Experience the geothermal wonders and authentic Maori culture of New Zealand's North Island on this exciting multisport adventure. Hike, trek, kayak - even cycle - your way from Auckland to Wellington, fueled by a bounty of fresh local fare and delicious wines. Gear up for a magnificent hike on the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, one of the most famous treks in New Zealand, and cycle the historic Ohakune Old Coach Road. Revel in the beauty of the Hauraki Gulf and its iconic volcanic islands and delight in a two-day kiwi-spotting expedition on Kapiti Island. Active adventurers will love this unique way to see the best of the North Island.
Immerse yourself in the North Island's authentic Maori culture
Hike the famous Tongariro Alpine Crossing and cycle a historic route
Marvel at natural wonders, from geothermal hotspots and coastal forests to lovable the kiwis of Kapiti Island
Welcome to Auckland, the City of Sails! Take time to relax and explore before an evening briefing with your guide, then head out tonight for a celebratory group welcome dinner.
Wake for a cruise across the Hauraki Gulf to iconic Rangitoto Island, the youngest volcano in New Zealand, and home to flourishing native flora and fauna. Take an easy to moderate hike through lava fields and forests to the island's summit at 850 feet. Stunning panoramic views of Auckland and the Hauraki Gulf await. Descend from the summit towards Islington Bay, where you'll take a boat to Waiheke Island - a haven of beautiful vineyards, olive groves and beaches. Wine taste at one of the boutique wineries on this "island of wine" before returning to Auckland.
After breakfast, head south to Rotorua, known for its geothermal activity and Maori culture. On arrival, stretch your legs with a hike through the nearby coastal redwood forest. Options for the afternoon include a gentle hike at stunning Blue Lake, an immersive cultural tour through Ohinemutu to the Te Papaiouru Marae, or an afternoon of leisure in Rotorua.
Rise for an action-packed day filled with cultural, historical and natural wonders. Start at the New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute, which preserves and promotes Maori culture through traditional Maori arts and crafts. Next, head to Orakei Korako Geothermal Park — only accessible by a short ferry ride across the lake — for a boardwalk hike amid geysers, hot springs, and bubbling mud pools. Enjoy lunch in the lakefront town of Taupo and then tackle the 1.5-hour Huka Falls hike ending at the Aratiatia Rapids and Aratiatia Dam. Watch in wonder as the dam opens at 4pm. The rapids are one of the most popular natural attractions on the North Island and a highlight of your adventure!
Start the day with a morning kayak tour of the impressive Mine Bay Maori Rock. Return to Acacia Bay for lunch and then drive south beside stunning Lake Taupo, New Zealand's biggest lake. Next, take a beautiful 3-mile hike around Lake Rotopounamu - one of the best short walks in the North Island. Its surrounding native forest and is well-loved by birdwatchers! End the walk with a short drive to Whakapapa for a two-day day at The Chateau.
Wake early today to tackle the 11-mile Tongariro Alpine Crossing, which starts in the Mangatepopo Valley and finishes at the Ketetahi road. The crossing passes over spectacular volcanic terrain. Cold mountain springs, lava flows, an active crater, steam vents, emerald-coloured lakes and magnificent views combine to make this an enjoyable and memorable trip. Mount Tongariro (6,489 feet) has 12 separate ash cones and was immortalized as Mordor and Mount Doom in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. UNESCO-listed Tongariro was also the first national park in New Zealand, recognized both for its Maori culture as well as its volcanic features.
Optional local activities are available for those who prefer to spend the day relaxing. Dinner tonight is at The Chateau.
Originally used by horse-drawn coach as a connecting route between the two rail heads of the unfinished North Island trunk line, the Ohakune Old Coach Road is steeped in history and creates a stunning cycling trip. Drive 30 minutes to Horopito and cycle 9 miles to Ohakune via the Ohakune Coach Road. This exciting adventure through a bush corridor on the slopes of Mount Ruapehu is a journey back in time.
Wake for a boat ride across the thriving marine reserve to verdant Kapiti Island, where you'll enjoy a two-day kiwi spotting adventure! Seeing kiwis in their natural habitat is a New Zealand must and you'll begin your expert-led search in Rangatira, located in the middle of the island. Follow forest trails by day (and at night) to spot kiwis and a variety of other endangered native birds within the lush regenerating bush. Experience genuine Maori hospitality throughout your stay.
After breakfast, head out for a second day of kiwi spotting at the north end of Kapiti Island. Follow grassland and forest tracks, and enjoy wonderful views of freshwater Okupe Lagoon. This afternoon, return to Wellington via ferry and private van, and end your adventure with a special farewell group dinner.
Enjoy breakfast before a group transfer to the airport for homeward-bound flights.
MT Sobek has been exploring the Pacific for over 20 years, working with the best local guides for an immersive and fun experiences.
This modern New Zealand multisport adventure blends hiking, cycling, SUP boarding, and wildlife watching on unique and remote islands.
The opportunity to search for the native flightless bird and national symbol of New Zealand— the Kiwi!
Our expert guides and trip leaders are truly the key to our trips' success. Many are locals who live in-country year-round; others have made it their second home—all are passionate, enthusiastic and endlessly knowledgeable. Meet a few of the guides that might be on your trip.
Moderately paced hiking and cycling, plus wine tasting and kiwi spotting opportunities.
Comfortable hotels in spectacular natural settings — perfectly located for active days.
Temperatures can vary between 50°F to 90°F during the day and may include sunshine and rain.
Kapiti Island is home to over 1,200 Little Spotted Kiwi (LSK), making it the most prolific population of LS Kiwi to be found, and one of the most reliable opportunities to see them in the wild. Please understand that Little Spotted Kiwi on Kapiti Island are not in captivity. Accordingly, we cannot guarantee their behaviour or sightings on any given night.
Make any of our trips a custom adventure or start from scratch. Take two itineraries and match them up to create a unique third. Add extras and extensions and more...if you can imagine it, we can make it happen!
"My first experience with MT Sobek was a trip to New Zealand. Everything about it met or exceeded my expectations. The guides, the dining, the accommodations, the activities were all top notch and I would recommend MT Sobek without hesitation!"
MT Sobek Guest, New Zealand
"MT Sobek's New Zealand adventure is the best way to immerse yourself in the beauty and culture of the country. You have to experience New Zealand with MT Sobek!
MT Sobek Guest, New Zealand