Great Journeys of New Zealand - 8 Day Auckland to Wellington Signature Tour
Join us on this luxurious scenic experience through the North Island passing mountain peaks, icy rivers, and engineering marvels. This adventure is an enviable trip designed for those who want a stress-free, scenic journey like no other. Meet like-minded travellers while experiencing world-class activities in charming locations. Explore the bioluminescent glow worm caves of Waitomo, discover the natural wonders of Tongariro National Park, cruise along the Tawatahi River on a dinner cruise in Raglan and be captivated by the storytelling of your local tour director along this great journey.
Detailed itinerary: 8 day tour starting in Auckland
Day 1 - Welcome to Auckland
Kia ora! Welcome to Auckland, New Zealand’s City of Sails! Auckland is known for its multi-cultural hub of food, music, arts, and culture. Your great journey will officially begin the moment you check into your hotel room. After reading your welcome letter from your Journey Director, head out and explore all that Auckland has to offer. This is the perfect opportunity to visit the Sky Tower or shop along bustling Queen Street. You may even fancy a drink in one of the charming bars or eateries of Vulcan Lane. After an exciting day on the town, join your fellow travellers as well as the Journey Director at this evening’s welcome reception.
Day 2 - Auckland to Hamilton on the Northern Explorer Train
The Beginning of your Scenic Journey
Your journey awaits as you join the Northern Explorer scenic train. Marvel at rural New Zealand’s lush landscapes from the comfort of your scenic carriage. From the sparkling waters of the Waitemata Harbour to the green pastures of the Waikato – you won’t want to miss a moment. Arriving in Hamilton, your coach awaits you to bring you to the famous Hamilton Gardens. Surrounded by beauty, you will learn about the history, context, and meaning of each garden. In the early afternoon, enjoy some free time in the heart of Hamilton before departing for an evening visit to Raglan – a seaside surfer town. It’s here that you’ll enjoy a Sunset Dinner Cruise on the pristine harbour.
This morning you will depart for your next exciting excursion – Maungatautari Sanctuary Mountain. Let your guide transport you into an ancient world of ecological wonders as you explore New Zealand’s very own pest-free environment, within native forest. On this excursion, you will walk through the home of some of New Zealand’s most endangered species. Discover North Island’s robins, tomtits, kākā, pōpokotea, bellbirds, hihi, tīeke, fantails, kereru and wētā. This pre-human paradise has one of the world’s longest pest-proof fences. Your expedition continues after a lunch stop in New Zealand’s “Kiwiana Capital”, Otorohanga. Make sure you capture a photo of the giant Kiwi birds! Next, discover the famous Waitomo Glow worm Caves and be dazzled by the seemingly star-filled sky as you glide by boat through this impressive cave formation. Tonight, explore Hamilton's riverside walks and shops on this free evening. Enjoy one of the many nearby restaurants as the sun sets over the Waikato River
Day 4 - Hamilton to Tongariro National Park on the Northern Explorer Train
Explore Tongariro National Park
Joining the Northern Explorer train once again, today you’ll soar over icy mountain streams as you travel to Tongariro National Park; the home of three volcanic mountains. Tongariro National Park has a diverse range of ecosystems and spectacular landscapes. In 1993, it was recognised by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site and was the first property to be inscribed with the criteria describing the cultural values it holds in the Māori people. Enjoy a mini excursion up to Tūroa ski field. Here you'll want to capture a panoramic photo of Middle Earth before descending into Ohakune. Tonight, enjoy a special dinner with your fellow travellers.
Today is free for you to discover one of the region's exciting excursions. Choose from the many optional activities on offer and personalise your perfect holiday. Perhaps you will hop aboard a rail cart journey or join a horse trekking experience that takes you along expansive hills, mountains, rivers and into the native bush. If you're after an active day, why not explore Ohakune’s historical cycle trail? Rent e-bikes and discover old viaducts, tunnels, old settlers’ camps and reclaimed native forests along the Old Coach Road.
Day 6 - Tongariro National Park to Wellington on the Northern Explorer Train
Tongariro National Park to Wellington on the Northern Explorer Train
Your day begins with an elevated experience up the northern face of Mt Ruapehu for panoramic views of the volcanic landscape. Drink in the views of Mt Ngāuruhoe, Mt Tongariro, and beyond across the central North Island. Joining the Northern Explorer train once again, you will wave goodbye to Ohakune as you settle into your uber-comfortable seat. Don’t get too comfortable though; dramatic rivers, gorges, and ravines are just around the bend! Stretch your legs and explore the open-air carriage to get the best view on the train. As you glide through rich green farmland and past dramatic coastline, enjoy the picturesque Porirua Harbour as you arrive into Wellington - New Zealand’s windy capital! You’ve arrived at Wellington Railway Station which is just a stone’s throw from downtown, the Beehive and Parliament Buildings. You won't want to waste a moment of time after checking into the hotel - your evening is free to explore this culinary capital from Queen’s Wharf to Cuba street and beyond.
The perfect day does exist – and it includes exploring Wellington! Today is free for you to experience vibrant Wellington as you please. Start by joining our Wellington City introduction tour and then head off to explore Cuba street’s cafes, bookstores, and eccentric shops. Get cultured at the Te Papa Museum or Zealandia to uncover the rich stories of Aotearoa New Zealand. You won’t get bored with the plethora of activities on offer. From urban eco-sanctuary, cable cars, botanical gardens, and more, the list goes on! Enjoy dinner tonight with your fellow travelers.