The 5 Best 10-12-Day Tours of the North Island 🥝 [2022]
The 5 Best 10-12-Day Tours of the North Island 🥝 [2022]

The 6 Best 10-12-Day Tours of the North Island 🥝 [2022]

© NZPocketGuide.com

How to Tour the North Island in 10 to 12 Days

If you’re lucky enough to have 10-12 days in New Zealand, then you can really make the most of it by exploring just one island, like the North Island. Luckily, there is an amazing selection of North Island tour companies showing travellers the highlights and generally making things easier for them. Let the driver guide organise the logistics; you just have to sit back, relax and enjoy New Zealand with your new travel mates or your loved ones. Check out some of our favourite North Island tours in this list of best 10-12-day tours of the North Island.

While you’re here, you might also want to check out The Best 10-12-Day Tours of the South Island. Plus, find out more about exploring by bus in Travel by Bus in New Zealand: The Ultimate Guide.

6 Tips for Planning a 10-Day or 12-Day Trip to the North Island

  1. Allow a day or two extra to allow for your travel time to and from your tour’s starting point, as well as allowing yourself to get over the jet lag in Auckland
  2. Pack light: don’t be the one that everyone has to make room for! See our New Zealand Packing List for more advice
  3. Use websites like TourRadar to compare tour companies and find the right fit for you. Another advantage to these websites is that they have standard cancellation policies (and sometimes good discounts)
  4. Choose a few optional activities before your trip departs so you are able to budget for your tour correctly
  5. On a similar note, allow room in your budget for meals too, if your tour does not include every meal – see How Much Does a Trip to New Zealand Cost? for typical food prices in New Zealand
  6. Check if your chosen tour company has a Facebook Group! Use the group to connect with other travellers who will also be on the tour.

For more bus tour advice, see the 15 Tips to Make the Most of Your Bus Trip.

G Adventures© G Adventures

G Adventures – New Zealand: Best of the North Island

See the North Island from top to bottom on the North Island Encompassed tour with G Adventures! Join your fellow 18-39-year-olds for a 10-day tour where you’ll experience a houseboat excursion in the Bay of Islands, a conservation farm visit and kayaking in Raglan, a Maori cultural experience in Rotorua and more. Of course, there’s the option to do your chosen activities along the way. The tour also includes accommodation in shared rooms, as well as breakfasts and a few other meals. This tour starts in Auckland and ends in Wellington.

For more tours starting in Auckland, head to The Best New Zealand Tours Starting in Auckland.

About G Adventures’ Tours

Age Range: 18-39-year-olds
Maximum Group Size: 20
Accommodation: Hostels, a houseboat and lodges
Meals: All breakfasts, two lunches and three dinners

Destinations on the 10-Day Tour

Find out more about this tour and prices by comparing G Adventures on Tourradar.

Haka Tours© Haka Tours

Haka Tours – Northern Trail

From Auckland to Wellington, zig-zag your way through the North Island with Haka Tours. Their Northern Trail tour has you visiting the surfer town of Raglan, checking out the Waitomo Caves, watching a Maori cultural performance in Rotorua, seeing kiwi birds and the super-clear Te Waihou Springs, staying in the Tongariro National Park and much more! This small-group adults-only tour includes some breakfasts and dinners, as well as accommodation in a mix of three and four-star hotels, motels and lodges. Note that there is also a “reverse” itinerary of this tour, should you want to start in Wellington and end in Auckland instead.

Check out more small-group adventures in The Best Small-Group Tours in New Zealand.

About Haka Tours’ Tours

Age Range: 30-70-year-olds
Maximum Group Size: 11
Accommodation: Hotels, motels and lodges
Meals: Five breakfasts and two dinners

Destinations on the 10-Day Tour

Find out more about this tour and prices on the Haka Tours page of Tourradar.

The 5 Best 10-12-Day Tours of the North Island 🥝 [2022]© Active Adventures

Active Adventures – Ultimate North Island Adventure

If you have a “go big or go home” mantra along with plenty of fitness, then consider this 11-day New Zealand tour with Active Adventures. Travel the North Island to the best hiking trails along the glorious coasts of Northland and the Bay of Islands, as well as at geothermal hotspots like Rotorua and Turangi near the Tongariro National Park. Almost all meals are included on this all-inclusive itinerary but you’ll have a free day in Auckland to choose your own day’s adventures.

For alternative active tours, check out The Best New Zealand Hiking Tours.

About Active Adventure’s Tours

Age Range: 16-90-year-olds
Maximum Group Size: 14
Accommodation: Hotels, lodges and inns
Meals: All breakfasts, lunches and dinners (except for on your free day in Auckland)

Destinations on the 11-Day Tour

Find out more about this tour and prices by comparing Active Adventures on Tourradar.

Scenic Tours© Scenic Tours

Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours – Northern Explorer

Travel the North Island in style on the Northern Explorer tour with Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours. Stay in luxurious hotels as you make your way with fellow travellers to Omapere in Northland, Paihia in the Bay of Islands, Auckland city, Rotorua, Hawke’s Bay and Wellington. The 12-day excursion has extra inclusions to make your trip effortless, such as airport transfers, most meals, a selection of included paid tours, as well as some optional experiences. What’s more, the trip is slower-paced in comparison to others on this list and is open to most ages.

For more tours suited to older crowds, take a look at The Best New Zealand Tours for Seniors.

About Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours’ Tours

Age Range: 12-99-year-olds
Maximum Group Size: 40
Accommodation: Hotels
Meals: 11 breakfasts, two lunches and seven dinners

Destinations on the 12-Day Tour

Find out more about this tour by comparing Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours on Tourradar.

The 5 Best 10-12-Day Tours of the North Island 🥝 [2022]© Contiki

Contiki – Northern Choice

It’s your choice: either travel 10 days from Auckland to Wellington with Contiki or add an extra couple of days to visit the South Island and depart from Christchurch. Whatever you choose, you’re bound to have a blast on this group tour for 18 to 35-year-olds. This 10 or 12-day North Island tour packs a lot in between the beaches of the Bay of Islands and the volcanic mountains of Tongariro and Taupo. Included in your trip is also a traditional Maori cultural evening with a hangi dinner and a visit to a kiwi bird hatchery.

For more tours like this, check out The Best Backpacker Bus Tours in New Zealand.

About Contiki’s Tours

Age Range: 18-35-year-olds
Maximum Group Size: 50
Accommodation: Hotels, hostels and a Maori marae
Meals: All breakfasts and three dinners

Destinations on the 10-12-Day Tour

Find out more about this tour and prices by comparing Contiki on Tourradar.

The 5 Best 10-12-Day Tours of the North Island 🥝 [2022]© Intrepid Travel

Intrepid Travel (Haka Tours) – New Zealand Northern Trail

Note that this tour is run by Haka Tours (see above) but arranged by Intrepid Travel. 

With a “northbound” and a “southbound” route, you can travel on the New Zealand Northern Trail with Intrepid Travel either starting in Wellington or Auckland. That’s not all there is about this 10-day tour of the North Island, with all the highlights, from volcanic landscapes to the Maori culture and everything in between all squeezed in. Plus, with not a huge passenger count yet plenty of opportunities to meet new and interesting travellers and locals, this bus tour offers the “just right” experience.

For more options from Wellington, head to The Best New Zealand Tours Starting in Wellington.

About Intrepid Travel’s Tours

Age Range: 18-99-year-olds
Maximum Group Size: 16
Accommodation: Hotels, motels and lodges
Meals: 9 breakfasts and two dinners

Destinations on the 10-Day Tour

Find out more about this tour and prices by comparing Intrepid Travel on Tourradar.

Flying Kiwi© Flying Kiwi

[CLOSED] Flying Kiwi – Hot Rocks

Although Flying Kiwi is still operating, they no longer offer 7-day tours of the North Island. We will update this page if a 7-day tour becomes available.

It’s all too easy on the adventure tour with Flying Kiwi, which starts and ends in Auckland. Join the Hot Rocks tour for a loop of the North Island, including some alternative destinations like the Coromandel, Kapiti Coast and Orewa – among the destinations we’ve all heard about, of course. Some activities that are usually paid are also included in the tour rate, such as Wai-O-Tapu Geothermal Wonderland, and travellers get free use of the equipment on board, from bodyboards to frisbees. Most meals are included, as well as accommodation in tents with upgrades to cabins sometimes available.

About Scenic Flying Kiwi’s Tours

Age Range: 18-65-year-olds
Maximum Group Size: 26
Accommodation: Tents or cabins
Meals: Eight breakfasts, three lunches and seven dinners

Destinations on the 10-Day Tour

  • Auckland
  • Coromandel
  • Rotorua
  • Tongariro
  • Kapiti Coast
  • Wellington
  • New Plymouth
  • Bay of Islands
  • Orewa

Find out more about this tour by comparing Flying Kiwi on Tourradar.

The Best 10-12-Day Tours of the North Island© Kiwi Vibes

[CLOSED] Kiwi Vibes – Vibe of the North

Kiwi Vibes has closed due to COVID. This page will be updated if they reopen their tours. 

Get off the beaten track and discover some alternative destinations of the North Island with Kiwi Vibes. Their Vibe of the North tour conveniently begins and ends in Auckland, taking young travellers to the beach-lined Coromandel, the volcanic centre of the North Island, rugged west coast of Taranaki, the Waitomo caves and some other things in between. Inclusions in the tour are dorm-share rooms, all breakfasts and a few other meals.

About Kiwi Vibes’ Tours

Age Range: 18-35-year-olds
Maximum Group Size: 30
Accommodation: Hostels
Meals: All breakfasts, four lunches and three dinners

Destinations on the 10-Day Tour

  • Auckland
  • Whitianga
  • Whangamata
  • Tauranga
  • Rotorua
  • Taupo
  • Wellington
  • New Plymouth
  • Waitomo
  • Raglan.

More About 10 to 12-Day North Island Bus Tours

That’s it for our list of the best 10-12-day tours of the North Island. If these tours didn’t quite speak to you, how about checking out our other guides?

Finally, compare all of your bus travel options in our complete guide, How to Travel by Bus in New Zealand.

Author

Robin C.

This article was reviewed and published by Robin, the co-founder of NZ Pocket Guide. He has lived, worked and travelled across 16 different countries before calling New Zealand home. He has now spent over a decade in the New Zealand tourism industry, clocking in more than 600 activities across the country. He is passionate about sharing those experiences and advice on NZ Pocket Guide and its YouTube channel. Robin is also the co-founder of several other South Pacific travel guides.

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