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New Zealand tour itinerary name and information
Thrifty Tours

Best of the North

Explore the best of the North Island. Cruise the sheltered waters of the Bay of Islands, visit the top of the country at Cape Reinga, explore ancient limestone caves, discover a pre-European Maori Village and enjoy a drink at the Green Dragon Inn after your tour of the Hobbiton Movie Set.

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Tour summary and feature

Quick Itinerary Details

New Zealand independent tour

This suggested tour costs from NZD$2,015 per person (twin share, low season)

Starts in Auckland, finishes in Auckland

5 days/4 nights

Hotel 4 star

 Customisable? YES

 Viewed 77 times in the last 7 days

This tour also includes
- Rotorua Intercity Depot to Rotorua Accommodation
- Shuttle Transfer - Paihia Accommodation to Coach Depot
- Shuttle Transfer - Paihia Coach Depot to Accommodation
4 breakfasts, 1 special dinner
Tour at a glance

Brief itinerary - Best of the North

Day 1: Head north to Bay of Islands and visit the Waitangi Treaty Grounds
Accommodation: Copthorne Hotel & Resort Bay of Islands

Day 2: Visit the top of New Zealand on a Cape Reinga day tour
Accommodation: Copthorne Hotel & Resort Bay of Islands

Day 3: Today return through Auckland and onto the city of Rotorua
Accommodation: Millennium Hotel Rotorua

Day 4: Travel toHobbiton and then onto Rotorua, visit Tamaki Maori Village this evening
Accommodation: Millennium Hotel Rotorua

Day 5: Rotorua to Auckland including a Waitomo Caves Tour

Tour full itinerary
Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 - Head north to Bay of Islands and visit the Waitangi Treaty Grounds

Best of the North - Day 1
Auckland to Paihia by InterCity Coach

Heading north to the Bay of Islands takes you along the coast road past the seaside villages of Orewa and Waiwera. Then its on to the township of Puhoi, New Zealand's only Bohemian settlement, then Warkworth and the harbour side city of Whangarei and the unique township of Kawakawa. Arriving into the sub tropical Bay of Islands you are greeted with bush clad hillsides dropping to golden sand beaches. Paihia is the main tourist centre in the bay and has a great beach side atmosphere.

Shuttle Transfer - Paihia Coach Depot to Accommodation

On arrival, you will be met by a Total Tours representative and will be transferred to your accommodation. If your transfer has not arrived within 5 minutes of the designated pick up time, please phone the number provided and get them to locate the pre-booked transfer for you.

Waitangi Treaty Grounds Guided Tour and Cultural Performance

Waitangi is one of New Zealand's most historic sites where the Treaty of Waitangi was signed in 1840 between the local Maori and the British Government. This two day pass allows you access to the Treaty of Waitangi Grounds and includes admission to the Te Kōngahu Museum and Te Rau Aroha Museum and a Maori Cultural performance. During your guided tour, you'll learn about the history of the treaty and discover the stories and events that shaped New Zealand. The cultural performance inside the carved meeting house includes waiata (singing), poi, a display of Maori weaponry and the haka - a war dance New Zealand is well known for.

Your accommodation: Copthorne Hotel & Resort Bay of Islands

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

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Day 2 - Visit the top of New Zealand on a Cape Reinga day tour

Best of the North - Day 2
Cape Reinga & Ninety Mile Beach plus lunch with Fullers GreatSights

Journey to the very tip of the North Island and uncover a region of rich Māori tradition along the way on an unforgettable full-day tour. Travel along the sand-swept shore of Ninety Mile Beach in our purpose-built coach. Climb the massive sand dunes at Te Paki Stream and experience the thrill of sand-boarding. In Māori tradition, Cape Reinga or Te Rerenga Wairua is the place where spirits depart on their long journey back to the homeland. Stand at the northernmost point of New Zealand and drink in the panoramic views. As you stand beneath the iconic lighthouse, and watch the Tasman Sea and the mighty Pacific Ocean collide far below, you'll feel the power of this special place. Throughout the day your local driver guide will provide an entertaining and thought-provoking insight into the culture, history and natural wonders of the Far North. Your tour also includes a delicious locally prepared lunch to keep you fuelled throughout the day.

Your accommodation: Copthorne Hotel & Resort Bay of Islands

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 3 - Today return through Auckland and onto the city of Rotorua

Best of the North - Day 3
Shuttle Transfer - Paihia Accommodation to Coach Depot

Today you will be met by a Total Tours representative and will be transferred to the Paihia Intercity Coach Depot.If your transfer has not arrived within 5 minutes of the designated pick up time, please phone the number provided and get them to locate the pre-booked transfer for you.

Paihia to Rotorua by Intercity Coach

Your journey will take you past scenic native forests and sub-tropical bush, before crossing the Auckland Harbour Bridge to arrive into the spectacular city scene of Auckland. Continue south into the rich farmland of the Waikato and onto the cultural heart of the North Island and Rotorua City.

Rotorua Intercity Depot to Rotorua Accommodation

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

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 4 - Travel toHobbiton and then onto Rotorua, visit Tamaki Maori Village this evening

Best of the North - Day 4
Rotorua to Auckland and Hobbiton Movie Set Tour with GreatSights

Setting out from Rotorua, your Hobbiton Movie Set tour starts with a scenic drive across the Kaimai Ranges to Matamata, a small town in the Waikato region known for its thoroughbred industry and dairy farming. Along the way your local driver guide will provide informative commentary and share stories about the region and its history. Just outside of Matamata is the private working farm that was transformed into The Shire for the award-winning The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movie trilogies. The home of Tolkien's beloved hobbits Bilbo, Frodo, Sam, Merry and Pippin has been preserved since filming wrapped, and now draws visitors from around the world. Take a two-hour guided tour of the movie set and learn how this picturesque farmland was transformed into a living, breathing piece of Middle-earth. Your guide will show you Hobbit holes, the Green Dragon Inn, the Party Tree, the Mill and many other structures from the movies. After your Hobbiton movie set tour, continue to Auckland, arriving in the evening.

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.

Meals included: Breakfast, Speciality Dinner

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Day 5 - Rotorua to Auckland including a Waitomo Caves Tour

Best of the North - Day 5
Rotorua to Auckland with Waitomo and Ruakuri Caves Tour with FlexiToursNZ

Ruakuri Cave offers a captivating blend of Waitomo’s most compelling subterranean experiences. Journey down through the spectacular spiral entrance, and marvel at the softly folding shawl-like limestone formations and crystal tapestries, hear the distant thunder of the subterranean waterfalls and get up close to the glowworms.
Ruakuri Cave is New Zealand’s longest guided underground walking tour and an experience that must be seen to be believed. It will leave you open-mouthed, awe-struck, and humbled by the sheer majesty of nature.

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