From the far north where New Zealand’s history began, to the bottom where it has grown, journey through epic landscapes rich in Maori culture. Blending effortlessly with natural as well as active, geothermal volcanic wonders, start off & return to Auckland on this 14 day North Island tour of New Zealand’s most diverse island.
This trip is a great way to start your Gap Year adventure in New Zealand! Whether for a working holiday or just a trip around the country of New Zealand is the perfect introduction to the Kiwi way of life.
To be able to work in New Zealand you need to be aged between 18 – 30 (or up to 35 for some countries) and be eligible for a working holiday visa.
You should have a sense for adventure, be curious to learn about new cultures and like to experience something different.
If you are planning to work in Australia whilst you’re here you’ll need to apply for a Working Holiday Visa. You can choose to book your Oz Gap Year programme with the visa included (only for Working Holiday Visa subclass 417). If you’re eligible for Work and Holiday Visa (subclass 462), Grabatour Travel cannot apply for this visa for you, however, once you obtain this visa it will allow you to participate in the Oz Gap Year programme.
Please note: If you have a criminal record, you are still able to apply for a Working Holiday Visa, but due to the specific information required while filling out the application form we won’t be able to process your visa for you, and this must be applied individually.
This Working Holiday Visa (subclass 417) is available to passport holders who come from:
the Republic of Cyprus
Hong Kong SAR
the Republic of Ireland
the Republic of Korea
Or you’re a citizen of and hold a valid passport from one of these countries:
China, People’s Republic of
United States of America
People hold one of the above passports can still apply for a similar visa called the Work and Holiday Visa (subclass 462). Grabatour Travel cannot apply for this visa for you, however once you obtain this visa it will allow you to participate in the Oz Gap Year programme.
To be eligible for a working holiday visa, applicants need to meet the following requirements:
Hold a passport issued by an eligible country or region
Be aged 18-30 (inclusive) at the time of applying
Not be accompanied by dependent children at any time during their stay in Australia
Meet health, character and financial requirements
Not have previously entered Australia on a Working Holiday visa (unless applying for a second visa)
Be outside Australia when they apply and when their visa is granted
Apply within 12 months of intended travel to Australia.
Have sufficient funds to cover your expected living/trip costs during your stay
Have funds for a return or onward ticket to depart Australia (or an actual ticket)
Have health insurance
How to apply:
You can choose our inclusive visa booking option and we can process the Working Holiday Visa application for you, or you may wish to apply for your own visa via Australian Immigration.
You will need to apply for Medicare once you are in Australia and in order to do this please ensure that you can provide TWO forms of ID e.g. passport, driving licence, birth certificate.
You will be travelling with a group of fun, exciting and interesting people from everywhere in the world! And you can easily make new friends along the trip.
Small groups, insider access, and personal freedom to follow the whim of the moment are the order of the day, every day.
Groups sizes are usually between 5 – 22 people with most groups even celebrating reunions years after their trip! Chat with other people from your group before you leave home!
Check out the New Zealand visa requirement here.
If your start date is more than 40 days away, you can secure your spot by paying a 10% deposit.
Simply select the ‘deposit’ option when you Check out. We’ll hold you a spot on your chosen start date and send you a link to pay the remaining amount.
The balance must be paid in full at least 40 days prior to your tour start date. If you are booking within 40 days of your start date the deposit option is not available so you need to pay in full.
07:00: Depart Auckland
We kick off our journey crossing Auckland’s Harbour Bridge, admiring the skyline of what is known as the ‘City of Sails’ as we head north for our journey. Depending on timing & bookings, we may add in Kai Iwi Lakes, Hot Springs or a waterfall on route to Paihia.
10:45: Tane Mahuta
Situated in the heart of the Waipoua Forest and as tall as it is impressive, the Tane Mahuta (‘Lord of the Forest’) is one of the world’s oldest and largest Kauri trees. Standing at around 50 meters tall, the tree is estimated to be around 2,500 years old.
On route up the West Coast, we’ll stop off at the picturesque harbour town Opononi for a lunch break before our final destination.
14:00: Arrive in Paihia, Bay Of Islands
Renown for its picturesque bays, laidback atmosphere and fantastic local fish n chips, our next stop takes us into the heart of the Bay Of Islands, Paihia. Take the ferry over to the historic town, Russell, where you can check out Flagstaff Hill, wineries & visit one of New Zealand’s oldest Churches, the Christ Church!
So if swimming with dolphins, island cruises or famous Maori treaty grounds for a spot of Kiwi culture aren’t your thing, borrow a free kayak or bike and explore the bay your way.
For those who just can’t get enough, optionally top the day off with an overnight cruise. Sail through the bays with a sunset buffet dinner, followed by night kayaking to experience the bioluminescence. Note, the ‘Overnight BOI Cruise’ extra overrides day two’s itinerary.
Visit Opononi harbour & beach.
See the Tane Mahuta – Lord of the Forest in the Waipoua Forest.
Visit the Bay of Islands.
Free kayak & bike usage.
07:00: Depart Paihia
Checking that you’ve remembered to blink, we continue our journey north to the sacred and most northern point of New Zealand to visit the Cape Reinga Lighthouse.
10:45: Cape Reinga
This land holds great significance to the Maoris and their ancestors and if you don’t catch a glimpse of a dolphin or whale out to sea, you’ll be guaranteed to see where the Tasman Sea (from the west) collides with the Pacific Ocean (from the east).
12:15: Te Paki Sand Dunes
Following on from the Cape, grab your boards because along the shores of the famous 90 Mile Beach, we find Te Paki Sand Dunes. Perfect for sand boarding, we’ll spend the afternoon gliding down New Zealand’s largest dunes, and to top it off, you can experience an optional traditional Maori Hangi lunch to get back that energy.
18:00: Arrive in Paihia
Finishing off the day, we head back to Paihia for another night in the Bay of Islands.
Cape Reinga lighthouse.
*90-mile beach & Te Paki Sand dune board hire.*
08:00 – 12:30: Free time!
12:30: Depart Paihia
Salty, sunkissed and probably hungover, we’ll make our merry way down to where we started.
After heading south, we’ll finish off before heading home at New Zealand’s northernmost city, Whangarei.
17:30: Arrive in Auckland.
Visit NZ’s northernmost city, Whangarei.
07:00: Depart Auckland
Wakey wakey! For those of you hiding under the sheets from the sun like something out of Twilight, after last night, we’re taking it easy on you. As we detox over a late breakfast, we leave the City of Sails and head south for a day of beach relaxation.
09:30: Arrive at Hot Water Beach
If one beach wasn’t enough, try two! And what better way than to escape a hangover than lying in nature’s jacuzzi – Hot Water Beach.
If you didn’t already guess, this beach gets its name from the geothermal hot springs that rise up through the sand. If the tides right, grab your spades and start digging.
11:45: Cathedral Cove & Hahei Beach
Packed full of rugged coastlines and exotic beaches, sit back on this scenic drive as we pass through the Coromandel over to our next spot, Cathedral Cove. Arguably one of the most popular beaches in the North Island, with its pristine sands and golden cliffs, be sure to test the acoustics under the Te Hoho rock as we stop at the cove for the morning.
17:00: Arrive in the Bay Of Plenty, Tauranga.
Putting the beaches behind us, we sashay south through the Bay of Plenty and the coastal town of Tauranga. Here you can kick back on the beach or catch the sunset from the top of Mt Maunganui for the rest of the arvo (Kiwi for the afternoon).
Take the coastal walk to Cathedral Cove.
Visit Hahei beach.
Dig a hole in nature’s jacuzzi, Hot Water Beach.
Night in the Bay Of Plenty, Tauranga.
08:00: Depart Tauranga
08:30: Mt Maunganui
If you didn’t already venture up last night for an epic sunset, todays your day! Standing at an impressive 761ft, the ‘mount’ as it’s known is challenging as it is beautiful.
12:00: Arrive in Rotorua
Winding our way out of the hills of Waikato, for our next culture injection, we head down to the geothermal capital of New Zealand, Rotorua! Smell that? No, that wasn’t your buddy’s meal from last night, that my eager Beavers’ is Sulphur, so get out your nose pegs kids.
Climb Mt Maunganui!
Night in the geothermal capital of NZ, Rotorua!
08:30: Depart Rotorua
09:30: Kerosene Creek
Just down the road from our next stop, we’ll take a dip in the natural hot spring – Kerosene Creek, famous for it’s hot spring waterfall!
11:30: Wai O Tapu Thermal Wonderland
Famed for it’s boiling mud pools, hot springs and spurting geysers, we give you – Wai O Tapu! A wonderland of natural beauty that will leave you mesmerized! Hmmm, or maybe that’s just the Sulphur?!
15:00: Huka Falls, Taupo
Which brings us onto Taupo (“Toe-Paw”). This monster of a lake is claimed to be bigger than the size of Singapore and twice the size of the second largest lake in New Zealand! This central North Island town sits on the south shore where you’ll find 220,000 litres of water gushing over the Huka Falls every second!
16:30: Arrive in Taupo
Visit the Thermal Wonderland, Wai O Tapu.
Dip into the natural hot springs of Kerosene Creek.
See the amazing Huka Falls!
06:30: Depart Taupo
08:00 Tongariro Crossing
Wait, who’s got the ring? Strap up your boots troops, ‘cause this is going to be a long day! We rise at the crack of dawn, for your next journey takes you unexpected Hobbits to the top of Mount Doom! This eight-hour shoe shredder isn’t for the faint-hearted, as you’ll hike above the clouds through 19km of unforgiving volcanic terrain called, the Tongariro Crossing!
But don’t sweat couch potatoes, we’ve got you covered. If you weren’t brave enough to journey south, we’ve lined up kayaking around the Mine Bay Maori Rock carvings to skydives and white water rafting to keep your mind off what you’re missing.
Later, relax for a well-deserved dip in the Otumheke thermal stream amongst your worn-out wolf-pack.
18:30: Return to Taupo
Challenge yourself & hike the epic Alpine Tongariro Crossing.
Dip into the Otumheke thermal spring.
09:30 Depart Taupo
12:00 Arrive in Hawkes Bay
After yesterday, you’re probably wanting a break. Start practising your spitting (off the bus), ‘cause we’re showing you exactly what put New Zealand’s wine on the map with an epic Hawkes Bay wine & brewery tour! Visit two of Hawkes Bay’s best wineries including one of NZ’s oldest, plus visit a quirky craft brewery which hosts a variety of worldwide styles.
15:30 Arrive in Napier
Whether your legs are wobbly from the wine or yesterday’s crossing, get settled into the art deco city of New Zealand, Napier.
Transport to and from all wineries & breweries.
06:30: Depart Napier
Home to the annual Gumboot Day, welcome to New Zealand’s Gumboot capital! Here we’ll test your throwing skills in a “boot off” before heading into our last stop, River Valley Adventure Lodge!
12:30: River Valley, Pukeokahu
Adventure lodges aren’t complete without grade 5 water rafting & amazing horse treks, so kick back and settle in for the arvo as we enjoy some good ol’fashioned kiwi country.
Visit the Gumboot capital of NZ, Taihape & challenge a friend to a welly throw off!
Experience really kiwi outback at River Valley Adventure Lodge.
07:30: Depart River Valley
11:00: Tui Brewery, Mangatainoka.
For those still thirsty from Hawkes Bay, we’ll make a quick stop off at the famous Tui Brewery to send us on our way.
16:30: Arrive in Wellington
As much as we love nature, it’s time for another city… and boy is this one windy!
Windy? That’s right, if you haven’t already blown over, welcome to the NZ’s capital – Wellington. Sitting on top of the Cook Strait, don’t let the wind scare you off! Welly’s chilled atmosphere, stunning promenade and vibrant nightlife will be sure to keep you distracted.
Home to a myriad of surprises, for those who can’t sit still, check out the Weta Caves before you get settled in for the night.
Visit the famous Tui Brewery.
Visit the Windy Capital of New Zealand, Wellington.
09:00: Your time, your way
Finally a free day! We’re handing the reins back to you for today, but if you’re stuck for ideas – start off the morning with a walk up to the top of Mt Victoria to get your bearings in check. From here, you can head into the city for a guided tour and another Kiwi culture shot at the famous Te Papa Museum.
Later, take a trip up the iconic Wellington Cable Car where you can check out the views from the Botanical gardens. If you didn’t already get accustomed to the town last night, no worries, after dinner we’re cracking out our drinking boots for an epic bar crawl.
Free entry at the famous Te Papa Museum.
Check out the views from the top of Mt Victoria.
Join our epic Bar Crawl of Welly’s sweetest pubs & clubs.
08:30: Depart Wellington
11:30: Break at Whanganui
14:15: Goblin Forest, Mt Egmount
Goblins? Where? Thriving off the neck of the mighty volcano, we come to our next Middle Earth treasure, the Goblin Forest. Found deep in the Egmont National Park, look out for orcs, elves or hung-over backpackers. Oh wait, that’s us!
16:00: Arrive in New Plymouth
After a short walk around the Kamahi loop, we’ll take the arvo off where you can stroll through the Botanical Gardens or check out the Paritutu Rock as we explore New Plymouth, a city shadowed by our second volcano, Mt Taranaki!
Get up close with the Mt Taranaki volcano and trek through the Goblin Forest of Mt Egmount.
Check out the Botanical gardens and if it’s the right time of year, the TSB Light festival.
08:30: Depart New Plymouth
11:30: Waitomo Caves
Peeps, you’ve earned it. Lie in and slow sip that coffee before we head back up north for a Kiwi classic, the glow-worm capital, Waitomo! Strange as they are beautiful, glow-worms are the stars of the underworld. Today we’re putting on our headlamps and taking to the caves on this epic journey below! Climb into the unknown, sail under blue-lit caves or black water raft down into the abyss, this place has it all.
17:30: Arrive in Raglan
Home to New Zealand’s coolest surf town, this arvo we’ll get stuck in with those beach vibes before we end our last night with an awesome sunset boat party & BBQ.
Waitomo Cave tour.
13:00: Depart Raglan
For those hiding from the sun after last night, before we say “poroporoaki” (Maori for goodbye) to our last stop, hire out a board or take a surf lesson for the morning.
15:00: Return to Auckland
After a well-deserved bite for lunch, we’ll arrive back in Auckland around 15:00 to end this epic trip off. So, this is it folks, the final piece of the puzzle! So steady your feet, hold on to something tight… no not us! Amigos, welcome back to Auckland!
It’s time for you culture pros to say ciao to the tribe and in years to come remember what we did in the land of the Long White Cloud.
There will be no airport pickup.
Meet at approx 06:30 at 229, Queen St, Auckland. Bus stop on the corner of Darby & Queen St. Coach departs at 07:00.
DROP OFF LOCATION
Arrive back in Auckland for around 15:00 at 229, Queen St, Auckland.
Meet Tane Mahuta, NZ’s largest Kauri tree.
Travel north to Cape Reinga Lighthouse & 90-mile beach.
Visit the largest sand dunes at Te Paki.
2 night stop in the Bay of Islands.
Coastal walk the Coromandel to Cathedral Cove.
Dig your own jacuzzi at Hot Water Beach.
Party in the Bay Of Plenty, Tauranga.
Climb Mt Manganui.
Spend 2 nights in Rotovegas!
Entry to the thermal wonderland, Wai O Tapu.
Dip into the natural hot springs of Kerosene Creek.
Visit Huka Falls & hike the famous Tongariro Crossing.
Epic Hawkes Bay Winery tour.
Visit the Gumboot Capital, Taihape.
Night in the awesome River Valley Lodge.
Visit the famous Te Papa Museum.
Epic pub crawl & 2-night stop in the Capital, Wellington.
Waitomo Glowworm Cave Tour & Boat Ride.
Visit the surf capital of NZ, Raglan!
All Accommodation, transport & itinerary activities.
Relax with comfortable seats, USB’s & great playlists.
13 Awesome hand picked locations around New Zealand’s sweetest spots to help you catch those cosy zzz’s.
Food inclusion (breakfast, lunch & dinner) will cost an additional fee. The cost is $27 USD per person including:
Breakfast: Day 2 -Day 14 (13 breakfasts)
Lunch: Day 1 -Day 14 (14 lunches)
Dinner: Day 1 – Day 13 (13 dinners)
We have vegan, gluten and dairy-free options.
Locals or backpackers, we coined the phrase “it’s who you’re with” to show you the time of your life. All activities guided with plenty of optional extras!
Straight to the doorstep with AC & an unbeatable playlist, sit back & relax ’cause our journeys are as good as they get.
Travel Insurance is NOT included, however it is mandatory for you to have travel insurance for the duration of your tour. If you require travel insurance, Grabatour Travel has partnered up with World Nomads to provide a hassle-free experience. More information can be found here.
The following options are available with this tour. Simply select the corresponding add-on during booking at the Check-out page!
Arrival and departure transfers.
Pre and post-tour accommodation.
Other meals, snacks and drinks.
Optional experiences are available on this tour for an additional cost and will be provided to you with your finalised travel documents.
Private Accommodation: $330 USD
Bay Of Islands
Hole in the Rock, Bay of Islands cruise.
Overnight Bay of Islands Cruise, night kayak & dinner buffet.
Waitangi Treaty Grounds.
Sundowner Bay Of Islands Cruise.
Redwood forest treetop walk – Day/ Night.
Kaituna River White Water Rafting.
Rotorua Canopy Tour.
Redwoods Mountain Biking.
2 Hour Horse Trek.
Rainbow Springs Kiwi Encounter.
Tamaki Maori Village Evening Cultural Experience.
Ernest Kemp Replica Steamboat Cruise.
Tandem Skydive 9,000ft.
Tandem Skydive 12,000ft.
Tandem Skydive 15,000ft.
Huka Falls Jet.
Acacia Bay Kayak Hire.
White Water Rafting.
Raglan Surf Lesson.
Surf Board Hire.
English, if you expect to make conversation without waving your hands in the air! Luckily for you, all of our Drivers and Trip Managers speak English, but one of the perks of travelling with us is that’s all you need to know.
Our Reps know how to get around, but it doesn’t hurt to know a bit of the local lingo! So ask us for a few phrases and you’ll soon blend in.
That’s the beauty of travelling! Throw yourself into new situations, new environments and connect with people from all over the world. Strike up a conversation to the person sitting next to you or get stuck into one of our group games, we never leave you out.
Whether or not you have a phone, WiFi will be available at most hostel locations. Providing your phones unlocked, you may also pick up a sim card from a local store or just ask us.
Groups usually average anywhere between 12 – 22 people. From experience, we like to take the Goldilocks approach, not too little, not too much, but just the right amount.
We prefer to keep our travellers within this age range because this is what we feel our New Zealand tours are most suited to. If you’re out of this range, please contact us before making a booking.
We sell globally, therefore expect as many as 15 different nationalities in anyone trip!
All with a passion for travelling, our Reps are relatively the same age. Whether it’s our Drivers, Reps or Trip Managers, they’ve more than likely started out where you are, just working to see the world.
Male, female, local or experienced, all of our crew know the land like the back of their hand, so don’t be afraid to ask questions.
Whether you’re looking for souvenirs, which bar serves the best cocktails or the optional activity that’ll take your experience to a whole new level, we get that everyone’s different.
We’ve designed our tours so you don’t have to spend anything, but above the tour price, packages/ extras, you should budget anywhere up to $50 extra, depending on your choices. Each days optional activities and pricing can be found available on the tours itinerary page.
Due to individual government regulations that are subject to change, please be aware that we are unable to advise on the need to obtain visa information. However, note that the information we have provided below is only to be used as a guide and that you should contact the local embassy for country you’re travelling to for up to date information.
New Zealand: Immigration.Govt.Nz
We ask that passengers carry a maximum of 2 pieces of luggage totalling 25kg, including a small day bag, so pack light. For time-saving, the flow of check-ins and outs and to help security, we advise day bags are used for your benefit and ours.
Baggage must not exceed the total dimensions (length + width + height) of 158cm (62”). But folks, this is a rough guide so don’t stress if you’ve brought your whole wardrobe! Just know that if it’s over 25kg, you’ll be leaving it behind!
Label your items with your name, home address and a unique identifier such as a ribbon or sticker so your luggage is easy to spot.
The weather can be glorious as much as it is harsh, so to make sure you’re suited and booted for the trip and it’s ‘4 seasons in one day’, follow this rough guide below on what you should pack:
1 x Rainproof jacket.
1 x Warm jacket.
Couple of long trousers.
Couple of shorts/ skirts.
Couple of casual shirts for evening wear.
4 – 5 T-shirts.
1 x Jumper or hoodie.
Heaps of socks and undies.
Couple of swimwear (preferably ones without color as sulphur from the hot springs will decolorize).
1 x thongs/ flip flops/ sandals.
1 x Casual/ going out shoes.
1 x Practical/ walking shoes (hiking boots).
Toiletry bag and contents.
Insect repellent and bite cream.
Medicines (Aspirin, travel sickness).
Prescription medication (adequate supply for the duration of the trip).
Tissues, wet wipes etc.
Wash bags for dirty laundry.
Camera, batteries, charging cords, storage devices.
Passport, visas and other important travel documents with a photocopy of each.
Before travelling to any country you should consult a GP or health professional such as a doctor to find out if any are required.
If you suffer from any form of illness, please be sure to have enough supply of any medications you require prior to your departing and that you have advised us of any important medical conditions you have at the time of booking.
Depending on where you’re from and where you’re travelling to you may need visas to enter certain countries included in your New Zealand tour. You are responsible for obtaining all necessary visas requirements prior to departure as failure to obtain any visas or travel documentation could result in entry denial and cause you to miss part or all of your trip.
Note that visas may take 6-8 weeks to obtain and passport even longer. Note that they may also incur additional fees which we do not cover. We advise that you allow a sufficient amount of time to acquire these before departure.
Amazing tour, offering the chance to meet new group of people with a brilliant tour leader there to help guide you along the way making sure you’re safe and enjoying yourself.
We had a brilliant time in New Zealand. The whole trip, the locals, the beautiful beaches and wonderful views made it incredible!
Everything ran as smooth as it could have been and managed to see everything I wanted! and you have to be prepared for a lot of bus time. Would recommended!! Thanks!
The itinerary’s were very clear and shows exactly what you’re doing. Definitely recommend this tour. Did the 14 days and it was a memorable experience.
Nice group from all over the world, just sit back and relax, our guide Richard was awesome. The attractions made this trip unforgettable! No problems what so ever highly recommend