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An epic ten-day trip encompassing volcanoes, vineyards and the beautiful Bay of Islands

Personalised journeys from start to finish

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Every detail taken care of

What's Included

  • Privately guided tours and experiences
  • Helicopter flight to White Island
  • Wine tasting
  • Luxury accommodation throughout
  • Private transfers
  • Full support from your Travel Concierge before, during and after your trip
Use this itinerary to inspire your bespoke journey

At a glance

Experience the natural beauty and traditional culture of New Zealand‘s North Island. This ten-day trip takes you from the idyllic scenery of the Bay of Islands to the lunar-like landscape of Rotorua, with plenty of world-class food and drink along the way.

Your adventure starts in the vibrant city of Auckland. Dip in and out of its museums and galleries and world-class restaurants and experience the great outdoors at the nearby beaches. Visit island of Waiheke, where you’ll visit the vineyards and enjoy tasting some of New Zealand’s finest wine.

You will then spend three nights exploring the Bay of Islands, a collection of 144 islands scattered across sparkling waters. Swim, dive and kayak to your heart’s content, learn about indigenous history or simply spend time relaxing at your luxury lodge. From here you will fly to Rotorua, a land of bubbling mud pools, steaming sulphur lakes and erupting geysers, as well as the beautiful Lake Taupo.

The last leg of your trip takes you to Hawke’s Bay, the North Island’s wine country. You’ll find some of the country’s best food and wine here, touring Art Deco Napier in a vintage car with some private tastings to, a fine way to end your epic exploration.

Example Trip Itinerary

Days 1-3

Auckland

Flights & Transfers

Transfer

Meet and greet at Auckland airport

Transfer

Private transfer to your hotel

Accommodation in Auckland

Two days exploring Auckland Two days exploring Auckland

New Zealand’s largest cosmopolitan centre is a lively mix of culture, cuisine, music and art with ample green spaces and easily accessible beaches. It is the modern melting pot of the Pacific with influences from Asia, the Pacific islands and Europe along with traditional Maori culture. A fresh and vibrant city, Auckland boasts some of the best restaurants in the country, and the harbour, which underwent a revamp before hosting the Rugby World Cup in 2011, is now a wonderful place to soak up the buzz of this exciting city.

Waiheke Island Winery, New Zealand
Wine tasting on Waiheke Island Wine tasting on Waiheke Island

Take a short ferry ride from downtown Auckland over to Waiheke Island where you will meet your guide, a local wine expert. Explore the island's wineries, learning what makes New Zealand wine some of the best in the world, and tasting some of their signature cabernet sauvignon, merlot, syrah and chardonnay.

Days 3-6

Bay of Islands

tawharanui-beach
Private transfer to your lodge in the Bay of Islands via Matakana Private transfer to your lodge in the Bay of Islands via Matakana

Enjoy a visit to the well known Morris and James Pottery. Using clay harvested from the banks of the Matakana River, Morris and James create a vast selection of colourful ceramics, pots, home decor and gardenware. You'll also visit the Omaha Gallery and the stunning Tawharanui Beach. Set on a remote peninsula, the regional park boasts some of the most beautiful white sand beaches, rolling pastures, shingled bays, native coastal forest and regenerating wetlands. There is the option to hike the North to South Coast Trek with is approximately 8km. After lunch visit Parry Kauri Park to view the famous Kauri Trees before heading on to your lodge.

Lodges in the Bay of Islands

Three days exploring the Bay of Islands Three days exploring the Bay of Islands

The Bay of Islands encompasses 144 islands dotted between Cape Brett and the Purerua Peninsula. Take to the sparkling waters and paddle through its turquoise inlets in a sea kayak, try your hand at deep-sea fishing, discover the underwater world on a diving excursion, or head into the maritime playground to swim with dolphins. Back on dry land, explore the many walking trails that wind their way through verdant forests and past secluded beaches, and set aside some time to relax in the quaint seaside towns.

The range of activities will depend on your chosen lodge, but each has a real passion for helping guests get the very best out of this beautiful region. Explore the waters by kayak, go fishing or mountain biking, or simply relax and take in the views with a glass of crisp New Zealand wine in hand.

whangaroa-harbour
Beach and bays tour Beach and bays tour

You'll start by taking a drive around Northland’s beautiful coastline, taking in breathtaking views over the Pacific Ocean. Dip your feet in the pristine clear waters of its many golden beaches on the way.

You will then wind your way back to the serene waters of the Whangaroa Harbour (the deepest harbour in the Southern Hemisphere), and north to the small fishing village of Mangonui. Enjoy lunch at the world-famous fish and chip shop overlooking the beautiful Mangonui Harbour.

The Waitangi Treaty Grounds tour The Waitangi Treaty Grounds tour

Today you'll spend some time with Hone Mihaka. Hone is a Nga Puhi warrior descended from chiefs who signed the Treaty of Waitangi, the document signed with the British in 1840 and sometimes referred to as New Zealand's founding document. Hone also spent some time with the New Zealand Army as well as some less formal Maori fighting elements. He continues fighting today, representing his people with Treaty of Waitangi negotiations with the New Zealand Government. Hone has an infectious enthusiasm for his culture and his people and is a born storyteller with an incredible depth of knowledge.

Flights & Transfers

Transfer

Private transfer to Taupo

Days 6-8

Taupo

Lodges around Taupo

thermal-park-rotorua
Two days exploring Rotorua and Lake Taupo Two days exploring Rotorua and Lake Taupo

Steaming mud pools, erupting geysers and Maori traditions all make Rotorua and Taupo a special area to visit and one that is distinctively unique to the rest of New Zealand. Explore geothermal parks before heading into nearby native forests for hiking or mountain biking the numerous world-class trails. Lake Taupo is actually a volcano crater, the lake’s deep blue waters draw visitors with its idyllic swimming holes, reputable fishing and adventure sports. On a clear day the views stretch out over the glassy water to the snowcapped volcanoes of Tongariro National Park in the distance.

lake-taupo
Scenic cruise on Lake Taupo Scenic cruise on Lake Taupo

Enjoy a scenic charter on Lake Taupo and cruise around the northern bays. Enjoy breath-taking views of the surrounding mountains as you make your way to the Maori rock carvings and to Kaipo Bay, learn about the geological history and Maori mythology surrounding the lake from your friendly skipper. Should you wish there is also the opportunity to enjoy some fishing on the lake today. Lunch on board is included.

Flights & Transfers

Transfer

Private transfer to your lodge in Hawke's Bay

Days 8-10

Hawke's Bay

Lodges in Hawke's Bay

Sunrise at Te Mata Peak, Napier, Hawkes Bay
Two days Exploring Hawke's Bay Two days Exploring Hawke's Bay

The North Island’s wine country is one of New Zealand’s warmest, driest regions with golden colours stretching across arid plains. The scene here is made up of vineyards and orchards laden with fruit, fertile farmlands that sweep to the perfect waves on the coast and laidback seaside settlements.

Art Deco Napier and Hawkes Bay Wineries Tour Art Deco Napier and Hawkes Bay Wineries Tour

Napier was levelled by an earthquake in 1931 and the town's centre was rebuilt in the glamorous Art Deco style, and today it appears as something of a microcosm of the time. Explore the township's wonderful 1930's architecture with a private tour guide from the Art Deco Trust aboard a classic 1938 Packard automobile before driving for a private wine tasting at Te Mata Estate, a family owned vineyard established in 1896 producing internationally-recognized wines exclusively from its Hawkes Bay vineyards.

Next up is another excellent vineyard, Craggy Range, for wine tasting and lunch. The chief wine maker here was voted by the international Wine State magazine as one of the top 50 wine makers in the world. After a leisurely meal your guide will drive you up to the summit of Te Mata Peak for stunning vistas out to Hastings and the Heretaunga Plains, Napier, Cape Kidnappers and the sea beyond before continuing on via the quaint township of Havelock North and the city of Hastings.

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