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13 Day Mountains to the Sea Hiking Adventure

12 nights, Auckland to Auckland

13 Day Mountains to the Sea Hiking Adventure

This itinerary includes some of the best hiking experiences and adventure activities the North Island has to offer you.

In the limestone region of Waitomo, you’ll enjoy a thrilling abseiling and caving adventure into the remarkable underground cave network.  And no North Island hiking holiday would be complete without thee Tongariro Alpine Crossing, considered one of the World’s best one day hikes. 

From the stark volcanic beauty of Tongariro you then head to the lush tropical forests and beaches of the Coromandel Peninsula for a 4 day guided walking exploration.  From beautiful New Chums Beach to the majestic Pinnacles, this walking experience offers gentle coastal walks to challenging uphill treks where your reward is fabulous views and an amazing sense of achievement.

Tour map

Included in this New Zealand self drive holiday

Maori meeting house, Rotorua
Pinnacles walk Coromandel Peninsula
Taranaki falls Tongariro National Park
Tongariro Ngauruhoe Ruapehu Volcano
Tour map
 

Day 1 - Arrive Auckland, transfer to hotel

Personal meet and greet, and private transfer to your accommodation

On arrival you will be met by one of our team and driven to your Auckland accommodation.

Your tour documentation pack and support

Your tour documentation pack and support
Your tour documentation pack and support
Your tour documentation pack and support
Your tour documentation pack and support

Once you touch down in New Zealand your detailed tour pack will be hand delivered by one of our trusted representatives. The pack contains everything you need for the duration of your stay. It will include a comprehensive, printed and bound version of your itinerary as well as clear driving instructions and maps for each leg of your journey. It also contains all the reservation details for your accommodation and activities - along with relevant brochures and information. While in New Zealand we offer 24 hour support - details on how to contact us at any time will be well documented.

Welcome to Auckland City

Welcome to Auckland City
Welcome to Auckland City
Welcome to Auckland City
Welcome to Auckland City

Auckland, New Zealand’s self-proclaimed ‘City of Sails’ is the country’s largest metro area. Resting between the Pacific Ocean and the Tasman Sea, this urban paradise has something for everyone. Surrounded by native bush, rainforests and an abundance of beaches, Auckland is a playground for both the city savvy and those with an eye for adventure. Explore the central museums and galleries on foot, or take a drive through one of over 800 regional National Parks to see deserted beaches, waterfalls and native forest.

Accommodation: Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour

Accommodation type: Luxury Lodges & hotels

Accommodation: Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour
Accommodation: Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour
Accommodation: Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour
Accommodation: Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour

Accommodation features

  • Check in time: 2 pm
  • Check out time: 10 am
  • Walk time to shops/restaurants: 2-5 mins
  • Parking: onsite paid parking NZ$35-NZ$45 per 24 hrs
  • Internet facilities: In room free access
  • Restaurant on site
  • Breakfast service available
  • Bar on site
  • Tea/coffee facilities in room
  • Room service available
  • Hairdryer
  • Laundry facilities: Drycleaning service available
  • Swimming pool
  • Gym/fitness centre

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Day 2 - Your rental car is delivered then drive from Auckland City to Waitomo

Driving distance and time: 178 kms / 111 miles : 2.1 hours

Times are based on averages for this specific route and allow for stops. Use these times as guidelines and to assist in the planning for your day.

Collect your rental car

Collect your rental car
Collect your rental car
Collect your rental car
Collect your rental car

Our rental car range includes the latest vehicles from the top suppliers. Insurance is included with a small excess or deductible. All airport fees, additional driver fees and unlimited kilometres are also included. To help you navigate your way around New Zealand all rentals also come with GPS. Our range included small compact cars to mid-size saloons to large 4WD and people movers.

GPS navigation system

Use the latest GPS technology as you tour New Zealand. Your portable GPS features a simple touch screen interface with automatic route calculation and turn-by-turn voice-prompted directions including street name announcement. The automotive-grade GPS unit is easy to use and has multiple language options.

Auckland to Waitomo

Auckland to Waitomo
Auckland to Waitomo
Auckland to Waitomo
Auckland to Waitomo

Leaving Auckland you'll journey through the Bombay Hills and into the rich dairy pastures of the Waikato. Marvel at the limestone hills of the Waitomo countryside before arriving in Waitomo itself, home to a huge underground network of caves.

Accommodation: Kamahi Cottage

Accommodation type: Boutique lodges & hotels

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Accommodation: Kamahi Cottage
Accommodation: Kamahi Cottage
Accommodation: Kamahi Cottage
Accommodation: Kamahi Cottage

Accommodation features

  • Check in time: 2 pm
  • Check out time: 11 am
  • Walk time to shops/restaurants: 30 mins +
  • Parking: onsite free parking
  • Internet facilities: On site free access
  • Includes continental breakfast
  • Includes cooked breakfast
  • Dinner service available
  • Bar on site
  • Tea/coffee facilities in room
  • Kitchen/kitchenette in room
  • Room service available
  • Hairdryer
  • Laundry facilities: On site
  • All rooms non smoking
  • Apartments serviced weekly

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Day 3 - Today experience an epic underground adventure

Waitomo Adventures Lost World Epic Tour (7 hours)

Waitomo Adventures Lost World Epic Tour (7 hours)
Waitomo Adventures Lost World Epic Tour (7 hours)
Waitomo Adventures Lost World Epic Tour (7 hours)
Waitomo Adventures Lost World Epic Tour (7 hours)

This is Waitomo's Ultimate Adventure. Abseil 100m into the surreal Lost World. Descend slowly bouncing and turning as the mist filtered light gives unreal qualities to the strange plants and formations. The abseil into the Lost World is at least twice the height of any other cave at Waitomo and the beauty of this iconic cavern is unsurpassed. The descent takes about 30 minutes. Then after lunch take the wet way out! In probably the strangest setting you have ever eaten, you'll head upstream, walking, swimming and climbing through cathedral-size vaults. You'll see waterfalls, ancient whalebones and oyster fossils as well as the magnificent glowworms. Emerge several hours later and enjoy a hot shower and well-earned dinner BBQ meal near the cave before heading back to Waitomo. Includes all drinks and meals.

Accommodation: Kamahi Cottage

Accommodation type: Boutique lodges & hotels

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Kamahi Cottage
Accommodation: Kamahi Cottage
Accommodation: Kamahi Cottage
Accommodation: Kamahi Cottage

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Day 4 - Continue south from Waitomo to Tongariro National Park

Driving distance and time: 151 kms / 94 miles : 1.8 hours

Times are based on averages for this specific route and allow for stops. Use these times as guidelines and to assist in the planning for your day.

Waitomo to Whakapapa Village

Waitomo to Whakapapa Village
Waitomo to Whakapapa Village
Waitomo to Whakapapa Village
Waitomo to Whakapapa Village

Today you'll head into the heart of the Central Volcanic Plateau, Tongariro National Park. Follow the road through lush King Country to arrive into this World Heritage Park, home to three active volcanoes - Tongariro, Ruapehu and Ngauruhoe - as well as many walking tracks, adventure activities and the renowned Tongariro Crossing.

Accommodation: Ruapehu Country Lodge

Accommodation type: Boutique lodges & hotels

Meals included: Breakfast

Accommodation: Ruapehu Country Lodge
Accommodation: Ruapehu Country Lodge
Accommodation: Ruapehu Country Lodge
Accommodation: Ruapehu Country Lodge

Accommodation features

  • Check in time: 2 pm
  • Check out time: 10 am
  • Parking: onsite free parking
  • Includes continental breakfast
  • Includes cooked breakfast
  • Dinner service available

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Day 5 - Guided Tongariro Alpine Crossing day walk with Walking Legends

Exclusive Guided Tongariro Alpine Crossing with Adrift

Exclusive Guided Tongariro Alpine Crossing with Adrift
Exclusive Guided Tongariro Alpine Crossing with Adrift
Exclusive Guided Tongariro Alpine Crossing with Adrift
Exclusive Guided Tongariro Alpine Crossing with Adrift

For the exclusive guided trips you'll be provided with a really personal, informative and friendly day you will never forget. This trip is tailored so that group sizes are small, your guides are well informed and are able to provide you with an amazing experience. Your guide will also 'work behind the scenes' constantly assessing the weather and track conditions, timing for your Ketetahi personalised transport pick-up, and other little details that will maximise your enjoyment. They can also tailor the trip to accommodate different fitness levels and know a few tricks about avoiding weather exposed or crowded areas.

Accommodation: Ruapehu Country Lodge

Accommodation type: Boutique lodges & hotels

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Accommodation: Ruapehu Country Lodge
Accommodation: Ruapehu Country Lodge
Accommodation: Ruapehu Country Lodge
Accommodation: Ruapehu Country Lodge

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Day 6 - From Tongariro National Park head to the heart of Maori culture, Rotorua.

Driving distance and time: 159 kms / 99 miles : 1.9 hours

Times are based on averages for this specific route and allow for stops. Use these times as guidelines and to assist in the planning for your day.

Whakapapa Village to Taupo

Whakapapa Village to Taupo
Whakapapa Village to Taupo
Whakapapa Village to Taupo
Whakapapa Village to Taupo

As you travel out of Tongariro National Park, just on the park boundary you reach Lake Rotopounamu (Greenstone Lake).  A short 15 minute walk through forest brings you to the lake, a lovely spot for swimming, walking (on the 5km lake track) or just relaxing.  After leaving the park boundaries you have a short scenic drive before arriving into Turangi, which sits on the southern shores of Lake Taupo and is rated as one of the world's best trout fishing locations. On the main road south of the town is the National Trout Centre run by the Department of Conservation. You can explore the process of hatching trout to stock New Zealand's rivers and lakes. Skirting New Zealand's largest lake you soon arrive into the township of Taupo. The lake itself is actually a gigantic volcanic caldera formed during one of the worlds largest ever eruptions. Just north of the town are the Huka Falls and a short detour to view is advised. The Huka Jet can get you much closer with a thrilling jet boat ride also if you wish. Craters of the Moon is a nearby geothermal reserve with well formed walking tracks around its many bubbling pools and steaming vents.

Taupo to Rotorua

Taupo to Rotorua
Taupo to Rotorua
Taupo to Rotorua
Taupo to Rotorua

The drive today takes you through the city of Rotorua, famous for its bubbling mud pools and Maori culture. Wai O Tapu Thermal Wonderland and the Waimangu Volcanic Valley are well signposted on the highway between the two towns. On Rotorua's lake front Volcanic Air Safaris offer scenic flights over Mt. Tarawera or for a longer trip to White Island, one of the most active volcanoes in the region.
The Rotorua Museum and Blue Baths in the Government Gardens offer one of the best displays of any museum in the country. Focussing on local history the eruption of Mt. Tarawera in 1886 is brought to life.

Accommodation: Black Swan Boutique Lodge

Accommodation type: Boutique lodges & hotels

Meals included: Breakfast

Accommodation: Black Swan Boutique Lodge
Accommodation: Black Swan Boutique Lodge
Accommodation: Black Swan Boutique Lodge
Accommodation: Black Swan Boutique Lodge

Accommodation features

  • Check in time: 3 pm
  • Check out time: 11 am
  • Parking: onsite free parking
  • Internet facilities: In room free access
  • Includes continental breakfast
  • Includes cooked breakfast
  • Dinner service available
  • Tea/coffee facilities in room
  • Swimming pool
  • All rooms non smoking

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Day 7 - A Day to relax and explore Rotorua at your leisure

Explore Rotorua

Explore Rotorua
Explore Rotorua
Explore Rotorua
Explore Rotorua

Peppered with natural hot springs, boiling mud pools and steaming geysers, Rotorua sits within one of the worlds most active volcanic regions. But geothermal landmarks aside, this city of sulphur has a rich indigenous history. Home to several prominent Maori tribes, a visit to the Mitai Maori Village should be high on your agenda, as should an excursion to the Polynesian Spa for an invigorating soak in its natural mineral hot springs.
Live on the edge when you hop aboard a helicopter bound for White Island, New Zealand’s most active volcano. Spike your adrenaline at Agroventures on stomach-dropping attractions such as static skydiving, or a giant swing reaching 130 km per hour. Go up the Gondola for soaring lake views, and ride the luge at night for an extra thrill.
Fans of Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit should drive to nearby Matamata and experience the actual movie set ‘Hobbiton’. Make the most of your time in Rotorua with an excursion through the Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, one of the area’s most colourful volcanic attractions.

Accommodation: Black Swan Boutique Lodge

Accommodation type: Boutique lodges & hotels

Meals included: Breakfast

Accommodation: Black Swan Boutique Lodge
Accommodation: Black Swan Boutique Lodge
Accommodation: Black Swan Boutique Lodge
Accommodation: Black Swan Boutique Lodge

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Day 8 - Today you begin your 4 day walking exploration of the beautiful Coromandel Peninsula

Coromandel Explorer 4 Day Guided Walk

Coromandel Explorer 4 Day Guided Walk
Coromandel Explorer 4 Day Guided Walk
Coromandel Explorer 4 Day Guided Walk
Coromandel Explorer 4 Day Guided Walk

Come and experience the breathtaking beauty of the Coromandel that most people never see! Jagged mountain peaks, stunning coastal views, waterfalls, abandoned gold mines and glistening white sand beaches make this a uniquely kiwi walking holiday. You will carry a daypack only; your guides take care of the rest. Walking times vary between 3 to 7 hours per day and in the evening you return to a beautiful boutique lodge just outside of Coromandel township with gorgeous bush views and delightful alfresco dining areas. Day one you are collected from your Rotorua or Thames accommodation and driven to the scenic Coromandel Peninsula, along the way a variety of short walks provide a great introduction to this diverse landscape. Day 2 you will walk the stunning Coastal Walkway, day 3 hike to 'The Pinnacles' for 360 degree views of the entire peninsula and day 4 you'll explore the east coast before returning to Rotorua. Difficulty: moderate

Includes: Rotorua return transport; park fees; 3 nights twin share lodge accommodation; linen, towels, soap; hiking equipment (packs, raincoats, etc.); knowledgeable and experienced NZ guides. All meals, snacks, pre-dinner drinks and nibbles are included, except for one restaurant dinner and drinks on Day 3. Dinners are hearty 2 course meals with a focus on NZ style cuisine. Breakfasts have cooked and continental options. Packed lunches are made fresh daily.

Day 1 – Journey from Rotorua to Coromandel and enjoy a variety of short walks

You'll be collected for your Coromandel adventure from your Rotorua accommodation at approximately 8:30am. During your drive to the Coromandel you'll enjoy a warm up walk with a 4km hike to the top of Wairere Falls, and view the verdant Waikato basin from two lookouts over hanging 90 metres of thunderous waterfall.  As you continue north, enjoy views out over the mussel farms of the Hauraki Gulf from one of New Zealand’s classic coastal drives, the Coromandel west coast. Make a brief stop at Waiomu for refreshments before exploring the Waiomu Kauri Grove - this little known trail heads deep into a protected ecological reserve scattered with majestic Kauri trees – New Zealand’s very own forest giants that grow up to 50 metres tall. Drive further up the Coromandel Peninsula in the late afternoon to reach your lovely accommodation, and watch the sunset from the verandah with a glass of wine or ice cold brew.

Accommodation: Coromandel Walking Legends Lodge

Accommodation type:

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Coromandel Walking Legends Lodge
Accommodation: Coromandel Walking Legends Lodge
Accommodation: Coromandel Walking Legends Lodge
Accommodation: Coromandel Walking Legends Lodge

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Day 9 - Walk the Coromandel Coastal Walkway

Day 2 – The Coastal Walkway

Day 2 – The Coastal Walkway
Day 2 – The Coastal Walkway
Day 2 – The Coastal Walkway
Day 2 – The Coastal Walkway

Relish a delicious breakfast in the alfresco dining area of the lodge, surrounded by native bush and birdsong. Head north to the tip of the Coromandel Peninsula to hike one of the best coastal walks in the country. The views from the track of the Pacific Ocean, Great Barrier Island and Mt. Moehau are well worth the climb. The track passes through  farmland and native bush to reach the remote and beautiful Stony Bay. This stretch of coastline offers all the dramatic views that encapsulate the Coromandel. Return to the lodge for another relaxing evening of dinner and drinks. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included. Today's duration of walking is 6 hours.

Accommodation: Coromandel Walking Legends Lodge

Accommodation type:

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Coromandel Walking Legends Lodge
Accommodation: Coromandel Walking Legends Lodge
Accommodation: Coromandel Walking Legends Lodge
Accommodation: Coromandel Walking Legends Lodge

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Day 10 - Tackle the Pinnacles

Day 3 – The Pinnacles

Day 3 – The Pinnacles
Day 3 – The Pinnacles
Day 3 – The Pinnacles
Day 3 – The Pinnacles

Enter the hidden world of the Kauaeranga Valley, home to the majestic Pinnacles range. The entire length of the Coromandel Peninsula was once a chain of volcanic cones. This chain has since been eroded and weathered to form the spectacular series of outcrops you see today. The Pinnacles trail climbs through re-generating kauri forest, passing one of NZ’s best preserved kauri dams, eventually cresting the top of the range to reach the Pinnacles Hut. From the hut, a scramble to the top of the Pinnacles rock formation rewards you with 360° views of the entire Coromandel Peninsula and beyond. If the Pinnacles isn't your style and you would prefer a more relaxing day you have the option of staying in and exploring Coromandel Township. Highlights include the Driving Creek Railway, local artisan workshops, short walks, cafes, and culture. Take the time to relax in paradise. A fabulous day is topped off with a celebratory meal at one of Coromandel town’s fine restaurants. Breakfast and Lunch are included. Duration of walking today is 5 to 7 hours.

Accommodation: Coromandel Walking Legends Lodge

Accommodation type:

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Accommodation: Coromandel Walking Legends Lodge
Accommodation: Coromandel Walking Legends Lodge
Accommodation: Coromandel Walking Legends Lodge
Accommodation: Coromandel Walking Legends Lodge

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Day 11 - Relaxing beach walks and a visit to the Lost Spring, before returning to Rotorua

Day 4 – The Eastern epic and return to Rotorua

Day 4 – The Eastern epic and return to Rotorua
Day 4 – The Eastern epic and return to Rotorua
Day 4 – The Eastern epic and return to Rotorua
Day 4 – The Eastern epic and return to Rotorua

This morning we visit one of the top twenty beaches in the world, New Chums Beach. An unforgettable white sand, crescent moon-shaped beach, fringed by pohutukawa and nikau palms. Finding a secluded beach with no signs of man is an experience not to be missed. We head into the laid-back coastal town Whitianga to catch a short ferry across the harbour and walk towards Shakespeare’s Cliff, which overlooks the beach where Captain Cook first set foot on New Zealand shores. Enjoy amazing views over Mercury Bay and Cooks Beach. We’ll stop for a picnic lunch above the spectacular Cathedral Cove, before walking down to the amazing natural archway, a must visit for anyone coming to the Coromandel. We’ll drop you off in Rotorua relaxed and refreshed, with some fantastic memories! Today you'll walk between 3 to 4 hours and return to Rotorua at approximately 6pm.

Accommodation: Black Swan Boutique Lodge

Accommodation type: Boutique lodges & hotels

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Accommodation: Black Swan Boutique Lodge
Accommodation: Black Swan Boutique Lodge
Accommodation: Black Swan Boutique Lodge
Accommodation: Black Swan Boutique Lodge

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Day 12 - You'll be transferred back to Auckland, stopping along the way at Hobbiton Village

Driving distance and time: 0 kms / 0 miles : 0.0 hours

Times are based on averages for this specific route and allow for stops. Use these times as guidelines and to assist in the planning for your day.

Rotorua to Auckland via Hobbiton Movie Set

Rotorua to Auckland via Hobbiton Movie Set
Rotorua to Auckland via Hobbiton Movie Set
Rotorua to Auckland via Hobbiton Movie Set
Rotorua to Auckland via Hobbiton Movie Set

Departing from Rotorua in the morning, this is a wonderful way to get to Auckland and include a magical journey through Middle-earth to the Hobbiton Movie Set from "The Lord of the Rings" and "The Hobbit" films. On arrival at Shire's Rest you embark on your Hobbiton movie set tour. You will get to see 44 hobbit holes, the Mill and double arch bridge, the party tree and visit the Green Dragon Inn (where a complimentary beer, cider or ginger ale is included). At this stunning location you can take a photo at the door of Bilbo's house, Bag End and look out over the whole of Hobbiton to the hills in the distance.
Following the Hobbiton tour, enjoy lunch at either Shire's Rest or in the marquee beside the Green Dragon Inn. After lunch, there is time for some shopping before you leave to drive north through lush Waikato dairy farms and over the Bombay Hills arriving in Auckland where you will be transferred to your inner-city accommodation.

Accommodation: Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour

Accommodation type: Luxury Lodges & hotels

Meals included: Breakfast

Accommodation: Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour
Accommodation: Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour
Accommodation: Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour
Accommodation: Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour

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Day 13 - Depart Auckland today

Transfer to Auckland airport

Transfer to Auckland airport
Transfer to Auckland airport
Transfer to Auckland airport
Transfer to Auckland airport

You will be collected from your Auckland hotel and transferred to the airport to meet your departing flight.

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