Introduction10 days | Auckland to Auckland
Trip Style: Yolo
Popular with 18-30-somethings.
Yolo trips are built for those who want to take on the planet in a fun and affordable way with a small group of like-minded travellers. Skip the oversized tour bus and truly connect with your destination. Hit the highlights without giving up the freedom to mix it up according to your own tastes.
Trip Type: Small Group
Group trips average about 12 travellers per departure, depending on the adventure. The maximum is usually no more than 16.
Service Level: Basic
- Excellent value, amazing prices, quality experiences
- Simple and clean hotels, guesthouses and hostels chosen for location and character
- Affordable public and private transport for maximum cultural interaction
- Plenty of optional activities tailored to your interests and budget
Physical Grading: 3
Trips may include activities like hiking, biking, rafting or kayaking. No sweat, right?
Day 1 Auckland
Day 2-3 Paihia, Bay of Islands (2B,1L,2D)
*Please note: during the winter months (late April - early Nov) Goat Island snorkling will be cancelled due to an earlier departure time on The Rock (the boat where you will be spending the night). As a result, there will be more time for activities on board The Rock.
Continue on to the Bay of Islands and embark on the boat which will be your home for the night. All activities and meals on board are included. Activities include: fishing, kayaking, swimming, target shooting, shell fish gathering, dolphin spotting and walking on a remote island. The night is spent anchored at a secluded bay.
On Day 3 enjoy a morning of activities from our boat base. Then travel back to the mainland, walk around the small town of Paihia. An optional visit to the Treaty House in the nearby town of Waitangi is highly recommended. Waitangi is the location where on 6 February 1840, European settlers and local Moari signed an agreement on ownership of the land, and gave Māori the rights of British subjects. The Treaty of Waitangi is the founding document of New Zealand. An optional visit to the treaty grounds with a guided tour is highly recommended (approximate cost NZD$25).
Overnight in a hostel in Paihia and savour an included barbeque dinner.
Estimated travel time: 4 hours
Travel distance: 250 km
Day 4 Auckland (1B)
Estimated travel time: 4 hours
Travel distance: 250 km
Day 5-6 Raglan (2B,1L,2D)
On Day 6 head down to the beach for an included surf lesson. The instructor chooses a secluded and safe part of the beach and we use large boards to ensure that you stand up and ride a wave. The afternoon is open for optional activities such as bone carving with local maori, mountain biking or a boat cruise. At night enjoy an included fish and chips dinner hosted by a local story teller who will explain the history of the area.
Note: There has been a change to the original itinerary to include Raglan instead of the Coromandel, which also affects the inclusions on these days. We feel that Raglan is a better destination for our travellers because it offers a more comprehensive experience that includes more interaction with locals, a wider variety of activities (e.g. surfing), and also demonstrates our support of sustainable initiatives, such as the native fish farm found in Raglan.
Estimated travel time: 3 hours
Travel distance: 160 km
Day 7 Rotorua/Maori Village Visit (1B,1D)
Please note that if you choose to go to the Waitomo caves there is not enough time to go either skydiving or rafting in Rotorua. Your CEO will explain the pros and cons of these choices upon arrival.
Continue to Rotorua for an engaging cultural experience on the grounds of a historic Maori village. Dine this evening in picnic fashion on traditional maori food (Hangi).
Estimated travel time: 4 hours
Travel distance: 250 km
Day 8 National Park (1B,1D)
*Please note: In the winter months (usually between June and October) when there is snow on the mountains the crossing can only be done with special equipment and a guide. If you still wish to do the crossing your CEO can arrange it and there will be an extra cost of around $100 for the equipment and guidance. If you do not wish to do the walk in such conditions we include a couple of shorter walks and visit the Volcanic Information Centre as an alternative activity during these months.
After finishing the trek travel to a ski lodge on the side of a mountain for the night. A spa and sauna on site will help ease those tired muscles.
Estimated travel time: 3 hours driving time, walking time depending on group speed and size.
Travel distance: 180 km driving, 19.4 km walking
Day 9 Wellington (1B)
A short walk from our accommodation displays the sights of the coastal central business district. Finish the day off with an optional night on the town. Wellington has an abundance of nightlife, bars, cafes and restaurants all located on and around the entertainment district of Courtenay Place. Wellington is also renowned for its coffee – be sure to grab a cup of java from one of the many cafes.
Estimated travel time: 5 hours
Travel distance: 400 km
Day 10 Auckland (1B)
Estimated travel time: 9 hours
Travel distance: 650 km
Overnight boat excursion in the Bay Islands with included activities while onboard like snorkelling, fishing and kayaking, visit to conservation farm, sea kayaking excursion to remote coves, surf lesson including board and wetsuit, Tongariro Alpine Crossing walk (seasonal), Te Papa Museum.
Snorkelling in the beautiful Bay of Islands, surfing world famous waves, kayaking remote coves to discover hidden beaches, learning about the Maori culture in a village homestay, conquering New Zealand's top-rated 1-day trek, dancing the night away in Wellington.
The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary.
VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.
While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Aboard expedition trips visits to research stations depend on final permission.
Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.
This tour combines with other G Adventures tours. As such, some staff and travel companions may be continuing together on another G Adventures tour after your trip concludes.
Group Leader Description
This G Adventures group trip is accompanied by one of our group leaders, otherwise known as a Chief Experience Officer (CEO). The CEO will be the group manager, leader and driver - this person is experienced in the routes travelled and will organize and lead the meal preparations and has experience in cooking a variety of local and international dishes for large groups.
As the group coordinator and manager, the aim of the CEO is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. While not being guides in the traditional sense, you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. They will also offer suggestions for things to do and to see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends.
We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting - we think it's the best of both worlds.
Group Size Notes
Max 18, avg 12
Your Fellow Travellers
As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of traveling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and are likely to be of a variety of ages too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group. Patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part.
9 breakfasts, 2 lunch, 6 dinners.
Eating is a big part of traveling. Travelling with G Adventures you experience the vast array of wonderful food that is available out in the world. Generally meals are not included in the trip price when there is a choice of eating options, to give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat. It also gives you more budgeting flexibility. Our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There is no obligation to do this though. Your CEO will be able to suggest favourite restaurants during your trip. The above information applies to G Adventures group trips. For Independent trips please check the itinerary for details of meals included. For all trips please refer to the meals included and budget information for included meals and meal budgets.
Included breakfasts will be continental style, consisting of coffee or tea, juice, a selection of breads with spreads and a variety of cereals.
Allow NZD250-300 for meals not included.
About our Transportation
Our vans are Mini Coaches (24 seat vans which have been accommodated to occupy 18 people so you have more space while travelling). Occasionally with smaller group sizes we will use smaller, equally comfortable 13 seater vehicles. All Mini Coaches tow a trailer for luggage and camping equipment (when needed). All groups have one CEO/Driver.
The vehicles are factory built, with comfortable seats and air-conditioning. They are fitted with seat belts and it is mandatory to wear them.
We believe single travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and single travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.
Hostels (4 nts), houseboat (1 nt), eco camp (2 nts), lodges (2 nts). Most nights are quad-share.
Multi-share accommodation (typically 4-6 people per room) is very common in New Zealand and is the way you will be spending most of your nights. We have specifically chosen unique accommodations to give local flavour to your trip.
Accommodation will be varied throughout your adventure. Towels and soap are not always provided at overnight stops, so it's best to bring your own for bathing. Bathroom and showering facilities are shared and are very rarely en-suite.
16-20 Fort Street
Auckland, New Zealand 1010
Tel: 0508 666 237
By Taxi: $70-80, approximately 30 minutes.
By Shuttle Bus: $33 for 1 person, $8 per additional. The "Super Shuttle" is a 24-hour service that takes approximately 1 hour. The shuttle waits outside of the terminal and provides door-to-door service.
By Air Bus: $16 per person. Leaves from outside the airport terminal every 10-15 minutes and takes approximately 1 hour.
Should you need to contact G Adventures during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call our local office in Melbourne. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so we may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.
EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
G Adventures Local Office (Melbourne)
During office hours, 9am-5pm Local Time
From outside Australia: +61 3 9413 5804
From within Australia: 03 9413 5804
IF YOUR TRIP IS STARTING IN NEW ZEALAND
After office hours emergency number
From outside New Zealand: +64 2 167 7981
From within New Zealand: 02 167 7981
IF YOUR TRIP IS STARTING IN AUSTRALIA
After office hours emergency number
From outside Australia: +61 430 321 725
From within Australia: 0430 321 725
If you are unable for any reason to contact our local operations manager, please call the numbers listed below, which will connect you directly with our 24 hour Sales team, who will happily assist you.
Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from UK: 0844 272 0000
Calls from Germany: 01805 70 90 30 00
Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618
Calls from New Zealand: 0800 333 307
Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999
What to Take
You will be on the move a lot, so our advice is to pack as lightly as possible. We recommend the use of a well-labeled duffel bag, soft bag or backpack (whichever you find easiest to carry). Suitcases or heavy luggage are not recommended for the health of the CEO! A good size day-pack (20-35L) is also essential as you will have the chance to walk and hike in different national parks during these trips. This daypack will be used to carry your personal gear for the day, your lunch and a water bottle.
For days in the outdoors, we recommend the use of lightweight, breathable, moisture-wicking fabrics made of wool or synthetic fibers. Cotton is not recommended for days spent hiking as it does not allow for heat or moisture to enter or escape, and it will not dry easily once wet.
•Passport (with photocopies)
•Travel insurance (with photocopies)
•Airline tickets (with photocopies)
•Credit or debit card (see personal spending money)
•G Adventures vouchers, pre-departure information and dossier
•Any entry visas or vaccination certificates required
•Light fleece top
•Light windproof/waterproof jacket
•Personal clothing for mild to hot weather (check weather forecast for time of year you'll be visiting)
•Sturdy walking shoes
•Watch or alarm clock
•Flashlight or headlamp
•Camera, memory card(s) and charger
•Electricity plug adapter
•First-aid kit (should contain lip salve, Aspirin, bandaids, anti-histamine,
Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, rehydration powder, insect
repellent, extra prescription drugs you may be taking)
Optional Items: reading/writing material, maps, guidebooks, iPod, iReader
All countries require a valid passport (with a minimum 6 months validity). Contact your local embassy or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements, or see your travel agent. It is your own responsibility to have the correct travel documentation. Visa requirements for your trip will vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. We keep the following information up to date as far as possible, but rules do change and sometimes without warning. While we provide the following information in good faith, it is vital that you check the information yourself and understand that you are fully responsible for your own visa requirements.
For practical information on weather, typical costs, visa information, special events and much more, our Destination Guide is the place to visit! This handy guide will tell you everything you need to know about everywhere we go! Head to www.gadventures.com/destination_guide for detailed information on the countries and cities we visit.
Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
The currency in New Zealand is the New Zealand Dollar (NZD).
Credit cards are accepted almost everywhere in New Zealand and can be used to purchase small and large items. When purchasing products or services with a foreign credit card you may be charged additional fees by your credit card company for foreign purchases.
Credit cards and debit cards are very useful for cash advances but you must remember to bring your PIN number (be aware that many ATM machines only accept 4-digit PINs). Both Cirrus and Plus system cards are the most widely accepted debit cards. Both Visa and Master Cards are the most widely accepted credit cards. While ATMs are commonly available, there are no guarantees that your credit or debit cards will actually work check with your bank before you travel. A visit to an ATM can be arranged on Day 1 and other days of the trip.
Do not rely on credit or debit cards as your only source of money. A combination of local currency (preferably smaller bills, 5's, 10's and 20's), traveller’s cheques and credit cards is best. Currency exchange is best obtained prior to travel or at the airport, currency exchange is easy to find in New Zealand in the gateway cities and most banks do accommodate.
Always take more rather than less, as you don't want to spoil the trip by constantly feeling short of funds.
As currency exchange rates can fluctuate often we ask that you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com
Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD $200 (or equivalent) as an 'emergency' fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!
It is not customary in New Zealand or Australia to tip service providers, but if you do experience outstanding service it is good to do so. Such service would only usually be in places like quality restaurants and it would be very rare that you would tip more than 10%. Unless specifically asked to do so at the time (by your CEO) - do not tip your local guides. Also at the end of each trip if you felt your G Adventures Chief Experience Officer did an outstanding job, you may consider a small tip - but it certainly isn't expected.
OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES ON TOUR
All prices are per person, in NZD amounts and are subject to change as services are provided by third party operators.
Discover the Bay ‘Hole in the Rock’ Cruise $95
Swim with Dolphins Cruise $89 (+$15 POB to swim)
Waitangi Treaty Grounds $25 (admission only)
Bone Carving $55
Mountain Bike Tour $49
Maori Marae Experience $49
Tumu Tumu Tubing (blackwater rafting with walking, climbing, swimming and tubing through the Tumu Tumu cave) $138.40
Haggas Honking Holes (abseiling, rock climbing, crawling and cruising through the cave) $200
Lost World 4 hour (abseil 100m to embark on a journey through a spectacular dry cavern) $260
St Benedicts Caverns (two abseils and a flying fox experience) $138.40
Skydiving $269 (9000ft) $429 (15000ft)
White Water Rafting $95
Please note: Usually there is time for one activity in each location.
Safety and Security
Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers' cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewelery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your group leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it deemed necessary, due to safety concerns. Your Chief Experience Officer (CEO) will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy and explore at your leisure. While your CEO will assist you with options available in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions.
Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards), have a balanced approach to safety. It is our policy not to allow our CEOs to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s).
Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk. Read more about travel safety for ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling.
Our small group adventures bring together people of all ages. It is very important you are aware that an average level of fitness and mobility is required to undertake our easiest programs. Travellers must be able to walk without the aid of another person, climb 3-4 flights of stairs, step on and off small boats, and carry their own luggage at a minimum. Travellers with a pre-existing medical condition are required to complete a short medical questionnaire, which must be signed by their physician. This is to ensure that travellers have the necessary fitness and mobility to comfortably complete their chosen trip. While our leaders work hard to ensure that all our travellers are catered for equally, it is not their responsibility to help individuals who cannot complete the day's activities unaided. Please refer to the physical ratings in this Trip Details document for more information.
Please note that all passengers traveling to Antarctica are required to fill out this questionnaire.
The medical questionnaire can be found online at:
A Couple of Rules
Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our group leader has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.
Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your leader, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy we require that at a minimum you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.
Being a responsible tour operator is at the heart of what G Adventures is all about. From the start, G Adventures has been committed to offering low-impact tours that benefit traveller and host alike. While our sustainable tourism policies are constantly evolving, our commitment to socially conscious, grassroots style travel has never changed. We work with local communities, businesses and individuals to develop sustainable tourism opportunities that help local economies while minimizing negative environmental and cultural impacts.
We would like to give you a couple of tips to start you thinking about traveling sustainably.
-Please bring rechargeable batteries, a battery charger (and plug adapter if necessary). Batteries are incredibly toxic and many places that we travel do not have proper disposal facilities. Rechargeables are best but if this is not possible we recommend that you bring any used batteries back home with you for proper disposal.
-Please ask before taking pictures. Just as you would not like to have a stranger come up to you and take a picture of you while sitting on your front porch either do the locals of the places that we visit. As you can imagine pictures of their children are also not appreciated.
For more information about our commitment to responsible travel, please visit the Sustainable Tourism section of the G Adventures website: www.gadventures.com
Planeterra-The G Adventures Foundation
Our commitment to responsible tourism inspired us to establish the Planeterra Foundation in 2003, a non-profit organization dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of people and communities around the world through support of local organizations and community projects in the places that we visit on our tours. G Adventures pays all of Planeterra's administration costs, which means that 100% of each donation goes directly to support our projects. We also match all donations up to $30,000 per year to double the impact! For more information about Planeterra and the projects we support, or to make a donation, please visit www.planeterra.org
Donate when you book your trip!
We offer travellers the opportunity to help us give back to the people and places visited on our tours by donating $3 at the time of booking. Of course any amount above $3 is welcome! 100% of these proceeds will go directly to support our Planeterra projects.
To participate in this program please indicate at the time of booking that you would like to donate to Planeterra, either by clicking the check box online, or by advising your G Adventures specialist or travel agent. (Note: Donation will be charged in the currency of your booking)
After your travels, we want to hear from you! Your feedback information is so important to us that you'll receive a special discount code for free online prints and we'll give you 5% off the price of your next G Adventures trip if your feedback is completed on-line within 30 days of finishing your trip. Please visit http://www.gadventures.com/evaluations
Travel Forum - The Watering Hole
Be sure to stop by The Watering Hole, our adventure travel forum. If you're interested in meeting others booked on your upcoming trip, check out the Departure Lounge section of our forum and introduce yourself. Otherwise, just drop in at anytime to share some travel tips, ask questions, meet other travellers and quench your thirst for travel. Our forum is located at wateringhole.gadventures.com.
Keeping in Touch
If you need to be contacted while travelling we recommend that you set up an email address that can be accessed on the road, rather than relying on postal mail. Email cafes are becoming increasingly commonplace and cheap throughout the regions we visit, and have quickly become the preferred way for our leaders and travellers to stay in touch. If someone wishes to contact you in an emergency while you are on one of our trips we recommend that they contact your local booking agent, or refer to our Emergency Contact. We recommend that family and friends don't try to contact you through phoning hotels en route, as our hotels are subject to change, and our hotel receptions often don't have English speaking staff.