12 Day Northern Tourer

12 Day Northern Tourer

A wide - ranging and highly recommended driving tour of the North Island including Hokianga, the Bay of Islands, Cape Reinga, the Coromandel, Rotorua and Waitomo.

Book your self drive tour this month and receive a discount of 7.5%. If you pay by 30 September 2018.

Tour Info

Tour Type: Self Drive Tours
From: Auckland to Auckland
Departures: May 2018 to March 2019
Price:
From (NZD) $2827 per person
Tour Operator: Relaxing Journeys
Duration: 12 Days
Tour Code: GNNRT

Inclusions

11 nights accommodation
Rental vehicle of your choice including airport and ferry port collection charges
Twilight Encounter, an eco-cultural experience in the Waipoua Forest
Cape Reinga & 90 Mile Beach Trip
Hole in the Rock & Cape Brett cruise, in the Bay of Islands
Maori Mitai Cultural Evening with traditional Feast
Admission to Te Puia's Geothermal Valley
Admission to Skyline Skyrides
Relax at the Polynesian Spa
Waitomo Glowworm Caves
Travel wallet, comprehensive customised itinerary, bound map book, accommodation & activity vouchers and local travel guides

Book your self drive tour this month and receive a discount of 7.5%. If you pay by 30 September 2018.

Click on the prices below to enquire.

* Prices shown are per person (based on two people travelling).
* 2 Bedroom Motel pricing also available with Exclusive Specials. Please request a quote for prices.

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Day by Day Tour Itinerary

Day 1
Arrive Auckland

Welcome to Auckland! Pass through customs, collect any baggage and pick up your rental car, then make your way to your hotel. After checking in and getting yourself settled, turn your roving eye outside and enjoy a free afternoon in the City of Sails. Auckland is New Zealand’s largest city, with plenty of sights, shopping and street appeal for even the pickiest of travellers.

Your choice of accommodation

Day 2
Auckland - Hokianga

This morning head north out of Auckland for an hour and a half before turning west and taking a step back in time. You’ll find a stop at the Matakohe Kauri Museum gives you some great insight to the area you are traveling through.

Continue north through Dargaville and the Waipoua Forest before arriving at Hokianga Harbour. As dusk falls into night, you’ll be treated to a magical evening in the Waipoua Forest, accompanied by a local Maori guide and many spoken legends. It’s a Twilight Encounter you don’t want to miss.

Your choice of accommodation

Day 3
Hokianga - Bay of Islands

A relaxing day today. Sleep in and take your time heading east over to the Bay of Islands. Take some time to visit the historical town of Kerikeri on the way for arts, crafts, antiques and see one of the oldest buildings in the country – the Stone Store.

Then you can make your way to Paihia, holiday resort of the North and gateway to the beautiful Bay of Islands. (3 nights)

Your choice of accommodation

Day 4
Bay of Islands - Cape Reinga Tour - Bay of Islands

We’ve arranged a coach tour for you today to Cape Reinga, the northernmost tip of New Zealand. There are numerous stops for you to take in the scenic highlights and activities.

The tour starts with the easy twenty minute boardwalk through the Puketi Kauri Forest. Then thunder along Ninety Mile Beach where you can sledge down the sand dunes. Take a swim and dig for shellfish, finally stopping to see the picturesque village of Mangonui.

Your Coach Captain’s local knowledge and informative commentary will make this trip one to remember. A Fish ‘n’ Chip lunch (or falafel salad) is included.

Your choice of accommodation

Day 5
Bay of Islands at Leisure

You can relax today and enjoy the Bay of Islands in a number of ways. We’ve included a cruise to the famous Hole in the Rock and Cape Brett this morning.

Board the luxury catamaran which will whisk you on a comfortable journey out through game fishing waters to the Cape Brett Lighthouse. Next is Motukokako Island and the famous “Hole in the Rock” where we make a passage through the Hole and on to the Grand Cathedral Cave. On the return journey the cruise takes its time and meanders through the inner islands.

View sandy beaches, beautiful bays and marine wildlife as your skipper gives an informative commentary. Included is an island stopover on beautiful Urupukapuka Island. As your catamaran docks at the Historic Otehei Bay, enjoy the white sandy beach, picturesque views and its rich archaeological landscape.

On the way back you might like to stop off at Russell (New Zealand’s first capital) which was also known as the “Hell Hole of the Pacific” It’s now a quaint seaside village where you can take some time to wander around and enjoy.

Your choice of accommodation

Day 6
Bay of Islands - Auckland

It’s a good day for exploring today as there are many possibilities for stops on the way down south. At Waipu turn left to Waipu Cove and follow that road down through Langs Bach and Mangawhai.

Further on, at the old Bohemian settlement of Puhoi have a drink and sample some local cheese. A little further south is Waiwera where there are mineral hot pools to bathe and have fun in. Stay in Auckland tonight.

Your choice of accommodation

Day 7
Auckland - Coromandel Peninsula

Head south out of Auckland, then take the turnoff to the east to the Coromandel Peninsula. There were a number of gold rushes in this fairly remote area in the 1800’s but now it is well known for its light sandy beaches, great fishing and surfing.

Stop at the centrally located seaside town of Tairua, it is a great place from which to explore the Peninsula. (2 nights)

Your choice of accommodation

Day 8
Coromandel Peninsula at Leisure

With sparkling azure waters, white sandy beaches, tree lined coastal roads and secluded bays just waiting to be explored, The Coromandel is one of those special places – breathtaking and unforgettable.

The protected forest and marine parks are easily accessed so you can go and discover their delights. Dramatic landmarks and a unique thermal beach with hot water bubbling up from deep in the earth are just some of the many surprises that await on this coastline of contrasts. Enjoy the day.

Your choice of accommodation

Day 9
Coromandel Peninsula - Rotorua

Head south today along the East Coast of the North Island. You can stop at the less populous beach of Whiritoa before visiting the gold mining town of Waihi. Continue past Tauranga through some great gorges and old native forests before arriving in the intriguing, historic city of Rotorua.

This evening you will be picked up and taken to the Mitai Village for a unique and unforgettable cultural experience. Be enthralled by the natural bush setting, see warriors in traditional dress paddle an ancient warrior canoe (waka) down the Wai-o-whiro stream and see glow worms in their natural habitat.

You can also see your traditionally cooked hangi meal being lifted from the ground. During the cultural performance, you’ll learn about New Zealand’s past, carvings and ta moko (tattoo art). (2 nights)

Your choice of accommodation

Day 10
Rotorua Sightseeing

Rotorua has been known for its geothermal activity for over 150 years now and today you are able to see, feel, smell and hear some of this wonder of nature. At Te Puia, experience the raw power of Te Whakarewarewa geothermal valley with bubbling mud pools, steaming vents and the world famous Pohutu Geyser.

Take a journey into the heart of Maori culture, arts and crafts. Then take a ride on the 8 seater gondola which climbs up the side of Mt Ngongotaha and experience Rotorua’s most spectacular views with Skyline Skyrides. This is a fun, all age, all weather attraction with views of the City and Lake Rotorua.

You can have lunch here at the café or restaurant, and enjoy the fresh air a little more if you decide to ride a cart down the Luge. At the end of the day you can relax at the Polynesian Spa where you have the choice of 7 hot mineral spring pools – or upgrade to some wonderful treatments from the Spa such as the Aix Massage.

Your choice of accommodation

Day 11
Rotorua - Waitomo Caves - Auckland

Head north back to Auckland today. On the way stop off at the Waitomo Glowworm Caves (included in the tour price). For over 100 years Waitomo Glowworm Caves have attracted millions of people from all over the world.

The moment you enter this subterranean wonderland you’ll discover an ancient underground labyrinth of limestone caves and grottos. You’ll experience a boat trip like no other, journeying through the starry expanse of the Glowworm Grotto, while your way is lit by a multitude of tiny glowworm lights.

Your choice of accommodation

Day 12
Depart Auckland

Sadly, your holiday is at an end. After breakfast this morning, please make your way to the airport where you will return your car in time for your onward flight.

Your choice of accommodation

4.9/5.0

There are 9 reviews of this tour from past clients of Relaxing Journeys, averaging 4.9 out of 5.

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Tour Reviews

5
20/01/2018
All the transport options went very smoothly, especially the Thrifty pickup at Greymouth. All the rooms were excellent, especially the Able Tasman Lodge which was exceptional.
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5
06/01/2018
We had a fantastic time, thanks to the well selected hotels and tours we could enjoy. It helped us a lot to just focus on enjoying NZ ;-) Thanks, Toni!
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5
14/03/2017
Very enjoyable trip, helped by good weather for most of the time. Everything went smoothly as per the itinerary. Only concern was motel at Paihia with room being in separate building next door to the motel although room itself was good. Slight security concern.
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5
02/03/2017
I want to thank Relaxing Journeys, and even more Mani for his expertise, guidance, patience and continuous work on our trip. From the very beginning email and even during the tour he was fantastic and a real asset to your company. Everything was planned exactly as we discussed and agreed for the self drive tour. When we arrived and throughout each stop there was not a single hitch or hiccup in the agenda. The documentation was fantastic, and the Kruse GPS was a welcome addition, although she cannot always be trusted so we were very thankful for the atlas provided. I note this because after speaking to some of the others we met during our stay did not have the same experiences we did with other tour companies. The staff/owners of the various places we stayed had nothing but good things to say about Relaxing Journeys and their professionalism and communications while other tour companies where not nearly as thorough. Overall the lodging was very, very good with the exception of a couple of the hotels which looked 'tired' and reflected a need for remodel or updating furniture, mattresses or building interiors. The B&B and boutique hotel stays we absolutely loved! The tours Mani booked for us were perfect and just enough that we felt there was no down time. I would and have already recommended Relaxing Journeys to others I have met.
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5
13/10/2016
Thank you so much, Marie, for helping us put a great itinerary together for our two weeks of driving around the North Island. We thoroughly enjoyed our time and only wished we'd had more time to stay in the locations we visited. We are certainly planning to return and visit the South Island but would possibly fly into Auckland and drive south again through Hawkes Bay and Taupo, on the way to Wellington. Then, head across to the South Island. Anyway, just some thoughts. Thanks again and best wishes, Jane.
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5
13/04/2016
An excellent trip, including the extra days which we added.
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5
13/04/2016
Our only suggestion is that we would have preferred not to return to Auckland for one night on our way south. An alternative location outside of Auckland would have been easier and added an extra dimension.
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4
27/02/2016
14 days spent was nice and relaxing. Would recommend adding Hobbiton and an extra day if required. Accommodation - they were all excellent, being close to eats and town centre. The highlight was of course Waipoua Lodge. Only negative was Suncourt Hotel Taupo, although being close to everything, it was a bit out of date. Also, I got bitten under my upper arm and under my jaw by some insect in the middle of the night (must be some bugs from the bed), was itchy but I survived. Felt eekish after that. All in all, would recommend RJ again, and Marie was prompt and efficient with responding to my queries. Thanks.
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5
04/01/2014
This was our first visit to New Zealand. There is much too much to see in just 12 days but Relaxing Journeys put together a great package for us - a good balance of pre-arranged activities and free time for recovery. Being in new environments and travelling can be tiring but opportunities for occasional 'time out' made the whole package most enjoyable. Relaxing Journeys provided us with good documentation and a comprehensive booklet of road maps so we were always prepared for what was ahead in our itinerary and could easily find our way around. The highlight of our trip was the Twilight Encounter with Footprints Waipoua. I was glad it was one of our first experiences in New Zealand. It was a terrific introduction to cultural and spiritual aspects as well as the beauty of nature. Our Tour Consultant was Toni Harris who provided us with useful advice and was responsive to our needs. Relaxing Journeys provided a most efficient and reliable service. Having now experienced some of the North Island, we hope one day to return to see some of the South Island. Should we do that, I will not hesitate to again seek assistance from Relaxing journeys.
Overall Tour Rating

Value For Money

Accommodation

Tour Pace

Relaxing Journeys Experience

Optionals

New Zealand has a great deal of things to see and do, why not add one of our optional sightseeing activities to your trip. Prices are per adult (we'll adjust your quote for any children).

Enquire about our 12 Day Northern Tourer

12 Day Northern Tourer
Self Drive Tours
Tour Code: GNNRT
From (NZD) $2827 per person
Save (NZD) $282 per person
Enquire Now
Departures: May 2018 to March 2019
Rating:
9 reviews (4.9/5)

A wide - ranging and highly recommended driving tour of the North Island including Hokianga, the Bay of Islands, Cape Reinga, the Coromandel, Rotorua ... Read More

Itinerary Map

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12 Day Northern Tourer
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