Helena Bay, Waiheke Island, Coromandel Peninsula, Lake Taupo, Hobbiton
Dates are customizable for private departures.
Handcrafted with iconic sights and off-the-beaten-track locations, this adventurous, 11-day journey through New Zealand’s provides family luxury in the North Island’s unique locales. You will helicopter between untouched destinations, immerse yourselves in Maori culture, cruise on a private catamaran, and relax on pristine beaches. With Hobbiton and Waiheke, you can discover the North Island legend, while Coromandel and Helena Bay provide you with all the space you need to come together as a family.
Helena Bay – Helicopter Flight
After landing at Auckland International Airport, you will clear immigration and customs before being met by a representative and transferred to a waiting helicopter. From the helicopter, you can enjoy spectacular views over the Pacific coastline. Helena Bay is a very relaxed destination, which is ideal for overcoming jet lag and easing into a vacation. You may want to wander into the town this afternoon or evening for an iconic portion of fish and chips in the small fishing harbor.
Helena Bay – A Stunning Coastline
Helena Bay certainly has space, and it is a destination that has remained off most tourist itineraries. Many families split their vacation across the North and South islands, which does not leave much time for hidden gems like Helena Bay and the Bay of Islands. Today’s plan will be completely flexible, and you will have a private guide who can transfer you to beaches and natural attractions all over the Bay of Islands. Do not plan anything before you arrive because it can be hard to predict your mood after such a long flight.
Helena Bay – Immersed in Maori Culture
Today, a Maori guide will lead you through a historic forest, teaching you about flora and fauna on hidden walking trails. You will learn why kauri trees are so significant to the Maori culture in addition to how other trees are used in traditional settlements. While the Maori are famous for their war dance or haka and impressive size, you will soon learn their nonchalant attitude and effortless harmony with nature. They are an often misunderstood people who have always preserved New Zealand’s natural landscapes. As part of your tour, you can also visit a Maori village, where the children can get involved with some of the culture and meet Maori of their own age.
Day 4 - 5
Waiheke Island – Bays, Vineyards, and Beaches
Helena Bay to Waiheke is one of New Zealand’s most scenic flights. Waiheke is a relatively small island that is located off the Auckland coast, and you can drive around the island in less than two hours, but to do it in just two hours would mean missing out on so much that Waiheke has to offer. After your helicopter transfer, you will check-in to your boutique accommodation on the western side of the island. These two days on Waiheke Island will be at your leisure. It is a great destination without a guide because you can easily get around and enjoy everything that the island has to offer.
Day 6 - 7
Coromandel Peninsula – Kayaking and Hiking
After another helicopter transfer, you will spend two days on the Coromandel Peninsula. This is a destination where you really need a guide. There are innumerable trails, and the best ones are not signposted. A private guide will meet you at the hotel to plan out an itinerary over these two days. Although your itinerary is flexible, the recommended option is an easy, half-day hike along the coastline. You can walk around surreal rock formations, jump into azure pools, wander across deserted beaches, and gaze out at strange rocks. You can also venture inland to visit local farms, including a blueberry farm where your kids can learn how to make ice cream.
Lake Taupo – Hobbiton Tour
Most children who are visiting New Zealand have Hobbiton down as their number one place to visit. The movie set has been left completely unchanged, right down to fake painted moss that appears perfectly realistic on wooden gates. Your guide will explain how this is one of the oldest tricks in cinema. As a family, you can recreate some famous scenes in The Shire before visiting the home of Frodo and Bilbo Baggins and stopping in the Green Dragon Inn for lunch. After Hobbiton, you will transfer towards Lake Taupo with the option to stop in Rotorua to see some exploding geysers.
Lake Taupo – Private Sailing Expedition
Lake Rotoiti will be a dreamy place to spend the day. You will sail across blue waters on a private catamaran, passing forest-clad islands and some fishing spots that are only known to the locals. Hot pools dot this lake, and they can provide surreal experiences as you swim from cold New Zealand waters to the steamy water that you can expect from a spa. You can spend the full day sailing but can also cut down on catamaran time to let your children run around a deserted island. Lunch will be served on the boat, and the skipper will give your kids the opportunity to sail if they wish.
Lake Taupo – Fishing Cruise
This final day on New Zealand’s North Island is entirely customizable. A short fishing cruise will be scheduled along with a visit to see some of the island’s most impressive geothermal activity, where mud bubbles orange and you can hear how volcanos hiss. Other options include visiting the impressive Huka Falls, riding a yacht to the country’s largest Maori rock carvings, mountain biking around the lake, and indulging in the spa park. Taupo is also the gateway to the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, which is one of the world’s most iconic single-day hikes.
Lake Taupo – Departure
From Taupo, you will fly to Auckland on a scheduled domestic flight. A local representative will greet you at Auckland International Airport and assist in transferring you to your international departure.
- Indulge in a ride on a catamaran to Lake Rotoiti, where you will enjoy a relaxed family day amid blue waters and hot pools
- Connect with the local Maori culture in the Bay of Islands’ forests
- Helicopter between your destinations for spectacular views over the North Island’s volcanic scenery
- Surprise your kids with visits to Hobbiton, where you can recreate famous scenes from the big screen
- Relax on pristine beaches, where there is space for your children to run around as you bask in all the tranquility
- Escape to Waiheke Island, where golden beaches vie for your attention and vineyards provide tailored family activities
- Enjoy an leisurely hike on the Coromandel Peninsula that is followed by lunch on the beach and the opportunity to partake in Pacific kayaking experience
- Admire the geothermal wonder near Lake Taupo and search for kiwi birds near Rotorua
- Ease into your North Island vacation with three nights of hidden paradise at Helena Bay
New Zealand’s North Island has a little of everything that you need for a family vacation. Famous attractions like Hobbiton can keep your kids excited while the beaches and islands can provide downtime and space to come together away from the crowds. Easy hiking and kayaking will keep your vacation fresh and exciting, and you will also be immersed with the Maori culture before sailing on a private catamaran. The North Island also has far better weather than the South Island, especially with the Bay of Islands and Coromandel Peninsula. This means that you can enjoy Pacific beaches, relax during quiet hours on the coast, and enjoy the North Island’s unique volcanic experiences.
This handcrafted, private adventure connects North Island highlights in a relaxed and efficient manner. You will travel by helicopter between some of the destinations, which will be journeys that save valuable vacation time and offer stunning views over a volcanic landscape. All of your activities will be privately guided and can be adjusted to your family’s interests and energy. For example, on the Coromandel Peninsula, there are various hiking trails, and you can walk to a hidden beach for a picnic. From here, you can kayak to a deserted island or stay on the beach and make sandcastles. Handpicked hotels will add to the luxury, and the premium of this vacation is on escaping the crowds to enjoy intimate family time.
After flying to Auckland, you will clear customs and immigration before taking a helicopter to Helena Bay in the Bay of Islands. Secluded and serene, this Northern area of the North Island is ideal for a first few days in New Zealand. You can ease into your vacation and escape from your everyday along the stunning coastline. Local Maori members will be your guides on day three, and they will introduce you to their culture and landscapes. Waiheke Island has an indulgent atmosphere, and you will spend two days here, checking out bays, beaches, vineyards, and walking trails. Like the Bay of Islands, Waiheke has a tropical Pacific vibe with a warm climate and New Zealand’s laid-back lifestyle.
You will stay on the coast and spend days six and seven on the Coromandel Peninsula, which is a destination of dramatic, natural landscapes and adventures that are far from the road. Here, you can hike and kayak or savor the North Island’s wonderful impression of space. While turquoise waters and surreal rock formations provide two attractions, you can also travel inland to visit bistros, working farms, and the chance for your kids to make their own ice cream. Both Hobbiton and Rotorua can be visited on the drive to Lake Taupo, which will be your final destination. From hobbit holes to exploding geysers and bubbling orange mud pools, these attractions are often the favorite highlights for children who are visiting the North Island.
You will be staying on the quieter side of Lake Taupo at a waterside lodge that is located away from the town. Your three days here are customizable, and there is so much that you can do in the local area. Already scheduled will be a day of private sailing on Lake Rotoiti, visiting a kiwi sanctuary, admiring hot pools and other geothermal activity, and a fishing cruise on Lake Taupo. It is a lovely area for escaping the modern world and enjoying family vacations. Here, space and time to be together as one, and it can be made all the more memorable by new landscapes and experiences.
Zicasso works closely with the top New Zealand travel operators to ensure that you have a fully personalized trip of a lifetime.
$2,745 per person (excluding international flights)
Your Zicasso trip is fully customizable, and this sample itinerary is a starting place for your travel plans. Actual costs are dynamic, and your selection of accommodations and activities, your season of travel, and other such variables will bring this budget guideline up or down. Throughout your planning experience with your Zicasso specialist, your itinerary is designed around your budget. You can book your trip when you are satisfied with every detail. Planning your trip with a Zicasso travel specialist is a free service.
The starting price is based on travel during the low season for a minimum of two travelers staying in shared 3-star accommodations. Please inquire for a custom trip quote based on your travel preferences and travel dates.
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