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Maher Escorted Tours

Maher Escorted Tours - North Island Tour

Join Maher Tours as they explore some of the major cities & towns and also venture off the beaten path as we take you to areas, little known and rarely visited, but some of the most beautiful places in the country.
Staying in some luxurious hotels throughout, with plenty of sightseeing and the majority of your meals included, this tour is full of highlights and we look forward to you joining us on our adventure.

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Tour summary and feature

New Zealand escorted tour

This suggested tour costs from NZD$7,500 per person (twin share, low season)

Starts in Auckland, finishes in Wellington

15 days/14 nights

Hotel 4 star

 Pre and post tour options? YES

 Viewed 13 times in the last 7 days

This tour also includes

Knowledgeable driver guide

5 Lunches

12 breakfasts

14 dinners

Lunch at Mission Estate Winery

Tour at a glance
Brief itinerary - Maher Escorted Tours - North Island Tour

Day 1: Arrive into Auckland. Accommodation: Park Hyatt

Day 2: Auckland to Pauanui via the Coromandel. Accommodation: Puka Park Resort

Day 3: Check out the phenomena - Hot Water Beach. Accommodation: Puka Park Resort

Day 4: Pauanui to Tauranga. Accommodation: Trinity Wharf Tauranga

Day 5: Tauranga to Hick’s Bay. Accommodation: Lottin Point Motel

Day 6: Today visit New Zealand's oldest and largest Pohutukawa tree. Accommodation: Portside Hotel

Day 7: Kaiti Beach the site of Captain Cook's first landing in New Zealand. Accommodation: Portside Hotel

Day 8: Gisborne to Napier. Accommodation: Art Deco Masonic Hotel

Day 9: Art Deco city Napier. Accommodation: Art Deco Masonic Hotel

Day 10: Head into the Tongariro National Park. Accommodation: Bayview Chateau Tongariro (or similar)

Day 11: Exlpore the Forgotten Railway and Whanganui River. Accommodation: Bayview Chateau Tongariro (or similar)

Day 12: Reach Wellington the country's capital. Accommodation: Copthorne Hotel Wellington Oriental Bay

Day 13: A day trip to the Wairarapa region. Accommodation: Copthorne Hotel Wellington Oriental Bay

Day 14: A day trip to the Kapiti Island Day tour. Accommodation: Copthorne Hotel Wellington Oriental Bay

Day 15: Depart Wellington.

Detailed itinerary

Tour full itinerary

Day 1 - Arrive into Auckland

Maher Escorted Tours - North Island Tour - Day 1
Arrive into Auckland

Meet the group today in Auckland. Tonight, you'll enjoy a welcome dinner together.

Your accommodation: Park Hyatt

Located on the waterfront in Auckland this modern hotel offers 5* luxury at the water's edge, a stone through from the bustling Auckland city.

Meals included: Dinner

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Day 2 - Auckland to Pauanui via the Coromandel

Maher Escorted Tours - North Island Tour - Day 2
Auckland to the Coromandel and Pauanui

Today travel by coach to the small township of Coromandel on the Coromandel Peninsula. On arrival, there is time for lunch before you head up to the world-famous Driving Creek Railway and Potteries, a unique single gauge mountain railway that travels through a replanted native forest up to a superb viewing tower. After a short Scenic drive up 309 Road, the story of Coromandel will continue to unfold. With a rich history of extensive logging and booming gold mining. Coromandel has undergone some radical changes which will be highlighted as you encounter the majesty of one of the few remaining groves of giant Kauri, and hear the story of this great forest.
Meet your coach back in Coromandel town and travel to Pauanui.

Your accommodation: Puka Park Resort

Puka Park Resort is situated on the eastern side of the Coromandel Peninsula. Nestled amongst 25 acres of New Zealand's most beautiful native bush this prestigious hideaway offers luxury and seclusion at its best.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

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Day 3 - Check out the phenomena - Hot Water Beach

Maher Escorted Tours - North Island Tour - Day 3
Hot Water Beach

After breakfast today, head off and spend the day exploring some of the most well-known and beautiful spots in the Coromandel. Visit Hot Water Beach to check out the stunning natural hot springs that come up onto the beach and can only be accessed at low tide. Moving on, visit Cathedral Cove where there is the option to take a walk (approx. 30-40mins each way) through ferns and forests, providing some stellar coastal views. At the end of the walk, you'll come upon a gigantic arched cavern which passes through a white rock headland to join two secluded coves. The cathedral-like arch gives the whole area an air of grandeur. The beach is sandy with shady pohutukawa trees along the foreshore - a perfect place to sit & relax for a while!
Next stop - Whitianga – the main town on Mercury Bay. When native forests were being harvested on the peninsula in the 1800s and early 1900s, Whitianga was a timber port. Ships from Europe sailed into Whitianga's deepwater harbour to load up with valuable kauri. Today, the township depends on fishing, farming and tourism for its prosperity.

Your accommodation: Puka Park Resort

Puka Park Resort is situated on the eastern side of the Coromandel Peninsula. Nestled amongst 25 acres of New Zealand's most beautiful native bush this prestigious hideaway offers luxury and seclusion at its best.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

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Day 4 - Pauanui to Tauranga

Maher Escorted Tours - North Island Tour - Day 4
Pauanui to Tauranga

Departing Pauanui continue your journey through to Tauranga.
Enroute, you'll stop in Whangamata for morning tea. There is time to explore the town and enjoy a walk along the beach if you wish. Travelling south, we reach Waihi where you'll visit the Gold Discovery Centre before joining the heritage train for the journey to Waikino – part of the Hauraki Rail Trail.
Rejoin your coach and drive through to Karangahake Gorge where you'll have the opportunity to do a short walk. Many Kiwi’s will have driven through the breathtaking Karangahake Gorge but few will have ventured into the walkways, old tunnels, and discovered the rich history hidden in the gorge. Not only is this one of the most stunning stretches of river in the country it was home to one of the busiest and most lucrative gold strikes in the country.

Your accommodation: Trinity Wharf Tauranga

Brilliantly positioned this stylish over-water hotel offers the very best in privacy and spaciousness. The Trinity Wharf Tauranga is the only internationally branded hotel in the region and is just minutes from the CBD.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

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Day 5 - Tauranga to Hick’s Bay

Maher Escorted Tours - North Island Tour - Day 5
Tauranga to Hick’s Bay

After breakfast depart Tauranga and head to Mount Maunganui, where you can stop and take photos.
Your next stop is Kiwifruit Country – a working kiwifruit orchard where we learn about ‘the story of kiwifruit’, located in Paengaroa. Stop in Whakatane en route, where you can pick up some lunch before continuing through past Opotiki.
Off the beaten track now you'll join a part of New Zealand where local Maori communities protect the history and traditions. Reach Tairawhitu (East cape) - the place where Maori believe that the first Polynesian canoes landed. Tairawhitu is the most Eastern part of the North Island and of New Zealand. Mt Hikuraingi is the first place in New Zealand to see the sunrise each day. Today you will end your journey at Hicks bay.

Your accommodation: Lottin Point Motel

This tranquil accommodation is the only place in the area that can cater to groups. Situated right on the bay there is ample fishing and bush walks to suit all their guests.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

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Day 6 - Today visit New Zealand's oldest and largest Pohutukawa tree

Maher Escorted Tours - North Island Tour - Day 6
Hick's Bay to Gisborne

Today your day trip takes us to the tiny coastal settlement of Te Araroa - it is here you will find Te Waha-o-Rerekohu, New Zealand’s oldest and largest Pohutukawa tree. At around 600 years old, it stands proudly in the grounds of the local school. Te Araroa is also the birthplace of Sir Apirana Ngata, who made it his life’s goal to uplift the Maori race spiritually, culturally, and economically. After Te Araroa continue further off the beaten track on a 22km, mostly unsealed, no-exit road that takes this small group to the most Easterly point on mainland New Zealand.
The historic East Cape lighthouse stands 154 metres above sea level and is accessed by a walking track of some 700 steps – worth it for the views at the top. The road to the lighthouse clings to the coastline, and there are numerous sandy beaches just metres away. Head back out to the highway and carry on south to stop again at Saint Mary’s Church in Tikitiki. This is one of the finest Māori churches in New Zealand. It was built in 1924 and consecrated in 1926 as a memorial to the soldiers of Ngāti Porou who died in World War I. For Maori culture this is a significant site and requires a lot of respect from any visitor. A visit to this part of New Zealand is very different from the commercial travel experiences you may find in a place such as Rotorua. The decoration of the church displays a meeting of two cultures. The structure is typically European, but the extensively carved and decorated interior is typically Māori. Sir Apirana Ngata was the mastermind behind the spectacular interior design. In the 1920s he began a personal crusade to revive the dying art and craft skills within Ngati Porou and Māoridom in general. Saint Mary’s was one of his first initiatives. The church was carved by local Ngāti Porou carvers; Ngāti Porou weavers completed the tukutuku (woven panels). The ornate pulpit was a koha (gift) to the church by Te Arawa tribe. The memorial board in the church lists names of soldiers from the area who lost their lives in the world wars. From St Mary’s church, travel on down the coast to Gisborne, the gateway to Hawke’s Bay where you stay for two nights.

Your accommodation: Portside Hotel

Located right on the water’s edge, the Portside Hotel offers personal service and a friendly atmosphere. Contemporary guest rooms and spacious suites the hotel also features a lap pool and hi-tech cardio room.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

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Day 7 - Kaiti Beach the site of Captain Cook's first landing in New Zealand

Maher Escorted Tours - North Island Tour - Day 7
A day to explore Gisborne

This morning visit to Kaiti Beach. This is the site of Captain Cook's first landing in New Zealand (9 October 1769) and nearby is picturesque Te Poho O Rawiri Marae. For those interested in Maori culture, Gisborne is an essential port of call - old traditions are still evident in many parts of the city. Oral history records Titirangi (Kaiti) Hill as the point of arrival for the migratory waka (canoe), Horouta, which brought the first Maori to the area. In the afternoon you can visit two of the leading wineries who produce Chardonnay for which this part of New Zealand is famous for. This evening, there is the option of the Te Urunga-Tu - a sunrise experience on the highest peak above Gisborne. After arriving at Te Takapau-o-Maui, a sacred site with nine Maori carvings that depict the stories of Maui, the Polynesian adventurer, famous for his legendary deeds, visitors will learn about Maui and his stories, witness spectacular views as the sun rises, and gain insight into the local region (note additional cost applies for this activity & space is limited). 

Your accommodation: Portside Hotel

Located right on the water’s edge, the Portside Hotel offers personal service and a friendly atmosphere. Contemporary guest rooms and spacious suites the hotel also features a lap pool and hi-tech cardio room.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

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Day 8 - Gisborne to Napier

Maher Escorted Tours - North Island Tour - Day 8
Gisborne to Napier

Today journey South again, this time onto the world's great Art-deco city of Napier. We stop en route at the New Zealand equivalent of NASA's Cape Canaveral, though on a smaller scale. Kiwi ingenuity is often all around you in New Zealand and the decision/opportunity to launch satellites from Nuhaka just after the Mahia peninsula is one of the more interesting concepts. Moving towards 100 launches you'll stop to view if something is scheduled to launch at Rocketlab. Continuing on, make your way through to Wairoa where you'll stop for lunch.

Your accommodation: Art Deco Masonic Hotel

The Art Deco Masonic Hotel occupies a significant historic building on Napier’s waterfront and has been richly refurbished in keeping with the Art Deco architecture. With its central location and decadent décor, this is the best place to experience what Napier is famous for.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

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Day 9 - Art Deco city Napier

Maher Escorted Tours - North Island Tour - Day 9
Napier

Napier is unique and regarded as one of the world’s great Art Deco cities. Street after street of stunning and beautifully-restored Art Deco buildings have made Napier famous as one of the most complete collections of Art Deco buildings in the world. Today head to Cape Kidnappers where you'll join your experienced guides and visit the largest mainland gannet colony in the world. Enroute stop for lunch at Mission Estate Winery. Offering elegant, classic surroundings, magnificent views, world-class cuisine and wines combined with the stunning vineyard location makes Mission Restaurant one of Hawke’s Bays premiere venues.

Your accommodation: Art Deco Masonic Hotel

The Art Deco Masonic Hotel occupies a significant historic building on Napier’s waterfront and has been richly refurbished in keeping with the Art Deco architecture. With its central location and decadent décor, this is the best place to experience what Napier is famous for.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

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Day 10 - Head into the Tongariro National Park

Maher Escorted Tours - North Island Tour - Day 10
Napier to Tongariro via Taupo

Departing Napier this morning, journey to Taupo where you stop for lunch (own account) at the funky Lâ Arte Cafe and Gallery, in Acacia Bay, created by mother & daughter duo, Jo & Judi Brennan. After lunch, depart Taupo, and travel to Tongariro National Park, where you'll be staying at the Chateau Tongariro, located in the heart of the park. Tonight, travel on the Sky Waka gondola to New Zealand's highest dining experience, Knoll Ridge Chalet. Savour your meal alongside breath-taking views through floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the Pinnacles and the valley below.

Your accommodation: Bayview Chateau Tongariro (or similar)

Bayview Chateau Tongariro, nestled at the foot of Mount Ruapehu, was completed in 1929 and still retains many of its original features. It is one of New Zealand's few hotels located in a World Heritage Park and offers the most prestigious accommodation in the region.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

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Day 11 - Exlpore the Forgotten Railway and Whanganui River

Maher Escorted Tours - North Island Tour - Day 11
Tongariro National Park

Today, spend the day with Forgotten World Adventures, doing The Rail River Run. Travelling along the first section of the Forgotten World Railway, between Okahukura & Tokorima, including the line's longest tunnel (Tunnel 24 - 1.5km long); combined with a Jet Boat journey along the scenic Whanganui River, between Cherry Grove (Taumarunui) & Ohinepane. Enjoy the best of both worlds, encountering 10 tunnels and 20 bridges, as you travel 40km by rail and 23km by Jet Boat on the Whanganui River, a mixture of nostalgia and adrenaline. Lunch and afternoon tea are included today.

Your accommodation: Bayview Chateau Tongariro (or similar)

Bayview Chateau Tongariro, nestled at the foot of Mount Ruapehu, was completed in 1929 and still retains many of its original features. It is one of New Zealand's few hotels located in a World Heritage Park and offers the most prestigious accommodation in the region.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

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Day 12 - Reach Wellington the country's capital

Maher Escorted Tours - North Island Tour - Day 12
Tongariro National Park - Wellington

A relatively long coach journey today as you make your way south to Wellington. Travel the Desert Road to Waiouru, down through Taihape (watch out for the gumboot!) and Bulls, before arriving in Palmerston North where you stop for lunch. Continuing on, reach Wellington mid-afternoon and there is time to rest and relax prior to meeting up for dinner this evening.

Your accommodation: Copthorne Hotel Wellington Oriental Bay

Located just 2 minutes walk to Te Papa Museum, the vibrant Courtney Place and local Theatres the Copthorne Hotel Oriental Bay is in a superb location to enjoy Wellington.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

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Day 13 - A day trip to the Wairarapa region

Maher Escorted Tours - North Island Tour - Day 13
Wairarapa Day Tour

Today venture out of Wellington and take the train from the city to Woodside Station, located just outside of Greytown – in the Wairarapa region. From here you'll be collected by coach and taken into the town to wander/explore and perhaps grab a coffee and morning tea at one of the many cafes. This country village oozes metropolitan style - there is a sophisticated mix of independent boutiques, galleries, antique stores and restored Victorian wooden buildings line the Main Street. Then make your way by coach to Martinborough, packed with colonial charm, home to over 20 wineries most within walking distance of the quaint village square which is laid out in a Union Jack pattern. Some of New Zealand’s best pinot noir comes from the town’s friendly family-owned vineyards. Enjoy wine tastings, followed by a late lunch at one of the best vineyards in town.
Returning to Wellington later this afternoon, the remainder of the day is at leisure.

Your accommodation: Copthorne Hotel Wellington Oriental Bay

Located just 2 minutes walk to Te Papa Museum, the vibrant Courtney Place and local Theatres the Copthorne Hotel Oriental Bay is in a superb location to enjoy Wellington.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

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Day 14 - A day trip to the Kapiti Island Day tour

Maher Escorted Tours - North Island Tour - Day 14
Kapiti Island Day Tour

A relatively early morning as you again leave the city today to experience the richness and wonder of Kapiti Island. Here, learn of the unique balance of conservation, ecology, and local human history Kapiti offers. Your experienced nature guide will walk with you, explain the rich human and ecological history and help you identify the flora and fauna. Sit down with the family and enjoy a delicious cooked lunch at the Lodge, surrounded by one of the richest and diverse nature reserves in New Zealand. Return to Wellington late-afternoon, with time to freshen up before your final dinner together this evening.

Your accommodation: Copthorne Hotel Wellington Oriental Bay

Located just 2 minutes walk to Te Papa Museum, the vibrant Courtney Place and local Theatres the Copthorne Hotel Oriental Bay is in a superb location to enjoy Wellington.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

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Day 15 - Depart Wellington

Maher Escorted Tours - North Island Tour - Day 15
Depart Wellington

Today the tour comes to an end. Transfers to Wellington Airport will be provided for those that require them.

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