New Zealand North Island Itinerary 12 days with South Island Highlights

Please note that our Haka Plus tour prices have increased from September 2023 onwards. This is for a number of reasons, namely that we have made some exciting accommodation upgrades for extra comfort. We have also added in a few additional included activities that are must-do experiences in New Zealand such as Hobbiton Movie Set Tour in Matamata; Zealandia Eco-sanctuary in Wellington; and Mou Waho Nature Cruise in Wanaka.

Looking for a New Zealand North Island Itinerary covering 14 days? Why not check out our 12 day Wanderer tour and customise it with additional pre-tour or post-tour accommodation in either Auckland or Christchurch.

A sample platter of North and the South Island highlights – you’ll get a great overview of New Zealand’s scenic wonders on this tour. From Auckland, we’ll visit beautiful Coromandel and Raglan beaches; the thermal wonderland of Rotorua and Taupō; stop in at Tongariro National Park; enjoy vibrant Wellington before crossing the Cook Strait from the North Island and on to the South Island wine region of Marlborough; then to the whale-watching mecca of Kaikōura before ending in Christchurch. Or – vice versa! – you can also take this tour from Christchurch to Auckland.

Created for travellers in their mid-thirties and upwards, Haka Plus Tours are the best, most relaxed way to see Aotearoa New Zealand. We always like to showcase the indigenous Māori culture, so we include a cultural performance at a living Māori village within this tour.

This tour includes special activities such as walking to the spectacular and photogenic Cathedral Cove, a traditional Māori meal, and a walk amidst towering – and magically lit – treetops and the ‘most scenic ferry crossing in the world’. Personalise your New Zealand vacation by choosing to select some tour add-ons such as hiking the Tongariro Alpine Crossing – otherwise known as Mordor, kayaking to a natural hot pool, visiting an offshore eco-sanctuary, visiting Hobbiton or viewing whales on a whale watching flight!

New Zealand is known for being home to many different adventures, so be sure to make the most of your chance to swim, kayak, skydive, hike, see kiwis (and whales, dolphins, seals and albatrosses), relax in hot pools, and even fly over snow-capped mountains.

Pack in as many or as few of the activities on offer – this is your tour, your New Zealand vacation and we want you to have a great time! The tour includes some must-dos, but when it comes to things like bungy jumping and mountain hiking, we leave the choice up to you.

At the end of the day, you can relax in comfortable 3–4 star accommodation to ensure you have a great night’s sleep ready for the following day’s activities.

As our tours are made up of a combination of tours, the composition of your group may change throughout your tour (Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch are the hubs where the group may change).

Tour highlights

Delicious Marlborough Wine Tasting

Taste some of the world’s best sauvignon blanc at a Marlborough wine tasting.

Breathtaking Cook Strait Ferry Crossing

Ride one of the most scenic ferry journeys in the world, over the Cook Strait.

Magical Sunset Boat Cruise and Dinner

View the tranquil beauty of the upper reaches of Raglan’s coastline onboard a twin-hulled yacht.

Tour itinerary

  • What’s included?

    What's included on every Haka Plus tour:

    • Passionate and knowledgeable local Kiwi guide
    • Comfortable and air-conditioned bus transport
    • Orientation tour of each and every location
    • Small groups of maximum 16 people
    • Experiences to teach you about our unique Māori culture
    • Stay each night in twin-share 3–4 star accommodation: a mix of hotels, motels, lodges, and rainforest retreat

    What's also included on this tour:

    • Stay 11 nights in twin-share 3–4 star accommodation: a mix of hotels, motels and lodges.
    • Feast on daily hearty breakfasts and 2 dinners, including a traditional Māori hāngī cooked in an underground oven.
    • Walk a stunning coastal track to Cathedral Cove (as seen in the Chronicles of Narnia movies).
    • A fully guided tour of Hobbiton Movie Set (available on tours starting from 1 September 2023).
    • Ride one of the most scenic ferry journeys in the world, over the Cook Strait.
    • Watch a Māori cultural performance and check out a geothermal valley of bubbling mud pools including the famous Pōhutu Geyser in Rotorua.
    • See endangered kiwi birds up close and personal.
    • Soak up a sunset boat cruise in the West Coast surf town of Raglan – the fish and chips are on us!
    • Brave the Redwoods Treewalk, crossing 23 raised suspension bridges.
    • Hike through the forested gorge of Ruakuri (45 minutes) – bring your camera for this one.
    • Stay in Tongariro National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Area.
    • Discover rare animal species tour of Zealandia Nature Reserve in Wellington (available on tours starting from 1 September 2023).
    • Taste some of the world’s best sauvignon blanc at a Marlborough wine tasting.
    • Plus, many more surprise stops along the way!


    Available dates

    Only $99 to secure your seat unless you book within 45 days of departure. Once your spot is booked, you can log in and customise your tour with any extra experiences or activities up to 45 days before departure.


    FAQ - Wanderer

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