13 Day Northern Circle

13 Day Northern Circle

Discover the North Island of New Zealand in our round trip from Auckland. Stop over on the Coromandel Peninsula, experience thermal Rotorua, explore Napier, see the nation's capital city of Wellington and visit Ruapehu in the Tongariro National Park.

Book and pay your deposit by 30 November 2018 to receive a 5% discount off your tour price for this month

Tour Info

Tour Type: Self Drive Tours
From: Auckland to Auckland
Departures: May 2018 to March 2019
Price:
From (NZD) $3362 per person
Tour Operator: Relaxing Journeys
Duration: 13 Days
Tour Code: GNNC

Inclusions

12 nights accommodation
Rental vehicle of your choice
2 night stopovers in Rotorua, Coromandel, Napier, Wellington & Tongariro National Park
Driving Creek Railway
Admission to the Te Puia geothermal region
Te Po - Maori cultural experience with traditional hangi
Admission to the Wai-O-Tapu geothermal region
Half day wine tour in Napier
Optional guided trek of the famous Tongariro National Park Crossing
Admissions outlined in the Itinerary
Airport transfers to/from your accommodation
Travel wallet, comprehensive customised itinerary, bound map book, accommodation & activity vouchers and local travel guides

Conditions

Prices are per person based on twin-share, and are subject to availability. Prices are correct at the time of submission but are subject to change without notice. Valid for travel May 2018 – March 2019. Blackout periods may apply. A non-refundable deposit of $500 per person is required at time of booking.

Click here for our full terms and conditions.

Book and pay your deposit by 30 November 2018 to receive a 5% discount off your tour price for this month

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

On arrival at Auckland airport, you will be personally met by our representative and transferred in an executive sedan to your accommodation. The ‘City of Sails’ is New Zealand’s largest and most vibrant, offering an exciting array of cosmopolitan experiences.

Built on an isthmus of 48 volcanoes, Auckland’s fertile valleys and islands are home to award-winning wineries. Family attractions abound and the city has plenty of adrenaline for adventure lovers. Indulge in Auckland’s shopping, nightlife and unrivalled cuisine.

Your choice of accommodation

Day 2
Auckland - Coromandel

Take delivery of your rental car this morning before you depart Auckland and enjoy a leisurely drive on The Pacific Coast Highway. Traversing the spectacular East Coast of the North Island, the Pacific Coast Highway is classed as one of the great touring routes in the world.

Linking the Coromandel with Auckland, The Pacific Coast Highway travels through a unique region where land and sea intermingle. Depart on the Driving Creek Railway in innovatively designed trains that travel over viaducts (including the unique, double decker), 2 spirals, 3 reverses, tunnels and enjoy a magnificent view from the ridge-top terminus.

Here a talk is given about local history, ecology and activities including the potteries. The train also passes through a native Kauri Forest replanting project. After your train ride, continue across the main divide to your accommodation for tonight. (2 nights)

Your choice of accommodation

Day 3
Coromandel

The Coromandel Peninsula is an unspoilt haven and you may choose to enjoy the stunning beaches of Cathedral Cove and Hahei or dig your own spa pool using the thermal waters in the sand at Hot Water Beach, which is only a 30 minute drive from your hotel.

We highly recommend a guided tour with local expert and personality, ‘Kiwi Dundee’. You will visit old historic gold caves, home to sparkling glow-worms. Enjoy the fascinating history and learn about the flora & fauna within this magnificent forest. Enjoy a picnic lunch by the river or up in the mountains.

Your choice of accommodation

Day 4
Coromandel - 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 tourist city of Rotorua. (2 nights)

Your choice of accommodation

Day 5
Rotorua

We’ve left today free for you to enjoy walking in The Redwoods. Located a few kilometres out of the city, The Redwoods adjoins the larger Whakarewarewa Forest. There are various sign-posted tracks all starting through the beautiful Redwood Grove under magnificent Californian Coastal Redwoods.

Or to explore Rotorua by visiting the Agrodome or take a gondola ride to the top of Mt Ngongotaha for spectacular views of Rotorua. Later this afternoon visit Te Puia geothermal area to view the boiling mudpools and cascading Pohutu geyser that make Rotorua famous as New Zealand’s thermal city.

This evening experience Te Po, Te Puia’s cultural experience. It is a feast of cultural storytelling, entertainment and Maori kai (indigenous food). After a formal Maori welcome, relax and enjoy a performance including the beautiful songs, haka and poi dance. After dinner you will be transported by people movers to enjoy the spectacular lighting of the Whakarewarewa Geothermal Valley and hot chocolate. (D)

Your choice of accommodation

Day 6
Rotorua - Taupo - Napier

This morning depart Rotorua and head to Wai-O-Tapu. Walk at your own pace and marvel at the reserve’s unique features that include the world famous Champagne Pool, geysers, bubbling mud, steaming ground, expansive vistas, huge volcanic craters and sinter terrace formations.

Nearby stop again to visit the mighty Huka Falls on the Waikato River before reaching Taupo on the shores of Lake Taupo. Here you can relax in a thermal hot pool, take a cruise on the lake or simply explore the area further. This a trout fishing area. Continue on to Napier, one of the world’s finest Art Deco cities. (2 nights)

Your choice of accommodation

Day 7
Napier

You have the morning to relax or explore Napier at your leisure. Get to know Napier on the Guided Art Deco Walk, recounting the city’s fiery destruction in 1931 and its subsequent rebuild.

Hawke’s Bay has also become well known as a leading food and wine region in New Zealand, so we have booked you in for a wine tour this afternoon. Meet like – minded people and share an appreciation of Hawke’s Bay’s fantastic wines.

Your choice of accommodation

Day 8
Napier - Wellington

Drive south today to the Wairarapa, a rural retreat in the very heart of New Zealand. Stop in at Martinborough, a unique wine village with over 20 boutique vineyards before continuing onto Wellington, the nation’s capital. (2 nights)

Your choice of accommodation

Day 9
Wellington

The city boasts many fine museums, libraries, art galleries and theatres. There are a number of parks in a greenbelt around the city and you can explore the dining, shopping, entertainment and nightlife is centred on Courtney Place. New Zealand’s only working cable car provides panoramic views over the harbour and city and a visit to Te Papa, the national museum, is highly recommended.

Your choice of accommodation

Day 10
Wellington - Tongariro National Park

Travel north along the Kapiti Coast on State Highway 1 and through the prosperous farming regions of Horowhenua, Manawatu and Rangitikei to Tongariro National Park. The park is centred around the volcanoes of Ruapehu, Tongariro and Ngauruhoe. The park is only one of a handful of sites in the world that has dual World Heritage status in recognition of both its natural and cultural values. (2 nights)

Your choice of accommodation

Day 11
Optional Guided Tongariro Crossing Trek

The Tongariro Crossing Track is often regarded as New Zealand’s most popular one day walk. Ask your consultant to add this into your itinerary if you would like to enjoy a guided tour today.

Experience active volcanoes, mountain springs, lava flows, emerald lakes and stunning views – a once in a lifetime experience so remember your camera! This walk also includes a picnic lunch. A reasonable level of fitness is required.

If you prefer, take the day to relax and explore the area at your own pace. Fly fishing, thermal pools and a visit to the Tongariro National Trout Centre are some of the choices on offer.

Your choice of accommodation

Day 12
Tongariro National Park - Auckland

After a leisurely breakfast, make your way back to Auckland. You might like to travel via Matamata and stop to tour ‘Hobbiton’, one of the film sets of the award-winning ‘Lord of the Rings’ and ‘Hobbit film trilogies.

Your choice of accommodation

Day 13
Depart Auckland

Sadly, your holiday is at an end and you leave your car at the rental depot located at the airport today for your onward flight. Here, we bid you a fond farewell and hope you leave with many happy memories of your stay in Aotearoa, New Zealand.

Your choice of accommodation

4.6/5.0

There are 14 reviews of this tour from past clients of Relaxing Journeys, averaging 4.6 out of 5.

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Value For Money
Accommodation
Tour Pace
Relaxing Journeys Experience

Tour Reviews

4
02/04/2018
Tour was very good and we enjoyed the included activities. Distances were quite reasonable and total driving time reasonable except day one where we scored large amounts of roadwork. All the B&Bs were good with great breakfasts and excellent informative hosts. Not sure about the Kruse. The commentary was great but GPS one of worst I have used and maps out of date with it not knowing where we were on several occasions including twice on SH1. Often reverted to Google Maps on phone.
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4
07/01/2018
Accommodations was very good except for Auckland. Ponsonby art hotel was very hot (no air conditioning) and our room was in the courtyard right next to restaurant - a thoroughfare. Also choice of spending 2 nights in Ohakune: we would have been better situated within the national park and closer to mountain walks. Accommodation in Napier was outstanding. A very interesting and varied tour. A big drive on last day.
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Relaxing Journeys Experience
4
04/01/2018
We have had an excellent tour of North Island. Not rated accommodation as varied. Pace was Ok as we defined it! Would make changes if we were doing it again.
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Accommodation

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Tour Pace

Relaxing Journeys Experience
5
25/02/2017
The trip was extremely well planned by Relaxing Journeys. As two couples traveling Toni understood more what we needed than we did. Thank you Toni and Relaxing Journeys.
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5
29/01/2017
Everything went like clockwork. Our limo driver picked us up in Auckland, our car was ready at Thrifty and all the vouchers were honored without question. We especially enjoyed the Kruse GPS which gave us some historical information about the areas we were traveling through. I'd recommend Relaxing Journeys to anyone traveling in NZ
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5
29/12/2016
As this is our second tour with Relaxing Journeys we expected the usual excellence and again received it. We cannot fault the service and detail offered by this company and the scope of the accommodation and suggested areas to visit. We intend to book again next year.
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5
18/01/2016
After Wellington on return to Auckland, time would have been valued in Taupo the last 4 days driving were long days a slower pace here may be better. Very much liked accommodation in Napier (very very good) and Auckland.
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5
29/11/2015
The itinerary, driving and pace of holiday was excellent Toni, all the accommodation choices were very comfortable. Kruse compass sat nav was terrific and we loved all the local history and Maori legends it provided during our drive. Thanks so much for putting the custom tour together. Our absolute favourite hosts and accommodation were Yogi and Glennis at the Sanctuary in the Bay of Islands. Beautiful B & B and we joined them for dinner on two of our three nights there. Overall we loved the trip, I do have some constructive feedback however. 1. We found the Driving Creek Railway tour a bit \"cheesy\"... not sure why it receives such high ratings. 2. Would have loved to spend an extra day at the Takatu Vineyard and Lodge. Loved the accommodation and loved the area, especially walking on Omaha beach at sunrise. Next trip for sure! 3. Colleith Lodge, while the accommodation and hosts were fantastic - the location wasn't great. Only one restaurant in town was open (due to It being low season apparently) with a limited menu. No taxi service available and Colleith Lodge was 2km from town. After enjoying wine and pre dinner nibbles with the hosts they were surprised we had brought our own picnic dinner to enjoy on the patio, rather than drink and drive. It was a bit awkward. Since we spent our time up near Coromandel town and Kayaking cathedral cove, staying closer to those places (with more restaurant options) might have been better. We are already discussing our return trip to New Zealand sometime between 2017 and 2020 when we will visit the South Island - and we will for sure be planning another \"Relaxing Journey\"!
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4
16/02/2015
Good information on tour was well received in Auckland. For the most part all hotels and B&B's were of very good quality, with exception of Ponsonby Art Hotel. Believe that the 3 days in Wellington was too long the normal two night stay would have been sufficient. The Kruse tour guide system was of little benefit and was a very poor GPS navigator, much better products on the market. The auto was excellent. It would have been helpful to know of special events that were happening in our points of stay so we may attend. ie the Napier 'Art Deco' event was on when we arrived but had no forewarning, and Volvo Ocean racing was in Auckland. Would not expect full itinerates but these were two high profile events. The Mt. Tongariro Alpine trek was very challenging for a pair of 65+'s . We did raise our concerns when you booked it however we were assured that guides would accommodate us. Well, when at top a challenged with leg cramps there are not a lot of options. We did enjoy the challenge but you may wish to consider age of clients. Thanks to Leanne and yourself for all of the facilitation.
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5
11/02/2015
All went smoothly, thanks to the efficiency of Relaxing Journeys. Our B&B accommodation was excellent - special mention of the hosts at Harbourview Lodge (Tairua, Coromandel Peninsula) and Cobden Garden Homestay (Napier) for outstanding hospitality. B&B's were a great way to meet other interesting travellers. The tour schedule was well-paced; we were very glad that we added an overnight visit to the Bay of Islands at the start of our tour - could easily have made this 2 nights. Optional activities that we particularly enjoyed were Hobbiton (on our way to Rotorua); Rainbow Springs (bird and kiwi sanctuary) at Rotorua; Art Deco walking tour at Napier and a tour of the Glowworm Caves at Waitomo. A warning re the Tongariro Crossing Guided Walk (19.4 km; 7-8 hours over challenging terrain) - one needs to be moderately-to-very fit to undertake this Walk and to come equipped with hiking boots, wet-weather jacket, (ideally) walking sticks, a back-pack and at least 2 litres drinking water. Maybe this walk should be an optional add-on, rather than a standard itinerary inclusion! Other, less strenuous, walks are available at Tongariro.
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 13 Day Northern Circle

13 Day Northern Circle
Self Drive Tours
Tour Code: GNNC
From (NZD) $3362 per person
Save (NZD) $336 per person
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Rating:
14 reviews (4.6/5)

Discover the North Island of New Zealand in our round trip from Auckland. Stop over on the Coromandel Peninsula, experience thermal Rotorua, explore N... Read More

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13 Day Northern Circle
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