New Zealand North Island Hiking

A Showcase of Spectacular Nature

 

Delight in the array of wonders that bless the magnificent North Island of New Zealand. Begin with the geothermal marvels of Rotorua, then walk underneath sky-high trees of the Whiriniki rainforest. Hike through lava valleys to active volcanoes in the world-famous Tongariro National Park and soak up the surreal colors of Waiotapu - a thermal wonderland! Taste renowned New Zealand wine on Waiheke Island, and sip coffee in the cool capital of Wellington. Stays in comfortable hotels and lodges and an eclectic mix of restaurants will make your evenings just as enjoyable as the days spent outdoors. For a complete New Zealand adventure, pair this journey with our New Zealand South Island Hiking adventure.

  • Hike the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, widely regarded as one of the world's best one-day treks

  • Experience the stunning depth and breadth of New Zealand's North Island

  • Take in the enchanting Whiriniki rainforest, one of the world's last prehistoric rainforests!

Contact an Expert

Arrive:

Auckland, New Zealand

Depart:

Wellington, New Zealand

Price: from $6,495

Duration:

9 Days

Departures:

See Dates

Group Size:

6-16 Guests

Min Age:

13 yrs

Activity:

Level 3

Moderately paced hikes up to five miles, with one 12-mile, on mostly rugged dirt trails. Also includes cultural walking tours, scenic drives, and boat trips.
Learn more here.

Download Detailed Itinerary

Click here to download the Detailed Itinerary.

  • Welcome to Auckland

    Day 1

    Meet your MT Sobek guide at Auckland airport and enjoy a transfer to your hotel in the heart of the city. In the afternoon, meet your group at the lobby bar, then head out to a waterfront restaurant for your first taste of New Zealand.

    Accommodation: Heritage Hotel – Auckland

    Occupying the landmark Farmers department store building, Heritage Auckland Hotel places you right in the center of the city. Its historic wing honors the Art Deco heritage with high ceilings and jarrah columns, while the adjacent Tower features a more contemporary design. Two gyms, an indoor lap pool and a heated outdoor pool occupy the rooftop, offering vistas of Waitemata Harbor.

    Transportation: 30-minute airport transfer

    Meals: Dinner

  • Explore the Hauraki Gulf & Sip Wine on Waiheke Island

    Day 2

    Hop on the ferry to Waiheke Island, the largest island in Hauraki Gulf. Stroll along its undulating shorelines and admire gorgeous coastal headlands, vine-laden landscapes, olive groves, and pristine beaches of white sand. Transfer by shuttle to one of the island's most established wineries and enjoy a tasting of superb New Zealand wines before lunch. After returning to Auckland mid-afternoon, enjoy a relaxed evening and dinner on your own.

    Accommodation: Heritage Hotel – Auckland

    Occupying the landmark Farmers department store building, Heritage Auckland Hotel places you right in the center of the city. Its historic wing honors the Art Deco heritage with high ceilings and jarrah columns, while the adjacent Tower features a more contemporary design. Two gyms, an indoor lap pool and a heated outdoor pool occupy the rooftop, offering vistas of Waitemata Harbor.

    Activity: 40-minutes walking

    Transportation: 50-minute cruise and 10-minute shuttle transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

  • Drive to Rotorua & Hike the Tarawera Trail

    Day 3

    Drive to the town of Rotorua in the Bay of Plenty region, a beautiful area of lakes, geothermal landscapes, and lush forests. Starting from Lake Tarawera, one of 18 lakes in the region, embark on the Tarawera Trail that meanders through the bush to heavenly sand-strewn beaches where you will enjoy a trail lunch and a refreshing dip. Return by water taxi. After settling in the hotel, enjoy a lovely buffet dinner at the hotel restaurant.

    Accommodation: Holiday Inn Rotorua

    Poised by the Redwood forest and overlooking the Whakarewarewa Geothermal Reserve, Holiday Inn Rotorua immerses you in the region's unspoiled natural beauty. Its 203 rooms are modern and comfortable, with A/C and Wi-Fi. The main draw is the year-round geothermal-heated swimming pool, as well as the Champan's restaurant, locally famous for its dishes that couple Pacific flavors with international cuisine.

    Activity: Up to 5 miles/2 to 4 hours hiking

    Transportation: 3.5-hour drive to Rotorua, 20-minute water taxi

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Venture into the Whirinaki Rainforest & Explore Rotorua

    Day 4

    Hike in the majestic Whirinaki Te Pua-a-Tane Conservation Park, an ancient podocarp forest with moss-laden trees up to 1000-years old and 260-feet tall. Take a riverside loop hike, learning about this home of Ngati Whare people as well as more than 50 endangered species. Stop by a waterfall for a picnic. Back in Rotorua, tour Ohinemutu, a historic Maori village, and visit the vibrant Anglican church on Rotorua lakeshore. In the evening, feast on the traditional hangi dinner prepared in a ground pit and admire a Maori cultural performance.

    Accommodation: Holiday Inn Rotorua

    Poised by the Redwood forest and overlooking the Whakarewarewa Geothermal Reserve, Holiday Inn Rotorua immerses you in the region's unspoiled natural beauty. Its 203 rooms are modern and comfortable, with A/C and Wi-Fi. The main draw is the year-round geothermal-heated swimming pool, as well as the Champan's restaurant, locally famous for its dishes that couple Pacific flavors with international cuisine.

    Activity: 5 miles/3 to 4 hours hiking

    Transportation: 2.5-hour private transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Experience Waiotapu Thermal Reserve & Explore Lake Taupo

    Day 5

    Start the day at the spectacular Waiotapu thermal reserve — an otherworldly landscape of steaming vents, sinter craters, bizarre colored lakes, and mud pools. Weather-permitting, savor a picnic by the mighty Huka Falls or take a swim in the lake. In the late afternoon, set off by boat to explore Lake Taupo and visit contemporary Maori rock carvings in the northern ignimbrite cliffs (only accessible by water). Dine on the launch and soak up astonishing views across the lake to the volcanoes.

    Accommodation: Beech Tree Motel

    Near the Taupo lakefront, and within walking distance of cafés, shops and restaurants, Beech Tree Motel is in the perfect place for exploring the town. Its 39 self-contained rooms and studios come complete with LCD TVs and 50+ Sky TV Channels, A/C and heat pumps; most units also have deep spa baths.

    Activity: 1.5 hours/3 miles walking, 90-minute boat cruise (optional)

    Transportation: 1-hour private van transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Journey from Taupo to Tongariro National Park

    Day 6

    Start with breakfast at the hotel, then drive south skirting the eastern shore of New Zealand's largest lake, Taupo, formed by massive volcanic eruptions. Drive and hike around the bush-fringed Lake Rotopounamu, keeping an eye out for birds like the North Island robin and kaka. Rest over a picnic lunch at a beach, and then continue on to Tongariro National Park. Join your guide on one of the lower mountain walks, Taranaki Falls or Silica springs, either on the way to the hotel or after check-in.

    Accommodation: Skotel Alpine Resort

    The locally owned Skotel Alpine Resort is situated at the foot of Mount Ruapehu in the North Island's Tongariro National Park. It's cozy wood-paneled rooms have a ski-lodge feel and come well-appointed with modern amenities. Enjoy stunning views, excellent service, and great onsite facilities - including a gym, restaurant, and soothing hot tub!

    Accommodation: The Park Hotel Ruapehu

    With stunning views of the three volcanoes, the Park Hotel makes the perfect base for your stay in the North Island's Tongariro National Park. The hotel has an adventure lodge feel with simple, comfortable rooms — complete with modern amenities. Unwind in front of the roaring log fire or relax in the hot tub after a day of exploring.

    Activity: 2 to 3 miles/1.5 to 3 hours hiking

    Transportation: 2-hour private van transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Hike Tongariro Alpine Crossing

    Day 7

    Set out for a full day of hiking over the UNESCO-listed Tongariro Alpine Crossing to the craters of Mount Tongariro. This world-renowned trek features striking volcanic terrain, old lava flows, active craters, steam vents, and emerald lakes. The track can be steep and rocky at times; as such, it is best suited to hikers who are very fit. Guests who prefer a more restful day can explore the area, walk to 50-foot Soda Spring Falls, see the exhibits in the Park Visitor Center, and enjoy a lunch on their own.

    Accommodation: Skotel Alpine Resort

    The locally owned Skotel Alpine Resort is situated at the foot of Mount Ruapehu in the North Island's Tongariro National Park. It's cozy wood-paneled rooms have a ski-lodge feel and come well-appointed with modern amenities. Enjoy stunning views, excellent service, and great onsite facilities - including a gym, restaurant, and soothing hot tub!

    Accommodation: The Park Hotel Ruapehu

    With stunning views of the three volcanoes, the Park Hotel makes the perfect base for your stay in the North Island's Tongariro National Park. The hotel has an adventure lodge feel with simple, comfortable rooms — complete with modern amenities. Unwind in front of the roaring log fire or relax in the hot tub after a day of exploring.

    Activity: 12.6-miles/9-hours hiking

    Transportation: 1.5-hour private van transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Journey to Wellington & Explore the City

    Day 8

    In the morning, embark on a scenic drive to Wellington, New Zealand's vibrant Capital. Along the way, take in the dazzling imagery of Tongariro National Park, post-glacial river terraces of Rangitikei and the North Wellington coast. Savor an early lunch at a local café, and later the farewell drinks at a bar overlooking the marina. Spend the rest of the day exploring this lovely harbor city with a beach-lined waterfront, and a happening craft beer and art scene.

    Accommodation: Copthorne Hotel Wellington Oriental Bay

    Perfect for soaking up the vibe of Wellington, Copthorne Hotel occupies a prime position overlooking the harbor. Each of the 118 modern, well-equipped rooms has a balcony with ocean views, which are also the highlight of the restaurant and cocktail bar. The city's commercial and shopping areas are just a 10-minute stroll away, as are attractions such as the Te Papa Museum.

    Transportation: 4.5-hour private transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Head Home or Transfer to Nelson

    Day 9

    Trip participants who are doing the North Island journey finish the tour in Wellington. This cozy and walkable city, often called the San Francisco of New Zealand, makes for an excellent extension of the trip for a day or two. Those who are continuing on the South Island leg of the trip will take a quick mid-morning transfer to Wellington airport, followed by a 30-minute scenic flight to the town of Nelson.

    Transportation: 20-minute ferry ride and 45-minute private van transfer

    Meals: Breakfast

New Zealand North Island Hiking

Download Detailed Itinerary

Click here to download the Detailed Itinerary.

What to Expect

 

Why take this trip with us?

Reason #01

MT Sobek has been exploring the Pacific for over 20 years, working with the best local guides for immersive and fun experiences.

Reason #02

Our stellar North and South Island itineraries can be easily paired for a complete New Zealand adventure.

Reason #03

We bring you the best of New Zealand, from epic hikes and great hotels, to carefully selected local food and wine — as well as unique cultural insights.

Meet your guides

Justin Cowen

Justin Cowen

Justin grew up on a dairy farm in the Manawatu region of the North Island. Wanderlust drew him away to work as a Department of Conservation ranger around the country, interspersed with periods of travel in Asia and South America. For over a decade, guiding has fulfilled Justin's wandering spirit. A degree in sustainable communities coupled with an immense knowledge of New Zealand histories makes Justin a compelling person to chat to. Along the way, Justin has gained an intimate knowledge of New Zealand's natural and cultural history. He delights in communicating this knowledge and connecting other travellers with New Zealand's special places.

Kath Watzig

Kath Watzig

Kath originally hails from Oregon but moved to New Zealand in her early 20's, and quickly made it her home. A very experienced outdoors person, Kath has sea kayaked and trekked all over New Zealand. She lives on a small organic farm shared with six other families, where she grows most of her own food and has recreation on her doorstep. Kath's love of ecology and nature, and her practical outdoor ways, have seen her work range from landscaping to running a small tree nursery, and nowadays guiding to which she brings an infectious enthusiasm for all things 'kiwi'. Any trip Kath runs is going to have a lot of laughter in it!

Activities

Seven days of moderate hiking, cultural touring, wine tasting, and scenic boat rides.

Lodging

Comfortable, contemporary and amenity-laden hotels and lodges, mostly located by splendid natural sites.

Climate

Expect changeable weather in New Zealand's temperate, ocean-controlled climate. Temperatures range from high 60-70°Fs from January to March.

FAQ

Who will meet me on arrival?

Our MT Sobek representative will meet you and you will take a group transfer to the hotel.

Do I need a visa for New Zealand?

US citizens can travel to New Zealand without a visa and stay for up to 90 days. To do so, Americans must apply for a New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority (NZeTA) before departure. Click here for more details.

What is the Tongariro Crossing like?

This is a full day's hike of over 12 miles on a well-built track. The trail is sometimes steep, sometimes rocky and uneven and at times a scree slope. This hike is only for very fit hikers, but we offer options for others.

At what altitudes will we be hiking?

Maximum elevation is about 6,233' on the Tongariro crossing.

  • 2023
  • Go Private
  • Go Custom

2023

The earlier you book, the more choice of available dates you’ll have and once you book, your price is guaranteed.

Scheduled Dates

  • Jan 07 - 15, 2023
    $6,495 price per person dbl occ
    +$1,100 single supplement
    Available
  • Feb 04 - 12, 2023
    $6,495 price per person dbl occ
    +$1,100 single supplement
    Available
  • Mar 07 - 15, 2023
    $6,495 price per person dbl occ
    +$1,100 single supplement
    Available
  • Nov 05 - 13, 2023
    $6,595 price per person dbl occ
    +$1,100 single supplement
    Available
  • Dec 03 - 11, 2023
    $6,595 price per person dbl occ
    +$1,100 single supplement
    Available

Price Includes

  • Expertise and services of our experienced adventure guides
  • All accommodations as noted in the itinerary
  • All breakfasts, almost all lunches and dinners as noted in the itinerary
  • Snacks and water between meals
  • Additional regional guides and experts on many trips
  • Comprehensive Trip Planner with detailed pre-trip information
  • Private guided tours at historic sites, museums, wineries and other select attractions as noted in the itinerary
  • Special events and other select attractions as mentioned in the itinerary
  • All gratuities at hotels and restaurants
  • Equipment and experienced guides for activities as described in the itinerary
  • Park and other entry fees (unless otherwise noted)
  • Fares for trains, ferries and other modes of travel as listed in the itinerary
  • Select transfers as mentioned in the itinerary
  • Baggage transfers and porterage

Price Does Not Include

  • International airfare, airport taxes, and excess baggage fees
  • Alcoholic beverages (MT Sobek provides wine at select events)
  • Gratuities for MT Sobek guides and guide-drivers
  • Travel Protection Program
  • Personal expenses

Contact An Expert

800-974-0300

Need help picking your next adventure? Call us to answer your questions.

Go Private

Go Private

Gather your favorite travel companions to share an MT Sobek adventure on an easy-to-book Private departure.

Choose from the selection of dates below for your group or if your preferred date is not available, we'll create a departure just for you.

Call or email us to get the ball rolling.

*Private trips require a 25% non-refundable deposit.

Private Trip Pricing:

2023 Pricing

6 to 7 guests from $6,695 per person double occupancy

8 to 10 guests from $6,495 per person double occupancy

Additional Costs:

Private pricing excludes potential additional costs such as internal airfare, single supplement, or any park fees that may be required for the trip.

*Private trips require a 25% non-refundable deposit.

Make Your Own Dates in These Months

Price Includes

  • Expertise and services of our experienced adventure guides
  • All accommodations as noted in the itinerary
  • All breakfasts, almost all lunches and dinners as noted in the itinerary
  • Snacks and water between meals
  • Additional regional guides and experts on many trips
  • Comprehensive Trip Planner with detailed pre-trip information
  • Private guided tours at historic sites, museums, wineries and other select attractions as noted in the itinerary
  • Special events and other select attractions as mentioned in the itinerary
  • All gratuities at hotels and restaurants
  • Equipment and experienced guides for activities as described in the itinerary
  • Park and other entry fees (unless otherwise noted)
  • Fares for trains, ferries and other modes of travel as listed in the itinerary
  • Select transfers as mentioned in the itinerary
  • Baggage transfers and porterage

Price Does Not Include

  • International airfare, airport taxes, and excess baggage fees
  • Alcoholic beverages (MT Sobek provides wine at select events)
  • Gratuities for MT Sobek guides and guide-drivers
  • Travel Protection Program
  • Personal expenses

Contact An Expert

800-974-0300

Need help picking your next adventure? Call us to answer your questions.

Go Custom

Create Your Very Own Adventure

Dreaming of an adventure designed exclusively for you? With insider access and decades of experience, our travel experts create custom tailored adventures that are perfect for families, couples, and large groups. MT Sobek's custom adventures are designed to our exacting standards and led by our award-winning adventure guides.

When to start planning? Earlier is always better when designing a custom trip. More time allows for better availability of preferred accommodations, guides and your desired activities. Ideally, start the conversation with us at least 6 months before you want to travel. If you are looking for a custom trip that departs within three months, chances are greatly diminished in securing requested accommodations and the best guides.

*Custom trips require a 25% non-refundable deposit once an itinerary is agreed upon.