North Island 5 day Waitomo, Rotorua and Napier Experience
Auckland to Wellington
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Thrifty Tours

North Island 5 day Waitomo, Rotorua and Napier Experience

Journey through the heart of the North Island on this 5 day tour from Auckland to the capital city of Wellington.  Highlights along the way include Waitomo Caves, the unique Maori culture and the art deco city of Napier.

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Quick Itinerary Details

Independent tour (bus & coach)

This suggested tour costs from NZD$1,980 per person (twin share, low season)

Starts in Auckland, finishes in Wellington

5 days/4 nights

Hotel 4 star

 Customisable? YES

 Viewed 578 times in the last 7 days

Tour Inclusions

- Super Shuttle transfer
- Private transfer Wellington train station to hotel (IST)
- Rotorua Accommodation to Rotorua Intercity Depot - Private Transfer
- Private Transfer Auckland Airport to Auckland accommodation
- Private transfer Wellington Hotel to Airport (IST)
4 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 1 special dinner
Tour at a glance

Day 1: Welcome to Auckland, transfer to hotel
Accommodation: SkyCity Hotel Auckland

Day 2: Auckland to Waitomo Caves to Rotorua with Rotorua experience
Accommodation: Millennium Hotel Rotorua

Day 3: Rotorua to Napier by Intercity coach, then enjoy an afternoon city tour of Napier
Accommodation: Art Deco Masonic Hotel

Day 4: Napier then to Wellington by Intercity coach
Accommodation: Bolton Hotel Wellington

Day 5: Depart Wellington today

Tour full itinerary

Detailed itinerary: 5 day tour starting in Auckland

Day 1 - Welcome to Auckland, transfer to hotel
North Island 5 day Waitomo, Rotorua and Napier Experience - Day 1
Private Transfer Auckland Airport to Auckland Accommodation

You will be met at the Auckland airport by the driver and transferred to your Auckland accommodation.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Harbour Dinner Cruise with Explore

This unique on-water dining experience is not to be missed while you're in Auckland. Enjoy smooth sailing on the Waitemata Harbour - then watch this p...

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This unique on-water dining experience is not to be missed while you're in Auckland. Enjoy smooth sailing on the Waitemata Harbour - then watch this photogenic city come alive with twinkling lights. Enjoy your meal as you sail around the beautiful Auckland Harbour taking in the view as the sun slowly sets. You'll be treated to canapes and a drink as you set off towards Westhaven Marina. Choose between dining in the downstairs cabin or on deck to take in the iconic sights of the Auckland Harbour. To finish the evening off, savour your dessert course as you leisurely sail back to Auckland's vibrant Viaduct Harbour.

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Your accommodation: SkyCity Hotel Auckland

This modern and spacious hotel allows you to relax in style while enjoying the world-class casino, more than 20 restaurants, cafes and bars, a theatre, free live entertainment on selected nights and the iconic Sky Tower - all right on your doorstep!
Day 2 - Auckland to Waitomo Caves to Rotorua with Rotorua experience
North Island 5 day Waitomo, Rotorua and Napier Experience - Day 2
Auckland to Rotorua via Waitomo Caves and Te Puia Small Group Tour

On this tour, you will be picked up from the hotel in a comfortable mini-bus and driven through the stunning Waikato countryside on a fully guided journey to Waitomo Caves and Te Puia Geothermal Park.
During the journey to Waitomo, you will encounter New Zealand's longest river, beautiful mountains, and see several different farm animals along the way. Once in Waitomo, you will explore the ancient and amazing caves, with their many different cave formations including Stalactites, Stalagmites, and Lime Columns, before descending even further underground for your glowworm experience. Board your glowworm boat for a cruise on the grotto river with thousands of glowworms glittering above your head. Waitomo Glowworm Caves are a must-see for any traveller. Arriving at your second feature destination, Te Puia, you will receive a fully guided tour to best experience the geothermal and cultural wonders including Pōhutu Geyser, Māori Architecture, The National Māori Arts School, geothermal craters, geothermal events, and even the chance to view a Kiwi bird in the Kiwi viewing house.
Continue your adventure with another fully guided journey south to Rotorua, with many more attractions to see along the way, including hydro dams, rivers, and lots more animals. Once in Rotorua, you will be guided past many of its famous and historical sites, including Lake Rotorua, The Government Gardens, Blue Baths, Thermal Springs, and Polynesian Spa.

Te Pā Tū Evening Maori Cultural Experience

New Zealand’s Most Awarded Cultural Attraction, Tamaki Māori Village presents TE PĀ TŪ. Feast on song, drama, tradition, and divine seasonal kai (cuisine) within the forest Pā (village) blanketed by towering Tawa trees, blazing bonfires, and a forest-formed amphitheatre. Te Pā Tū shares Māori history, traditions, and cultural aspirations across 4-hours of celebration and feasting. These events change with each season of the maramataka, the Māori lunar calendar. 

Your accommodation: Millennium Hotel Rotorua

Millennium Hotel is Rotorua's largest 4-star deluxe hotel. Perfectly situated in the heart of the city overlooking Lake Rotorua. Five levels of accommodation offer guests a wide variety of scenic views.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Speciality Dinner
Day 3 - Rotorua to Napier by Intercity coach, then enjoy an afternoon city tour of Napier
North Island 5 day Waitomo, Rotorua and Napier Experience - Day 3
Rotorua Accommodation to Rotorua Intercity Depot

You will be collected from your accommodation and transferred to Rotorua Intercity Coach Depot.

Rotorua to Napier by InterCity Coach

From Rotorua you travel along the geothermal highway and past the edge of the largest man-made radiate pine forest in the world - the Kaingaroa Forest towards Taupō. Your coach travels past Taupō which sits on the shores of New Zealand's largest lake, Lake Taupō. From Taupō you'll travel over the Ahiminawa Ranges to Napier. Napier has the highest concentrations of Striped Classical, Spanish Mission and Art Deco building styles in the world. The commercial centre was completely rebuilt following a catastrophic earthquake in 1931. Napier is also at the centre of one of the largest and most vibrant wine-producing areas in New Zealand.

Napier Whirlwind Tour

This 2 1/2 hour tour takes in all the history, from early settlement, through to the huge 1931 earthquake and the rebuilding of the City to the Art Deco Capital of the World to what it is today. You also visit the historic area of Ahuriri, National Tobacco Building and the famous Mission Estate Winery. As you return to Napier City, you will also tour an Art Deco Housing Estate. Experience many stops for photos from lookouts to famous landmarks etc. This is a compact tour, it is really for those that are spending the one night here in Napier and still wish to see the City highlights.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Walking tracks in and around Hawkes Bay

There are some excellent walks in and around the Hawkes Bay region. The information below is provided by the Department of Conservation. Listed below ...

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There are some excellent walks in and around the Hawkes Bay region. The information below is provided by the Department of Conservation. Listed below are a selection of short walks but check with the Department of Conservation information centre for weather conditions, track suitability and conditions first.

Tangoio Falls Scenic Reserve Tracks
Discover Te Ana or Tangoio Falls on a short, easy walk suitable for kids, or take a longer walk through native bush on the Tangoio Walkway. .
Distance: 2 - 4.4 km one way. Completion Time: 30 minutes to 2 hours depending on which track you choose.

White Pine Bush Scenic Reserve
Experience New Zealand's remaining coastal forest on these short, easy walks that are good for children.
Distance: 1.6 km loop. Completion Time: 40 minutes.

Ahuriri Estuary
View a community of wading birds, fish, mud dwellers and aquatic plant life from the estuary track and boardwalk. Over 70 species of resident and migratory waterbirds use the estuary as a feeding and resting area.
Distance: 2.8 km one way. Completion Time: 1 hour.

Te Mata Park
Te Mata Park has a rich human and geological history, and is home to a range of unique plants and native birds. The park has five different walking options varying in difficulty and distance.
Distance: 1.3 km - 5.4 km. Completion Time: 40 minutes - 1 hours 15 minutes.

Lake Tūtira
There are two main walks at Lake Tūtira, a short walk along the edge of the lake or a longer loop through the reserve. Both offer great views of the lake as well as native and introduced plant species.
Distance: 1.3 km - 5.4 km. Completion Time: 40 minutes - 1 hours 15 minutes.

Cape Kidnappers/Te Kauwae-a-Māui Walking Track
Follow the beach from Clifton to Cape Kidnappers/Te Kauwae-a-Māui alongside cliffs that show fragmented fault and tilt lines, recording the gradual rise of New Zealand. Black Reef is the first gannet nesting site, 7.5 km from Clifton. A 1 km climb takes you from the shelter on the beach to a benched area on the hill where you can view the second colony, and spectacular views of Hawke's Bay.
Distance: 19 km loop. Completion Time: 5 hour return.

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Your accommodation: Art Deco Masonic Hotel

The Art Deco Masonic Hotel occupies a significant historic building on Napier’s waterfront and has been richly refurbished in keeping with the Art Deco architecture. With its central location and decadent décor, this is the best place to experience what Napier is famous for.
Meals included: Breakfast
Day 4 - Napier then to Wellington by Intercity coach
North Island 5 day Waitomo, Rotorua and Napier Experience - Day 4
Super Shuttle Transfer
Napier to Wellington by InterCity Coach

Leaving the 1930's inspired city of Napier you will travel through the countryside of the Hawke's Bay and Manawatu. Travelling along the Kāpiti Coast line into the capital city of Wellington. Wellington sits on a wonderful deep natural harbour and is surrounded by bush clad hills. The city centre itself is quite compact (only around 1 square kilometre) and exploring on foot is relatively easy. You can easily stroll the famous cafes and restaurants within the city and New Zealand's national museum, Te Papa, is also close by.

Private transfer Wellington train station to hotel

You will be met on arrival into Wellington train station and transferred to your hotel.

Your accommodation: Bolton Hotel Wellington

The Bolton Hotel offers contemporary apartment-style accommodation in the heart of Wellington. Just steps from the Parliament buildings and central business district, Bolton Hotel is conveniently close to the best of the city's shops, cafes and restaurants and is within walking distance of Wellington's vibrant waterfront.
Meals included: Breakfast
Day 5 - Depart Wellington today
North Island 5 day Waitomo, Rotorua and Napier Experience - Day 5
Private transfer Wellington Hotel to Airport (IST)

You will be collected from your Wellington hotel and transferred to the airport.

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North Island 5 day Waitomo, Rotorua and Napier Experience

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Remember - we can create this itinerary with any style of accommodation or customise to suit your interests and timeframe. Just contact us here.

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