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5 Day Best of the North Island Tour

Travel north to the beautiful Bay of Islands. Enjoy two nights in Paihia with a cruise to Cape Brett - Hole in the Rock. Then it's down to Rotorua - NZ's Maori cultural capital before exploring the beautiful glow worm caves at Waitomo before returning to Auckland.

5 Day Best of the North Island Tour

An exciting 5 day North Island tour. Travel to the beautiful Bay of Islands enjoying the beauty of the bay and the beach. Head back down south taking in the Maori culture in Rotorua before going underground to the Glow Worm Caves in Waitomo.

Tour Type: Independent Tours
From: Auckland to Auckland
Departs: Daily
Duration: 5 days
Tour Code: 5B

Regions Visited

Click on the region name to view more information about the region

Auckland, Bay of Islands, Waitomo, Rotorua

Tour Inclusions

  • All transport
  • 4 nights accommodation
  • Superior accommodation includes breakfast
  • Visit Waitangi Treaty Grounds
  • Cape Brett - Hole in the Rock Cruise & picnic lunch
  • Rotorua Sightseeing Tour
  • Waitomo Glow Worm Caves

Day By Day Itinerary


Travel north via the Hibiscus Coast to the beautiful Bay of Islands. On arrival in the Bay of Islands visit the historic Waitangi Grounds, site of the historic treaty between Maori and European pioneers. View a magnificent Maori meeting house and a large war canoe then transfer to the Paihia waterfront to join a dolphin watching cruise to Cape Brett. Travel through the famous “Hole in the Rock”  (weather permitting). A boxed picnic lunch is included.

Stay: Paihia


Today you have a day at leisure in the beautiful Bay of Islands. You may wish to explore the far north on a day tour to Cape Reinga to see where the Pacific Ocean collides with the Tasman Sea and travel along Ninety Mile Beach or a short ferry ride to historic township of Russell (additional cost). Or, simply relax and take in the scenery around Paihia.

Stay: Paihia


Leaving Paihia this morning you travel south back to Auckland before your journey continues over the Bombay Hills to Rotorua – NZ’s Maori cultural capital.

Stay: Rotorua


Gain an insight into New Zealand’s Māori culture at Te Puia, then experience Rotorua’s famous geothermal activity with a tour of the neighbouring Whakarewarewa Thermal Valley – a place where mud pools bubble and boil and geysers shoot steam high into the air. You’ll also see Te Puia’s woodcarving and weaving schools and see how these ancient Māori art forms are being passed on to a new generation of master artists.

Then see our agricultural industry in action at the Agrodome, a working organic farm where you can find out all about farming life in New Zealand, watch a sheep shearing display and see sheep dog trials where the hard-working farm dogs show off their amazing skills.

New Zealand’s wildlife and natural scenery is on display at Rainbow Springs Nature Park, where you can get up close to all kinds of native flora and fauna including the famous kiwi, a flightless native bird. Wander through native forest and discover New Zealand birds, fish and lizards (including the ancient tuatara), as well as exotic animals from around the world.

This afternoon is at leisure for your own activities or additional sightseeing.

Stay: Rotorua


Leaving the geothermal wonderland of Rotorua in the morning, travel through lush farmland into the King Country region. After arriving in the small town of Waitomo, you’ll be taken on a 45-minute guided tour through the world famous Glowworm Caves, which were discovered in 1887 and are now one of New Zealand’s most popular tourist destinations. Wander through subterranean caverns and learn how the stalagmites, stalactites and other spectacular limestone rock formations were formed over millions of years. You will travel through the Glowworm Grotto on a magical boat ride, surrounded by the twinkling lights of thousands of glowworms. A wonderful treat before heading back to Auckland where you arrive mid afternoon.

Average Score: 5 (2 ratings)
1 - 5
Hi Sophie

Thank you for asking how our trip to the North Island went. We’re happy to say that all the arrangements you made for us went perfectly smoothly and we have been very impressed by Scenic Pacific’s professionalism. Even the weather turned good for us!

We feel that we couldn’t have had a better way of taking in all that New Zealand has to offer within the time available. Also we much appreciated the Great Sights service. The coaches were comfortable and the drivers were very informative in their running commentaries.

We will certainly recommend you to others who visit New Zealand if and when we have the opportunity. Thank you also for your personal attention and clarifications whenever we have made enquiries.
Kind regards
Hi Lisa

Well that is our four week visit to New Zealand over we arrived back in a very stormy Scotland on Friday. Jet lagged all weekend, it is now Tuesday am.

I would like to let you know that the 5 day best of the North tour went very well. different to tours as we know them in Scotland but a great experience. All the drivers could not have been more helpful and all had a mind of information on the areas that we were passing through. One thing that may be improved on is the amount of time at some of the rest stops where there is limited toilet facilities and two coaches arrive together!!

Our accommodation was first class, we were made welcome on arrival and during our over night stays at all the hotels. Each day the transfers from hotel to coach was very well organised and everyone ensured that we knew where to meet and what time we were leaving or being collect.

I will certainly recommend Scenic Pacific to anyone visiting New Zealand also to family that live there. I can not say Thank YOU enough for all your helpful advice and support over the planning of this trip, you made everything so much easier we appreciated it very much.

If you or your family are ever in Scotland and would like some help planning the trip please let me know and i may be able to pass on some advice of where to visit etc.

Once again Lisa Many thanks for all your friendly help.
Kind Regards

Prices for period 1st October 2018 to 30th September 2020

Accommodation Standard Superior (Includes breakfast)  
Twin/Double $1,469 NZD $1,740 NZD Enquire / Book
Triple $1,363 NZD $1,546 NZD Enquire / Book
Single $1,875 NZD $2,386 NZD Enquire / Book

Prices are per person and in New Zealand Dollars.

Expenses of a personal nature such as meals (except where stated in the itinerary), beverages, travel insurance, laundry and optional sightseeing are not included in the tour cost.



Independent Tours are not escorted group tours - they are for independent travellers. What this means is that it is not the same group of people travelling on their own coach with a tour leader/escort looking after you. You are travelling independently. However, you are picked up and dropped off at your accommodation each morning and evening and interesting commentary is provided on many sectors.

Frequently Asked Questions – Independent Tours

What is an Independent Tour?
Independent Tours are not escorted group tours - they are for independent travellers. What this means is that it is not the same group of people traveling on their own coach with a tour leader/escort looking after you. You are traveling independently.  However, you are picked up and dropped off at your accommodation each morning and evening and interesting commentary is provided on many sectors.

What dates do your tours depart?
The Pacific Travel Independent Iour programme operates on a daily basis (with daily departures) using the services of Great Sights, InterCity, Interislander and KiwiRail. All tours are subject to availability at time of booking.

What is included in the tour cost?
All tours 2+ days in length include coach travel, transfers, accommodation and sightseeing activities where specified. A detailed travel wallet with your travel vouchers and comprehensive itinerary will be sent to your agent prior to your departure or delivered to your pre tour accommodation for you to collect on check in.

I am travelling alone – can I pay the triple or twin share rate and be linked with other travellers?
No, unfortunately. You must pay the single room – per person cost.

I am travelling with children, what price will I pay?
Please contact us for information on child fares, as these vary based on the specific product you require. Some sightseeing activities are unsuitable for children.

Are any meals included in the tour cost?
Our Independent Tours do not include meals. There are exceptions where a picnic lunch is included on particular sectors. The coach does make various refreshment / comfort stops throughout the day where food can be purchased. Each evening you are free to relax and dine at you choice of restaurant either on site if you choose quality class, or just a short walk into town with tourist class. Many accommodation providers offer a breakfast service which can be arranged directly.

Is Halal food available in New Zealand?
Along with a small population of Muslims, New Zealand has an increasing number of Muslim visitors. Halal food and restaurants are now found in many areas of the country.

Do Independent Tours have a tour escort?
As these tours are Independent, you do not have an escort traveling with you. However all coach drivers are experienced professionals. They will share their vast knowledge of our country with you by providing an informative commentary on most routes.

Can I add in additional nights to a tour?
Yes you can. All tours are very flexible. Please ask one of our Travel Consultants for extra nightly rates.

What is the difference between quality and tourist class accommodation? 
Quality class:
 Hotel style accommodation with a restaurant on site, 4 star standard. At times 4 star motor lodges are also used. 
Tourist class: Self contained style accommodation with ensuite bathrooms and kitchenette facilities, 3.5 – 4 star standard. Breakfast provisions can be purchased from these properties but you will need to go to the town centre to purchase your evening meal. We endeavour where possible to book accommodation that is within easy walking distance of the centre of town.

What if I cannot find exactly what I am looking for on the website?
Let us know what is on your wish list to see and do and we are more than happy to help you plan a customised tour.

How much luggage can I take on my tour?
Each passenger may take 2 pieces of luggage (max 25kg each). For safety reasons, each passenger is limited to one carry on item (max 5kg). We also advise you check the maximum baggage allowance with your chosen airline.

How do I make a payment for a tour?
For bookings made more than 30 days prior to travel, Pacific Travel require a NZ$500 per person or 10% of the value of the package price (whichever is greater). This is a non-refundable deposit. Balance of payment is due 30 days prior to travel. For bookings made 30 days or less prior to travel, full payment is required at the time of booking. Visa & MasterCard are accepted forms of payment. All prices advertised are in New Zealand dollars and are GST inclusive.

What is your cancellation policy?
If after your booking has been confirmed you wish to cancel, the following cancellation fees will apply:
Cancellations 31 or more days prior to travel: Your deposit plus a further 10% of the total package price.
Cancellations 15 – 30 days prior to travel: Deposit + a further 20% of the total package price.
Cancellations 0-14 days prior to travel: 100% of total fare (no refund).
Booking amendments made by you: an amendment fee of 10% of total package price will be charged to cover our administration and communication costs. We may also need to pass on any amendment/cancellation fees imposed by our suppliers.

Conditions of travel
Pacific Travel reserves the right to alter fares, amend itineraries, book alternative accommodation or to cancel tours. Pacific Travel Ltd shall not be held responsible for any loss or damage to luggage or personal effects and/or damage resulting in death or personal injury, which may arise whilst travelling with Pacific Travel Ltd or its nominated suppliers. All transportation, both land and sea, is subject to the terms and conditions of the company providing the transport, some of which limit or exclude liability. These are available from the carriers concerned on request.

Will I need travel insurance?
We strongly recommend you purchase travel insurance. Factors may arise that require you to cancel or amend your holiday, so it is essential you are covered for any costs that may be incurred. We recommend purchasing your travel insurance locally at the same time as you book your tour and flights. Unfortunately Pacific Travel does not sell travel insurance.

Do I need to tip in New Zealand?
If you wish to reward someone for a job well done it is always much appreciated.

Do I need a visa to visit New Zealand?
Most visitors to New Zealand do not require a visa to enter for the purpose of a holiday or vacation under the visa waiver program. If you do need a visa to visit New Zealand then you should contact the New Zealand consulate in your home country well before your departure date. We recommend you also check with your local travel agent or airline for any visa requirements to New Zealand particularly if you are passing through Australia.

What currency is used in New Zealand?
The New Zealand dollar is the only legal tender in New Zealand. View a guide between your local currency and the New Zealand dollar. Please note: Your tour and all purchases using a credit card in New Zealand will be charged in New Zealand Dollars (NZD) at the current exchange rate at the time of purchase. The above currency conversion page is to be used as a guide only.