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Thrifty Tours

Northern Highlights

Immerse yourself in the rich culture of New Zealand's Maori heritage, including a traditional hangi and concert.

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Tour summary and feature

Quick Itinerary Details

New Zealand independent tour

This suggested tour costs from NZD$1,126 per person (twin share, low season)

Starts in Auckland, finishes in Wellington

3 days/2 nights

Hotel 4 star

 Customisable? YES

 Viewed 130 times in the last 7 days

This tour also includes
- Rotorua Accommodation to Rotorua Intercity Depot
Meals included: 2 breakfasts
Tour at a glance

Brief itinerary - Northern Highlights

Day 1: Travel to Waitomo Caves and then onto Rotorua, visit Tamaki Maori Village this evening
Accommodation: Millennium Hotel Rotorua

Day 2: Tour through Rotorua and its picturesque lakes. Free time this afternoon
Accommodation: Millennium Hotel Rotorua

Day 3: Travel south today to Wellington via Lake Taupo

Tour full itinerary
Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 - Travel to Waitomo Caves and then onto Rotorua, visit Tamaki Maori Village this evening

Northern Highlights - Day 1
Auckland to Rotorua including Waitomo Caves with GreatSights

Enjoy a tour from Auckland to Rotorua including a guided tour of the fascinating Waitomo Glowworm Caves.  Leaving Auckland in the morning you travel through the lush farmland of the Waikato and King Country regions. Your experienced local driver guide will provide a commentary as you travel to Waitomo and point out sites of interest including Rangiriri, the location of a historic Māori land wars battle between forces loyal to the Māori King and the Colonial Government in 1863.
On arrival in the small town of Waitomo enjoy a guided tour through the world famous Waitomo Glowworm Caves with their amazing stalactites, stalagmites and other limestone formations. Finish the tour with a silent boat ride through the Glowworm Grotto - a subterranean cavern lit up by the lights of thousands of tiny glowworms.
Continue your tour this afternoon by driving to Rotorua, passing through the beautiful Fitzgerald Glade where the roadside trees arch overhead to form a tunnel of natural greenery.

Te Pā Tū Evening Maori Cultural Experience

New Zealand’s Most Awarded Cultural Attraction, Tamaki Māori Village presents TE PĀ TŪ. Feast on song, drama, tradition, and divine seasonal kai (cuisine) within the forest Pā (village) –blanketed by towering Tawa trees, blazing bonfires, and a forest-formed amphitheatre. Te Pā Tū shares Māori history, traditions, and cultural aspirations across 4-hours of celebration and feasting. These events change with each season of the maramataka, the Māori lunar calendar. 

Your accommodation: Millennium Hotel Rotorua

Millennium Hotel is Rotorua's largest 4-star deluxe hotel. Perfectly situated in the heart of the city overlooking Lake Rotorua. Five levels of accommodation offer guests a wide variety of scenic views.

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Day 2 - Tour through Rotorua and its picturesque lakes. Free time this afternoon

Northern Highlights - Day 2
Rotorua Duck Tours City & Lakes Tour

You haven't seen Rotorua until you've seen it from a Duck. Discover Rotorua in the most unique way possible with the City and Lakes Tour. This unique sightseeing adventure takes place on land and water, on-board a WWII amphibious Duck. Unlike any other tour in Rotorua, the duck tour is the best way to see the city and experience the beauty of the surrounding lake district all at once.
Your tour begins right in the heart of the city where you will discover the sights and sounds, and learn all about the rich history and diversity that makes Rotorua such a unique destination. With your conDUCKtor, you will venture out of town to the spectacular lakes district where you will see magnificent views of Mt Tarawera and splashdown into Lake Tikitapu (Blue Lake) and Lake Okareka.

Rotorua afternoon at leisure

This afternoon is completely at your leisure to explore one of New Zealand most unique towns. Take a stroll along the beautiful lakefront, take a guided tour at either Wai-O-Tapu or Waimangu Volcanic Valley and experience the geothermal features Rotorua has to offer. Also not to miss is the Rotorua Duck Tour around the city and lakes providing you with history and a thrill ride.
You might also like to take a helicopter ride to view the Volcanic Peaks of Mount Tarawera at 3680 feet or cycle the Whakarewarewa Redwood Forest.
You could also travel on the paddle boat, 'Lakeland Queen' on Lake Rotorua. Alternatively, you might want to try something more adventurous like zipping through a native forest with Rotorua Canopy Tours.

Your accommodation: Millennium Hotel Rotorua

Millennium Hotel is Rotorua's largest 4-star deluxe hotel. Perfectly situated in the heart of the city overlooking Lake Rotorua. Five levels of accommodation offer guests a wide variety of scenic views.

Meals included: Breakfast

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Day 3 - Travel south today to Wellington via Lake Taupo

Northern Highlights - Day 3
Rotorua Accommodation to Rotorua Intercity Depot

You will be collected from your accommodation and transferred to Intercity Depot.
Please note that this is a shared transfer, there may be 2-3 extra stops along the way.

Rotorua to Wellington by InterCity Coach

Your coach journey from Rotorua to Wellington takes you via the township of Taupō and New Zealand's largest lake. The lake itself is actually a gigantic volcanic caldera formed during one of the worlds largest ever eruptions. Skirting Tongariro National Park, one of New Zealand's three world heritage sites and clouds permitting you can see the 2,500 metre peak of the still volcanically active Mt. Ruapehu. You might recognise the symmetrical shape of Mt. Ngauruhoe as this was used as the scenery of Mt. Doom in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. Heading south you pass through the rural towns of Taihape, Mangaweka and Bulls before arriving on the Kapiti Coast, with its coastal seaside towns of Paraparaumu, Paekakariki and Plimmerton. The Kapiti Coast leads into Wellington, New Zealand's capital. Wellington sits on a wonderful deep natural harbour and is surrounded by bush clad hills. The city centre itself is quite compact (only around 1 square kilometre), so exploring on foot is relatively easy. From your city centre accommodation you can easily stroll the cafes and restaurants around Courtenay Place and explore New Zealand's national museum, Te Papa, which is also close by.

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Jul 8, 2022
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