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AAT Kings

AAT Kings 8 Day Northern Spotlight

Explore from the Bay of Islands to the capital city of Wellington, visiting the major cities and destinations along the way, with plenty of time to explore and enjoy a great range of included activities. Enjoy a cruise through the Bay of Islands, visit the Waitomo glow worm caves, experience an evening of Maori culture with a traditional performance and hangi feast, take a peak into rural life at the Agrodome, and immerse yourself in new Zealand's past and present at the Te Papa, New Zealand's national museum.

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Tour summary and feature

Quick Itinerary Details

New Zealand escorted tour

This suggested tour costs from NZD$3,055 per person (twin share, low season)

Starts in Auckland, finishes in Wellington

8 days/7 nights

Hotel 3 star

 Pre and post tour options? YES

 Viewed 20 times in the last 7 days

This tour also includes
Cape Brett and the famous Hole in the Rock Dolphin Cruise
Waitomo Glow Worm Caves
Huka Falls
7 breakfasts, 1 dinner, 1 special dinner
Tour at a glance

Brief itinerary - AAT Kings 8 Day Northern Spotlight

Day 1: Welcome to Auckland
Accommodation: VR Queen Street (or similar)

Day 2: Pass though lush Northland farm country to reach the tropical Bay of Islands
Accommodation: Copthorne Hotel & Resort Bay of Islands (or similar)

Day 3: Enjoy the beauty of this idyllic tropical area with a dolphin cruise, a sailing trip or relaxing on the beach
Accommodation: Copthorne Hotel & Resort Bay of Islands (or similar)

Day 4: Return to Auckland via Whangarei and its quirky galleries
Accommodation: VR Queen Street (or similar)

Day 5: Travel south through lush king country - stopping at Waitomo Caves - then on to geothermal Rotorua
Accommodation: Ibis Rotorua (or similar)

Day 6: Take a day to experience the thermal delights of Rotorua
Accommodation: Ibis Rotorua (or similar)

Day 7: Stop in Lake Taupo, cross the 'volcanic plateau' then traverse the Kapiti Coast to Wellington
Accommodation: Travelodge Wellington (or similar)

Day 8: Depart Wellington today

Tour full itinerary
Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 - Welcome to Auckland

AAT Kings 8 Day Northern Spotlight - Day 1
AAT Kings 8 day Northern Spotlight

Follow the path of pioneer settlers as you travel the North Island of New Zealand, the birthplace of the country's European history. This journey takes you from the shores of the beautiful Bay of Islands to Rotorua, rich in Māori culture and traditions, and on to the spectacular scenery of Tongariro National Park the thriving modern capital, Wellington.

On arrival into Auckland airport you will be transferred to your hotel.

On arrival in Auckland, you will be transferred to your hotel.

Welcome to Auckland

This afternoon, explore Auckland at your leisure before meeting your travel director for a welcome reception back at your hotel.

Your accommodation: VR Queen Street (or similar)

VR on Queen Street offers modern self catering accommodation at the top of Queen Street. You're just a short walk from the restaurants and bars of K Road and have all the facilities you need for a comfortable stay.

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Day 2 - Pass though lush Northland farm country to reach the tropical Bay of Islands

AAT Kings 8 Day Northern Spotlight - Day 2
Auckland to the Bay of Islands and a cruise to the Hole in the Rock

This morning depart Auckland City and travel north over the Harbour Bridge past the sprawling suburbs of the North Shore of Auckland. Your travels then take you through Nothland's lush farmland scenery before arriving into the beautiful Bay of Islands. Experience spectacular scenery as you cruise through game fishing waters to Cape Brett and, weather permitting, through the famous "Hole in the Rock" formation. The return cruise to Paihia meanders through picturesque islands - see deserted sandy beaches and secluded bays and keep your eyes peeled for the marine life. This evening enjoy dinner at your hotel.

Your accommodation: Copthorne Hotel & Resort Bay of Islands (or similar)

Copthorne Hotel & Resort Bay of Islands is located within the Waitangi Treaty grounds, surrounded by native bush and the beautiful Bay of Islands Harbour.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

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Day 3 - Enjoy the beauty of this idyllic tropical area with a dolphin cruise, a sailing trip or relaxing on the beach

AAT Kings 8 Day Northern Spotlight - Day 3
Free time to explore and enjoy the Bay of Islands

Today is a completely free day for you to experience the beauty of the Bay of Islands. Perhaps head back out on to the water and go on a dolphin watching cruise, and maybe even jump in the water for a swim with these magnificent creatures. Or take a coach trip up to Cape Reinga - the very top of New Zealand, via idyllic Ninety Mile Beach. Experience a day of sailing aboard a historic tall ship, enjoy wine tasting around Kerikeri, or join a jet boat Heritage Cruise and learn a little more about the settling of the Bay of Islands. Tonight you are free to dine as you wish. You may want to experience a ‘Kiwi tradition’ – fish and chips on the beach, or glide down the Waitangi River on board the Ratanui for a sumptuous dinner cruise.  Your Travel Director will assist you in booking all of your chosen optional experiences.

Your accommodation: Copthorne Hotel & Resort Bay of Islands (or similar)

Copthorne Hotel & Resort Bay of Islands is located within the Waitangi Treaty grounds, surrounded by native bush and the beautiful Bay of Islands Harbour.

Meals included: Breakfast

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Day 4 - Return to Auckland via Whangarei and its quirky galleries

AAT Kings 8 Day Northern Spotlight - Day 4
Paihia to Auckland

Enjoy a leisurely morning in the Bay of Islands before you travel back to Auckland. Your journey south takes you to Whangarei, the northern-most city in New Zealand, where you can wander around the art galleries and through the marina in the Town Basin. Later, enjoy a stop at Parry Kauri Park and take a walk among New Zealand's native forest giants, the Kauri trees before arriving into Auckland late afternoon. Dinner tonight is included at your hotel.

Your accommodation: VR Queen Street (or similar)

VR on Queen Street offers modern self catering accommodation at the top of Queen Street. You're just a short walk from the restaurants and bars of K Road and have all the facilities you need for a comfortable stay.

Meals included: Breakfast

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Day 5 - Travel south through lush king country - stopping at Waitomo Caves - then on to geothermal Rotorua

AAT Kings 8 Day Northern Spotlight - Day 5
Auckland to Waitomo Caves onto Rotorua

A city sights tour will start your morning in Auckland. Travel to the Auckland War Memorial Museum for views across Auckland City and the Waitemata Harbour. After leaving Auckland you will follow the meandering trail of the Waikato River to Waitomo Caves. Tour the amazing limestone caverns and sail through the still waters of the sparkling Glow Worm Grotto. From Waitomo to Rotorua you will venture through the King Country region which was at the centre of the New Zealand Wars in the 1860s. On arrival in Rotorua an orientation tour takes in views of Lake Rotorua. Tonight, an evening of culture, history and scrumptious food awaits you at the Tamaki Maori Village. Wander through the ancient forest village and learn about Maori art forms and traditions, followed by a concert featuring local performers. Experience an authentic Maori Hangi meal, steamed underground in the traditional way.

Your accommodation: Ibis Rotorua (or similar)

Hotel Ibis Rotorua is located on the shores of Lake Rotorua and a short walk to city centre shops and restaurants. The government gardens and museum are also close by.

Meals included: Breakfast

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Day 6 - Take a day to experience the thermal delights of Rotorua

AAT Kings 8 Day Northern Spotlight - Day 6
Explore Rotorua

Today is your chance to experience the scenic wonders of the geothermal wonderland of Rotorua. Choose from one of the varied Optional Activities on offer. Explore Rainbow Springs Kiwi Wildlife Park and take a ‘behind the scenes' tour through the working kiwi nursery and hatchery. Visit Te Puia and join a guided tour through the Whakarewarewa Thermal Reserve, home to famous Pohutu Geyser and the bubbling beauty of the mud pools. Later, why not spend a little more time experiencing the thermal wonders, with a soak in the hot mineral waters of the Polynesian Spas? Your AAT Kings Travel Director will assist you in booking all your chosen optional activities.

Your accommodation: Ibis Rotorua (or similar)

Hotel Ibis Rotorua is located on the shores of Lake Rotorua and a short walk to city centre shops and restaurants. The government gardens and museum are also close by.

Meals included: Breakfast, Speciality Dinner

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Day 7 - Stop in Lake Taupo, cross the 'volcanic plateau' then traverse the Kapiti Coast to Wellington

AAT Kings 8 Day Northern Spotlight - Day 7
Rotorua to Taupo and the capital city of Wellington

Depart Rotorua this morning and journey out through pine forests and farmland to a little hidden spot, the turquoise torrent of rapids known as Huka Falls. The road ahead unfolds in a broad panorama of Lake Taupo, New Zealand’s largest lake. The stunningly blue fresh water of Lake Taupo is home to some of the best trout fishing in the world. You will then journey south over the Central Plateau, New Zealand’s main volcanic area. In a country of contrasts, perhaps nothing is more striking than the three peaks of Tongariro National Park rising starkly from the surrounding plateau of tussock and near-desert. Pass through a number of small towns along the road to Wellington, each with their own personality and quirks. Probably the quirkiest of all would have to be Taihape… the self-proclaimed gumboot capital of the world. Travel along the Kapiti Coast, the traditional summer playground of the inhabitants of Wellington city. And as you follow the state highway, the Kapiti Coast becomes New Zealand’s capital city, Wellington. Tonight dinner is included at your hotel.

Your accommodation: Travelodge Wellington (or similar)

Located right in the city centre the Travelodge Wellington offers great accommodation and facilities all within easy walking of the city attractions.

Meals included: Breakfast

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Day 8 - Depart Wellington today

AAT Kings 8 Day Northern Spotlight - Day 8
Explore Wellington City and then your tour concludes

After a city sights tour of Wellington taking in New Zealand's parliament buildings, and a visit to Te Papa, the Museum of New Zealand, enjoy some time at leisure. Indulge in Wellington's renowned coffee culture, or take a walk along Lambton Quay - the heart of the central business district of Wellington. Your AAT Kings New Zealand holiday concludes this afternoon. Your flights will need to depart after 2.00pm, and you will be transferred to Wellington Airport.

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