Highlights
  • Discover the breathtaking Bay of Islands
  • Observe Waitomo's mysterious glow worms
  • See Rotorua's geysers
  • Visit the spectacular Huka Falls
  • Be inspired and captivated by the majesty of Mt Ruapehu
  • Explore Te Papa Museum
  • Bushwalk in Abel Tasman National Park
  • Spot sperm whales and dolphins in Kaikoura

Explore New Zealand's northern heartland, from the secluded beaches of the coast to the volcanic craters of the central plateau, on this North Island Explorer trip. Adventure activities abound here – why not go sea kayaking or snorkelling on our Bay of Islands adventure cruise, underground black-water rafting in Waitomo, bungee jumping and jet boating at Taupo or mountain biking and kayaking in Nelson. Whatever your interest, this small group adventure offers the perfect combination of incredible sights and thrilling activities.

2,863
Intrepid Travel Travel Reviews & Ratings
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
97% Recommend

4.6 out of 5
Excellent 2,593 Great 707 Average 136 Disappointing 53 Terrible 50
Value
4.6 Guide
4.6 Activities
4.6 Lodging
4.6 Transportation
4.6 Meals
4.6
New Zealand North Island Explorer (ex Christchurch)

No reviews yet for this trip. Browse other reviews below for Intrepid Travel.

LC

Recommends

Rabaul Mask Festival July 2016

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
First and foremost our group’s health and safety were paramount to our tour leaders. The locals were unbelievably friendly and when I headed off on my own at times it was an uplifting experience with no security concerns.
The highlights for me were, our stay at the Rabaul Hotel where the staff were welcoming, the food amazing, the atmosphere relaxed, our overnight homestay at the Duke of York Island group ( Mioko Is.) where you are treated by the locals as though you were a brother or sister (or grandfather in my case!) , swimming alongside dolphins at around 5 knots in mask and snorkel while hanging onto a rope as our boat kept pace with the pod, the early morning beach-side arrival of villagers in their boats and canoes, the Mask Festival, the Fire Dance, exploring the historical sites and being welcomed into a culture in a way that has left a treasure of wonderful memories. All of this while being looked after by a group of friendly, competent and humble tour guides. The way our small group laughed, encouraged and looked out for each other was a very positive part of the experience.

Thank you Intrepid and thank you Alan, Lloyd (and his mum!) Jerry, Eli, Stephen, Trevearn, Leo, Thomas, Zebulon, John, Yolanda and all the others who assisted in this wonderful tour.
Read more

Operator Intrepid Travel

m

Recommends

it was brilliant, ive never really camped September 2015

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
it was brilliant, ive never really camped before ,now ready to book the darwin to perth, _x000D_
it was all just brilliant , can't believe i did it,_x000D_
i thought i loved India [ done 8 tours there] but now need to ditch the o/s brochures and work my way around the aus one
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Operator Intrepid Travel

R

Recommends

well balanced between action, information given by September 2015

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
well balanced between action, information given by the guide, silence_x000D_
small group_x000D_
landscape and animals on Kangaroo island

Operator Intrepid Travel

A

Recommends

I would just point people directly to September 2015

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
I would just point people directly to adventure tours

Operator Intrepid Travel

K

Recommends

I'm 60yrs old and the other 6 September 2015

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
I'm 60yrs old and the other 6 travellers were all in their 20's. They were a wonderful fun group who connected so well. Cheif, our tour guide topped it off. He was a wonderful cook, incredibly knowledgeable and went out of his way to make sure everyone felt looked after. I especially liked the way he kept his eyes open for happenings in the wild eg wedge tailed eagles feeding, an obscure lizard, or wold horses. Things as an Australian I take for granted but were much appreciated by our visitors. _x000D_
It was a perfect time to be in the Outback weather wise. Cold at night but magnificent during the day._x000D_
Loved sleeping in the swags, sitting around the fire and learning so much about my own country that I wasn't aware of. Also interesting to hear about the journeys of the younger travellers and their perspective of Australia.
Read more

Operator Intrepid Travel

Itinerary

Day 1 Christchurch

Kia-ora! Welcome to New Zealand. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6.00PM on Day 1. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader. Soak up the atmosphere, a city that Lonely Planet described as "re-emerging as one of New Zealand's most exciting". With a whole new range of pop up cafe's, restaurants and bars, Christchurch has hit the ground running. Its a great chance to spend a dew days exploring this resilient city. With the CBD closed down, visit the 'Re:Start' development on the fringe of the CBD, a shopping and entertainment area of shipping containers, boasting great coffee, shopping and food.

Day 2 Kaikoura

We depart Christchurch around 7.30 in the morning and we head up the beautiful coastline to Kaikoura where many adventures await us. Take a boat trip out to see the whales. Experience being close to some of the largest creatures in the world. For those who wish there are plane or helicopter flights to view the whales (whale watching activities are subject to weather conditions). Kaikoura is famous for its seafood and marine life with much to see and do. Notes: Total driving time is around three hours (approximately 160kms).

Day 3 Nelson

Today our destination is Nelson, in the heart of the wine producing area and the Abel Tasman National Park. It is a very pleasant sunny place and home to some of the most beautiful sea kayaking in the world. We spend the afternoon exploring the town. We have a huge variety of activities to choose from including kayaking, boating, sailing in the Abel Tasman National Park, mountain biking or just relaxing in town or on the beach. Nelson is very picturesque and is a delight to visit. Notes: Total driving time is around four hours (approximately 240kms).

Day 4 Nelson

Today you can visit the Abel Tasman National Park. Bushwalking tracks among these gorgeous inlets and coves are just begging to be explored and the boat ride in Water Taxi is spectacular.

Day 5 Wellington

We cross to the north island on the inter island ferry and enjoy the fantastic scenery of the Marlborough Sound. We arrive in the afternoon and have a great opportunity for a night out in the capital city. Notes: Total driving time is around two hours (approximately 130kms).

Day 6 Mt Ruapehu

We leave Wellington after visiting the fantastic Te Papa museum. We head through the central North Island plains towards the great volcanoes & Mount Ruapehu National Park. There are several options during our time here. Many will want to hike the famous Tongariro Crossing track. A good day hike which is known as the best of its kind in New Zealand. This hike has spectacular views of the volcanic plateau and the lakes. Those who do not go on the hike can explore the beautiful local area. Notes: Total driving time is around four and a half hours (approximately 330kms).

Day 7 Mt Ruapehu

Today you have the option of walking the Tongariro crossing. This is a full day hike and people should have a decent level of fitness. It is considered NZ´s best one day hike and has fantastic views. For those not doing the hike there are lower altitude bush walks available from the Motel.

Day 8 Taupo - Rotorua

We head to Taupo, just one hour away which is widely acknowledged as the North Island's home of extreme sports. On the way we visit the spectacular Huka Falls. Here you can bungy-jump or ride in a jet boat, as well as do many other activities. Or how about just relaxing by the shores of the largest lake in New Zealand? The sights are fantastic and this will be one of your highlights. We visit the Whakarewarewa, site of the Maori Arts and Crafts Institute and thermal area in Rotorua. See geysers and boiling mud pools in an amazing display of the power of nature. There is an option for a Maori Hangi dinner and concert. Notes: Total driving time is around two and a half hours (approximately 180kms).

Day 9 Waitomo

Today we have some great choices. You can do the boat trip and walk through the glow worm caves or go black water rafting. This is an unforgettable trip involving hiking and descending an underground river floating on an inner tube. Notes: Total driving time is around two hours (approximately 140kms).

Day 10 Waitomo/Bay of Islands

We leave Waitomo and drive north through fantastic scenery towards New Zealand's winterless north. There are beautiful beaches and unspoiled places to explore. The next day we have a host of available activities including kayaking, a boat trip to the islands or just relaxing Visit the village of Russell for a look into NZ´s past. Notes: Total driving time is around six and a half hours (approximately 420kms).

Day 11 Bay of Islands

The Bay of Islands is one of New Zealand’s top holiday destinations. 144 islands in total, this boating paradise enjoys a sub-tropical climate. Today we have a host of available activities including kayaking, a boat trip to the islands or just relaxing. Visit the village of Russell for a look into NZ´s interesting past.

Day 12 Auckland

We make our way back South passing unspoiled beaches and lush forests. There are native trees of massive size that are over 1000 years old. This area has always been prized for its fantastic native hardwood timbers that are fortunately protected nowadays. Crossing the Auckland Harbour Bridge, with a spectacular view of the "City of Sails", we arrive in Auckland to say our fond farewells. Our trip finishes on arrival to Auckland at approx 6PM. Please take this into consideration when booking any onward flights. Notes: Total driving time is around four hours (approximately 225kms).

Dates & Pricing

Price From

$ 2,556

Price Per Day:

$ 213 per day
 
Start DateFinish DateBase PriceDeparture GuaranteedAvailability 
Dec-08-2018Dec-19-2018$ 2,716Yes10 spots left Reserve
Jan-02-2019Jan-13-2019$ 2,556Yes2 spots left Reserve
Jan-26-2019Feb-06-2019$ 2,556Yes8 spots left Reserve
Feb-20-2019Mar-03-2019$ 2,556Yes7 spots left Reserve
Mar-16-2019Mar-27-2019$ 2,556Yes9 spots left Reserve
Nov-08-2019Nov-19-2019$ 2,936Yes12 spots left Reserve
Dec-03-2019Dec-14-2019$ 2,936Yes15 spots left Reserve
Dec-27-2019Jan-07-2020$ 3,670Yes15 spots left Reserve
Jan-21-2020Feb-01-2020$ 3,670Yes15 spots left Reserve
Feb-14-2020Feb-25-2020$ 3,670Yes15 spots left Reserve
Mar-10-2020Mar-21-2020$ 3,670Yes15 spots left Reserve
Apr-03-2020Apr-14-2020$ 3,670Yes15 spots left Reserve
Check Current Availability, prices, specials with Intrepid Travel
Details
Group Size:
Small Group - 24 max
Maximum Number of People in Group: 15
Accomodations
Lodge (11 nts)
Start City
Christchurch
End City
Auckland
Guides All Intrepid group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders. In New Zealand your group leader is also your driver, taking you from start to finish in a coaster vehicle. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Our crew are chosen for their driving skills, their knowledge of the country, their personality, and of course their leadership abilities. We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting - we think it's the best of both worlds.
Additional Information:

Finish point

  • Kiwi International Hotel
  • 411 Queen Street
  • Auckland
  • NEW ZEALAND
  • Phone: 09 3796487
  • Fax: 09 3796496

Trip ID#: intrepid-PTOAU

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