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wildlife & nature • 11 days, 10 nights

Natural Wonders of New Zealand’s North Island

New Zealand
wildlife & nature • 11 days, 10 nights

Natural Wonders of New Zealand’s North Island

New Zealand
See Dates
  • Group Size 12 People Maximum
  • Activity Level
    Challenging
  • Travel Style
    Overland Adventure
from $5,750 USD per person
See Dates

Traveling with Atlas Obscura during COVID-19

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Traveling with Atlas Obscura amid COVID-19 How We’re Adapting Our Trips Destination Requirements (via Embassy Pages)
Trip Overview
Overview

Maori Te Ika-a-Maui, the North Island of New Zealand abounds with natural wonders. On this trip, we’ll be paying homage to all things aquatic, from rivers and oceans to waterfalls and mud pools, and to cap it all off: the incredible glowworm caves of Waitomo. We’ll glide down mountain streams and across lakes, visit endangered wildlife, and journey to geothermal vents and geysers. For the thrill-seekers, we’ll raft down the Kaituna River and kayak at night by the light of glowworms. Join us for an adventure that will activate all of your senses, and remind us of the majestic ecosystems we must all work together to conserve.

Highlights
  • Tube through the Waitomo Glowworm Caves
  • Visit Maungatautari Sanctuary Mountain wildlife reserve
  • Hike to waterfalls and coastal clifftops
  • Whitewater raft the Kaituna River
  • Experience the geothermal wonders of Wai-o-Tapu in Rotorua

Itinerary

Itineraries and daily schedules are subject to change. We expect to do everything listed in the itinerary, though the order may be rearranged based on weather or other local conditions.

Additional Info

Pricing

The listed price of the trip is per person based on double occupancy.

Traveling Solo?

You’re in good company. Solo travelers typically make up about half of our small groups. With curiosity at the center of our experiences, there’s a natural camaraderie that develops over the course of a trip. We have two options for you: 

Shared Room (subject to the latest Covid-19 guidelines): You’ll be matched with another solo traveler of the same gender.

Private Room: Have your own room, subject to availability, for a supplemental cost of $1650. After booking your trip, please request a private room when you fill out your traveler information form and we’ll add the option to your booking and final balance. 

Activity Level

Travelers should feel comfortable walking and/or hiking four to six miles over the course of each day, spending full days in nature, remaining on their feet for long periods of time, and walking on uneven terrain. Travelers should also feel comfortable in and around water, in order to take advantage of activities such as kayaking, tubing, and rafting.

For more information about the hikes included on this itinerary, the New Zealand Department of Conservation has maps and descriptions as follows:

Day 2: Karangahake Gorge

Day 3: Wairere Falls

Day 6: Huka Falls

Day 8: Lake Rotopounamu

Day 9: Taranaki Falls

Arrival & Departure

Our trip begins with a welcome dinner in Auckland on Day 1. We recommend you arrive by 1 p.m. that day so you can clear customs, settle into your accommodations, and meet our guide and fellow travelers at the group hotel at 5:00 p.m. for an orientation before dinner. Our trip concludes after breakfast on Day 11 and you can be dropped off at Auckland airport at midday, or in central Aucklandshortly afterwards. If leaving New Zealand directly after our trip, we recommend departing after 3 p.m. that day. 

Meals & Accommodations

We’ll eat out at local restaurants and dine in with delicious home-cooked meals prepared by our guide. Lunches are often picnic-style and eaten outdoors, while breakfasts are family-style. We’ll have a snack basket on the bus and water available at all times.

Included
  • Accommodation throughout the trip at comfortable local hotels
  • All meals as described in the itinerary
  • Transportation throughout the trip (excluding arrival and departure airport transfers)
  • An experienced Trip Leader to accompany you for the duration of the trip as well as special guests throughout
  • Admission to all proposed activities, locations, and events
  • A curious group of fellow Atlas Obscura travelers!
  • 24/7 emergency assistance during your trip, provided by Global Rescue (terms apply)
  • Special access to unique places and extraordinary experiences
Excluded
  • Transportation and flights to and from Auckland, including airport transfers
  • Pre- and post-trip accommodations
  • Travel insurance (recommended)
  • Additional meals and drinks outside of Atlas Obscura offerings, including most alcoholic beverages
  • Passport and visa fees, if applicable
  • COVID-19 testing requirements
  • Tipping in New Zealand is not expected in the same way it is in the U.S. However, we recognize that many people like to show their gratitude in this way. If you’d like to tip your guides, the average amount is around $100 for the whole trip—but less, or nothing at all, is of course, acceptable too.
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Trip FAQ

By sharing your experience with friends and family, you can also help to spread awareness about New Zealand's delicate ecosystem and the best ways for visitors to have a positive impact. As you begin to prepare for your trip, and while we’re together, we’ll provide some guidance on how to reduce waste and minimize impact while in New Zealand.

See All FAQ

Upcoming Departures

  • Nov 18–Nov 28, 2022
    from $5,750
    Book
Choose your own private trip dates
Inquire now about a private departure for friends and family. Trip cost may vary based on group size and travel dates.

Choose your own private trip dates

Inquire now about a private departure for friends and family.

Learn More