8 Day Northern Spotlight

8 Day Northern Spotlight

Eight day low-cost escorted Northern Spotlight with AAT Kings. Enjoy the highlights of the North Island including the Bay of Islands, Auckland, Waitomo Caves, Rotorua, Wellington and more.

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Tour Info

Tour Type: Low Cost Coach Tour
From: Auckland to Wellington
Departures: Jun 2018 to Sep 2019
Price:
From (NZD) $2115 per person
Tour Operator: AAT Kings Tours
Pace: Comfortable
Duration: 8 Days
Tour Code: LABW

Inclusions

7 nights accommodation in comfortable hotels
7 fully cooked breakfasts (B) and 4 dinners (D)
Visit the beautiful Bay of Islands
See the sights of Auckland
Cruise through the famous Hole in the Rock
Tour the Glowworm Grotto at Waitomo Caves
Feast on a traditional hāngī at a unique dinner experience at the Tamaki Māori Village
Discover the arts and traditions of New Zealand's Māori culture
View the mighty Huka Falls
Visit Te Papa, Museum of New Zealand
Travel wallet, comprehensive customised itinerary, bound map book, accommodation and activity, vouchers and local travel guides

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Day by Day Tour Itinerary

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Day 1
Arrive Auckland

On arrival at the hotel the remainder of your day is at leisure to explore Auckland. Perhaps you would like to visit the Sky Tower for extensive views of greater Auckland, including visual and audio displays detailing the history of New Zealand’s largest city. Tonight enjoy a welcome drink with your Tour Director and fellow travellers.

Stay: VR Queen Street (D)

Day 2
Auckland - Bay of Islands

Travel along the scenic Hibiscus Coast to the Bay of Islands. See spectacular scenery as you cruise to Cape Brett and the Hole in the Rock. As you return to Paihia you will pass picturesque islands with deserted sandy beaches and secluded bays.

Stay: Copthorne Hotel and Resort (Garden View) (2 nights) (B, D)

Day 3
Bay of Islands at Leisure

You have a free day in the Bay of Islands. Perhaps enjoy a day of sailing on a tall ship. Your Travel Director will assist you in booking your chosen optional experiences. (B)

Day 4
Bay of Islands - Auckland

This morning you will have the opportunity to visit the Waitangi Treaty Grounds where New Zealand’s founding document was signed. As you stroll through the grounds you will see highlights such as the Māori war canoe and the intricately carved Meeting House (optional – own expense). Alternatively, you may want to travel over to historic Russell, New Zealand’s first capital. This afternoon, sit back and relax as you make your way down through Northland’s lush farmland scenery and past the sprawling suburbs of Auckland’s North Shore. Tonight, dinner is included at your hotel.

Stay: VR Queen Street (B, D)

Day 5
Auckland - Waitomo Caves - Rotorua

A city sights tour will start your morning in Auckland. Travel around the waterfront from the central city out to Mission Bay. Prepare your camera for the stop at Bastion Point and the Michael Joseph Savage Memorial, as you will get stunning shots of Auckland, the North Shore and Waitemata Harbour. After leaving Auckland you will follow the meandering trail of the Waikato River to Waitomo Caves. Tour the amazing limestone caverns and sail through the still waters of the sparkling Glowworm Grotto. From Waitomo to Rotorua you will venture through the King Country region, which was at the centre of the New Zealand Wars in the 1860s. On arrival in Rotorua an orientation tour takes in views of Lake Rotorua.

Stay: Hotel Ibis Rotorua (2 nights) (B)

Day 6
Rotorua Sightseeing

Today is your chance to experience the scenic wonders of the geothermal wonderland of Rotorua. This morning you will head to the Agrodome Farm Show, a hilarious, interactive way to gain an insight into New Zealand’s biggest industry – agriculture. After the Agrodome you may wish to travel back to the Rotorua township and relax lakeside, or you may prefer to choose from one of the varied optional experiences on offer. Take a scenic flight out over Lake Rotorua for a bird’s-eye view of the region. You may even want to stop at the top of Mt Tarawera, the site of the largest eruption in New Zealand’s living memory!

Tonight an evening of culture, history and scrumptious food awaits you at the Tamaki Māori Village. Wander through the ancient forest village and learn about Māori art forms and traditions, followed by a concert featuring local performers. Experience an authentic hāngī meal, steamed underground in the traditional way. (B, D)

Day 7
Rotorua - Wellington

Say “haere ra!” (goodbye) to Rotorua this morning and journey out through pine forests and farmland to a little hidden spot, the turquoise torrent of rapids known as Huka Falls. The road ahead unfolds to a broad panorama of Lake Taupō, New Zealand’s largest lake. The stunningly blue fresh water is home to some of the best trout fishing in the world. You will then journey south over the Central Plateau, New Zealand’s main volcanic area. In a country of contrasts, perhaps nothing is more striking than the three peaks of Tongariro National Park rising starkly from the surrounding plateau of tussock and near-desert.

Pass through a number of small towns along the road to Wellington, each with their own personality and quirks. Probably the quirkiest of all would have to be Taihape, the self-proclaimed Gumboot Capital of the World. Travel along the Kapiti Coast, the traditional summer playground of the inhabitants of Wellington City. And as you follow the state highway, the coast becomes New Zealand’s capital city – Wellington. Tonight dinner is included at your hotel.

Stay: Travelodge (B, D)

Day 8
Depart Wellington

This morning enjoy a sightseeing tour of Wellington. Take in the panoramic views from the top of Mt Victoria. There will be time to explore the Parliament buildings and the Beehive, home to New Zealand’s government. Visit Te Papa, Museum of New Zealand, and explore the fascinating exhibits at your leisure, including the unique marae and wharenui (meeting house). Later you will be transferred to Wellington Airport to connect with your onward flight. (B)

4.2/5.0

There are 18 reviews of this tour from past clients of Relaxing Journeys, averaging 4.2 out of 5.

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Tour Reviews

0
14/10/2017
The tour guide and driver were incredible. They both were very knowledgeable about the locations and just general information about New Zealand. And of course they were both also very helpful and friendly and good sense of humor. I really enjoyed meeting all the new people in our tour. I enjoyed the majority of the tour options especially the Maori dinner. It would've been nice to have a little more prior information about the towns we were visiting in case we wanted to do a different activity than those that were shared with us. I know providing too much of information can be overwhelming but maybe just a website to the town's visitor center or chamber of commerce would be nice for those who want to look through it and get other ideas to plan ahead. I could've skipped the sheep ranch included activity and would've preferred to spend that time at the Maori center in Rotorua. The bus was great transportation, plenty of legroom, great views out the window, I appreciated the free Wi-Fi, comfortable ride. All the hotel rooms were very nice. The food is what I expected for both the dinner and breakfast.
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5
09/09/2017
The tour offered a wonderful introduction to New Zealand with the perfect balance of organized and optional activities.
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4
13/02/2016
Good tour but very tiring with all the pacing and unpacking. Our guide, Marty and driver, Craig were excellent.
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4
06/02/2016
This was a great basic tour with add on excursions that offered a lot of variety. The tour director, Clarke went out of his way to make it a pleasant trip for everyone. He was very informed on the culture and history of New Zealand. Our driver, Alan was great and kept us on time and safe.
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5
01/01/2016
Hello. I thought the tour guide and bus driver from AAT were great. This tour provides just the right amount of tour and free time. I thought the hotels were ideally located, the attractions were perfect, food quality great, shuttle service excellent. It really was a wonderful trip. I have had extremely high customer service from Toni Harris at Relaxing Journeys. The whole booking and touring was very pleasant and I would recommend Relaxing Journeys and the tour. Thank you.
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4
26/12/2015
Outstanding tour guide and driver. Some of the hotels did not have air conditioning. It was too hot and could not sleep at night. Very good hotels locations.
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5
17/10/2015
The tour was very well organised from the beginning (with Marie at Relaxing Journeys) and during (with AAT Kings). The only disappointment was with one of the hotels on the tour, but the other 3 hotels were perfect.
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5
19/09/2015
Thank you it was the best holiday I ever had. I can't complain excellent driver (Mon) I felt so safe and the tour guides Ted & Vale were absolutely the best! They kept us awake ha ha. Thank Vale & Mon for me see them soon! AAT Kings will definitely refer to my friends. Will be back.
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4
28/03/2015
Tour was well organized with plenty of information. Sometimes for older persons the days could have a bit to long before hotel check in. The tour guide Marc spoke clearly and had plenty of information but sometime he spoke on for to long. Sometimes it would have been nice to sit back and relax and watch the scenery go by. Overall very pleased and would recommend to others. Thank you.
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4
14/02/2015
Very good tour. Excellent tour guide, Cam, who was exceptionally helpful and extremely well organised in a very calm manner. The only slight negative would be that perhaps a little longer could be allocated for lunch on long driving days as it was impossible to have time for a proper sit down meal. This was only a very minor drawback and overall we were delighted with the tour and would certainly recommend it.
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5
02/08/2014
We had a wonderful time with this tour, our guide Mark Hockley & driver Paul Luxmoore did an excellent job. Mark was very organized, friendly, approachable, & had all the information we needed to know. I believe we got the value for our money and more!! Now that I am back home, I am looking at the brochures when we were planning our trip & this tour option provided us with a lot more places to see at a lower cost compared to others. The hotels were very good , centrally located within walking distance of restaurants, etc. with buffet breakfast included was a treat as well. We also liked the dinners the best one being at the Copthorne Hotel Bay of Islands- their buffet dinner was amazing, my kids loved the steak & lamb chops. The tour was nicely paced, we did not feel rushed and being able to be back at the hotel at a decent hour was great, too. We also had some unplanned stops that Mark decided on, for example, there was a rainbow on our way to Wellington and he made sure we can take quick photos of it- which I think is a nice and thoughtful gesture on his part. Overall, I am a very happy and satisfied customer and glad that I booked with this tour. Mani Fagundes was very helpful during the booking process and satisfactorily answered all my questions in a very timely manner. Many thanks to him as he did an excellent job.
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5
26/04/2014
I was very impressed on the excellent smooth transition into my hotel room(s). The keys were ready on arrival, so it didn't take long at all. I was disappointed with the Auckland accommodation (Mercure) rooms small, and needing refurbishment. Plumbing in bathroom stopped working first night. Rooms facing street were very noisy. All Other accommodation was great. The North Island tour was great with lots to see and do. AAT Kings tour guide was very knowledgable and fun on bus. All in all a good trip.
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4
11/01/2014
Tour guide Vale and Driver Grunter, highly professional, informative and entertaining. Waitingi Treaty grounds off itinerary for some reason. Exceeded expectations. Mani very helpful and professional with booking process.
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4
28/12/2013
Well organised and run. More variety in included meals would be good. A slower tour of the North Island with longer stops at some places would be good (perhpas a 2 week option as well as the 8 days). I would have liked to have spent a day/night at Lake Taupo, and perhaps another (2nd day) in Rotorua. Also including more of the west and east coasts below Auckland would be good.
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4
09/06/2012
Thank you for organising a great holiday for me, got to see so many places, hassle free and relaxing meet some great people on the tour and had lots of fun, great optional tours available to make the experience even better.
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5
07/01/2012
I really loved it. The tour guides & drivers were excellent. The accomodation was great. The only problem was not enough time on the excursions. I know this is difficult but it spoils it being rushed.
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4
11/06/2011
I booked this trip on behalf of my father John Crabtree who was 83. Georgie was excellent in organising this trip for us , nothing too much trouble. My father had a marvellous time on this trip from the first night in Auckland to the finish in Wellington, The tour director Marty was great and made it a very pleasant trip. My father particulary enjoyed the Bay of Islands and the Maori Village in Rotorua. As this was a small group of 16 everyone got to know one another and my father was always well looked after. Thanks again.
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4
29/01/2011
We enjoyed the tour very much. The hotel in the Bay of Islands was lovely. The rest were fine. Even the food in the Bay of Islands was the best of any of the hotels. The first tour director, Julie, was great....good sense of humour, and knew the area. Paul, the driver, was pleasant, funny, and an excellent driver. The second tour director, Sue, was a nice lady, and very knowledgeable. However, she talked a bit too much on the bus. Some quiet time or nice background music now and then would be nice. We couldn't absorb all that information. A happy medium would be better.
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Relaxing Journeys Experience

Enquire about our 8 Day Northern Spotlight

8 Day Northern Spotlight
Low Cost Coach Tour
Tour Code: LABW
From (NZD) $2115 per person
Save (NZD) $135 per person
Enquire Now
Departures: Jun 2018 to Sep 2019
Rating:
18 reviews (4.2/5)

Eight day low-cost escorted Northern Spotlight with AAT Kings. Enjoy the highlights of the North Island including the Bay of Islands, Auckland, Waitom... Read More

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8 Day Northern Spotlight
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