The Best 5-Day Tours of the North Island©
The Best 5-Day Tours of the North Island

The 6 Best 5-Day Tours of the North Island šŸ„ [2024]


How to Tour the North Island in 5 Days

Take the guesswork out of organising a trip to the North Island of New Zealand by joining a tour! With limited time to explore New Zealand’s North Island, you won’t want to waste any figuring out where to go and how to get there. Tours of the North Island make it incredibly easy to explore the country, so you can spend more time enjoying the once-in-a-lifetime activities and taking in the beautiful landscapes. In this guide, we take a look at some of the best 5-day tours of the North Island. There’s something for active travellers, young travellers and seniors looking to travel with like-minded people, as well as travellers who want a more personal experience.

Check out more tours in The Best National Bus Tours in New Zealand. Plus, don’t forget to bookmark Travel by Bus in New Zealand: The Ultimate Guide for even more tips.

6 Tips for Planning a 5-Day Trip on the North Island

  1. For a five-day tour of the North Island, allow an extra couple of days for your travel time to and from the North Island, as well as to get over the jet lag in your arrival city
  2. See if your chosen tour company has a Facebook Group where you can connect with travellers that will be on your bus before your trip begins
  3. Compare tour companies on websites like TourRadar to ensure you find the best fit for you. Plus, comparison websites have standard cancellation policies, unlike booking directly with the tour company
  4. Pack light: don’t be that guy with two large suitcases that everyone has to make room for! Check out our New Zealand Packing List
  5. Check out what extra activities you will want to do prior to arriving in New Zealand so you are able to budget for your tour properly
  6. Allow enough money for food if your tour does not include every meal – see How Much Does a Trip to New Zealand Cost? for typical costs in New Zealand.

For more bus tour tips check out 15 Tips to Make the Most of Your Bus Trip.

The 5 Best 5-Day Tours of the North Island šŸ§­ [2023]© Intrepid Travel

Intrepid Travel – Bay of Islands Adventure

One of the best guided tours of the Bay of Islands, the Bay of Islands Adventure with Intrepid Travel isn’t just your average “Auckland to Paihia” run. Get off the beaten track and discover the real Bay of Islands by visiting ancient kauri forests, gorgeous waterfalls, historical Maori sites and, of course, getting plenty of beach time in too. This small-group 5-day trip is extremely approachable with a small physical rating and a wide range of ages welcome.

For more tours like this, check out The Best New Zealand Tours Starting in Auckland.

About Intrepid Travel’s Tours

Age Range: 15-99-year-olds
Maximum Group Size: 12
Accommodation: Hotels
Meals: Two breakfasts, one lunch and one dinner

Destinations on the 5-Day Tour

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

Flying Kiwi© Flying Kiwi

Flying Kiwi – Northern Light

Explore the heart of the North Island on the Northern Light Tour with Flying Kiwi. This 5-day bus tour starting in Auckland and ending in Wellington takes active travellers on an adventure to the Coromandel where you’ll dig your own thermal pool, to the geothermal Rotorua and its geysers at Wai-O-Tapu, to the Tongariro Crossing or opt for some mountain biking, and much more is included in the itinerary!

Note: Tours return in 2023.

About Flying Kiwi’s Tours

Age Range: 16-65-year-olds
Maximum Group Size: 26
Accommodation: Camping or cabin
Meals: Four breakfasts, two lunches and three dinners

Destinations on the 5-Day Tour

Find out more about this tour and prices by checking out the Flying Kiwi on Tourradar. Plus, learn more about how Flying Kiwi work in That New Zealand Hop-On Hop-Off Bus You’ve Never Heard Of.

The 5 Best 5-Day Tours of the North Island šŸ§­ [2023]© APT

APT – Brilliant Bay of Islands

Forget checking into a new hotel every day. APT‘s easy-going Brilliant Bay of Islands tour takes you straight from Auckland to the Bay of Islands’ hub, Paihia, for five days of cruising, Maori experiences, fine food, relaxation and luxury. Stay in revered hotels/resorts and enjoy the hassle-free experience of tours and activities being organised on your behalf.

For more luxurious ways to experience New Zealand, head to The Luxury Travel Guide to New Zealand.

About APT’s Tours

Age Range: 8-99-year-olds
Maximum Group Size: 40+
Accommodation: Hotels
Meals: Three breakfasts and one dinner

Destinations on the 5-Day Tour

Find out more about this tour and prices by checking out the APT on Tourradar.

Top Deck© Top Deck

Topdeck – Sweet As North

Tour from Auckland to Wellington, experiencing the Maori culture and geothermal heart of the North Island, with Topdeck! Their Sweet As North tour takes young travellers to some of the North Island’s top bucket list destinations, including Rotorua and the Tongariro National Park. The tour includes some meals, accommodation in hotels and a Maori marae, as well as free time to enjoy your choice of activities.

Note: Tours return in 2023.

About Topdeck’s Tours

Age Range: 18-39-year-olds
Maximum Group Size: 36
Accommodation: Hotel and a Maori marae
Meals: Five breakfasts, one lunch and one dinner

Destinations on the 5-Day Tour

Discover more about Topdeck’s tours on Tourradar.

Hiking New Zealand© Hiking New Zealand

Hiking New Zealand – Northern Discovery

The active traveller who likes to experience a landscape through “doing” will dig this tour of Northland and the Bay of Islands with Hiking New Zealand. The small group tour starts and ends in Auckland, taking you and your fellow hikers on coastal walks to glorious viewpoints, through forests with New Zealand’s largest trees, and you’ll also have the option to either walk or kayak at Ninety Mile Beach.

Note: Tours return in 2023.

For more tours for hikers, check out The Best New Zealand Hiking Tours.

About Hiking New Zealand’s Tours

Age Range: 17-99-year-olds
Maximum Group Size: 11
Accommodation: Lodges
Meals: Four breakfasts, five lunches and three dinners

Destinations on the 5-Day Tour

Top Tours NZ© Top Tours NZ

Top Tours NZ – Central North Island Tour

Offering custom tours with bespoke itineraries as an option, Top Tours NZ is an excellent choice for families or those seeking a more personal experience. While the itinerary can be changed to suit your needs, one of the most popular North Island tours is the 5-day Central North Island Tour. You’ll be driven to some of the North Island’s top attractions in a private vehicle and will get to stay in four-star accommodation.

For more small-group experiences, check out The Best Small-Group Tours in New Zealand.

About Top Tours NZ’s Tours

Age Range: 5-80-year-olds
Maximum Group Size: 6
Accommodation: Hotels
Meals: One lunch and one dinner

Destinations on the 5-Day Tour

Departures are on demand, so be sure to inquire about tours directly with the company.

More About 5-Day North Island and New Zealand Bus Tours

That’s it for our list of the best 5-day tours of the North Island! For more tours to compare them to, take a look at the following tour articles:

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


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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