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Travel dates: 1 February 2022
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Kirra Tours
Kirra Tours 7 Day North Island Explorer

Join this 7-day North Island tour and explore natures wonderland. You'll visit spectacular lakes, cruise on pristine waters, learn about Maori culture, spot native wildlife and travel through some of the counties most scenic national parks. Starting in Auckland, you'll visit to Lake Tarawera and Lake Okataina, travel through geothermic Rotorua, enjoy Tongariro National park, marvel at Mt Ruapehu before finishing in Wellington. This eclectic mix of NZ culture and superb scenery is a must-do!

Tour full itinerary
Day 1 - Arrive in Auckland
Kirra Tours 7 Day North Island Explorer - Day 1
Kirra - Arrival day to Auckland

Haere Mai and Welcome to Tāmaki Makaurau (Auckland) the city of sails, the city is the largest in New Zealand home to over 2 million people. The magic of Auckland is the diversity of Auckland is immense from culture to the environment, there are over 44 volcanoes in the area, 2 harbours one on the east coast and the other just 8kms away on the west coast hence the name City of Sales which dates back to when the Maori arrived. Take the afternoon or early evening to explore after you make your way to the Quadrant Hotel in central Auckland.

Your accommodation: The Quadrant Hotels & Suites (or similar)

The Quadrant Hotel & Suites overlooks Waitemata Harbour and Albert Park. Featuring a bar, a hot tub and a fitness centre the hotel is a short a 10-minute walk from Vector Arena and the University of Auckland, as well as the shops, restaurants and cafés on Queen Street.
The Quadrant Hotels & Suites (or similar)
Day 2 - Enjoy a scenic cruise on Lake Tarawera and Lake Okataina
Kirra Tours 7 Day North Island Explorer - Day 2
Auckland to Lake Okatania

This morning you’ll be leaving Tāmaki Makaurau (Auckland) and heading for the Rotorua region to visit two unique lakes: Lake Tarawera and Lake Okataina. It’s a short drive to the boat landing at Lake Tarawera. Cruise out on the pristine waters in the shadow of the infamous Mount Tarawera, once home of the renowned pink and white terraces before a violent eruption destroyed them in 1886. Visit Hot Water beach, only accessible by boat or foot, before cruising across the lake where we’ll hike the short track through native bush to Lake Okataina. Here another boat will be waiting for you to embark on a scenic cruise around the secluded lake. Enjoy a picnic lunch onboard and learn more about the area's history before arriving at the lodge. Settle in before joining the group in the dining room for a wild food extravaganza, an evening meal entirely sourced from local produce.

Your accommodation: Lakes Lodge Wilderness Retreat (or similar)

Situated on the shores of Lake Okataina, and surrounded by native bush, Lakes Lodge Okataina enjoys almost total seclusion, as the only habitation on the edge of the lake.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Lakes Lodge Wilderness Retreat (or similar)
Day 3 - Take part in the Kohutapu Lodge Tribal Tour and Whirinaki Rainforest Tour
Kirra Tours 7 Day North Island Explorer - Day 3
Day trip to Lake Aniwhenua + Whirinaki

This morning is yours to enjoy breakfast and relax before venturing off the beaten track to the shores of Lake Aniwhenua in Murupara. Kohutapu Lodge is owned by a local Maori family who is passionate about showcasing their Maori tribal heritage and making a difference in the local area. Murupara is an impoverished community that has been transformed for the better through tourism and commercial development. Through community-driven initiatives and a clear vision to provide more opportunities for the local youth, Kohutapu Lodge has paved the way for change in the area. Begin the experience with a guided tour of the sacred Maori rock carvings before arriving at the Lodge to witness the preparation of a ground cooked hangi and tasting it for yourself! After lunch, depart for the lush, green Whirinaki rainforest for a guided tour along the Rongoa trail. Spot native endangered birds and ancient medicinal plants, and learn more about the history of the forest, including the myths and legends before enjoying a hot kawakawa tea in the forest and a final karakia. This evening, return to Lake Okataina where you’ll have the option to grab dinner (if you still have room after the hangi feast, that is!).

Your accommodation: Lakes Lodge Wilderness Retreat (or similar)

Situated on the shores of Lake Okataina, and surrounded by native bush, Lakes Lodge Okataina enjoys almost total seclusion, as the only habitation on the edge of the lake.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Lakes Lodge Wilderness Retreat (or similar)
Day 4 - Journey through Tongariro National Park
Kirra Tours 7 Day North Island Explorer - Day 4
Lake Okataina to Tongariro National Park

Today is all about the pacific ring of fire. You’ll see bubbling mud, amazing waterfalls, volcanic lakes, and finish with New Zealand’s highest cafe at 2000 metres above sea level. First stop is Taupo with stops at the Wairakei Steam Field Lookout and the spectacular Huka Falls. Here more than 22,000 litres of water per second thunders into the Waikato river - it’s a must-see! Stop for lunch in Taupo before heading to Tongariro National Park to catch the Sky Waka up Mt Ruapehu, take a ride up this live volcano which is the highest point of the North Island, the views on a sunny day are outstanding as is the terrain of this volcano. Following your adventure up Mt Ruapehu you’ll head to your accommodation in National Park. Once you’re settled in you’ll have a group dinner.

Your accommodation: The Park Hotel Ruapehu (or similar)

Located in the centre of National Park and is the ideal base for exploring New Zealand's Tongariro Crossing. The on-site Spiral Restaurant & Bar is full of character and is open daily. The outdoor hot tubs, courtyard hammocks & open fireplaces are complimentary for guests and offer the perfect opportunity to relax and unwind after a day of adventure in the Ruapehu region.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

The Park Hotel Ruapehu (or similar)
Day 5 - Explore Blue Duck Station on the banks of the Whanganui River
Kirra Tours 7 Day North Island Explorer - Day 5
Day trip to Blue Duck Station

Today you head to Blue Duck Station - a 7,200 acre high country farm situated on the banks of the Whanganui River. Jump on a 4WD farm tour to learn more about the conservation work taking place to preserve the station’s namesake, the Whio Blue Duck, and the unbelievable local history. Deep in the heart of the station, you’ll discover the Kaiwhakauka waterfall where you may even be able to spot a rare blue duck in the flesh. The grand finale is the journey up to the ‘Top of the World’, with 360 degree views that will take your breath away. From here you can see the three peaks of Tongariro, Ngauruhoe and Taranaki and endless miles of verdant native bush. Enjoy a delicious lunch before heading back to Tongariro National Park for the evening.

Your accommodation: The Park Hotel Ruapehu (or similar)

Located in the centre of National Park and is the ideal base for exploring New Zealand's Tongariro Crossing. The on-site Spiral Restaurant & Bar is full of character and is open daily. The outdoor hot tubs, courtyard hammocks & open fireplaces are complimentary for guests and offer the perfect opportunity to relax and unwind after a day of adventure in the Ruapehu region.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

The Park Hotel Ruapehu (or similar)
Day 6 - Head South to Wellington
Kirra Tours 7 Day North Island Explorer - Day 6
Tongariro National Park to Wellington

Today you'll journey through Tongariro National Park, with its three spectacular volcanic mountains - Tongariro, Ngāuruhoe and Ruapehu, a place of extremes and ancient lava flows. Cruise straight through Ohakune and off the central plateau to Wellington, our sparkling capital city, where modern business style blends with a cultured, bohemian, spirit. With a population of less than 200,000 people, there is no capital city on earth that marries relaxed and refined better than Wellington. The afternoon is free but we highly recommend a visit to our national museum Te Papa and your entrance fee is included. This evening you'll feast at a traditional Brazilian Churrasco restaurant in the heart of Wellington (all dietary requirements can be catered for).

Your accommodation: Distinction Wellington Century City Hotel (or similar)

Distinction Wellington Century City Hotel is located in the heart of Wellington's CBD, close to shopping, restaurants and key attractions such as Te Papa Museum.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Distinction Wellington Century City Hotel (or similar)
Day 7 - Say farewell and depart Wellington
Kirra Tours 7 Day North Island Explorer - Day 7
Wellington Departure Day

All good things must come to an end. Enjoy breakfast at leisure before checking out of your hotel or decide to stay in Wellington for a few extra days, we hope you leave with many happy memories of your trip.