Pukeko Tour: 8 days, 7 nights

Starts in Auckland. Ends in Wellington. You’ll visit heaps of amazing places. Select departure date and make it happen.

From: NZ$2,139

Pukeko Tour: 8 days, 7 nights


Advantages of a Stray Tour

Comfy 3-4 star hotels for most of the nights; high country farm or scenic lodge(s) close to the waterfront or national park in our unique destinations.

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We'll do the driving. You'll travel by private, air-conditioned bus.

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Charismatic Stray Guide: expect tips, support & insider knowledge

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From: NZ$2,139

Starts in Auckland. Ends in Wellington. You’ll visit heaps of amazing places. Select departure date and make it happen.

Pay a deposit of NZ$200 per person

Money-back guarantee: you'll get a full refund if the tour doesn't go ahead.

Flexibility: no fee to make changes
Swap tours or change dates. Easy as!

Easy payment: pay only $200 now
Remaining balance before departure.


Pukeko tour logoStray Pukeko Tour will take you on a North Island adventure from Auckland to Wellington, exploring all the top sights, from the geothermal “Sulphur City” – Rotorua, to their favourite place to chill, Blue Duck Station. If you’re short on time and want to see the best of the North, the Pukeko has got you covered.

Hike some of New Zealand’s best tracks, dig a spa pool in the sand, taste a delicious traditional hangi meal, see bubbling mud pools in Rotorua, try to spot a rare Blue Duck at Blue Duck Station and finish the tour with a night out in Wellington.

Itinerary of Pukeko Tour

Day 1: Auckland to Rotorua

Haere Mai and Welcome! Your tour begins in Tāmaki Makaurau (Auckland) the city of sails, the largest city in New Zealand and home to over 2 million people.

We’re departing this morning for a short trip to Rotorua and, let’s just say, the ‘unusual’ sulphur smell will be a telltale sign that you’ve arrived! Known as the North Island’s geothermal hot spot and hub for all the very best adventure activities, Rotorua is 100% one of the best places to explore… even if your nostrils tell you otherwise!

We’ll stop at the Whakarewarewa Forest for a walk amongst the giant California Redwoods planted over 100 years ago before checking in at our hostel.

 Accommodation: Distinction Rotorua or similar

 Meal Options: Local eateries

 Free activities: Whakarewarewa Redwood Forest walk

Day 2: Rotorua - free day

You’re in luck because today is a free day for you to explore Rotorua! There’s heaps of cool activities to do here including white water rafting, ziplining, zorbing and even Hobbiton or just relaxing in a geothermal spa! If you want to see some geothermal activity for free, head to Kuirau Park to see boiling mud pools and steaming lakes.

 Accommodation: Distinction Rotorua or similar

 Meal Options: Local eateries

 Meals Included: Breakfast

 Free activities: Kuirau Park

Day 3: Rotorua to Lake Aniwhenua

After hanging out in a major tourist destination like Rotorua, you’ll probably feel ready to experience a more authentic slice of New Zealand culture. Today we venture off the beaten track to the shores of Lake Aniwhenua. Kohutapu Lodge is owned by a local Maori family who are passionate about showcasing their Maori tribal heritage. You'll see sacred Maori rock carvings, play traditional stick games and watch the preparation of a ground cooked 'hangi', before tasting it for yourself! Prepare your tastebuds - this will probably be the best meal you eat in New Zealand, or maybe even in your lifetime!

Exclusive experience includes:

  • Welcome to the tribal lands and a guided tour to sacred Maori rock carvings
  • Introduction to the Murupara area, its people, history and challenges
  • Afternoon tea
  • Mau Rakau (Maori stick games)
  • Weaving Lesson
  • Haka Lesson
  • 1 night’s accommodation at the serene lakeside Kohutapu Lodge
  • Full traditional hangi buffet dinner & dessert
  • Storytelling around the fire pit
  • Continental breakfast


 Accommodation: Scenic lakefront cabins

 Meals Included: Breakfast, full traditional hangi dinner and dessert

 Free activities: Maori rock carvings, volleyball

Day 4: Lake Aniwhenua to Blue Duck Station

Rise and shine, strayers! Enjoy your buffet breakfast and get ready for a day of jam-packed adventure. Keep your togs (swimwear) handy, because our first stop is Kerosene Creek – a naturally hot river and the perfect place for a morning soak.

Then it’s on to Taupo to see Australasia’s largest lake and the mighty Huka Falls before venturing about as far off the beaten track as you can get in the North Island! Blue Duck Station is a sprawling 7,200-acre high country farm that is both a working station and an eco-conservation pioneer dedicated to protecting the native environment for its namesake, the rare blue duck.

On arrival, we will settle in to learn a little about daily life at Blue Duck, the station’s interesting settlement history and their sustainability efforts before cooking some dinner and chilling out around the bonfire.

 Accommodation: Country station lodge

 Optional paid activities: Skydiving or bungy in Taupo

 Meal Options: We’ll stop at a supermarket to stock up on supplies - Self-cater or join the optional group dinner

 Meals Included: Breakfast

 Free activities: Huka Falls, Spa Park walk Taupo

Day 5: Blue Duck Station - free day

Good news - You have a full free day to explore this ruggedly charming destination. For entertainment, you have the option to go horseback riding over rolling green hills, or jump on a 4WD and travel through native bush to the ‘Top of the World’ where you can see the three peaks of Mount Ruapehu, Mount Tongariro and Mount Ngauruhoe.

If you’d prefer to explore on foot, hike to the Kaiwhakauka waterfall and see if you can spot a rare blue duck in the flesh. Whatever you decide, we have no doubt this will be the start of your love affair with this lush kiwi paradise. Those holiday romances, aye!

 Accommodation: Country station lodge

 Meals Included:  Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

 Included activities: 4WD farm eco-tour

 Free activities: Hike to Kaiwhakauka waterfall

Day 6: Blue Duck Station to Ohakune

Rise and shine this morning for your trip to Ohakune. We’ll head straight there after breakfast so you can tick off one of the most popular hikes in New Zealand, the epic Tongariro Alpine Crossing. Considered one of the world’s top one-day walks, this 19km hike takes you across a rocky plateau with dramatic volcanic peaks, craters and turquoise lakes that you (and your Instagram feed) will remember for a lifetime.

The Crossing is open to walk year-round (alpine gear and guide are required in winter), but it is subject to weather conditions. If the weather prevents you from doing the Crossing, there are other awesome short walks in the area. Tonight, unwind after a big day at your accommodation, the Powderhorn Chateau for a relaxing evening.

 Accommodation: Powderhorn Chateau or similar

 Optional (paid) activities: Tongariro Alpine Crossing

 Meal Options: Local restaurants

 Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 7: Ohakune to Wellington

Rise and shine for your scenic bike ride along Old Coach Road. You’ll be fitted for your Bike and then shuttled to Horopito where your easy but epic 4-hour unguided bike trail begins. Download the free app before you start if you’d like to get some info along the way about your route.

You’ll cycle on a unique cobbled road, past historic Viaducts and limestone cliffs and there’ll be plenty of stops along the way to take photos for the ‘gram. Afterwards, it’s onwards to Wellington, the ‘coolest little capital in the world’!

Wellington packs a lot of character into its downtown district, with funky restaurants and bars along Cuba Street and Courtenay Place. Fill your afternoon by browsing through the exhibits at Te Papa National Museum, grab a craft beer at an edgy brewery, climb to the top of Mt Victoria for panoramic views or take a stroll along the waterfront and Oriental Parade.

Oh and, most importantly for those who seek 24/7 caffeination, you’ll be glad to know that Wellington’s coffee culture and cafe scene is considered one of the best in NZ.

 Accommodation: Ibis Wellington or similar

 Meal Options: Local restaurants

 Meals Included: Breakfast

 Free activities: Walk Oriental Parade, head up Mt Victoria for fantastic views, visit Te Papa National Museum

 Included activity: Electric bike along the Old Coach Road

Day 8: Wellington Departure Day

Today your adventure comes to an end. We hope you had a blast!

If you have some time at the end of your trip, why not stay a few extra days in Wellington and explore the capital city.

 Meals Included: Breakfast

See where the Pukeko Tour will take you

Map of 8 Day Pukeko
Map of 8 Day Pukeko

Free activities

There are so many amazing free activities to do on our Ruru Tour!

  • Whakarewarewa Redwood Forest walk
  • Kuirau Park
  • Maori rock carvings
  • Volleyball
  • Huka Falls
  • Spa Park walk Taupo
  • Hike to Kaiwhakauka waterfall
  • Walk Oriental Parade, head up Mt Victoria for fantastic views
  • Visit Te Papa National Museum


High-quality twin share rooms are included. You’ll stay in comfy 3-4 star hotels for most nights and high country farms or scenic lodges close to the waterfront or national park in our unique destinations. Hotel rooms are ensuite, while shared facilities are in Stradmark places.

Private Coach Transport

Take the pressure off, kick back, relax, soak up the scenery and let someone else do the driving. You’ll travel by private, air-conditioned bus.

Stray Guide

Expect entertaining anecdotes, great recommendations, extra support and local insider knowledge from your charismatic guide. They know every inch of this country. You can’t get this from a google search!

Lake Aniwhenua – Strademark Experience

This experience is an introduction to modern-day Maori culture. You’ll be hosted by a local Maori family, taken on a guided tour to a sacred archaeological site, be introduced to the local Maori stories and games and be treated to a delicious hangi dinner, cooked under the ground!

Accommodation info

You’ll stay in comfy 3-4 star hotels for most of the nights and high country farms or scenic lodges close to the waterfront or national parks in our unique destinations. Hotel rooms are ensuite, while shared facilities are in Stradmark places. Upgrade to solo occupancy can be booked online but are subject to availability.

Please note: At some destinations, such as Lake Aniwhneua, Blue Duck Station or Marahau (Abel Tasman National Park), your private rooms may not be with ensuite, but shared bathroom or kitchen facilities.

Optional paid activities

All optional paid activities mentioned in the itinerary can be booked via your Stray driver, often at a discounted price.

Amazing views on this tour

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