealand and is a spectacular destination to discover. Located in the heart of the central North Island, Taupō offers a hub of activities that you can enjoy both in and out of the water. Surrounded by abundant natural beauty, Taupō is a place you’ll fall in love with at first sight. Take on New Zealand’s only whitewater jet boat, tick skydiving off your bucket list, visit the legendary Huka Falls or rejuvenate in natural hot springs along the banks of the Waikato River – there’s plenty of adventure and fun to be had here.
Described as on the best one-day hikes in New Zealand, the Tongariro Alpine Crossing is 19.4 kilometres of pure, rugged New Zealand beauty situated in the heart of Tongariro National Park. Tongariro National Park is New Zealand’s oldest national park and is also recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage site. It’s breathtaking landscape spanning the volcanic peaks of Ngauruhoe, Tongariro and Ruapehu is rich in cultural identity and stunning natural scenery as a top destination attracting visitors from all around the world. Carefully plan your equipment and pack so you can be prepared to take on the ever-changing rugged alpine environment. The team at the Tongariro National Park Visitor Centre and I-SITE can advise on track transport and any volcanic activity and weather advisories in place.
Heartlands Manawatū is the perfect spot to discover the rural delights of Aotearoa. Visit the one and only New Zealand Rugby Museum in Palmerston North for an intimate look into the national sport of New Zealand. With an amazing collection of All Blacks paraphernalia, you’ll be amped to give the interactive elements a go and get amongst it! Another top attraction in Palmerston North is the world-class WildBase Recovery Centre where you can get a rare look into the care and rehabilitation of New Zealand native birds. Located in the beautiful Victoria Esplanade, you can explore 26 hectacres of native bush walks, bike tracks, and gardens down by the mighty Manawatū river.
The capital of New Zealand full of culture and vibrant experiences is a great way to end your seven days in the North Island. Head to the incredible national Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, discover shops and eateries along Cuba Street, experience an eye-opening Weta Cave Workshop tour, explore the beauty of Wellington Botanic Gardens by Cable Car, soak up the Wellington waterfront or hop into Fergs Kayak at Queens Wharf for an unforgettable Harbour tour. Whatever you choose, Wellington will always hold a special place in your heart.