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Auckland Wellington

Small Group Tour

Small Group Tour

7 Day North Island Tour

Start: Auckland
Finish: Wellington

What's included:

  • 6 nights of hostel accommodation (includes one night before the tour starts)
  • Plus one overnight stay at Tamaki Māori village;
  • 6 tasty breakfasts (vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options on request)
  • 2 dinners; a traditional hangi at Tamaki Maori Village and dinner at River Valley Lodge.
  • Te Puia guided tour; discover a geothermal wonderland featuring dramatic geysers, bubbling mud pools, and traditional Māori culture, and even see the iconic Kiwi bird up close.
  • Waitomo Glowworm Caves guided tour; marvel at the Glowworms
  • Various scenic hikes (all included and optional); Karangahake Gorge, Cathedral Cove in Coromandel, Ruakuri walk in Waitomo, and Huka Falls in Taupo.

This 7-day, small group guided tour of the North Island will visit the Coromandel, Rotorua, Taupō, and the bustling capital Wellington, with the option to add on paid tours at  Hobbiton and the Tongariro Crossing along the way. With accommodation and some activities included (see below), our tours are hassle-free, authentic experiences for those short on time. 

This tour departs Auckland at 8:30 am from Lylo and finishes in Wellington at approximately 5 pm. 


Read more about our Booking Guarantee here  

Tour Dates - 2023


NZ $1759

Day 1Auckland to Hot Water Beach

Departing Auckland we head southeast to the pristine beaches of the Coromandel and the world-famous Cathedral Cove (included). Here you have the option to kayak around this stunning coastline (optional paid activity) as well as the opportunity to visit Hot Water Beach (included). On this unique surf beach, if you catch the tide right, you can dig a hole in the sand to create your personal hot spa pool.


  • Hot Water Beach Top 10 Holiday Park 

Experiences & Highlights

  • Explore Cathedral Cove, famous for its iconic rock archway with stunning views of the Coromandel coastline.  
  • Relax at Hot Water Beach; by digging your own spa pool where the water is naturally heated deep within the earth to emerge through the golden sand.
  • Explore Cathedral Cover from the Water by Kayak (optional paid activity)

Day 2Hot Water Beach to Waitomo

Leaving the gorgeous Coromandel behind we’ll venture into the enchanting Karangahake Gorge nestled among the Kaimai Ranges, for a hike (included) amongst the walkways and old mining tunnels. If that isn’t enough fun for one day, then never fear, next, we’ll head over to Waitomo ('wai' meaning water, 'tomo' meaning hole) for a magical tour of the world-famous glow-worm caves. For those feeling a little more adventurous, you will have the opportunity to experience a Black Water Rafting trip. (additional paid activity) 


  • Waitomo Chalets

Experiences & Highlights

  • Hike through the Karangahake Gorge, boasting beautiful scenery and spectacular mining remnants including disused gold mining tunnels.
  • Magical Glowworm Caves in Waitomo
  • Explore the underground cave system with Black Water Rafting (not included)

Day 3Waitomo to Rotorua

We start the day by walking through the Ruakuri Reserve and saying goodbye to those glowing little critters. Next, we'll pass through The Shire of Hobbiton, where you’ll have the opportunity to discover the Hobbiton Movie Set (optional paid activity) before rolling on through to Rotorua, a mystical land of bubbling mud pools, rocketing geysers and natural hot springs. This afternoon, we head off to visit the Te Pa Tu Māori Village, where you will be immersed in the traditions and cultural values of the Māori people. Participate in a pōwhiri (welcoming ceremony), and learn about the history of the marae (village) and the Rotorua area from a local Māori guide before feasting on some top kai (food) from the hāngi pit. Afterwards, gather around a blazing bonfire where you will enjoy Māori myths and legends before relaxing in a private forest spa pool and retiring for the night in a traditional carved whare moe (sleeping house).


  • Tamaki Maori Village (this is a traditional experience with everyone sleeping in the same room) 

Experiences & Highlights

  • Hike through the Ruakuri Reserve; a spectacular loop walk taking you through a forested gorge, past natural sculpted cliffs and under low limestone arches.
  • Spend the evening and night at a Māori village where you'll learn about the history and culture of the locals. 
  • Opportunity to visit Hobbiton; a behind the scenes of The Hobbit & The Lord of the Rings movies on this guided tour (additional paid activity)
  • Immerse yourself in Maori culture and history by exploring Rotorua, renowned for its geothermal activity.
  • Check out the natural boiling, bubbling and steaming geothermal wonderland at Kuirau Park

Day 4Rotorua to Tongariro National Park

If you haven't had a chance yet to explore the geothermal reserve of Te Puia, we will check it out this morning before heading onto Great Lake Taupo, taking in a walk to the pounding Huka Falls (included). In Taupo, there is lots to do, tell us what you’re in the mood for, and we’ll get you there. The lake (actually an extinct volcano crater) is a sight from the shoreline (included). Still, the more adventurous might want to take the opportunity to experience optional paid activities such as sail across the lake on a yacht to the Māori rock carvings or even getting a birds-eye view by skydiving above it. After an afternoon exploring Taupo, we'll head to Tongariro National Park for our 2-night stay, where you can either walk the Tongariro Crossing (one of NZ's Great Walks) or explore the beauty of this magnificent National Park.


  • YHA National Park

Experiences & Highlights

  • Walk the Huka Falls walkway; a set of waterfalls on the Waikato River, where you can witness the phenomenon of natural hydro power.
  • Hike The Tongariro Crossing, voted one of the world's best day walks 

Day 5Tongariro National Park

So many unique options for your free day in Tongariro National Park. Hike the Tongariro Alpine Crossing (additional paid activity); a dramatic landscape of stunning contrasts created by extinguished lava flows and emerald lakes. It’s no surprise Tongariro is often described as one of New Zealand’s best one-day hikes. In the winter season, you're just a hop, skip and jump from two amazing ski fields on Mount Ruapehu; Whakapapa and Turoa.


  • YHA National Park

Experiences & Highlights

  • Hike the Tongariro Crossing; one of New Zealand's best one day hikes (shuttle not included, additional cost)
  • Go skiing or snowboarding on Mount Ruapehu (Ski Hire not included)

Day 6Tongariro National Park to River Valley

We head south around the “great lake” towards the Tongariro National Park for a picnic lunch and a two-hour walk through native bush and waterfalls. In the afternoon we travel through to the ultimate adventure lodge - River Valley, situated amongst towering cliffs and bush-clad hills. The lodge offers grade five rafting on the Rangitikei River, scenic horse riding and an amazing dinner with homegrown produce. Spend the evening enjoying the delicious roast dinner and relaxing by the open fire.


  • River Valley Lodge

Experiences & Highlights

  • Hike the Taranaki Falls walk in the Tongariro National Park
  • Spend the day at River Valley Lodge; nestled on the Rangitikei River
  • Go white water rafting on the Rangitikei River (not included)
  • Horse Trek through the rolling hills with amazing scenery out to the nearby National Park (not included)
  • Enjoy a group roast dinner with produce that is organically grown at the lodge.

Day 7River Valley to Wellington

Today, we’ll cruise through the southern end of the North Island to the capital, Wellington. Here you can experience Mount Victoria (included) and then passengers have the opportunity to experience the national museum, Te Papa (included) and get amongst the thriving craft beer scene.


  • Nomads Backpackers

Experiences & Highlights

What's Included

  • 6 nights dorm accommodation
  • Plus 1 Overnight Māori village experience
  • 7 tasty breakfasts
  • 2 dinners; a traditional hangi at Tamaki Maori Village and a dinner at River Valley Lodge
  • Cathedral Cove & Hot Water Beach
  • Hike through the Karangahake Gorge
  • Magical Glowworm Caves in Waitomo
  • Māori culture and history at Te Puia
  • Huka Falls walkway
  • Buzzing city vibes in the capital Wellington

Optional Extras

Our Small Group Tours offer a fixed itinerary, with a few bucket list items included. There are plenty of additional activities you can add on to your experience as you travel.

What our passengers think

Read More


  • I’m a solo traveller... will I meet other solo travellers?

    Absolutely! The majority of our passengers are travelling solo. Kiwi Experience is a social experience guaranteed to leave with new friends from across the globe.

  • Am I too old/young for Kiwi Experience?

    We welcome the young, and the young at heart aboard our buses, there is no upper limit! There is however a lower limit; you’ll need to be 18 at the time of travel.

  • What visas do I need?

    Luckily, many nationalities are able to visit New Zealand for less than 3 months without a visa. However, if you are not from one of these countries, obtaining your own visa is your own responsibility. We ask that you check out the Immigration New Zealand website before booking your Kiwi Experience trip.

  • Do I need travel insurance?

    While not mandatory, travel insurance is strongly recommended and should be taken out when travelling with us. As well as making sure your expensive stuff is covered, you should also get comprehensive travel insurance (covering all medical expenses you could incur while travelling).

  • How much should I budget for each day?

    We recommend you budget between $70 - $100 per day to cover food and super fun times. From time to time, it may be worth putting a little more aside to pay for the really crazy stuff like skydiving.

  • How much luggage am I allowed to bring?

    Passengers are allowed one 23kg suitcase/backpack and one day bag, as there are strict weight restrictions on our buses.

Available Dates


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