Mysteries of the North Island

Discover Aoteora’s natural beauty and the richness of the Kiwi culture with this scenic journey through the North Island. After exploring the quaint cafes and vibrant art scene of Wellington and the movie magic of Weta Studios, savour red wine at Martinborough and see the rare white Kiwi Bird at Pūkaha National Wildlife Centre. Climb the crags of Mount Doom through the Tongariro Alpine Crossing and behold the unspoiled, steam-shrouded landscape of Waimangu Volcanic Valley. Immerse in a Māori cultural experience and learn about their history. While this journey caters to more able-bodied travellers, you can tailor the itinerary to your preference.

This journey outline is by no means fixed. As the traveller takes centre stage in our planning – from the type of lodging to daily activities – your journey will be crafted to suit you.

Day by Day Highlights

Day 1
Fly from Singapore to Wellington

Welcome to Windy Welly!

Take a walk by the waterfront and soak up the vibes of “the coolest little capital in the world”. Known for its vibrant creative culture, treat yourself to Wellington’s wide array of tucked-away bars, quirky cafes and award-winning restaurants.

If time permits, learn more about New Zealand’s rich history and diverse culture at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa or smell the roses on a stroll through Wellington Botanic Gardens. Ride one of Wellington’s iconic red cable car to Kelburn, where you can enjoy a panoramic view of the city.

Day 2
Wellington

Start your day with a fragrant Mojo flat white at one of Welly’s quaint cafes as you gear up for a day of family fun at Wellywood! Experience behind-the-scenes look at filmmaking at Weta Workshop, the legendary special effects and props company that brought Avatar, King Kong and the Lord of the Rings to life – an experience one for the family. A mecca for movie junkies, elevate your experience with an exclusive access to the Weta Workshop boardroom and get up close to the Oscars® and the many other awards won by Richard Taylor and his crew. This evening, head up to Mount Victoria for a leisure walk – trails ranges from 45 – 90 mins loop. Observe the sunset against the city before heading to one of the city’s most celebrated restaurant for dinner.

Day 3
Wellington – Martinborough – Tongariro

Make an early start on your way to Tongariro. Stop for lunch in Martinborough, a region known for its wineries and delectable local delights. Then, continue your drive via Mount Bruce, with the option to visit Pūkaha National Wildlife Centre to see the rare white Kiwi bird. Spend the night at Tongariro and have an early rest in preparation of your hike the next day.

Day 4

Tongariro Hike

This morning, you will be collected by your private guide and embark on your exhilarating journey through Tongariro Alpine Crossing. Regarded as the best one-day trek in New Zealand, tread in the footsteps of Frodo Baggins and Samwise Gamgee as you hike through the craggy lands of “Mordor” and reach the base of “Mount Doom” at Mount Ngauruhoe – an active volcano. On your hike, you will smell the distinctive whiff of sulphur as you encounter emerald green sulphur lakes amid the otherworldly, barren landscape of black volcanic soil.

Your trek culminates in a gorgeous 360° view of Mount Ngauruhoe, the Red Crater and even Lake Taupo to the North. Spend a relaxing evening at your lodge resting your weary body from your long, but amazing trek through the mountains. The hike is six to eight hours across 19.4 km and while challenging, should not pose significant difficulty for a relatively fit adult.

Day 5

Tongariro – Rotorua

Have a leisurely start this morning. Make your way to Rotorua via Taupō. Stop off at Huka Falls for an exhilarating jet boating experience – feel your heart in your mouth as you cruise along at an incredible 80km an hour to the base of the mighty Huka Falls in Taupō.

For those seeking a slower pace, enjoy a boat ride on Lake Taupō and have a go at trout fishing. You may wish to enjoy lunch onboard and grill your catch of the day! Then, continue your drive to Rotorua with the option to stop off at Wai-O-Tapu to observe the renowned golden glow of the Champagne Pool, or take a scenic prehistoric hike at the world’s youngest geothermal system at Waimangu Volcanic Valley where you can see how the world began.

Day 6

Rotorua

Experience the history and traditions of the Māori people – the original inhabitants and custodians of New Zealand. You may wish to go foraging for herbs and ingredients in the forest with your Māori host and learn about traditional remedies which are still relevant today. Engage in insightful conversations with your hosts as they share what it means to be a Māori. Immerse yourself in the culture as you pick up a move or two of the Haka or Poi dance, and help lift a hangi for lunch. As night falls, take a relaxing stroll through Whakarewarewa forest and observe the diverse range of exotic tree species.

Day 7

Rotorua — Airport

Bid Kia Ora to the Land of the Long White Cloud as you head to the airport for your trip back home via Auckland. If you still cannot bear to leave this lovely country, you have the option to extend your adventure with a trip to Hobbiton – the home of Frodo and Bilbo Baggins, or Waitomo, where you can admire the shimmering light of glow-worms and more.

Let’s plan your perfect escape. To start the conversation, contact us via our interactive form or drop us an email at [email protected].

Practical Information

Wellington, Tongariro, Taupo, Rotorua.

Moderate to Intermediate.

From USD 3,580/person for a group of 2 on a private basis, including double-sharing rooms. Excludes flights, car rental, transfers.

As we’ll customise your journey based on your preferences and needs, please note that this indicative price is just a rough estimate. Prices can fluctuate depending on season, type of accommodation and activities/experiences chosen (private vs. shared) etc.

This journey outline is by no means conclusive. It is just a guideline and can be tailored according to your comfort level, interests and preferences for every detail from accommodation to activities.

Discover our Destinations

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Bhutan

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Cambodia

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Chile

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Iceland

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India

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Indonesia

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Japan

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Mongolia

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Morocco

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Myanmar

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Nepal

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New Zealand

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Oman

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Peru

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Sabah, Malaysia

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Singapore

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Sri Lanka

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Thailand

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Vietnam

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Yunnan, China

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