North Island Trip 2017

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Experience the North Island’s rich Maori culture, geothermal hot spots, and stunning beaches with our 14-day trip.

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Visit the volcanic heartland of NZ and see spouting geysers and bubbling mud, bathe in natural hot pools, witness thousands of magical glowworms at the Waitomo caves, walk along our beautiful North island beaches, visit the Hobbiton Movie Set from The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit film trilogies, go on a Weta Workshop tour in Wellington and much more!

Trip Dates: 30 September – 13 October 2017 (14 days / September school holidays)

Cost: $1995 NZD / $1895 with Early Bird Special*
Price includes: All meals (40 meals in total), cabin accommodation, $300+ in group activities (optional activities cost extra), 14 days bus travel, experienced ISENZ trip manager, leaders, assistants and chef.
*Early Bird Special: Pay before August 18, 2017 and get $100 off the trip price

Why Choose ISENZ Trips?

ISENZ trips are by far the best value for money. If you do a comparison you’ll find that other trips either include a lot less for your money, cost more, or are shorter in duration.

Price includes:
  • 14 days of fun and activities. Some tours are only 9 or 10 days for a similar price.
  • ALL meals included – 40 meals in total! Some tours only include SOME meals.
  • fresh fruit and bottled water between meals
  • 13 nights of comfortable cabin accommodation (2 – 6 people per cabin). Some tours include tent accommodation.
  • 14 days of bus transport
  • Awesome experienced staff. ISENZ Trip Manager, 1 – 2 Trip Leaders, Chef, 1 – 2 Trip Assistants + bus driver (1:9 adult:student ratio)
  • a range of group activities valued at over $300 (listed below)
    • 1 x Tour of the Hobbiton Movie Set from ‘The Lord of the Rings’ and ‘The Hobbit’
    • 1 x Admission Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, NZ’s most colourful geothermal attraction
    • 1 x Admission to Te Puia to visit the geysers and bubbling mudpools
    • 1 x Admission to Te Puia Maori Cultural Performance
    • 1 x Admission to the Polynesian Spa thermal pools in Rotorua
    • 1 x Admission to De Bretts hot pools in Taupo
    • 1 x Admission to Rotorua Agrodome and Farm Show
    • 1 x Skyline Gondola ride (return ticket) – Rotorua
    • 3 x Luge rides – Rotorua
    • 1 x Bay of Islands ferry to Russell
    • 1 x Admission to Waitangi Treaty House and Maori powhiri and performance
    • 1 x Admission to Waitomo Caves to view thousands of magical glow worms
    • 1 x Admission to Gannet Safari at Cape Kidnappers
    • 1 x Admission to Weta Workshop Studio Tour Wellington
    • 1 x Admission to the Kauri Museum in Matakohe
    • 1 x Visit to the Bath House Museum in Rotorua
    • 1 x Visit to Tane Mahuta, the largest remaing Kauri Tree
    • 1 x Visit to Huka Falls in Taupo
    • 1 x Visit to Hot Water Beach in the Coromandel
    • 1 x Visit to Cathedral Cove in the Coromandel
    • 1 x Visit to Cape Reinga, the northern tip of the the North Island
    • 1 x Visit to Te Papa Museum in Wellington
    • Plus much more!…
  • the opportunity to do many optional activities (eg. sky diving, bungy jumping)
Optional Activities (extra cost)

Prices quoted here are July 2016 prices (NZD$). A few examples of optional activities are:

• Bungy Jumping – Taupo – $169.
• Cliff Hanger Extreme Swing – Taupo – $145 Solo, $290 Tandem.
• Zorbing – Rotorua – prices start from $35 for a single ride, solo or tandem
• Skyswing – Rotorua – price is either $30 – $40, depending on your age
• Zoom Zipline – Rotorua – approx $50
• Diving, snorkling and scuba Diving – Paihia – between $140 – $260 (depending on activity)
• Dolphin cruise – Paihia – Half day, from $105
• Sailing – Paihia – $100 – $150 per person
• Swimming with dolphins – Paihia – Half day – $115
• Skydiving – Paihia – between $299 – $399 (depending on height of jump). Extra costs for Handycam video and photos
taken during your skydive.
• Kayaking – Waitangi – approx $30 – $40 per person (group rate only)
• Sky diving: $299 – $399 (depending on the jump altitude which ranges from 9000ft- 16000 ft. (2800m-4875m). One
metre is approximately 3.3 feet. Taking a photographer costs about $150 – 200 extra.
• Horse-trecking – Paihia – $120 (2 hours) – $290 (full day)… only for experienced riders.
• Sand surfing – Cape Reinga – $10 / $15

Price does not include:
  • Domestic travel to and from Wellington
  • Over-night accommodation in Wellington at the beginning and end of trips
  • Additional optional activities
  • Between meal snacks
Trip Itinerary
Day 1: Wellington, Taupo

• Trip starts in Wellington. We all meet at Hotel Waterloo & Backpackers (formerly known as Downtown Backpackers) which is opposite Wellington Railway Station (between 11.00am and 11.30am).
• Travel north and up through the volcanic plateau and pass NZ’s largest active volcano, Mt Ruapehu.
• Travel on to Taupo. Taupo sits on the edge of a Caldera – a huge volcanic crater more than 100km in circumference and the site of the world’s largest volcanic eruption in the last 5000 years.
• In the evening, we visit Taupo’s de Brett’s outdoor hot springs for a bathe in their luxurious geo-thermal pools.
• Stay over-night in Taupo at the All Seasons Kiwi Holiday Park. Ph: 07-378 4272.

Days 2 and 3: Taupo, Rotorua

• Morning in Taupo town centre. Time for optional activites this morning (bungy jump or Cliffhanger swing).
• Visit the Huka falls. The Huka Falls are a set of waterfalls on the Waikato River that drain Lake Taupo. Huka Falls is New Zealand’s most visited natural attraction.
• Travel on to Rotorua, NZ’s volcanic heartland. Stay two nights in Rotorua at Blue Lake Top 10 Holiday Park.
• Visit Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland reserve en-route to Rotorua. Wai-O-Tapu is New Zealand’s most colourful geothermal attraction, and has been named Named as “One of the 20 Most Surreal Places in the World”.
• Walk through “The Redwoods” in Whakarewarewa Forest.
• Attend an agricultural show at the Agridome and learn about sheep farming in NZ. Pet and cuddle the friendly baby lambs and other animals.
• Ride the gondola and luge on the hills over-looking Lake Rotorua.
• Visit Te Puia Thermal Reserve, see boiling mud pools and the famous Pohutu Geyser.
• Bathe in the natural thermal Polynesian Spa pools on the edge of Lake Rotorua.

Days 4 and 5: Matamata, Tauranga, Waihi, Whitianga

• Visit the real Middle-Earth at the Hobbiton™ Movie Set near Matamata.
• Travel on to coastal city of Tauranga in the Bay of Plenty and the Mount (Mt.Maunganui), a very popular holiday resort.
• Climb Mt Maunganui and swim at the beach, if you don’t mind the water being a bit cold at this time of year.
• Walk up to an enormous working open gold mine pit at Waihi.
• Travel to Whitianga on the beautiful Coromandel Peninsula. Stay two nights in Whitianga at Mercury Bay Holiday Park. Ph: 07-866 5579.
• Visit Hot Water Beach. Dig in the sand and natural thermal hot spring water will bubble up from deep within the earth allowing you to create your own natural spa pool.
• View spectacular coastal scenery during the walk to Cathedral Cove.

Day 6: Coromandel, Auckland, Orewa

• Visit the old gold town of Coromandel
• Travel on to Auckland. Spend the afternoon in downtown Auckland. Stay overnight at Orewa Top 10 Holiday Park, located right on the pristine Orewa beachfront about 30 minutes drive north of Auckland. Ph: 09-426 5832.

Days 7 and 8: Paihia, Russell, Keri Keri

• Travel on to the beautiful Bay of Islands. Stay two nights in Paihia at Bay of Islands Holiday Park. Ph: 09-402 7646.
• Visit the Treaty House where the historic Treaty of Waitangi was signed by Maori Chiefs and representatives of Queen Victoria of England. The Treaty House is New Zealand’s most-visited historic building.
• Visit the Treaty House where the historic Treaty of Waitangi was signed by Maori Chiefs and representatives of Queen Victoria of England. The Treaty House is New Zealand’s most-visited historic building.
• Take a ferry across the bay to Russell (Korarareka). This was the first European settlement in New Zealand and the original Capital of NZ.
• Visit Kerikeri and its orange groves.
• Visit “The Stone Store”, the oldest stone building in New Zealand.
• There will be opportunities to do optional activities in Paihia. eg. sky diving, jet boat ride to the hole in the Rock, sailing, kayaking in the Bay of Islands or horse-trekking.

Day 9: Cape Reinga, Whatuwhiwhi

• Half-day trip to Cape Reinga, the northern tip of New Zealand. Witness two oceans colliding (the Tasman and Pacific Oceans) and discover the place of leaping, where the Maori believe spirits begin their final journey.
• Stay at Whatuwhiwhi TOP 10 Holiday Park, a beautiful little bay on the Karikari Peninsula of Northland. Ph: 09-408 7202

Day 10: Kauri Coast, Baylys Beach

• Travel through The Kauri Coast en-route to Bayly’s Beach, a dramatic stretch of Kauri forest and picturesque beaches.
• See the famous “Tane Mahuta”, the largest remaining Kauri tree, which began its life about 2000 years ago at the time that Christ was born.
• Continue on to Baylys Beach. Baylys Beach is on the weat coast of Northland, and part of New Zealand’s longest driveable beach, longer than the more famous 90 Mile Beach at North Cape. Stay overnight at Baylys Beach Holiday Park. Ph: +64 9 439 6349

Day 11: Matakohe, Auckland, Waitomo

• Visit the Matakohe Kauri Museum en route to Auckland. The Kauri Museum tells the story of the mighty Kauri tree, its fascinating gum and its pioneering past.
• Arrive in Auckland early afternoon. Time to shop and sight-see in Auckland.
• Continue on to Waitomo. Stay overnight at Waitomo Top 10 Holiday Park. Ph: 0508 498 666

Day 12: Waitomo, Taupo, Napier, Hastings

• Visit the Waitomo Gloworm Caves. Explore the stalactite and stalagmites in the natural cave systems, and enjoy a boat ride in near darkness, illuminated only by thousands of magical glowworms above.
• Travel through King Country region to Taupo. Stop here for lunch on the lake front.
• Travel onto Napier. Napier and Hastings are “Art Deco” cities rebuilt in art deco style after being destroyed in the 1931 Earthquake (magnitude 7.9). Time to explore downtown Napier during the afternoon.
• Continue on to Hastings. Stay over-night in Hastings at the Hastings Top 10 Holiday Park. Ph: 06-878 6692.

Day 13: Hastings, Wellington

• Visit the world’s largest mainland Gannet colony at Cape Kidnappers in the Hawkes Bay, where you can see up to 25,000 nesting seabirds
• Enjoy spectacular views of the Hawkes Bay from Te Mata Peak, near Hastings. Time in Hastings town centre.
• Return to Wellington via the Wairarapa and over the Rimutaka Ranges.
• Visit Oriental Parade beach in Wellington and walk along the waterfront (if light and time permits).
• Stay overnight in Wellington TOP 10 Holiday Park. Ph: 04-568 5913.

Day 14: Wellington

• Visit to Te Papa Museum. Te Papa is New Zealand’s bold and innovative national museum full of interactive and visitor-focused museum experiences.
• Those who don’t want to visit Te Papa Museum can visit the Beehive and Parliament Buildings or have time in Wellington city to shop and have a look around.
• Drive up Mt Victoria for stunning 360-degree panoramic views of Wellington city.
• Lunch at Oriental Parade along-side the beach
• Weta Cave Workshop Tour. Weta Workshop is a special effects and prop company who produce award-winning effects for TV and film, such as The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit film series.
• Palmerston North and Wanganui-based students are driven back to Palmerston North. Students with connecting flights booked for tonight are taken to the airport. Students may need to consider an overnight stay in Wellington if late flights are not available. ISENZ staff will stay in downtown backpackers that night before returning to Palmerston North. Flights should not be booked prior to 5.00pm.

Reserve a Place Download Booking Forms

Trip Map

Trip starts and finishes in Wellington.


Registration Form and Itinerary

To secure a place on this trip, download this form, complete and return to Russell Trethewey as soon as possible. Places are limited and the trips are popular.

Email a completed and scanned copy to

Or post a completed copy to:
Russell Trethewey
PO Box 5329, Terrace End
Palmerston North, New Zealand

Download ISENZ Trip Brochure (PDF)

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