If you’re looking for an overseas adventure that just about covers just about every aspect of hiking, then look no further than our New Zealand 10-Night North Island Adventure.
True to our spirit and foundations, we have created this New Zealand adventure to ensure that it’s as accessible to everyone as much as it possibly can be, whilst also ensuring that we take care of all the heavy lifting to allow you to enjoy it as much as possible.
We’ve hand-picked a number of trails that most, if not all, adventure company’s rarely offer. Therefore you can expect a unique adventure like no other including a mixture of several day hikes, an overnight pack carry, bike riding, camping accommodation, lodge-style accommodation, as well as a variety of meals.
We’ve also included some amazing activities at the tail-end of the trip to ensure that you are well and truly relaxed and refreshed before you return home.
So – what will we be getting up to while we’re over there? Read on below to find out!
*Please Note: while we want you to experience this trip in its entirety, we also appreciate that there might be times when you simply want to have a rest day and not participate in an activity. That is absolutely fine! We are more than happy for you to rest up and get yourself ready for the following day’s activities should you need it.
Kia Ora! Welcome to New Zealand! We begin the first day of our adventure by arriving at Auckland airport and getting settled into our accommodation. Dinner and breakfast will be provided as we get ready for the following days’ activities. Accommodation: twin-share rooms at Mount Richmond Hotel; meals provided.
After getting ready to go and rustling up some breakfast, we’ll hit the road and make our way south for our first stop at the stunning Bridal Veil Falls, Raglan, in the Waikato Region. This is a cruisey walk to the base of a 55m waterfall which is rich in history in how it came to be as well as the various flora and fauna that inhabit the area.
Once we’re done at the falls, we’ll make our way east to the town of Matamata where we’ll be having lunch at the Good Merchant which serve the most delicious food and craft beers. From here, we’ll begin heading further south to our accommodation for the night at the Timber Trail Bike Bach in Benneydale where a delicious, locally cooked meal will be waiting for us. Accommodation: twin-share room and limited tent sites at Timber Trail Bike Bach; meals provided.
It’s an early start today as we grab our packed lunches, have a hearty breakfast and set off for day one of our overnight pack carry hike on the Timber Trail. You’ll be loaded up with all the food you’ll be required to carry for the next 48 hours which will include dinner, breakfast and snack options. We’ll get a shuttle to the trailhead from the nearby town of Ongarue and then begin hiking 20kms through podocarp forest rich in history from the early days where the forest was logged for timber. Along the way, there are several signs where you can learn more about what went on during this period, as well as learn about the various flora and fauna.
At the half-way mark of our day, you’ll have the opportunity to ascend a steep track to Mount Pureora (1,165m) and should it be a clear day, you’ll get views of Lake Taupo, Mount Ngauruhoe, Mount Tongariro, Mount Ruapehu and, if you’re very lucky, Mount Taranaki. Once you’re done here, we’ll descend back to the trail and make our way to our accommodation for the night at the Bog Inn Hut. Accommodation: limited hut spots, and basic tent sites at the Bog Inn Hut; meals provided.
*Please note: the rest of your bags and personal belongings will be transferred from Ongarue to our accommodation on day four.
This morning you’ll continue heading south for a further 20kms from Bog Inn Hut to the halfway mark of the entire Timber Trail – Piro Piro – where we’ll be staying at the luxurious Timber Trail lodge. During the day, you’ll come across the first of many long suspension bridges that are an outdoor photographers dream as we continue to wind our way gradually downhill to the lodge.
At the lodge, you’ll be treated to a twin-share room as well as bathroom and shower facilities, dinner, breakfast & lunch for the following day, an open bar and an all-round relaxing atmosphere. The lodge is the definition of comfort in the outdoors and will be the perfect reward for the previous two days worth of hiking. Accommodation: twin-share rooms at the Timber Trail Lodge; meals provided.
We put the hiking boots away for a day as we complete the remainder of the Timber Trail, from the lodge to Ongarue, on bikes. After having a delicious breakfast, we’ll depart for our 42km day on a gradual downhill as we continue across a similar path from the previous two days. Within the first couple of hours of our day, we come across the jewel in the crown on the trail – the Maramataha Bridge – which is New Zealand’s longest ridable suspension bridge at 141m. It’s almost like something out of Indiana Jones!
The first section of day three can be a little challenging on some of the uphill sections but after a short time the trail begins to flatten out and then really hit the downhill sections before arriving at the Ongarue Spiral; yet another highlight of the trail. We finish back at the car park at the end of the trail where our van, trailer and bags are waiting for us to continue on our adventure into Taumaranui. Accommodation: twin-share rooms at the Forgotten World Motel; meals provided.
After taking the opportunity to come down from the high that is the Timber Trail, we’ll leave our accommodation in Taumaranui and head further south to the world-famous Tongariro National Park where we’ll be spending a couple of days exploring the area and surrounds.
To kick things off in the park, we’ll be walking the Tama Lakes Track visiting the Upper Tama Lakes vantage point. Often considered an ideal alternative to the world-famous Tongariro Alpine Crossing, the Tama Lakes Track has sweeping views of the western side of the park including Mount Ngauruhoe and further south-east to Mount Ruapehu. You’ll find yourself walking crossing volcanic rock and scree as we make our way to nearly 1,500ms to reach the Upper Lake.
Returning the same way we came, we’ll arrive back at our accommodation for the next couple of days – the Skotel Alpine Resort. This is New Zealand’s highest hotel at 1,100m where you’ll have access to a delicious breakfast (cooked and continental), lunch and dinner menu. Once again, you’ll be treated to comfortable twin-share accommodation complete with bathroom and shower facilities, a restaurant & bar, as well as some of the best scenery from your room that any hotel can offer. WiFi is available as are cleaning facilities for you to use. Accommodation: twin-share rooms at the Skotel Alpine Resort; meals provided.
It’s another early start as we head off after breakfast from the Skotel Alpine Resort and head over to the Kaimanawa Forest to hike the Mount Urchin track. Located opposite to the Tongariro National Park on the eastern side, the Mount Urchin track is a challenging near-on 8km walk that ascends a steep path to a trig at 1,400m with incredible views of Mount Ruapehu, Mount Ngauruhoe and Lake Taupo if the weather is in our favour. Please note that this track is a steady climb to the trig and requires a reasonable level of fitness.
Finishing up at Mount Urchin, we will drive the Desert Road on the eastern side of the Tongariro National Park to the ski-town of Ohakune where we’ll have lunch at the Powderkeg Restaurant & Bar. Once we’ve finished our delicious lunch, we’ll drive further up the road towards the base of Mount Ruapehu where we’ll begin the 4km return hike to Waitonga Falls – the Tongariro National Park’s highest waterfall. Once again, you’ll get fantastic views of Mount Ruapehu as we make our to and from the falls. Our day finishes back at the Skotel for a relaxing drink before dinner. Accommodation: twin-share rooms at the Skotel Alpine Resort; meals provided.
It’s a day of waterfalls and mountain beech forest as we jam pack in a day of exploring several hikes located a stone’s throw away from the Whakapapa Village. Starting off with Taranaki Falls, we’ll start off with a similar path taken for the Tama Lakes Track but then take a short turn off to the upper and lower vantage point of the falls. Aside from the Waitonga Falls the previous day, it’s easily the most picturesque of all the bodies of water in the park.
Returning back to the village, we’ll wander the green, dense forest path of the Whakapapanui Track that follows a stream of a similar name. It’s a nice little change from the previous park and offers some really nice views of Mount Ngauruhoe off in the distance. And a little further down the road is the somewhat underrated Tawhai Falls aka Gollums Pool from Lord of the Rings. Probably one of the shortest walks in the entire park, it’s a nice way to end the day’s adventures by relaxing at the embankment to the sound of rushing water. Accommodation: twin-share rooms at the Skotel Alpine Resort; meals provided.
Today is the day when we hike the world-famous Tongariro Alpine Crossing. Working with Walking Legends NZ, we’ll be guided over 19kms of some of the most insanely picturesque terrain you’ll ever come across. Literally, it’s out of this world! Some of the highlights of this walk are the Soda Springs, Red Crater, Emerald Lakes, Blue Lake and the neverending up-close views of Mount Ngauruhoe. There are only so many words we can write about this incredible walk, so hiking the Crossing is the only way to get a true understanding of its magic. There’s every chance we’ll be hiking this with a little bit of snow still left over from winter which will only further add to its magic.
Once we’ve done coming down from the high that is this amazing track, we’ll depart the Tongariro National Park and drive up to Taupo where we’ll spend the remaining two days resting and relaxing before flying back home. Once we’ve settled into the Lakeland Resort, we’ll wander into the restaurant & bar are to celebrate our days hiking. Accommodation: twin-share rooms at the Lakeland Resort; meals provided.
*Please note that the weather on the Tongariro Alpine Crossing can be quite turbulent at times and therefore can be dangerous to hike in. Therefore, we may have to change the day we hike the Crossing should the weather make it too difficult for us to hike. We will be able to determine exactly what day we will do it prior to our arrival at the Tongariro National Park.
After we’ve finished breakfast at Lakeland Resort, your day begins hiking 7.5kms return along the Waikato River to the always popular Huka Falls; one of New Zealand’s most visited natural attractions where it’s estimated that approximately 220,000 litres flow through it every second. You’ll be absolutely amazed by the colour of the water!
Once we’re finished at the falls, we’ll make our way down to the docks at Taupo where we’ll jump aboard the Fearless and sail Lake Taupo to the incredibly stunning Maori carvings. You’ll receive pizza and up to two drinks to enjoy for lunch as we take in the stunning scenery of the lake which is the result of a volcanic explosion that occurred some 26,500 years ago and is the largest lake in the southern hemisphere.
We’ll have some downtime back at Lakeland Resort before we celebrate the last 10 days of our incredible adventure by enjoying a delicious dinner at one of Taupo’s most popular restaurants – the Vine Eatery. Accommodation: twin-share rooms at Lakeland Resort Taupo; meals provided.
It’s the final day of our adventure and before we say goodbye to Lake Taupo and make the drive back to Auckland, we’ll be finishing off in comfort as you’ll be treated to a Maori massage and swim in the thermal pools at Wairakei Terraces. We’ll also be having an early lunch at Dixie Browns where the food is amazing and plentiful. It’s back to Auckland Airport where you’ll say goodbye to all your new-found friends and return home with a lifetime of memories of New Zealand.
Mount Richmond Hotel – Auckland
Timber Trail Bike Bach – Benneydale
Timber Trail Lodge – Pureora Forest Park, Pureora
Campsites – Pureora Forest Park, Pureora
Forgotten World Motel, Taumarunui
Skotel Alpine Resort – Tongariro National Park
Lakeland Resort – Lake Taupo
Camping gear is generally not provided for this adventure but should you require a tent, sleeping mat or backpack, please get in contact with us once you have booked and we can discuss your options.
Return airfares are included in the cost of this adventure. Included in your return airfare will be a selected seat, meals and checked baggage.
Please ensure you have a valid passport to be used at the time of this adventure. Furthermore, we request that you book this adventure under the name that appears exactly as written on your passport. We will book your flight under this name and won’t accept responsibility or liability for any incorrect details provided.
We are able to offer deposits* of $499 for this adventure as well as payment plans. Simply click Proceed Booking and opt-in for a payment plan on the following page. Monthly payment plan invoices will be sent to your chosen email address at the time of your booking. These will arrive 7 days prior to payment date. Please check your Junk Folder for these emails to ensure payment is made on time in accordance with our Terms and Conditions.
As all meals are provided, please ensure you notify us of any dietary requirements in the Additional Information section during the booking process.
Once you’ve made your booking, you’ll be sent an adventure pack that includes:
We deem this adventure to be a mixture of Easy–Intermediate in accordance with the New Zealand Department of Conservation Walking Track Categories. This refers to tracks that are “clearly marked where necessary with orange triangles attached to trees. Markers of other colours may be present but these indicate biodiversity work areas and are not walking tracks. Above the bushline, marker poles are used instead.”
The standard/condition of the track “is generally well formed, some sections may be rough, muddy or steep. Track has signs, poles or markers. Major stream and river crossings are bridged.”
To find out more about this Category, click here.
Dep: Melbourne Tullamarine Airport, Victoria
Arr: Auckland International, Auckland, New Zealand
*please let us know if you wish to fly into Auckland from an alternative Australian airport*