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Northern Highlights with Rural Homestay

7 Days 1 Country 7 Cities

Journey into New Zealand's North Island and discover Rotorua, Auckland and the city of Wellington.

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About this trip

North Island unfolds on land and water, as you travel from Auckland to Wellington via the Bay of Islands, Glow Worm Grotto, Rotorua and Te Papa Museum of New Zealand.

You'll enjoy Insider moments like… floating on an underground river beneath a glittering ceiling of glow worms - famous residents in the grotto at Waitomo Caves, along with albino cave ants, giant crickets and an endless forest of stalactites.

Trip type: Country Explorer i

Trip code: ZWBAF

6 Nights


12 Meals
  • 7 hot buffet breakfasts.

  • 4 dinners.

  • 1 Be My Guest afternoon tea.

On-trip Transport

All transport shown.

Northern Highlights with Rural Homestay

Your Itinerary

1. Arrive Wellington

Welcome to Wellington. On arrival you will be transferred to your hotel (flights to arrive prior to 2pm). Head out on a city sights tour of Wellington taking in New Zealand's parliament buildings, and a visit to Te Papa, the Museum of New Zealand, for a Cultural Insight. Discover New Zealand's nature, history, art and heritage, and then enjoy some time at leisure. Indulge in Wellington's renowned coffee culture, or take a walk along Lambton Quay. This evening join your Travel Director and fellow travellers for a Welcome Reception and dinner at your hotel.

Welcome Reception
Dinner with wine
James Cook Grand Chancellor

2. Wellington - Rotorua

After departing Wellington, this morning you'll travel north up the Kapiti Coast to the gorgeous historic villa, Shenandoah, for a Be My Guest morning tea. Join Simon and Claudia, who will show you their home, which includes a unique private collection of Harley Davidson motor cycles. Enjoy morning tea in their garden, then take a walk around the property to meet the animal members of the family. Journey north over the tussock plains of the Central Plateau through Tongariro National Park, view Lake Taupo and Huka Falls on your way to Rotorua. Tonight an evening of culture, history and scrumptious food awaits you at the Tamaki Family Marae. Wander through the ancient forest village and learn about Maori art forms and traditions, followed by a concert featuring local performers. Experience an authentic Maori Hangi Regional Meal, steamed underground in the traditional way.

Buffet Breakfast
Be My Guest Dining
Regional Meal

3. Rotorua - Auckland

This morning you will travel through the King Country region which was at the centre of the New Zealand Wars in the 1860s to Waitomo Caves. See the amazing underground Glow Worm Grotto by boat and walk through the limestone caverns with a Local Specialist. This afternoon you will follow the meandering trail of the Waikato River, New Zealand's longest river, past the lush farmlands of the Waikato Region. As you journey over the Bombay Hills, the landscape changes from green, grassy meadowlands to the edges of suburbia. As you make your way into the heart of New Zealand's largest city, you will 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. Tonight's Regional Meal is at The Langham. Your personal degustation menu is made from the freshest, quality ingredients, including mouth-watering seafood and desserts.

Buffet Breakfast
Regional Meal
The Langham

4. Auckland - Bay of Islands (2 Nights)

This morning depart Auckland City and travel north over the Harbour Bridge. Journey through Orewa and along the scenic Hibiscus Coast, the birthplace of Sir Edmund Hillary. Enjoy a stop at Parry Kauri Park and take a walk among New Zealand's native forest giants, the Kauri trees. Your travels then take you into Whangarei, the northern-most city in New Zealand, where you can wander around the art galleries and through the marina in the Town Basin. This afternoon you will travel 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 with wine at your hotel.

Buffet Breakfast
Dinner with wine
Copthorne Resort (Water View)

5. Bay of Islands Sightseeing

Today your choice of sightseeing: Perhaps go on a dolphin watching cruise, journey around Kerikeri on a wine tasting tour, or take a guided walk through Russell - New Zealand's first capital. This evening you can sail aboard a historic tall ship as the sunsets, or glide down the Waitangi River for a sumptuous dinner cruise. Your Travel Director will assist you in booking the sightseeing of your choice.

Buffet Breakfast

6. Bay of Islands - Auckland

Before departing the Bay of Islands today you'll have the opportunity to visit the Waitangi Treaty Reserve, where New Zealand's founding document, the Treaty of Waitangi, was signed (own expense). This afternoon sit back and relax as you make your way down through Northland's lush farmland scenery and past the sprawling suburbs of the North Shore back into Auckland.

Buffet Breakfast
The Langham

7. Depart Auckland

Bid farewell to your fellow travellers when your holiday concludes this morning after breakfast. You will be transferred to Auckland Airport for your onward flight (flights anytime).

Buffet Breakfast

The Trafalgar Difference

  • Be My Guest
    at the historic estate of Shenandoah near Wellington with your hosts Simon and Claudia.

  • Cultural Insights
    Visit Te Papa, the Museum of New Zealand, and learn about the traditions of the Maori.

  • Hidden Treasures
    Enjoy at least one surprise Hidden Treasure.

  • Local Specialists
    Enter the world of the glow worm with an expert guide at Waitomo Caves.

  • #TrafalgarCares
    Rainbow Springs Nature Park and Kiwi Encounter - Rotorua You'll explore the park, learn about the kiwi breeding programme and see new hatchling, Sam. You'll also discover how your trip supports their vital work.  Te Puia - Rotorua You'll discover Maori culture and traditions at the Arts and Crafts Institute, and learn how your visit helps fund the education of young Maori people. 

Find out what makes Trafalgar different.

What's Included

Sightseeing Highlights

    • City tour in Auckland and Wellington.

    • Cruise to Cape Brett and through the Hole in the Rock.

    • Orientation of Rotorua.

    • View Mt. Ruapehu, farming lands and spectacular coastal scenery along the Kapiti Coast.

    • Visit the Bay of Islands, the Waitomo Caves and Te Papa, Museum of New Zealand.

What's Included


    • 7 hot buffet breakfasts.

    • 4 dinners.

    • 1 Be My Guest afternoon tea.

What's Included

Travel Highlights

    • Luxury air-conditioned coach with WiFi in most regions or alternative transportation (such as rail journeys)

    • Cherry-picked hotels, all tried and trusted

    • Hand-picked Insider Experiences

    • Optional Experiences and free time

    • Porterage, local tips and charges

    • Must-see sightseeing and surprise extras

    • An expert Travel Director and separate Driver, Driver Guide only on Mini-Stays

    • All hotel charges and local taxes

    • Airport transfers on the first and last day of your guided holiday

    • VIP entry to many sights

    Airport Transfers

  • Specific transfer information can be found on the airport transfers page

Why Trafalgar?

The Trafalgar Experience


Enjoy the wonder of travel, crisscrossing the globe through the seasons. On effortless adventures in breathtaking new horizons, forge lifelong friendships and memories. Our lovingly crafted itineraries are a fascinating mosaic of cultures, flavours, festivals and local stories. We’re with you all the way, guiding you and ensuring you experience the real thing: the sheer love of travel, entirely hassle-free.

sunset heart

Love... Travel

"Is simply the best way to position what our guests love to experience and what we love to deliver" - Gavin Tollman CEO


Meet warm-hearted locals and like-minded travellers. Along your journey of discovery, stop to share stories and flavours with local farmers, chefs and winemakers. Pause to admire the handicrafts and rich traditions of amazing artisans. Explore the essence of Europe through captivating accounts shared by expert historians and savvy local guides.


Travelling with your tastebuds, treating them to new flavours, spices and textures along the way. From the very first breakfast to the last nightcap, travelling through Europe indulges your palate, with every meal an opportunity to discover regional fare. Savour each new flavour, try the local tipple and take home fresh culinary inspiration. Let us share our love for food and hospitality with you.


Once you've packed your suitcase, we take care of the rest, removing all your concerns so that you can be secure in the knowledge that an award-winning global company with an impeccable reputation has taken care of every little detail. We arrange everything you'll need along your journey - meals, accommodation and travel logistics, because we are with you all the way. Travel the world with peace of mind, knowing you’re in the hands of Trafalgar.

Northern Highlights with Rural Homestay

What our customers say on social | #simplytrafalgar

7 Days, 1 Country, 7 Cities

Northern Highlights with Rural Homestay

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Upgrades available for this trip:
  • Definite Departure Date i
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Auckland, New Zealand


Wellington, New Zealand

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i Please read our Trip Notes before booking

  • Trip prices are per person, land only, based on double occupancy and reflect applicable discount. Discounts are subject to availability and may be withdrawn at any time without notice.
  • Trip prices are correct at the time of the products going live, however are subject to confirmation at the time of booking. All trip information is correct at time of trips going live, however are subject to change - please confirm all details at time of booking.
  • For full terms and conditions, please refer to our Website Terms of Use page.
  • Twin-share option not available for trips to South America, Costa Rica, Mexico, Alaska, Hawaii or for any holiday & cruise combination, or in Asia and Eastern Mediterranean except Highlights of Turkey (without cruise) & Best of Turkey. It's also not available on Small Group trips.  Guided Vacations included in this restriction are Newfoundland and Labrador (DNLA) as well as Panama, the Canal & Beyond (LPAN).  
  • For trips that are part of our Guaranteed Room Share, please note that there is a no smoking policy in all shared rooms. Solo travel is not accepted on guided Family Experiences holidays unless travelling as part of a family group. 

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