North Island Snapshot

A 10-day insight into the beauty of North Island New Zealand

Take a trip from Auckland to Wellington, enjoying the sights and wonders of the North Island; fly over active volcanoes; visit the world famous film set at Hobbiton, and stroll through the Art Deco city of Napier.


  • Auckland’s Sky Tower & beautiful harbour
  • Geothermal wonders of Rotorua and Taupo
  • Visit the film set at Hobbiton
  • Stroll through Art Deco Napier
  • Visit the wine country of Hawkes Bay
  • Fly to White Island’s active volcano
  • Volcanoes of Tongariro and Mt Ruapehu
  • National Museum of Te Papa, Wellington



DAY 1: Arrive Auckland

On arrival at Auckland’s international airport, transfer to your hotel in the center of Auckland. Take today to recover from your international flight; go for a stroll along the redeveloped waterfront, visit the Sky Tower for a view over the city, or enjoy a harbour cruise over to Devonport for a unique perspective of the city.

Suggested Experiences:

  • Sky Tower
  • Harbour Cruise
  • Americas Cup Yacht Experience
  • Beaches at Mission Bay & North Shore
  • Wander through Devonport
  • Waterfront dining

DAY 2: Auckland

At leisure in Auckland. You have the whole day to take in some of the city sights, such as Auckland Museum, Art Gallery, or Kelly Tarlton’s Aquarium. Or head further afield – a tour to the black beaches and rainforest canopy of the Waitakeres, a boat and hike on Rangitoto Island, or wine tasting on the beautiful Waiheke Island .

Suggested Experiencies:

  • Rangitoto Island tour
  • Waitakere Ranges and Black West Coast beaches
  • Auckland Museum
  • Dolphin Watch Tour
  • Vineyards on Waiheke Island
  • Art Gallery
  • Kelly Tarlton’s Aquarium

DAY 3: Drive to Rotorua

Pick up your rental car this morning and head south out of Auckland to Rotorua. On the way, make sure you take time for a tour of Hobbiton, and relive scenes from the Hobbit & Lord of the Rings movies.  Enjoy the open road through the lush, green countryside. On arrival in Rotorua visit Rainbow Springs and the famous Kiwi Encounter, then relax in the Polynesian Spa thermal pools.

Suggested Experiences:

  • Hobbiton Tour
  • Rainbow Springs & Kiwi Encounter
  • Polynesian Spa

Driving time: 3 – 4 hours

DAY 4: Rotorua

Rotorua has so much to offer the visitor. Take a once in a lifetime scenic helicopter flight to the active volcano White Island, enjoy a leisurely lake cruise, and cycle or hike in the forest of giant redwoods.  You can’t leave Rotorua without exploring some of the great geothermal wonders and Maori culture at Te Puia, and enjoying a Maori hangi (feast).

Suggested Experiences:

  • Scenic helicopter flights
  • Volcanic White Island
  • Paradise Valley Springs
  • The Buried Village
  • Te Puia
  • Bike or walk in the Redwood forest
  • Maori Hangi

DAY 5: Taupo & Tongariro

Drive to Taupo and visit the Huka Falls, take in a jetboat, and visit amazing geothermal attractions along the way.  In the afternoon head to Tongariro National Park and the volcanoes of Mt Ngauruhoe (Mt Doom) and Mt Ruapehu. Enjoy a short walk in New Zealand’s oldest Park.

Suggested Experiences:

  • Geothermal wonders – Wai-o-tapu, Waimangu, Orakei Valley
  • Craters of the Moon
  • Huka Falls Jetboat
  • Maori Carvings
  • Tongariro National Park

Driving time: 3 hours

Napier (Photo: Chris McLennan)

DAY 6: Drive to Napier

Enjoy a morning in Taupo visiting geothermal sites or the Huka Falls, before driving on to the Art Deco capital of New Zealand, Napier.  Destroyed by an earthquake in 1931 the city was rebuilt in this architectural style of the time. It is one of the best examples of Art Deco in the world. Enjoy wandering through the streets as if stepping back in time.

Suggested Experiences:

  • Art Deco History Walk
  • National Aquarium of NZ

Driving time: 2 hours

DAY 7: Napier

All day in Napier to explore. In the morning take a half day tour to the see the famous gannet colony at Cape Kidnappers, then follow this with a personalized wine tour or lunch at one of New Zealand’s top vineyards. If you’ve time, take a drive up Te Mata Peak for spectacular views.

Suggested Experiences:

  • Personalized wine tour
  • Gannet Colony at Cape Kidnappers
  • National Aquarium of NZ
  • Te Mata Peak

DAY 8: Drive to Wellington

Drive south through rural farmland to Wellington, arriving in the afternoon in New Zealand’s capital city. Wellington is compact, so you’ll still have plenty of time for a stroll along the waterfront or to visit the National Museum of Te Papa.  Nightlife in Wellington is lively or sophisticated; you’ll be spoiled for choice in places to dine.

Suggested Experiences:

  • Te Papa Museum

Driving time: 4 – 5 hours

DAY 9: Wellington

All day to explore Wellington. Take a tour of Weta Studios and find out all the secrets of the Lord of the Rings films, return to Te Papa for the latest exciting exhibitions, or visit Zeelandia, a haven for wildlife in the heart of the city. Ride the famous red cable car past the University for views over the city, then stroll down through the Botanical Gardens just in time for a tour of Parliament.

Suggested Experiences:

  • Weta Workshop Tours
  • Botanical Gardens
  • Zeelandia
  • Parliament Tours
  • Seal Colony
  • Wellington Cable Car

DAY 10: Depart Wellington

Say goodbye to Wellington and take your flight back to Auckland.






At Greenstone Travel we offer total flexibility. All our vacations are tailored to include accommodation and experiences that appeal to you. This sample itinerary is a great starting point, so please contact us so we can customize it according to your individual preferences.

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