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.
The listed price of the trip is per person based on double occupancy.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
In New Zealand, summer lasts from November until March, with January and February being the warmest months. The rain in New Zealand is geographic in nature; the west coast is wetter than the east, so you’ll typically experience a mixed bag as you move throughout the country. Rain can happen at any time of year, and it is not uncommon to experience three seasons in one day. We like to think that there's no such thing as bad weather—only bad preparation! Pack well and you'll be happy.
We can cater to all dietary restrictions and allergies—just let us know at the time of booking. 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.
Visa requirements for New Zealand vary depending on traveler citizenship. Please check requirements for travel to New Zealand and any countries passed through in transit. A passport is required for international travel. We recommend your passport expire at least six months after your return home.