Fine Tours New Zealand
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Call us FREE in New Zealand on 1855 277 3818

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18 Day Forests and Coasts Walking Experience

18 days starting in Auckland, finishing in Christchurch
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12 Day Northern Centre & Tongariro Experience

Auckland to Auckland, 12 days 11 nights self drive tour, staying in Boutique lodges & hotels

12 Day Northern Centre & Tongariro Experience
12 Day Northern Centre & Tongariro Experience
12 Day Northern Centre & Tongariro Experience
12 Day Northern Centre & Tongariro Experience

Tour map

This tour focuses on the contrasting landscape of the volcanic plateau in the central North Island, and the beaches and forests of the Coromandel Peninsula. Enjoy 4 days exploring the peaks and alpine forests of Tongariro National Park, including the world renowned Tongariro Crossing. In the Coromandel, be led by a local kiwi guide through the forest-clad ranges to discover the history and natural wonders hidden within. This tour rewards you with remarkable scenery and the satisfaction of accomplishing some great walks.

The approximate total driving distance and time for this itinerary is: 806 kms / 500 miles, 10.6 hours

You can expect to spend around NZ$116 in fuel cost on this itinerary based on an intermediate sized car.

 

Day 1

Arrive Auckland, transfer to hotel

Personal meet and greet, and private transfer to your accommodation

On arrival you will be met by one of our team and driven to your Auckland accommodation.

Your tour documentation pack and support

Your tour documentation pack and support
Your tour documentation pack and support
Your tour documentation pack and support
Your tour documentation pack and support

Once you touch down in New Zealand your detailed tour pack will be hand delivered by one of our trusted representatives. The pack contains everything you need for the duration of your stay. It will include a comprehensive, printed and bound version of your itinerary as well as clear driving instructions and maps for each leg of your journey. It also contains all the reservation details for your accommodation and activities - along with relevant brochures and information. While in New Zealand we offer 24 hour support - details on how to contact us at any time will be well documented.

Welcome to Auckland City

Welcome to Auckland City
Welcome to Auckland City
Welcome to Auckland City
Welcome to Auckland City

Auckland, New Zealand’s self-proclaimed ‘City of Sails’ is the country’s largest metro area. Resting between the Pacific Ocean and the Tasman Sea, this urban paradise has something for everyone. Surrounded by native bush, rainforests and an abundance of beaches, Auckland is a playground for both the city savvy and those with an eye for adventure. Explore the central museums and galleries on foot, or take a drive through one of over 800 regional National Parks to see deserted beaches, waterfalls and native forest.

Your accommodation - Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour

Style: Luxury Lodges & hotels

Accommodation features

  • Check in time: 2 pm
  • Check out time: 10 am
  • Walk time to shops/restaurants: 2-5 mins
  • Parking: onsite paid parking NZ$35-NZ$45 per 24 hrs
  • Internet facilities: In room free access
  • Restaurant on site
  • Breakfast service available
  • Bar on site
  • Tea/coffee facilities in room
  • Room service available
  • Hairdryer
  • Laundry facilities: Drycleaning service available
  • Swimming pool
  • Gym/fitness centre
Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour
Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour
Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour
Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour
 

Day 2

Your rental car is delivered then drive Auckland to Lake Taupo

Driving distance and time: 267 kms / 166 miles : 3.1 hours

 

Times are based on averages for this specific route and allow for stops. Use these times as guidelines and to assist in the planning for your day.

 

Today collect your rental vehicle for your Fine Tours New Zealand holiday

Today collect your rental vehicle for your Fine Tours New Zealand holiday
Today collect your rental vehicle for your Fine Tours New Zealand holiday
Today collect your rental vehicle for your Fine Tours New Zealand holiday
Today collect your rental vehicle for your Fine Tours New Zealand holiday

Collect your rental vehicle for your Fine Tours New Zealand holiday.  You can choose from an extensive range of late model cars and 4WD vehicles, from Europcar, Budget or Hertz.

GPS navigation system

Use the latest GPS technology as you tour New Zealand. Your portable GPS features a simple touch screen interface with automatic route calculation and turn-by-turn voice-prompted directions including street name announcement. The automotive-grade GPS unit is easy to use and has multiple language options.

Auckland to Taupo

Auckland to Taupo
Auckland to Taupo
Auckland to Taupo
Auckland to Taupo

Heading south from Auckland you'll go through the lush pastures of Waikato king country. Choose to bypass Hamilton or if you've got the time, stop in to visit the renowned Hamilton Gardens - a detour we highly recommend. Continue on, following the Waikato River through the small township of Cambridge to eventually arrive in Taupo, which sits on New Zealand's largest lake - Lake Taupo - and is actually a giant volcanic caldera.

Your accommodation - Lake Taupo Lodge

Style: Boutique lodges & hotels

Meals included: Breakfast

Accommodation features

  • Check in time: 2 pm
  • Check out time: 11 am
  • Parking: onsite free parking
  • Includes continental breakfast
  • Includes cooked breakfast
  • Dinner service available
Lake Taupo Lodge
Lake Taupo Lodge
Lake Taupo Lodge
Lake Taupo Lodge
 

Day 3

Begin your Guided Tongariro National Park Hiking Tour

Tongariro 3.5 Day Hiking Tour

Tongariro 3.5 Day Hiking Tour
Tongariro 3.5 Day Hiking Tour
Tongariro 3.5 Day Hiking Tour
Tongariro 3.5 Day Hiking Tour

Tongariro National Park - a dual listed World Heritage Area - boasts diverse landscapes for visitors to discover. With arid badlands, crater and alpine lakes, sparkling rivers, breath-taking lunar landscapes, lush rainforest and alpine meadows to be explored, a summer hiking vacation is an utterly unique experience not to be missed! The itinerary below is a basic outline. Your experienced local guide will choose the best walks to suit weather conditions and fitness levels, to ensure you get the most from your time in this special region. Difficulty: Moderate to hard

Trip includes: All meals, snacks, hot and cold drinks; NZ wine and beer with evening meals; 3 nights lodge accommodation; full linen; Rotorua or Taupo return transport (door-to-door); transport to all walks; park fees; chair lift tickets; hot pool entry; knowledgeable and experienced guides. Dinners are delicious 2 course meals with a focus on NZ style cuisine, with generous pre-dinner nibbles and drinks. Breakfasts have cooked and continental options. Packed lunches are made fresh daily.

Day 1 – Arrive into Tongariro National Park and welcome dinner

Arrive at The Chateau in Tongariro National Park, with breathtaking views of the volcanoes and park. Settle in with a glass of New Zealand wine & cheeses, while your guide briefs you on tomorrow's walk - The Tongariro Alpine Crossing - one of the world's best day hikes, and the primary objective of this hiking tour. Enjoy a delicious restaurant dinner with your small group of hiking friends.

Your accommodation - Bayview Chateau Tongariro

Style: Hotel 4 star

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Accommodation features

  • Check in time: 3 pm
  • Check out time: 10 am
  • Parking: onsite free parking
  • Internet facilities: In room paid access
  • Restaurant on site
  • Breakfast service available
  • Bar on site
  • Tea/coffee facilities in room
  • Hairdryer
  • Gym/fitness centre
  • All rooms non smoking
Bayview Chateau Tongariro
Bayview Chateau Tongariro
Bayview Chateau Tongariro
Bayview Chateau Tongariro
 

Day 4

Today you tackle the Tongariro Crossing

Day 2 – The Tongariro Crossing

Day 2 – The Tongariro Crossing
Day 2 – The Tongariro Crossing
Day 2 – The Tongariro Crossing
Day 2 – The Tongariro Crossing

The track runs through the Mangatepopo Valley (900m) to the saddle between Tongariro and Ngauruhoe Mountains. Two steep climbs lead to Red Crater (1886m), then a scree slope drops down to the vivid Emerald Lakes. After passing the Green and Blue lakes the track sidles around the northern slope of Mount Tongariro, before the long descent of switch-backs and many steps to the end (600m). Fair weather and a good level of fitness are required to undertake this hike. Today's walk is 17km and will take between 7 and 8 hours.  Afterwards return to the Chateau and revive your weary muscles in the plunge pool and sauna, before meeting in the delightful lounge for pre-dinner aperitifs. Tonight you'll head out to a local pub/restaurant for a casual meal with the locals.

Your accommodation - Bayview Chateau Tongariro

Style: Hotel 4 star

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

Day 5

With the help of a chairlift you'll climb Mt Ruapehu to its Crater Lake

Day 3 – Ruapehu Crater Lake

Day 3 – Ruapehu Crater Lake
Day 3 – Ruapehu Crater Lake
Day 3 – Ruapehu Crater Lake
Day 3 – Ruapehu Crater Lake

The climb to the Mt Ruapehu Crater Lake is equally as stunning as the Tongariro Crossing, but offers a different array of landscapes and is crowd-free. Take a chair lift up to 2000m, then hike up to the Crater Lake near the summit (approx 2 hours up to 2660m). There is no formed trail; the guide will choose the best route through boulder fields, old lava flows and patches of snow. The climax is reaching the active acid Crater Lake, whose waters reach temperatures of up to 60°C, not to mention the unforgettable 360 degree views from near the summit of the North Island's highest mountain. (This walk is very weather dependent, and may not be possible early or late season due to snow and/or chairlift being closed). If you fancy a more relaxing day you will have the option of joining a guide to do some of the shorter walks in the area, perhaps to the Tama Lakes.  Duration of walking today is 6 to 8 hours. Tonight enjoy a final celebration dinner with your group in the Chateau’s elegant Ruapehu Restaurant.

Your accommodation - Bayview Chateau Tongariro

Style: Hotel 4 star

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

Day 6

Explore the forests and lowlands of Tongariro National Park before returning to Taupo

Day 4 – Taranaki Falls

Day 4 – Taranaki Falls
Day 4 – Taranaki Falls
Day 4 – Taranaki Falls
Day 4 – Taranaki Falls

After another delicious cooked breakfast pack up and leave the lodge. Today’s walk may lead to the Taranaki Falls, tumbling 20 metres over the edge of an old lava flow, which erupted from Mt Ruapehu 15,000 years ago. The falls plunge into a boulder-ringed pool – a great spot for a picnic. The track passes through an interesting range of alpine meadows and beech forest. In total contrast to the previous walks there is also a perfect temperate rainforest to explore, and an historic Maori fortress. Duration of walking today is 3 to 5 hours.

Your accommodation - Lake Taupo Lodge

Style: Boutique lodges & hotels

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

 

Day 7

Travel the Geothermal Highway to Rotorua

Driving distance and time: 76 kms / 47 miles : 0.9 hours

 

Times are based on averages for this specific route and allow for stops. Use these times as guidelines and to assist in the planning for your day.

 

Taupo to Rotorua

Taupo to Rotorua
Taupo to Rotorua
Taupo to Rotorua
Taupo to Rotorua

The drive today takes you through the city of Rotorua, famous for its bubbling mud pools and Maori culture. Wai O Tapu Thermal Wonderland and the Waimangu Volcanic Valley are well signposted on the highway between the two towns. On Rotorua's lake front Volcanic Air Safaris offer scenic flights over Mt. Tarawera or for a longer trip to White Island, one of the most active volcanoes in the region. The Rotorua Museum and Blue Baths in the Government Gardens offer one of the best displays of any museum in the country. Focussing on local history the eruption of Mt. Tarawera in 1886 is brought to life.

Your accommodation - Wildwood Lodge

Style: Luxury Lodges & hotels

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Accommodation features

  • Parking: onsite free parking
  • Internet facilities: In room free access
  • Includes continental breakfast
  • Includes cooked breakfast
Wildwood Lodge
Wildwood Lodge
Wildwood Lodge
Wildwood Lodge
 

Day 8

Today is your rest day, give your body a treat at the Polynesian Spa

Polynesian Spa Thermal Mud Polish & Aix Spa Massage

Polynesian Spa Thermal Mud Polish & Aix Spa Massage
Polynesian Spa Thermal Mud Polish & Aix Spa Massage
Polynesian Spa Thermal Mud Polish & Aix Spa Massage
Polynesian Spa Thermal Mud Polish & Aix Spa Massage

Rotorua's Polynesian Spa offers a unique thermal spa experience on the shore of Lake Rotorua. Voted a World Top Ten Spa (medical and thermal spas) by readers of the prestigious Conde Nast Traveller magazine 2004-2007, this is the ultimate in relaxation and regeneration. Begin your spa treatment with a pre-therapy soak in the deluxe lake spa. Enjoy tranquil bathing and lake views in four shallow alkaline rock pools, each with different temperatures (36˚C to 42˚C). Here you are surrounded by revitalising native New Zealand flora, natural rocks, the sound of two waterfalls and a grotto. The pools are filled with soothing alkaline mineral water leaving your skin soft and supple.  You will then be treated to the popular 'mud massage' a signature service of Polynesian Spa. Your therapist will exfoliate your body with the unique Rotorua mud polish to remove dry skin. You'll then rinse off the polish under a warm shower followed by a massage using organic coconut oil while the water is running, leaving your skin feeling soft and hydrated and your body relaxed.  You can then return to the deluxe lake spa for a post treatment soak.

Explore Rotorua

Explore Rotorua
Explore Rotorua
Explore Rotorua
Explore Rotorua

Peppered with natural hot springs, boiling mud pools and steaming geysers, Rotorua sits within one of the worlds most active volcanic regions. But geothermal landmarks aside, this city of sulphur has a rich indigenous history. Home to several prominent Maori tribes, a visit to the Mitai Maori Village should be high on your agenda, as should an excursion to the Polynesian Spa for an invigorating soak in its natural mineral hot springs.Live on the edge when you hop aboard a helicopter bound for White Island, New Zealand’s most active volcano. Spike your adrenaline at Agroventures on stomach-dropping attractions such as static skydiving, or a giant swing reaching 130 km per hour. Go up the Gondola for soaring lake views, and ride the luge at night for an extra thrill.Fans of Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit should drive to nearby Matamata and experience the actual movie set ‘Hobbiton’. Make the most of your time in Rotorua with an excursion through the Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, one of the area’s most colorful volcanic attractions.

Your accommodation - Wildwood Lodge

Style: Luxury Lodges & hotels

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

 

Day 9

Drive north to the idyllic seaside town of Tairua

Driving distance and time: 192 kms / 119 miles : 2.6 hours

 

Times are based on averages for this specific route and allow for stops. Use these times as guidelines and to assist in the planning for your day.

 

Rotorua to Tairua, Coromandel Peninsula

Rotorua to Tairua, Coromandel Peninsula
Rotorua to Tairua, Coromandel Peninsula
Rotorua to Tairua, Coromandel Peninsula
Rotorua to Tairua, Coromandel Peninsula

Today take Pyes Pa Road - the scenic route towards the Bay of Plenty and the town of Tauranga - before heading north along the coast towards the first of the Coromandel towns, Waihi. This old gold mining settlement still has an operating open cast mine and you can view its workings from a vantage point near the city centre. For rail enthusiasts, the Goldfields Railway operates passenger trains along a scenic and historic section of track towards Waikino. Continue on through the popular holiday destination of Whangamata to arrive into Tairua, Coromandel Peninsula.

Your accommodation - Grand Mercure Puka Park Resort

Style: Hotel 4 star

Meals included: Breakfast

Accommodation features

  • Check in time: 2 pm
  • Check out time: 11 am
  • Parking: onsite free parking
  • Internet facilities: On site free access
  • Restaurant on site
  • Bar on site
  • Tea/coffee facilities in room
  • Hairdryer
  • Laundry facilities: Drycleaning service available
  • Swimming pool
  • Gym/fitness centre
  • All rooms non smoking
Grand Mercure Puka Park Resort
Grand Mercure Puka Park Resort
Grand Mercure Puka Park Resort
Grand Mercure Puka Park Resort
 

Day 10

Today you'll explore the inland rainforest of the Coromandel Peninsula

Kiwi Dundee Wilderness Adventure day walk

Kiwi Dundee Wilderness Adventure day walk
Kiwi Dundee Wilderness Adventure day walk
Kiwi Dundee Wilderness Adventure day walk
Kiwi Dundee Wilderness Adventure day walk

Ideal for those who enjoy walking and photography. This day will take you into tranquil and remote pristine rainforest surrounded by giant rock faces, rugged volcanic peaks, ancient Kauri, Rimu and Rata trees. Wonder at the world's largest tree ferns, crystal clear rivers and rock pools. Visit historic gold caves, home to sparkling glowworms. Enjoy the fascinating history and learn about the flora and fauna within this magnificent forest. You experienced guided ensures you enjoy the region to the fullest and also carries your picnic lunch. This is a moderately challenging walk over some uneven surfaces.

Your accommodation - Grand Mercure Puka Park Resort

Style: Hotel 4 star

Meals included: Breakfast

 

Day 11

A beautiful road trip today takes you around peninsula before heading back to Auckland

Driving distance and time: 247 kms / 153 miles : 3.6 hours

 

Times are based on averages for this specific route and allow for stops. Use these times as guidelines and to assist in the planning for your day.

 

Tairua to Auckland through Coromandel Township

Tairua to Auckland through Coromandel Township
Tairua to Auckland through Coromandel Township
Tairua to Auckland through Coromandel Township
Tairua to Auckland through Coromandel Township

Today you'll drive the scenic coastal road north to Coromandel Town, before following the Firth of Thames inland and then continuing north to Auckland.  The Coromandel ranges run the length of the peninsular and provide some of the most dramatic bush clad mountain scenery in the North Island. The tallest peak is Mt. Te Aroha at 953 metres. Heading north along the east coast you pass through the town of Whitianga and from here you can take the small foot ferry over to Cooks Beach and Flaxmill Bay.  When gold was discovered in the ranges in the 1850's the population of the area, Coromandel Township in particular, grew very quickly as miners followed the gold rushes of the era. Today there are still known deposits of gold, silver, lead and zinc throughout the ranges but residents and conservationists are unlikely to allow any form of exploitation of the region. Remote towns, isolated bays and a rich history of pioneers and fortune hunters make this one of the more diverse regions to explore. The west coast of the peninsula drops to the Firth of Thames with steep pohutukawa clad cliffs, on the other side of the Firth of Thames is Miranda and this out of the way spot is a haven for shorebirds. Ornithological societies have censured the numbers and found that 5-6,000 lesser knots and 7-10, 000 bar tailed godwits travel here during the summer months before departing to the Siberian and Alaskan feeding grounds. In addition over 20, 000 South Island pied oystercatchers and 300 wrybills spend the summer months here after breeding in the South Island. For more information, the Miranda Shorebirds Centre has a number of displays on the local wildlife. The shoreline of Miranda itself is also very unique and is considered the finest example in the world of an active sand and chenier plain. The Hunua ranges to the east mark the original shoreline about 4000 years ago and since then continuous tidal and wind action has deposited shell ridges to form the land or coastal plain you see today. The drive to Auckland now takes you through the Hauraki Plains, a very fertile dairy farming region and then State Highway 1 delivers you to Auckland City.

Your accommodation - Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour

Style: Luxury Lodges & hotels

Meals included: Breakfast

 

Day 12

Depart Auckland today

Driving distance and time: 25 kms / 16 miles : 0.4 hours

 

Times are based on averages for this specific route and allow for stops. Use these times as guidelines and to assist in the planning for your day.

 

Depart Auckland today

Explore more of vibrant Auckland city before dropping your rental car at the airport depot and continuing your onward journey.

 
 
price from
NZ$ 6,190.00 pp (small car, low season - details)

This tour includes