In the space of one day around Auckland, you can experience mountain vistas, ancient forests, volcanic landscapes and stunning coastline – all whilst spotting native New Zealand wildlife found nowhere else on earth. Beyond the natural spectacles if adventure sports and activities press your buttons, this itinerary offers the trip of a lifetime
Depart from Newcastle Airport aboard a Virgin Australia Boeing 737-800 at 7:30pm. Before jetting off enjoy dinner in the departures lounge with a selection of Hunter wines and chef-prepared meals from Epicure or Broughton & Bay Bar.
Kia Ora, New Zealand! Arrive in Auckland at 12:25am. Once clearing security and customs, you can find accommodation nearby at Novotel Auckland Airport or Ibis Budget Auckland Airport, or head to Auckland City for a range of accommodation options.
Head south to the Hamilton-Waikato region, just 2 hours from central Auckland. Keen hikers will find plenty of New Zealand’s natural beauty to take in as they transverse the 5km Wairere Falls Track. The track includes a diverse range of natural sights, from native groves and forestry to the 153m Wairere Falls – the highest waterfall on New Zealand’s North Island.
At night, go an adventure (of the movie magic kind) with a dusk tour of Hobbiton from Lord of the Rings. Following a guided tour of The Shire, enjoy a banquet feast at The Green Dragon Inn featuring a seasonal menu.
Combine the excitement of New Zealand’s thrill-seeking activities and natural wonders with a trip to Waitomo Caves. Go on a boat tour to see uniquely-New Zealand glowworms light up the caves. For the more adventurous, explore the rock formations and wildlife of the caves by abseiling, black water rafting, ziplining, or tubing through Ruakuri Cave with The Legendary Black Water Rafting Company. Nearby is also Mangapohue Natural Bridge, a 17m high natural limestone bridge surrounded by lush flora and steep cliffs.
Finish your time in Waitomo with a visit to one of New Zealand’s most iconic nature icons – the Kiwi! Otorohanga Kiwi House conserves and displays five kiwi species and allows visitors to get up close during feeding times and talks.
Make your way to Rotorua, where there’s plenty of unique and exhilarating activities on offer. You can try ‘zorbing’ (being thrown down a hill in a giant inflatable ball), swooping at 130km/h, or ‘shweebing’ (racing around a suspended track in a pedal-powered pod).
For a more familiar experience, mountain bike through over 145km of world-class biking tracks, with Rotorua one of six worldwide destinations awarded the most prestigious “gold-level ride centre” status by The International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA).
Rotorua is also known for its rich Maori culture. Take an in-depth tour of New Zealand’s traditional culture with a 3 hour tour of an ancient village in the Tawa forest, where you will be welcomed in a Powhiri ceremony. Afterwards, enjoy a traditional hangi dinner, where meat is cooked underground using heated rocks.
Enjoy the trip towards Taupo with stops along some of New Zealand’s geothermal attractions. Wai-O-Tapu is an 18km2 geothermal park on the edge of a volcanic crater, offering views of surreal coloured geothermal pools and the Lady Know Geyser, which erupts with a 20m jet of water daily. Also on the way is Orakei Korako Geothermal Park & Cave, featuring New Zealand’s only geothermal cave.
That’s not all though – the trip towards Taupo also passes by New Zealand’s top visited natural attraction, Huka Falls. Situated at the base of New Zealand’s longest river, Waikato River, the 11m high Huka Falls see 220,000 litres of water blast through per second. View from an observation deck or experience the raging rapids for yourself with a jet boat ride.
Spend your last day around Lake Taupo, where even more adrenaline-pumping activities await. Skydive from 15,000 feet and see an impressive coast-to-coast views of the North Island, including the shores of Lake Taupo. For something just a little bit closer to the ground, there’s New Zealand’s highest water touch bungy jump or extreme swinging over the Waikato River.
For something a little more relaxed, take a boat out to the Mine Bay Maori Rock Carvings, 14 metre high traditional-style cliff carvings surrounded by crystal blue waters. There are also hiking trails for every level across the lake at the World Heritage Tongariro National Park.
Fly or drive to Auckland from Taupo in time for the 5:10pm direct service to Newcastle Airport.
This Auckland-based itinerary is tailor-made for those looking to get the most out of their New Zealand long weekend getaway.EXPLORE
Beyond the natural spectacles if adventure sports and activities press your buttons, this itinerary offers the trip of a lifetimeEXPLORE
Auckland and surrounds are so jam-packed with things to do the hardest part of planning your holiday will be deciding what to fit in!EXPLORE