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8 Day AAT Kings Northern Spotlight Tour

8 days 7 nights
Auckland to Wellington
from NZD$2,875pp
was NZD$3,230pp
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Tour summary and feature with map

Follow the path of pioneer settlers as you travel the North Island of New Zealand, the birthplace of the country's European history. This journey takes you from the shores of the beautiful Bay of Islands to Rotorua, rich in Māori culture and traditions, and onto the spectacular scenery of Tongariro National Park the thriving modern capital, Wellington.

This Tour Also Features

  • Cape Brett and the famous Hole in the Rock Cruise

  • Waitomo Glow Worm Caves

  • Huka Falls

  • 7 breakfasts, 1 dinner, 1 special dinner

Tour full itinerary
Itinerary
Day One - Welcome to Auckland
Tour day 1
8 Day AAT Kings Northern Spotlight Tour - Day 1
AAT Kings 8 day Northern Spotlight

Follow the path of pioneer settlers as you travel the North Island of New Zealand, the birthplace of the country's European history. This journey takes you from the shores of the beautiful Bay of Islands to Rotorua, rich in Māori culture and traditions, and on to the spectacular scenery of Tongariro National Park the thriving modern capital, Wellington.

On arrival into Auckland airport you will be transferred to your hotel.

On arrival in Auckland, you will be transferred to your hotel.

Welcome to Auckland

This afternoon, explore Auckland at your leisure before meeting your travel director for a welcome reception back at your hotel.

Accommodation: VR Queen Street (or similar)
Accommodation type: Hotel 3 star
VR on Queen Street offers modern self catering accommodation at the top of Queen Street. You're just a short walk from the restaurants and bars of K Road and have all the facilities you need for a comfortable stay.

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Day Two - Pass though lush Northland farm country to reach the tropical Bay of Islands
Tour day 2
8 Day AAT Kings Northern Spotlight Tour - Day 2
Auckland to the Bay of Islands and a cruise to the Hole in the Rock

This morning depart Auckland City and travel north over the Harbour Bridge past the sprawling suburbs of the North Shore of Auckland. Your travels then take you through Nothland's lush farmland scenery before arriving into the beautiful Bay of Islands. Experience spectacular scenery as you cruise through game fishing waters to Cape Brett and, weather permitting, through the famous "Hole in the Rock" formation. The return cruise to Paihia meanders through picturesque islands - see deserted sandy beaches and secluded bays and keep your eyes peeled for the marine life. This evening enjoy dinner at your hotel.

Accommodation: Copthorne Hotel & Resort Bay of Islands (or similar)
Accommodation type: Hotel 4 star
Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner
Copthorne Hotel & Resort Bay of Islands is located within the Waitangi Treaty grounds, surrounded by native bush and the beautiful Bay of Islands Harbour.

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Day Three - Enjoy the beauty of this idyllic tropical area with a dolphin cruise, a sailing trip or relaxing on the beach
Tour day 3
8 Day AAT Kings Northern Spotlight Tour - Day 3
Free time to explore and enjoy the Bay of Islands

Today is a completely free day for you to experience the beauty of the Bay of Islands. Perhaps head back out on to the water and go on a dolphin watching cruise, and maybe even jump in the water for a swim with these magnificent creatures. Or take a coach trip up to Cape Reinga - the very top of New Zealand, via idyllic Ninety Mile Beach. Experience a day of sailing aboard a historic tall ship, enjoy wine tasting around Kerikeri, or join a jet boat Heritage Cruise and learn a little more about the settling of the Bay of Islands. Tonight you are free to dine as you wish. You may want to experience a ‘Kiwi tradition’ – fish and chips on the beach, or glide down the Waitangi River on board the Ratanui for a sumptuous dinner cruise.  Your Travel Director will assist you in booking all of your chosen optional experiences.

Accommodation: Copthorne Hotel & Resort Bay of Islands (or similar)
Accommodation type: Hotel 4 star
Meals included: Breakfast
Copthorne Hotel & Resort Bay of Islands is located within the Waitangi Treaty grounds, surrounded by native bush and the beautiful Bay of Islands Harbour.

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Day Four - Return to Auckland via Whangarei and its quirky galleries
Tour day 4
8 Day AAT Kings Northern Spotlight Tour - Day 4
Paihia to Auckland

Enjoy a leisurely morning in the Bay of Islands before you travel back to Auckland. Your journey south takes you to Whangarei, the northern-most city in New Zealand, where you can wander around the art galleries and through the marina in the Town Basin. Later, enjoy a stop at Parry Kauri Park and take a walk among New Zealand's native forest giants, the Kauri trees before arriving into Auckland late afternoon. Dinner tonight is included at your hotel.

Accommodation: VR Queen Street (or similar)
Accommodation type: Hotel 3 star
Meals included: Breakfast
VR on Queen Street offers modern self catering accommodation at the top of Queen Street. You're just a short walk from the restaurants and bars of K Road and have all the facilities you need for a comfortable stay.

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Day Five - Travel south through lush king country - stopping at Waitomo Caves - then on to geothermal Rotorua
Tour day 5
8 Day AAT Kings Northern Spotlight Tour - Day 5
Auckland to Waitomo Caves onto Rotorua

A city sights tour will start your morning in Auckland. Travel around the waterfront from central city out to Mission Bay. Prepare your camera for the stop at Bastion Point and the Michael Joseph Savage Memorial, as you will get stunning shots of Auckland, the North Shore and the Waitemata Harbour. After leaving Auckland you will follow the meandering trail of the Waikato River to Waitomo Caves. Tour the amazing limestone caverns and sail through the still waters of the sparkling Glow Worm Grotto. From Waitomo to Rotorua you will venture through the King Country region which was at the centre of the New Zealand Wars in the 1860s. On arrival in Rotorua an orientation tour takes in views of Lake Rotorua.

Accommodation: Ibis Rotorua (or similar)
Accommodation type: Hotel 3 star
Meals included: Breakfast
Hotel Ibis Rotorua is located on the shores of Lake Rotorua and a short walk to city centre shops and restaurants. The government gardens and museum are also close by.

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Day Six - Take a day to experience the thermal delights of Rotorua
Tour day 6
8 Day AAT Kings Northern Spotlight Tour - Day 6
Explore Rotorua

Today is your chance to experience the scenic wonders of the geothermal wonderland of Rotorua. Choose from one of the varied Optional Activities on offer. Explore Rainbow Springs Kiwi Wildlife Park and take a ‘behind the scenes' tour through the working kiwi nursery and hatchery. Visit Te Puia and join a guided tour through the Whakarewarewa Thermal Reserve, home to famous Pohutu Geyser and the bubbling beauty of the mud pools. Later, why not spend a little more time experiencing the thermal wonders, with a soak in the hot mineral waters of the Polynesian Spas? Your AAT Kings Travel Director will assist you in booking all your chosen optional activities.

Accommodation: Ibis Rotorua (or similar)
Accommodation type: Hotel 3 star
Meals included: Breakfast, Speciality Dinner
Hotel Ibis Rotorua is located on the shores of Lake Rotorua and a short walk to city centre shops and restaurants. The government gardens and museum are also close by.

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Day Seven - Stop in Lake Taupo, cross the 'volcanic plateau' then traverse the Kapiti Coast to Wellington
Tour day 7
8 Day AAT Kings Northern Spotlight Tour - Day 7
Rotorua to Taupo and the capital city of Wellington

Depart Rotorua this morning and journey out through pine forests and farmland to a little hidden spot, the turquoise torrent of rapids known as Huka Falls. The road ahead unfolds in a broad panorama of Lake Taupo, New Zealand’s largest lake. The stunningly blue fresh water of Lake Taupo is home to some of the best trout fishing in the world. You will then journey south over the Central Plateau, New Zealand’s main volcanic area. In a country of contrasts, perhaps nothing is more striking than the three peaks of Tongariro National Park rising starkly from the surrounding plateau of tussock and near-desert. Pass through a number of small towns along the road to Wellington, each with their own personality and quirks. Probably the quirkiest of all would have to be Taihape… the self-proclaimed gumboot capital of the world. Travel along the Kapiti Coast, the traditional summer playground of the inhabitants of Wellington city. And as you follow the state highway, the Kapiti Coast becomes New Zealand’s capital city, Wellington. Tonight dinner is included at your hotel.

Accommodation: Travelodge Wellington (or similar)
Accommodation type: Hotel 3 star
Meals included: Breakfast
Located right in the city centre the Travelodge Wellington offers great accommodation and facilities all within easy walking of the city attractions.

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Day Eight - Depart Wellington today
Tour day 8
8 Day AAT Kings Northern Spotlight Tour - Day 8
Explore Wellington City and then your tour concludes

After a city sights tour of Wellington taking in New Zealand's parliament buildings, and a visit to Te Papa, the Museum of New Zealand, enjoy some time at leisure. Indulge in Wellington's renowned coffee culture, or take a walk along Lambton Quay - the heart of the central business district of Wellington. Your AAT Kings New Zealand holiday concludes this afternoon. Your flights will need to depart after 2.00pm, and you will be transferred to Wellington Airport.

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Tour departure list
Departure dates and prices
This tour has 44 departure dates.
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May 28, 2022
(Saturday)
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Jun 25, 2022
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Sep 10, 2022
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Oct 8, 2022
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Oct 15, 2022
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Oct 22, 2022
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Jan 28, 2023
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Feb 11, 2023
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Mar 18, 2023
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Mar 9, 2024
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Mar 16, 2024
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Mar 23, 2024
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