New Zealand–Best of the North Island

7 days,Auckland to Wellington

Surf world-famous waves, experience a historic Maori village with a local guide, conquer New Zealand's top-rated 1-day trek, dance the night away in Wellington.

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Admittedly, we haven’t checked the numbers too closely, but we’re confident that New Zealand ranks among the world’s leading producers of excitement. This quick trip across the North Island jams as many thrills as permissible by law into seven electrifying, activity-packed days. Sea kayak, learn to surf New Zealand's world-famous waves, experience Maori culture directly from the Maori themselves and more, all in a breezy week that always feels full and never feels hurried.

What's Included

  • Visit to a conservation farm (Raglan)
  • Sea kayaking (Raglan)
  • Surf lesson (Raglan)
  • Maori cultural experience
  • Tongariro Alpine Crossing (seasonal)
  • Te Papa Museum (Wellington)
  • Orientation walk in Wellington
  • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities
  • 6 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 3 dinners. (Allow NZD60-100 for meals not included.)
  • Private bus
  • Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, local guides.
  • Small group experience; Max 20, avg 16
  • Hostels (2 nts), simple hotel (1 nt), basic lodges (3 nts). Most nights are multi-share.

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Itinerary Notes

Please note that most Yolo accommodation in New Zealand is multi-share. For more info, see our Trip Details.

Day 1Auckland

Arrive at any time.

Day 2Auckland/Raglan(1B, 1L)

Visit a special conservation farm to learn about their methods before sea kayaking to a harbour for a picnic lunch.

Day 3Raglan(1B, 1D)

Enjoy an included surf lesson in one of the world's most famous surf areas, then opt to take a bone carving lesson with local Maori.

Day 4Raglan/Rotorua(1B, 1D)

Opt to go caving before heading to Rotorua, notable for its geothermal activity and culture. Visit a local village to gain insight into Maori culture. Enjoy a traditional 'Hangi' experience.

Day 5Rotorua/National Park(1B, 1D)

Travel around Lake Taupo and explore the volcanic World Heritage-listed national parks in the area. Conquer the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, New Zealand's top-rated 1-day trek (seasonal).

Day 6National Park/Wellington(1B)

Hit the nation's capital and visit the national museum, Te Papa, or stroll along Oriental Parade. Check out some of the area's great bars and cafés.

Day 7Wellington(1B)

Depart at any time.

Find dates, prices, and more trip options.

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Pics of the Week: Gary Arndt’s New Zealand

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New Zealand puts the (e)scape in landscape with rugged terrain, winding fjords, and rainbowed seaside mist. We hope you love seeing how Wanderer-in-Residence Gary Arndt views NZ with a selection of his photos on our Pics of the Week.