After an easy 3.5 hour flight Melbourne to Auckland we arrived in New Zealand excited for our North Island adventure.
We spent 3 days exploring Auckland city and outer areas, working off some delicious New Zealand food and drinks by walking up plenty of hills in the city! I would highly recommend the hop on/hop off bus, this was great for getting us between the main attractions and for insider information.
A few of my highlights in Auckland were:
- Walk around Mt Eden
- Sky tower
- Auckland Museum
- Ferry ride to Devonport for some delicious fish and chips
- Auckland Zoo
My number one highlight of Auckland was a day trip to Waiheke Island. A short 40 minute ferry ride from downtown Auckland, this island has beautiful vineyards and beaches. The hop on/hop off bus is a must at Waiheke as the island is too big to walk around. If you enjoy walking there are lots of fantastic walks winding through some lovely vineyards, across beautiful beaches and through forests.
After a great few days in Auckland it was time to join my Topdeck tour and head North to the Bay of Islands. A scenic 3 hour drive took us to Whangarei Falls, and then on to the Bay of Islands, which was the highlight of my trip. We enjoyed a memorable night on a boat doing lots of adventure activities, including target shooting, night kayaking, fishing, snorkelling, and island trekking.
We enjoyed a memorable night on a boat doing lots of adventure activities, including target shooting, night kayaking, fishing, snorkelling, and island trekking.
From the Bay of Islands we headed back to Auckland to pick up some more travellers and then headed south towards Rotorua. We stopped along the way at Waitomo Caves to see the glow worms and spent a night in a traditional Maori Marae. We learnt all about the New Zealand culture, the Haka and Poi dance. Dinner was a traditional New Zealand meal.
Rotorua is renowned for its geothermal activity, so our day in Rotorua started with the morning at a natural hot spring and mud baths which was a relaxing way to start the day. In contrast, the afternoon was spent white water rafting. This was certainly an adventure and so much fun, highly recommended for thrill seekers!
Before leaving Rotorua to head to Tongariro National park, we did a geothermal tour and had a Hangi lunch, which is a traditional meal cooked in an underground oven pit. Along the way we visited Huka Falls, a roaring 11 metre high waterfall with more than 220,000 litres of water per second flowing from Waikato River, New Zealand’s longest river.
Tongariro National Park is known for one of the best one day hikes in the world, the Alpine Crossing, with three volcanic peaks. There is lots of small hikes and adventure activities including four wheel motor biking with some amazing views.
Last day of our adventure was the trip from Tongariro to Wellington, then an easy four hour flight from Wellington back to Melbourne and the adventure was all over.
This trip just scratched the surface of New Zealand for me, it is a fantastic country with so much to see and something for everyone. I’d be happy to help you organise your holiday to New Zealand!
Travel & Cruise Yarrawonga Travel Consultant