North Island Highlights Package


Adventure Awaits

Get off the beaten track amongst authentic local culture and our experienced crew has chosen some incredible destinations so you can see more and do more! 'Strademark' Places are the places you're less likely to find in the guide book but the ones you'll be talking about long after the adventure has ended. 


Day 1: Auckland to Hahei
Haere Mai (welcome)! Your New Zealand adventure kicks off in New Zealand’s largest city, Auckland. We depart and head south, travelling to the Coromandel Peninsula via the old colonial town of Thames. Renowned for its natural beauty and pristine swimming beaches, the Coromandel has plenty to offer the active traveller but is also a great place to kick back and relax. When the tides are right, we'll head over to Hot Water Beach, where you can dig your own natural spa pool! Tonight, you have the option to join a group dinner for a classic Kiwi BBQ. You can enjoy free activities: visit Hot Water Beach for a natural beach spa (tide & weather dependent), walk to Cathedral Cove, explore old cultural sites or simply relax on the beach.

Day 2: Hahei
Today you have a full free day to embrace the laid-back lifestyle that makes this such a popular NZ holiday destination. Make the most of this special place by taking a scenic walk or kayak trip to a hidden paradise at nearby Cathedral Cove or opt to relax on the white sands of Hahei Beach. The coast off Hahei is also part of the protected Te-Whanganui-a-Hei Marine Reserve, which makes it a prime place for a guided coastal boat tour. Walk to Cathedral Cove, watch the sunrise on the beach, explore old cultural sites or simply relax on the beach  

Day 3: Hahei to Rotorua
We leave Hahei early, traveling through to Paeroa, home of New Zealand’s oldest and largest soft drink company L&P, where we’ll stop for a fun photo op at a local landmark. Carrying on, we’ll arrive in Rotorua, known for its lively geothermal activity, rich Maori history and adventure tourism. Get the adrenalin pumping this afternoon and sign up for a white water rafting adventure, head to the adventure park, or take a walk around town. Do the Whakarewarewa Redwood Forest walk, see the bubbling mud pools at Kuirau Park.  

Day 4: Rotorua 
Often labelled the adventure capital of the North Island, you have a full free day in Rotorua to discover a wealth of adventure activities and geothermal wonders. Go ziplining through native bush, zorbing or take a truly unique guided jet boat adventure to bathe in a hot waterfall. Looking to relax instead? Visit the hots pools and bubbling mud baths at one of Rotorua's geothermal parks or take in a Maori cultural performance. Film buffs may want to sign up for a guided tour through the world-famous Hobbiton Movie Set. The choice is yours! Accommodation: Comfortable central city hostel Optional paid activities: River jet tour, white water rafting, ziplining, zorbing, geothermal attractions, Maori village & performance experience, Hobbiton Movie Set tour 

Day 5: Rotorua to Lake Aniwhenua

Your last activity in Rotorua is the Hobbiton Movie Set Tours. It's an essential stop on the itinerary for every The Lord of the Rings & The Hobbit fan travelling through New Zealand, offering an interesting and entertaining experience for all. The set has been completely rebuilt and is now a permanent attraction. Then, we're moving to Lake Aniwhenua. 

Day 6: Lake Aniwhenua to Blue Duck Station
After breakfast, we’ll make a special visit to the local school to deliver packed lunches to kids that often go without (dependent on school timetable). Then it’s on to Haggas Honking Holes for a very exciting & fast-moving experience. An adventure that crams lots of action into only 4 hours. On arrival, we will settle in to learn a little about daily life at Blue Duck, then relax and chill out around an evening fire. 

Day 7: Blue Duck Station
Today is yours to fully explore this truly incredible location. Jump on a 4WD and travel up farm roads, over hilly peaks and through native bush to learn about the station’s interesting settlement history and their current conservation efforts. Don your cowboy hat for a guided horse trek or kayak on the river through bush clad valleys and lush green hills. It doesn’t matter which option you choose, just get outdoors and enjoy all that Blue Duck has to offer! 

Day 8: Blue Duck Station (via Tongariro) to Raetihi
We’ll be up at the crack of dawn for an early departure to make our way to the UNESCO Dual World Heritage Site, Tongariro National Park. Today you get the chance to tick off one of the most popular hikes in New Zealand, the epic Tongariro Alpine Crossing. Considered one of the world’s top one-day walks, this 19km hike takes you across a rocky plateau with dramatic volcanic peaks, craters and turquoise lakes that you’ll remember for a lifetime. The Crossing is open to walk year-round (alpine gear and guide are required in winter), but subject to the weather conditions. Ensure you pack a day pack with plenty of supplies and clothing for all conditions. If the weather prevents you from doing the Crossing, there are alternative shorter walks in the area. Tonight, unwind after a big day in a cosy historic lodge in Raetihi, with friendly farm animals, a pamper room and spa bath with mountain views. 

Day 9: Raetihi to Wellington
This morning we travel to the bottom of the North Island via the rural towns of Ohakune, Taihape and Bulls. Today is mostly an express day to get to Wellington, our capital city and home to New Zealand’s parliament and the iconic Beehive government building. Also known as the ‘coolest little capital in the world’, thanks to Lonely Planet, Wellington is a great place to check out the lively arts, craft beer and café culture scenes or do some shopping. The afternoon is yours to explore the sights - we recommend wandering down Oriental Parade or viewing the excellent exhibits on display at Te Papa National Museum. 

Day 10: Wellington to Auckland
We depart in the early morning. This is an express day heading back to the ‘City of Sails’, Auckland. For those who may have missed out on hiking the Tongariro Crossing, you have the option to hop off in National Park and try again. With an early evening arrival, there’s still time to wander the streets of Auckland, visit the Viaduct, do some souvenir shopping or hang out with new friends and share stories about your recent adventures. If you are hanging around Auckland for another day or two, don’t miss your chance to jump off the Harbour Bridge or Sky Tower, skydive, or take a wildlife cruise around the Hauraki Gulf. We hope you had a blast on your Stray adventure! 

Your Adventure Includes

  • Bus Pass
  • Reserved Accommodation (Dorm)
  • Experienced Driver Guide
  • Hobbiton Movie Set
  • Haggas Honking Holes Adventure - Waitomo

The Specifics

Departure Information

Departs Auckland Southbound, pickups begin from 7:20am

What to bring

  • Comfortable walking shoes/hiking boots
  • Weather-appropriate clothing
  • Towel/Toiletries
  • Swimwear
  • Hat/Sunscreen

Optional Activities


  • Zorbing
  • Adrenaline-fuelled adventure park (big swings, bungys and more) 


  • Ziplining
  • Zorbing
  • Geothermal attractions
  • Maori village & performance experience
  • Wai-O-Tapu Geothermal Wonderland


  • Skydiving
  • Bungy 


  • 4WD farm tour
  • Half-day horse trek
  • Clay bird shooting
  • Pest control
  • Kayaking (summer only)
  • Jet boating (summer only) 


  • The Tongariro Alpine Crossing
  • Skiing/snowboarding (winter only) 


  • Wellington Movie Tours

Check Availability


North Island Highlights Package