8 Day Northern Highlights

8 Day Northern Highlights

This relaxing 8 day self-drive tour brings you the highlights of the Bay of Islands and Rotorua, two of New Zealand's most popular regions.

Book your self drive tour this month and receive an Earlybird Discount of 10%. Make full payment by 31 July 2018 to qualify or 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) $1495 per person
Tour Operator: Relaxing Journeys
Pace: Relaxing
Duration: 8 Days
Tour Code: GNNLH

Inclusions

7 nights accommodation
Rental vehicle of your choice
Waitangi Treaty Grounds day pass including guided tour & cultural experience
Matakohe Kauri Museum
Cruise out to the ‘Hole in the Rock’
Admission to the Te Puia geothermal region
Te Po - Maori cultural experience with traditional hangi
Guided tour of Ruakuri Cave
Admissions outlined in the Itinerary
Airport transfer to/from your accommodation
Travel wallet, comprehensive customised itinerary, bound map book, accommodation & activity vouchers and local travel guides

Book your self drive tour this month and receive an Earlybird Discount of 10%. Make full payment by 31 July 2018 to qualify or receive a discount of 7.5% if you pay by 30 September 2018.

Chat Request Callback Enquire

Day by Day Tour Itinerary

Day 1
Arrive Auckland

On arrival at Auckland airport, you will be personally met by our representative & transferred in an executive sedan to your accommodation. The afternoon is yours to relax or to explore the ‘City of Sails’. Auckland is New Zealand’s largest and most vibrant city, offering an exciting array of cosmopolitan experiences. Family attractions abound and the city has plenty of adrenaline for adventure lovers. Indulge in Auckland’s shopping, nightlife and unrivalled cuisine. Discover why Auckland is one of the best places in the world to live – and visit.

Day 2
Auckland - Bay of Islands

Take delivery of your rental car this morning. Travel north over the Harbour Bridge and along the Hibiscus Coast to arrive in Paihia, a seaside town nestled on the shores of this National Maritime Park in the Bay of Islands. On arrival visit the historic Waitangi Treaty Grounds, New Zealand’s most historic site. (2 nights)

Day 3
Cape Brett and the Bay of Islands

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 & Cape Brett for you 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.

Day 4
Bay of Islands - North Auckland

Head south from Paihia late morning and at Whangarei, take the turn-off to Dargaville. Home to the original Dalmatian gum diggers and kauri loggers who made the area their own in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and whose lives are charted in the local museum. Approximately 40 kms south of Dargaville is Matakohe, home to the Kauri Museum (admission included). This amazing museum tells the fascinating story of the pioneering days through the use of kauri timber and kauri gum. Explore the many exceptional displays and galleries inside the museum from the magnificent collection of antique kauri furniture and the largest collection of kauri gum in the world to restored machinery including New Zealand’s earliest tractor, a 1929 Cat 60, and a turning steam sawmill. Leaving Matakohe, rejoin the main highway and make your way towards Auckland.

Day 5
North Auckland - Rotorua

Head further south today to Rotorua, the city sits squarely on the Pacific Ring of Fire, so volcanic activity is part of the city’s past and present. The city is also the tribal home of the Te Arawa people, who settled in lakeside geothermal areas more than 600 years ago. (2 nights)

Day 6
Rotorua

Free time to explore Rotorua this today. You may like to visit 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)

Day 7
Rotorua - Ruakuri Cave - Auckland

Today make your way back north to Auckland, en-route entrance to the Ruakuri Cave is included. This cave were first discovered by local Maori between 400 and 500 years ago and it takes its name from the wild dogs that made their home in the cave entrance. Reopened after an interval of 18 years, Ruakuri cave offers a captivating blend of Waitomo’s most compelling subterranean experiences. In any one sightseeing tour, your guide will bring you up close to glowworms, elaborate cave formations, underground rivers, myths, legends and sacred Maori sites.

Day 8
Depart Auckland

Time for some last minute sightseeing or shopping before making your way to Auckland airport. 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.

4.7/5.0

There are 7 reviews of this tour from past clients of Relaxing Journeys, averaging 4.7 out of 5.

Overall Tour Rating
Value For Money
Accommodation
Tour Pace
Relaxing Journeys Experience

Tour Reviews

5
02/12/2017
Loved the included activity vouchers: all interesting and well worth our time. The only hitch we had was locating our Snells Beach BnB: the area is newly developed and our GPS had difficulty directing us. We were not tuned into the fact that it would be in a residential area and thought we were way off track. We finally called the innkeeper and he drove over to pick us up. Not many dining opportunities in Snells Beach.
Overall Tour Rating

Value For Money

Accommodation

Tour Pace

Relaxing Journeys Experience
5
11/02/2017
We were restricted to 11 days by commitments at home but we still managed to see a fair number of places and attractions without being rushed. The two days in each place as a minimum worked well and stopping en route to The Bay of Islands was very good advice as we only left the airport after 2:30pm on our arrival. The excursions were much enjoyed as were the quality B&B's. We appreciated the friendly efficient service we were offered by Relaxing Journeys and will use your expertise and local knowledge when we return to visit your beautiful country again.
Overall Tour Rating

Value For Money

Accommodation

Tour Pace

Relaxing Journeys Experience
5
02/06/2015
Toni was very helpful in customising our self-drive tour to meet our bucket list and maximise the time we had available, including adding days/stops and changing accommodation. It was also great to have our accommodation, route and main activities already thought through by an expert, plus having GPS commentary and itinerary suggestions for things to do in our spare time. Of course it helped that New Zealand is such a mix of fun, beautiful and interesting experiences for a tourist! I would recommend Relaxing Journeys to anyone that is time poor and happy to pay that tiny bit extra for the convenience of having a great and unique holiday without so much of the stress associated with planning:) In summary, Relaxing journeys is aptly named!
Overall Tour Rating

Value For Money

Accommodation

Tour Pace

Relaxing Journeys Experience
4
07/01/2015
This is our second tour with your company and we enjoyed the excellent accommodation and food. The Spencer on Byron was such a contrast and disappointment, but we changed from your first recommendation so I guess it was our fault! We did feel that we had a lot of driving to do and not enough time to spend in each place. Your Kruze was a great success and we were met with friendly and efficient people who escorted us to and from the airport in clean comfortable cars. Thank you ,and we will certainly recommend your company to fellow travellers.
Overall Tour Rating

Value For Money

Accommodation

Tour Pace

Relaxing Journeys Experience
5
03/10/2014
The itinerary Toni created was wonderful. Everything, from the pickup at the airport to coming back to where we started, was put together so well. The only issue we had was with the Kruse commentary. It was not at our rental car location. Thrifty rental car company was able to get us one, though, so crisis averted. Plus, the map book that was provided with our documents was also very useful even though we had the GPS system.
Overall Tour Rating

Value For Money

Accommodation

Tour Pace

Relaxing Journeys Experience
4
07/11/2013
We had a great time the venues were great & the hotels were very good and all bookings were as we expected. We didn't go to the caves as Lynne does not enjoy that sort of experience, instead we came back to Hamilton and had an enjoyable day in the Botanic Gardens. The only minor disappointment we had was when we booked out of the Heritage hotel they charged us for parking we thought we had an all inclusive deal and as we had to park the car to use it the next day to go to the airport that this would have been included in the tour price.
Overall Tour Rating

Value For Money

Accommodation

Tour Pace

Relaxing Journeys Experience
5
03/02/2012
We had a great time. The plan was great, accommodations great. We did the B&B all wonderful. Only accommodation that was just OK was the Copthorne, otherwise 1st Class. I would advise anyone doing a similar tour to try and schedule some down time, ie. a couple of extra days to just unwind and relax, between stops. Tours were 1st Class. We had a 54 ft sail boat all to ourselves. Soaked in the natural springs, great captain, beautiful boat. He put onto a great place for lunch and some waterfalls that were just a little out of the way, but well worth it. I would heartily recommend Jarrod and Relaxing Journeys. We will use them again to tour the South Island.
Overall Tour Rating

Value For Money

Accommodation

Tour Pace

Relaxing Journeys Experience

Enquire about our 8 Day Northern Highlights

8 Day Northern Highlights
Self Drive Tours
Tour Code: GNNLH
From (NZD) $1495 per person
Save (NZD) $149 per person
Enquire Now
Departures: May 2018 to March 2019
Rating:
7 reviews (4.7/5)

This relaxing 8 day self-drive tour brings you the highlights of the Bay of Islands and Rotorua, two of New Zealand's most popular regions. ... Read More

Itinerary Map

Click to view a larger image.

8 Day Northern Highlights
Regions Visited

Click on each area to view more information.

Like this tour?

Upgrade this tour by adding one of our carefully selected optional tours & activities or go ahead and request a quote to guarantee your spot.