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Thrifty Tours

Northbound 4 day Napier, Rotorua & Waitomo Experience

Journey through the heart of the North Island on this 4 day tour from New Zealand's capital city of Wellington to the country's largest city, Auckland. Highlights along the way include the art deco city of Napier, a taste of New Zealand's unique Maori culture, the geothermal wonders of Rotorua, and a visit to the magical Waitomo glowworm caves.

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Tour summary and feature

New Zealand independent tour

This suggested tour costs from NZD$1,582 per person (twin share, low season)

Starts in Wellington, finishes in Auckland

4 days/3 nights

Hotel 4 star

 Customisable? YES

 Viewed 50 times in the last 7 days

This tour also includes

Private transfer Wellington hotel to train station to meet your Intercity Coach

Napier coach depot to Napier Accommodation

Intercity Coach Travel

Rotorua Intercity Depot to Rotorua Accommodation

Napier Accommodation to Napier Coach Depot

Rotorua Accommodation to Rotorua Intercity Depot - Private Transfer

Meals included: 3 breakfasts, 1 special dinner

Tour at a glance
Brief itinerary - Northbound 4 day Napier, Rotorua & Waitomo Experience

Day 1: Arrive Wellington today, relax and enjoy the city. Accommodation: Bolton Hotel Wellington

Day 2: Wellington to Napier by Intercity coach, then enjoy an afternoon city tour of Napier. Accommodation: Art Deco Masonic Hotel

Day 3: Napier to Rotorua by Intercity coach, enjoy a Maori dinner and cultural show. Accommodation: Millennium Hotel Rotorua

Day 4: Rotorua to Waitomo Caves to Auckland.

Detailed itinerary

Tour full itinerary

Day 1 - Arrive Wellington today, relax and enjoy the city

Northbound 4 day Napier, Rotorua & Waitomo Experience - Day 1
Welcome to Wellington

Wellington City is New Zealand's capital. It 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) and so exploring on foot is relatively easy. From your city centre accommodation you can easily stroll the cafes and restaurants around Courtenay Place and if you arrive early enough New Zealand's national museum, Te Papa, is also close by.

Your accommodation: Bolton Hotel Wellington

The Bolton Hotel offers contemporary apartment-style accommodation in the heart of Wellington. Just steps from the Parliament buildings and central business district, Bolton Hotel is conveniently close to the best of the city's shops, cafes and restaurants and is within walking distance of Wellington's vibrant waterfront.

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Day 2 - Wellington to Napier by Intercity coach, then enjoy an afternoon city tour of Napier

Northbound 4 day Napier, Rotorua & Waitomo Experience - Day 2
Private transfer to Wellington train station to meet your Intercity Coach

You will be collected from your hotel and transferred to Wellington train station to meet your Intercity Coach.

Wellington to Napier by Intercity Coach

Follow the Kāpiti Coast north from Wellington, then into the rural countryside of the Manawatu region.  Passing through the university city of Palmerston North, you are then guided through the Manawatu Gorge and into the countryside of the Hawkes Bay, towards the city of Napier. Napier, the city by the sea, is renowned for its 1930s Art Deco architecture, events such as the Art Deco Weekend in February, stately Norfolk pines, surrounding wineries and local fresh produce. Supported by a Mediterranean climate and over 2,200 hours of sunshine a year this popular year-round destination boasts a vibrant cafe culture amongst the splendour of the Art Deco buildings.

Napier coach depot to Napier Accommodation

You will be collected from Napier coach depot and transferred to your accommodation.

Napier Whirlwind Tour

This 2 1/2 hour tour takes in all the history, from early settlement, through to the huge 1931 earthquake and the rebuilding of the City to the Art Deco Capital of the World to what it is today. You also visit the historic area of Ahuriri, National Tobacco Building and the famous Mission Estate Winery. As you return to Napier City, you will also tour an Art Deco Housing Estate. Experience many stops for photos from lookouts to famous landmarks etc. This is a compact tour, it is really for those that are spending the one night here in Napier and still wish to see the City highlights.

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

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Day 3 - Napier to Rotorua by Intercity coach, enjoy a Maori dinner and cultural show

Northbound 4 day Napier, Rotorua & Waitomo Experience - Day 3
Napier Accommodation to Napier Coach Depot

You will be collected from your accommodation and transferred to Napier Intercity coach stop.

Napier to Rotorua by InterCity Coach

You journey from Napier takes you across the Ahimanawa Ranges into the town of Taupō sitting on New Zealand's largest lake, Lake Taupō. The lake itself is actually a gigantic volcanic caldera formed during one of the world's largest ever eruptions. Continuing the last leg to Rotorua you pass alongside some of the most active geothermal regions such as Wai O Tapu and Waimangu Valley. Arriving into the city of Rotorua the region's geothermal activity becomes evident as you see steam rising from the roadside and hills. Rotorua is considered the Māori cultural centre and its here you can enjoy and experience some of their unique history. The Rotorua Museum is outstanding and one of its main displays covers the devastating eruption of Mount Tarawera in 1886. One of the most popular introductions for many to the Māori culture is through an evening cultural performance and traditional hāngi dinner.

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.

Mitai Hula & Haka Cultural Experience

Enter the world of Mitai and learn about the history of this area which was once flourished in villages. See fierce warriors in traditional dress paddle an ancient warrior canoe (waka) down the Wai-o-Whiro stream and the story of the migration of Tamatekapua of the Te Arawa canoe to Aotearoa and the Māori Pacifica connection told in dance form.

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 4 - Rotorua to Waitomo Caves to Auckland

Northbound 4 day Napier, Rotorua & Waitomo Experience - Day 4
Rotorua Accommodation to Rotorua Intercity Depot

You will be collected from your accommodation and transferred to Rotorua Intercity Coach Depot.

Rotorua to Auckland including Waitomo Caves with GreatSights (Includes Picnic Lunch)

Enjoy this tour from Rotorua to Auckland including a guided tour of the fascinating Waitomo Glowworm Caves. Leaving Rotorua in the morning you travel through lush farmland including the intriguing Fitzgerald Glade where the roadside trees arch overhead to form a tunnel of natural greenery. 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. You 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. At the conclusion of the Glowworm Cave tour we take a break at the magnificent Waitomo Caves visitor complex and enjoy a delicious picnic lunch. You continue this afternoon by driving to Auckland, through the beautiful King Country and Waikato regions.

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Aug 1, 2021
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