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Whio Tour: 10 days, 9 nights

Starts in Auckland. Ends in Wellington. The perfect North Island tour. Select departure date and make it happen.

From: NZ$1,750

Whio Tour: 10 days, 9 nights

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Advantages of a Stray Tour

Dorm-style accommodation is included. Upgrades are available.

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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$1,750

Starts in Auckland. Ends in Wellington. The perfect North Island tour. Select departure date and make it happen.

Upgrade: double/twin room

Upgrade can only be added if you are travelling with a companion. Make sure to select 2 travellers!

Only a 10% deposit is needed to secure your seat

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 10% now
Remaining 90% before departure date.

Description

Logo of Whio Bus Tour by StrayThe Whio (Blue Duck) lives life in the fast lane and loves a bit of good, clean fun. The Whio will take you on a North Island adventure from Auckland to Wellington, exploring all the top sights, from the sunny beaches of Hahei 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 Whio 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 the Whio Tour

Day 1: Auckland to Hahei

Today’s the day we say ‘haere rā’ to Auckland and ‘kia ora!’ to the trip of a lifetime! First stop, Hahei Beach on the Coromandel Peninsula. This gorgeous little place will capture your heart (and have you calculating how much it would cost to move to NZ’s coast eternally). When the tides are right, we’ll drive over to the nearby Hot Water Beach and dig ourselves an all-natural hot pool in the sand. Who said backpackers can’t do luxury?

Accommodation: Cabin accommodation by the beach

Day 2: Hahei

If you don’t believe in magic yet you might just change your mind after watching a sunrise on Hahei Beach. It’s worth the 7am alarm – trust us – but don’t even think about going back to bed afterwards. Instead, grab a coffee, pack a picnic and ‘carpe diem’ by hiking to the hidden paradise we like to call Cathedral Cove. Walk to the north end of Hahei Beach, up the coastal track and along the cliffs to discover heaps of cool little coves and bays!

Accommodation: Cabin accommodation by the beach

Day 3: Hahei to Rotorua

It’s just 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. If you want to see some geothermal activity for free, head across the road to Kuirau Park to see boiling mud pools and steaming lakes.

Accommodation: YHA Rotorua

Day 4: Rotorua

There’s so much to see and do around Rotorua, the hard part will be deciding what to do with your free day. You could hire a mountain bike, go ziplining through native bush, try zorbing, go whitewater rafting or hop on the gondola and race your mates down a mountain on a luge. If you’re looking to relax instead, have no fear! Visit the thermal pools, sample all the food on Eat Street or explore the lake front area and the Government Gardens.

Accommodation: YHA Rotorua

Day 5: 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!

Accommodation: Scenic lakefront cabins

Day 6: 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

Day 7: Blue Duck Station

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 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

Day 8: Blue Duck Station to Raetihi (via Tongariro)

Limber up! Today you get the chance to 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 in a cosy historic lodge in Raetihi – complete with a pamper room, spa bath and mountain views.

Accommodation: Historic restored lodge with mountain views

Day 9: Raetihi to Wellington

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: Central city hostel

Day 10: Finish in Wellington

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.

See where the Whio Tour will take you

Route map of the Stray Whio NZ Tour

Free activities

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

  • Day 1: Dig a hot pool at Hot Water Beach
  • Day 2: Hike to Cathedral Cove, explore Hahei or relax on the beac
  • Day 3: Whakarewarewa Redwood Forest walk, Kuirau Park
  • Day 4: Explore the lakefront and the Government Gardens
  • Day 5: Maori rock carvings, volleyball, Maori cultural games
  • Day 6: Huka Falls, Spa Park walk Taupo
  • Day 7: Hike to Kaiwhakauka waterfall
  • Day 8: Taranaki Falls walk, visit the Volcanic Centre, Tawhai Falls (Gollum’s pool)
  • Day 9: Walk Oriental Parade, head up Mt Victoria for fantastic views, visit Te Papa National Museum, Gumboot (welly) throwing.
  • Day 10: Finish in Wellington. 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.

Accommodation

Dorm-style accommodation (4-10 beds) is included. You’ll stay in comfortable backpacker hostels, cabins and lodges. All accommodation facilities have self-catering kitchen facilities.

You can choose to upgrade your accommodation to a single or twin/double private room (subject to availability) when booking the Morepork Tour online. Prices for these paid upgrades are shown when you make the booking. Please note: At some destinations, your private room will include an ensuite bathroom and at some, it won’t. Room upgrades do not apply in
Hahei.

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!

Maori experience at Lake Aniwhenua (unique Stray 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!

Lots of free activities along the way

At each stop, there are various free activities to do, from hikes to experiencing our unique flora & fauna. Make sure the batteries of your camera are charged so you can make heaps of Insta-worthy photos.

Meals & drinks (not included)

All accommodation facilities have self-catering kitchen facilities.

Optional paid activities

Your Stray driver can book these for you, often at a discounted price. Examples of optional paid activities on this tour:

  • Kayaking, guided boat tour
  • Bike hire
  • Whitewater Rafting
  • River jet tour
  • Skyline Luge
  • Ziplining
  • Zorbing
  • Geothermal attractions
  • Learn the Haka
  • Maori flax weaving
  • Skydiving or bungy
  • 4WD farm tour
  • Half-day horse trek
  • Tongariro Alpine Crossing

Amazing views on this tour

Book your Stray Tour with confidence

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