Embark on an exhilarating expedition and indulge in the magnificent allure of New Zealand’s North Island. Behold the grandeur of towering volcanoes, sprawling lakes, and infinite caves that will leave you in awe. This expedition will take you on a journey for eight days, led by an enthusiastic local guide. Traverse from Auckland to Wellington, where you’ll savor the taste of local wines on the idyllic Waiheke Island, discover the mystical world of Hobbiton, witness the mesmerizing geothermal wonders of Rotorua, unwind on the serene shores of Lake Taupo, explore the volcanic landscapes of Tongariro, and sail across the enchanting Wellington Harbor. Brace yourself for an adventure that will keep you on your toes with every step you take.
Upon arrival at Auckland, the travelers will be welcomed to the North Island, which is adorned with beaches, harbours, volcanoes, and farmland. They will then be escorted to their hotel from the airport. At 6 pm, a welcome meeting will be conducted where they will be introduced to their local guide and the other adventurers joining them on this expedition. For those who arrive with extra time, an interactive All Blacks experience awaits, where they can delve into the history of New Zealand rugby and gain insight into what it takes to wear the iconic black jersey. Following the meeting, the group will head to a charming local bistro in the heart of the city, which showcases products made in New Zealand, to enjoy dinner and get to know each other better. Stay at Fable Auckland overnight.
Leave the bustle of the big city behind and head offshore to Waiheke Island, famed for its sandy beaches and glorious wine. Board a ferry from Auckland – if you’re really lucky you may even see dolphins or orcas along the way. The day will be spent sipping your way around the island, stopping off at three unique wineries to learn about their production methods, and of course, tasting the goods yourself. You’ll also enjoy an included lunch on the island, not to mention a few scenic drives with plenty of opportunities for beautiful photos. Return to Auckland in the late afternoon with an evening free for your own discoveries of the city. Stay at Fable Auckland overnight.
After breakfast this morning, hit the road and drive to the Waitomo Glow Worm Caves, an extensive underground network of tunnels and caverns decorated with stalactites, stalagmites and luminous glow worms. Join a local expert for an in-depth tour of the Ruakuri Cave, descending a spiral entrance to a magical world below. Discover fascinating limestone formations, hear the roar of subterranean waterfalls and learn about the glow worms that light up the caves. Continue to Hobbiton, where the epic Lord of the Rings movies were shot. Take a tour around the set with a local guide, hear stories about the production of these iconic films, explore Hobbit holes, then perhaps enjoy a drink at the mythical Green Dragon Inn. Finally, travel to Rotorua, where you will spend the evening. Stay overnight in Regent of Rotorua Hotel.
Wake up in Rotorua to the unmistakable scent of sulphur coming off the town’s many geothermal pools. After breakfast, pay a visit to Te Puia, over 70 hectares of land within the Te Whakarewarewa Geothermal Valley, dotted with hot springs, mud pools and geysers. A local expert will take you on a walk to learn about these geothermal wonders, including Pohutu, the largest geyser in the southern hemisphere. Next experience the Kiwi Conservation Centre where you’ll have the chance to observe the beloved nocturnal bird in a darkened enclosure and learn about the sanctuary’s efforts to protect them. Swing by the Ahua Gallery and watch culturally significant Maori carving and weaving demonstrations. Lunch is a treat today – a traditional hangi feast cooked beneath the earth in traditional style. In the evening, perhaps consider an optional tour of the geysers by night.
Say goodbye to Rotorua and drive on to Taupo, sitting on the shores of Lake Taupo – the largest lake in New Zealand. The rest of the day is yours to discover all that this picturesque part of the country has to offer. One of the best ways to enjoy the lake is to get on its waters – speak to your leader to find out about the sustainable sailing and cruising options available to you this afternoon. You may like to try your hand at fishing, or perhaps take a flight over the spectacular Tongariro National Park. Stay in Millennium Hotel Taupo overnight.
Today will be spent uncovering the natural wonders of Tongariro National Park, as spiritually significant as it is spectacular. Your leader will guide you on a scenic two-hour walk to the Taranaki Falls, an impressive 20-metre cascade tumbling over volcanic cliffs. Then it’s time for a ride with a view – take the Sky Waka gondola up the top of Mt Ruapehu and be treated to some truly unforgettable scenes on the way. Later in the day, head to your Feature Stay accommodation at the Powderhorn Chateau and settle in. The chateau provides a stunning base for the evening, surrounded by the soaring peaks of Ruapehu, Ngauruhoe and Tongariro – the views are simply unbeatable. Overnight in Powderhorn Chateau.
This morning, make tracks for Wellington, New Zealand’s trendy capital city. After settling in, hop aboard a private catamaran and get to know the city on an evening cruise around Wellington Harbour. If weather allows, the sails will be raised and the motor switched off, allowing you to peacefully enjoy the landscape. Sail past Point Halswell as the crew point out important landmarks along the way. Be sure to keep your eyes on the water too – a lucky few have spotted dolphins, penguins, orcas, gannets and seals in the harbour! Return to land after an hour and join your group for dinner at a fantastic waterfront restaurant – the perfect chance to reminisce about your North Island adventure. Stay in QT Hotel overnight.
Your North Island adventure comes to an end after breakfast this morning. If you would like to spend more time exploring Wellington, just get in touch in advance and we’d be happy to arrange additional accommodation (subject to availability). Alternatively, combine this trip with Premium New Zealand South Island for the ultimate tour of this special land. Search Premium New Zealand Encompassed PHPZC, or speak with your booking agent for more details.
Intrepid Travel is a sustainable travel company that offers small group adventures around the world. With a focus on responsible tourism, Intrepid Travel takes travellers on unique experiences that allow them to engage with local communities, learn about different cultures and traditions, and make a positive impact on the places they visit.
Intrepid Travel offers a range of trips, from classic tours to more off-the-beaten-path experiences. Travellers can choose from a variety of destinations, including Africa, Asia, Europe, the Americas, and the Middle East. There are also different trip styles to choose from, such as comfort, active, and family-friendly trips.
One of the unique aspects of Intrepid Travel is its commitment to responsible travel practices. The company works with local suppliers and communities to ensure that its tours are sustainable and respectful of local cultures and traditions. Intrepid Travel also has a not-for-profit foundation that supports sustainable tourism projects in the communities they visit.
Travellers on an Intrepid Travel tour can expect to stay in locally-owned accommodations, use public transportation, and eat at local restaurants, giving them an authentic experience of the destination they’re visiting. Additionally, travellers will be accompanied by an experienced local guide who can provide insights and knowledge about the places they’re visiting.
Below is sample of the hotels and resorts you can expect on a Premium tour with Intrepid.
Elegantly appointed rooms inspired by the Art Deco design style popular in the early 1900’s. Approximately 27sqm in size boasting a luxurious queen ‘Sofitel my Bed’’, Smart TV, Bose speakers, complimentary WiFi, T2 fine bone china and teas, Nespresso machine and sustainable Marihi amenities.
Regent of Rotorua Hotel
The Regent of Rotorua Hotel, a luxury boutique hotel located in the heart of Rotorua, distinguishes itself as a gem amongst the crowd with its contemporary design tailored for the modern traveler. The hotel boasts an impressive collection of stylish spaces that offer an eclectic mix of refreshingly original designs. The Regent is considered the ultimate destination for those seeking chic and luxurious accommodation in the city, setting the bar for excellence in the hospitality industry.
Millennium Hotel Taupo
Set on the shores of the country’s largest lake, this is one of Taupo luxury hotels with uninterrupted views of the magnificent lake and mountains. Many of Taupo’s famous attractions are just minutes away, including Huka Falls, water and snow skiing, hot mineral pools, golf courses, and lake cruises. The charming Edgewater Restaurant is a superb choice for savouring award-winning cuisine as swans gracefully swim by.
Located at the gateway to Tongariro National Park, the Powderhorn Chateau is a stunning property nestled in Ohakune. Merely 300 meters away from Ohakune Station, the hotel boasts of an indoor swimming pool that is heated, an on-site restaurant, and free parking for its guests. Additionally, guests can enjoy complimentary WiFi during their stay.
QT Hotel Wellington
Experience a remarkable surprise at QT Wellington, where lavish art, cutting-edge technology, and opulence collide to create a luxurious fusion. Located in the vibrant creative capital of the South, this hotel offers a unique opportunity to discover and appreciate an eclectic collection of art and character that defines New Zealand. With its designer furnishings and décor, QT Wellington provides the perfect hub for cultural enthusiasts from all over the world. Immerse yourself in the luxurious atmosphere that exudes a never-ending gallery opening. The hotel eagerly awaits the arrival of guests who bring their own unique perspectives and experiences.
All prices are per person and unless otherwise stated, are in Australian dollars, are correct at the time of publication and are subject to change without notice. Trip is subject to availability, for departure dates please contact us.
1. The $1 deposit Intrepid Travel offer applies to new bookings made and deposited between 12:00am AEST 3 April 2023 – 11:59pm AEST 1 May 2023, for trips departing before 31 December 2023. 2. This offer is valid for Australia and New Zealand residents booking in AUD or NZD only. 3. The $1 deposit can be paid towards any Intrepid Travel small group adventure trip in Australia and New Zealand, excluding the following: a) Tailor-Made Experiences; b) Urban Adventures trips; c) Australia trips operated by ATA and KWE: PKBB-B, PKBB-O, PKBL-B, PKBL-O, PKOW-O, PKOL-B, PKOL-O, PKOW-B, PKRB, PKFK, PKRC, PP10, PB10, PBD10, PDB10, PBP10; d) Select trips in Australia: Top End & Kakadu Explorer (POKK) and Red Centre & Uluru Explorer (POKR) 4. The $1 deposit offer applies to the trip price only and cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer or discount. 5. Multiple $1 deposit bookings must not overlap in travel dates, however consecutive $1 deposit bookings are permitted. 6. Offer applies to land element of tour only and cannot be redeemed against flights, additional accommodation, transfers or travel insurance. 7. $1 deposit amount is payable per person, per trip. 8. The trip is subject to availability and confirmation by Intrepid Travel at time of booking. 9. If you wish to cancel and rebook your trip or change dates outside the promotional period, you will be required to pay the full deposit towards the new trip. 10. Except as set out expressly above, Intrepid Travel’s Booking Conditions apply.
Cancellation by you
If you cancel some or all portions of your booking the cancellation terms set out below will apply. A cancellation will only be effective when we receive written confirmation that you have sent to your relevant sales representative of the cancellation. If you cancel a trip:
(a) 56 days or more prior to departure, we will hold your deposit amount as a credit;
(b) between 31 and 55 days prior to departure, we charge a cancellation fee of 30% of the total booking cost;
(c) between 30 and 15 days prior to departure, we charge a cancellation fee of 60% of the total booking cost; or
(d) 14 days or fewer prior to departure, we charge a cancellation fee of 100% of the booking cost.
Note that different cancellation conditions apply to some styles of trips and additional services as set out in the Special Conditions and the Essential Trip Information relating to your trip. You are strongly advised to take out cancellation insurance at the time of booking. If you leave a trip for any reason after it has commenced, Intrepid are not obliged to make any refunds for unused services. If you fail to join a trip, join it after departure, or leave it prior to its completion, no refund will be made. The above cancellation terms are in addition to fees which may be levied by accommodation providers, travel agents or third-party tour and transport operator fees. Please refer to clause 19 (Liability), which provides more information about your rights under Australian Consumer Law which may apply to your cancellation.
Cancellation by Intrepid
Trips are guaranteed to depart once they have one fully paid customer unless minimum group size specifically states otherwise (which is stated in the trip page or on our website) and subject to reasonable itinerary changes as described in these Booking Conditions. In the event that Intrepid cancels your trip, you can transfer amounts paid to an alternate departure date or receive a refund, unless your trip is cancelled due to a Force Majeure Event (as defined below in this clause 8).
Cancellation due to Force Majeure
If a trip is cancelled due to a Force Majeure Event, Intrepid will offer you a choice of:
(a) a 100% credit of monies paid for your trip; or
(b) a refund minus unrecoverable costs.
If the cancellation due to a Force Majeure Event occurs after a trip has commenced, we can offer you a choice of a pro-rata:
(a) 100% credit for the days that remain on your trip; or
(b) refund minus unrecoverable costs of the days that remain on your trip.
A “Force Majeure Event” includes but is not limited to: acts of God; war; civil commotion; riot; blockade or embargo; fire; explosion; breakdown; union dispute; earthquake; epidemic, pandemic or other health emergency; flood; windstorm or other extreme weather event; lack or failure of courses of supply; passage of any law, order, proclamation, regulation, ordinance, demand, requisition or requirement or any other act of any government authority, beyond the reasonable control of the parties, whether or not foreseeable, which would make it dangerous or not viable for a trip to commence or continue.
In the event of any cancellation, there will be no claim for damages by either party against the other and we are not responsible for any incidental expenses that you may have incurred as a result of your booking including but not limited to visas, vaccinations, travel insurance excess or non-refundable flights.
Important Note regarding credit:
There may be circumstances in which Intrepid issues you with credit. For instance, you may be offered the choice of a credit voucher instead of a cash refund when you are entitled to a full or partial refund. Unless specified otherwise in the Special Conditions, any credit issued under these Booking Conditions: