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Round trip - Samoa & New Zealand

New Zealand North Island & Samoa

Highlights

  • Highlights and insider tips of the North Island of New Zealand in one trip: Auckland, Bay of Islands, Coromandel, New Plymouth, Rotorua & Tauranga

  • Your own rental car & daily breakfast included

  • Numerous optional activities and excursions that make the round trip even more exciting

  • Away from the masses in New Plymouth

  • South Sea feeling in Samoa at an Adults-only hotel

Description

You could spend hundreds of vacations in New Zealand and still discover something new every time: On this round trip, you will experience the hidden gems among North Island’s natural wonders.

Whether it’s bubbling beaches on the Coromandel Peninsula, the thousands of islands of the Bay of Islands, Maori culture in Rotorua, trendy and charming quarters in New Plymouth, or Wellington (perhaps the coolest capital in the world): It is not surprising that "Middle-earth" makes hearts beat faster.

At the end of the round trip, you will enjoy beautiful Samoa. At this Polynesian country, the clocks tick differently and open-hearted, fun-loving people with flower crowns on their head and a bright smile on their face will welcome you to the South Seas way of life.

Destination

Oceania & South Pacific

Auckland – Bay of Islands / Pahia – Coromandel – Tauranga – Rotorua – New Plymouth – Wellington – Samoa

For the best times to visit the North Island of New Zealand, book a trip between December and April. These summer months are perfect for exploring the beaches and lakes because of the ideal temperatures ranging anywhere between 21°C and 32°C. It’s also a perfect time for water activities, such as kayaking, snorkeling, sailing, and swimming with dolphins.

Spring is also a lovely time to visit the North Island. From September to November, trees and flower meadows bloom in breathtaking colors, and the animals’ offspring roam the surroundings. The temperatures are anywhere between 5°C and 18°C.

The best time to travel to Samoa is from April to October because it isn’t as humid, and there’s significantly less rainfall. The temperatures are around 29°C.

The best months for a combination trip from New Zealand and Samoa are April, September, and October.

Welcome to the other end of the world: Auckland, New Zealand. An airport transfer waits for you after landing and takes you to your first accommodation. Wherever you look, the sea isn’t far because Auckland nestles between the Tasman Sea and the Pacific. Diversity blankets this multicultural city: from the surfers drooling over the endless waves, sailors taking care of their countless boats and yachts in the harbor, to the glittering city skyline. The City of Sails has something for everyone.

Auckland was built on a volcanic field. Fifty inactive volcanoes lie below the city; therefore, many hills, small lakes, and lagoons characterize the landscape. The most famous natural attraction is the volcanic peak, One Tree Hill.

Travel time airport - accommodation Auckland: approx. 26 km / about 30 minutes

One night with breakfast in Auckland, New Zealand

After a good night's sleep, wake up feeling refreshed for your city explorations!

How about a full-day tour of Auckland (optional) that leads you to the highlights of the city? Around 8 AM, set off towards the harbor and the famous West Coast. A local partner, who has already won prizes such as the National Geographic World Legacy Award (an award for positive changes in the travel industry in terms of sustainability) will accompany you during the tour. Enjoy views of the Pacific coast and the Tasman Sea, as well as unique perspectives of volcanoes (e.g., Rangitoto Island in the Hauraki Gulf) and the city skyline. And the adventure doesn't stop there - there are even more highlights to discover today!

Visit the Waitakere Ranges, unique for its flora and fauna of New Zealand, including the Pohutukawa Trees, New Zealand's Christmas trees because they ignite their red flowers around the holidays. You will also feast your eyes on the iconic Kauri trees, only found in New Zealand. The eight to nine-hour excursion ends around 5 PM. Snacks, lunch, water, and a small kiwi surprise are included in the price. Talk to us if you are interested.

You also have the option to explore the city on your own. A famous landmark you won't want to miss is the Sky Tower. At 330 meters, it's also the tallest building in the entire southern hemisphere. If you wish to see a breathtaking 360-degree panoramic view over the city, then you should go up to the tower and experience the incredible skyline of Auckland - a fantastic sight, especially at night.

Queen Street is the city's grand boulevard that leads down to the harbor. Bookshops, cafes, restaurants, and large department stores line the famous street. Another great area to browse is Karangahape Road, also known as K-Road. Explore the second-hand shops and notice the distinct architecture.

Overnight with breakfast in Auckland, New Zealand

After breakfast, you can relax as you make your way north to the Bay of Islands. The enclave consists of 144 islands and includes the towns of Opua, Paihia, Russell, and Kerikeri. The best way to discover the beauty of the Bay of Island is by boat or kayak. Keep your eyes peeled on the ocean because the azure blue water is also home to dolphins who like to swim in the bays. As the salty air brisks through your hair, baskin the charm of this region: boobies fly high in the sky, and sailing ships calmly pass you by on the water. With a little luck, you will dock in a bay and have the entire beach to yourself! What incredible memories.

Before the day ends, we have one more insider tip for you: get on a boat from Paihia to Russell, New Zealand's very first capital. Choose to dine at one of the charming restaurants and try local dishes. An unforgettable sunset will even treat you at the end of the day.

Travel time Auckland - Bay of Islands: 228 km / approx. 3 hours

One night with breakfast in Paihia, New Zealand

Today’s optional excursion is a day on a catamaran exploring the individual islets of the Bay of Islands. On this six-hour day trip, dolphins will greet your ship as you help the crew hoist the sails. Of course, relaxation also comes first. Enjoy the beautiful views from the deck and keep an eye out for penguins, petrels, and other sea birds.

Next, your captain will sail you to a remote island where you can walk amongst nature. Equipment for volleyball, frisbee, and boules is available onboard. If you want to spend the day less active, you can, of course, also sunbathe on the beach or look for shells. The options for every person are available during this excursion! You can also look forward to a kiwi style barbecue served on the catamaran. If you are a vegetarian or have other specific food preferences, please let us know when booking.

Overnight with breakfast in Coromandel Town, New Zealand

After breakfast, you will head south for two days of relaxation in the middle of untouched nature. The long sandy beaches and relaxed atmosphere characterize the Coromandel Peninsula, making this a famous vacation region for New Zealanders and tourists.

Embark on relaxing strolls on one of the many of the numerous hiking trails and discover the untouched bush forest, abundant with flora and fauna like you’ve never seen before. If you want to relax, you can make yourself comfortable at Hot Water Beach. Yes, a hot water beach and a pool that you dig yourself. There are geysers and hot bubbling springs almost everywhere globally, but on the east coast of the peninsula near the town of Hahei, there’s a unique natural spectacle. Hot water penetrates from below the sand and up to the beach. Almost exactly two hours after low tide, everyone can dig a whirlpool on the long stretch of beach at the rock’s nose. Then the hunt for the hottest places begins. You can bring a spade or shovel and get started right away. When you finally find the perfect spot, lie in the warm, boiling water. Grab a refreshing drink and unwind in this unique spa that you made yourself!

Travel time Bay of Island / Paihia - Coromandel Town: about. 6 hours / approx. 420 km

Overnight with breakfast in Coromandel Town, New Zealand

If you've had enough of the beach and the bubbling springs today, then we recommend a ride through the Kauri Forest. On an open narrow-gauge railway, you will explore this path that goes up a mountain, through the jungle and tunnels, and beneath some viaducts. Listen to the stories and history the train driver tells you of the railway, and feel like you’re apart of these older times. Once you make it to the top, you can enjoy the view of the Coromandel Peninsula and its bays (optional).

If you'd rather spend the day on the water, a kayak trip to the famous Cathedral Cove is just the thing for you (optional). Cathedral Cove is arguably one of the most picturesque spots on the peninsula. A kayak tour is an unforgettable experience because the region is part of the Te Whanganui-A-Marine Reserve. Explore the blue ocean, meet curious sea creatures, and enjoy views of the volcanic coastal landscape from your trusty kayak. Cathedral Cove will also serve its guests fresh coffee, delicious cookies, and chocolate.

Overnight with breakfast in Coromandel Town, New Zealand

Tauranga is the second largest port city in New Zealand, therefore shapes the cityscape. As you stroll through the town, you will feel the maritime history of Tauranga seep through the architecture. However, what the city prides itself on being excited about water sports. Since the town ideally nestles by the sea and offers the best climate, all types of sports thrive here. Whether one is passionate about diving, sailing, kayaking, or surfing, there’s something for everyone in Tauranga! Superb sandy beaches also invite you to sunbathe. From Mount Maunganui, a 232-meter high mountain, you can enjoy spectacular views of the city with its natural harbor, the offshore islands, and even to the volcanic White Island.

Do you fancy doing something a little more unusual tonight? Our tip: a nighttime kayak tour on McLaren Lake (optional). New Zealand’s fireflies will guide the way as you kayak through nature, unlike anywhere else in the world.

Start your evening on the shore of the lake with a glass of wine from the award-winning Mills-Reef Winery paired with some delicious New Zealand cheese. Then, hop into your double kayak to an enchanting canyon full of fireflies. Let the guide introduce you to the secrets of the lake and the small animals in the gorge. See what constellations the larvae formed and learn more about these glowing creatures. The guide will make sure to have flashlights available. On the way back, you can stargaze the glistening sky. This experience is a magical evening you shouldn’t miss. The tour takes around 3.5 hours, with 1.5 hours spent on the water and is not suitable for children under eight years old.

Travel time Coromandel - Tauranga: about 1 hour / approx. 63 km

Overnight with breakfast in Coromandel Town, New Zealand

The adventure continues to Rotorua today.

Does it seem smokey when you arrive? Don’t worry - that’s just steam from the volcano. Rotorua is in the middle of the volcanic strip on the North Island in New Zealand. Distinct characteristics of the city include geysers, craters, hot pools, and the smell of sulfur. It’s unlike any volcano destination you’ve been to before!

The Wai-O-Taupo Thermal Wonderland Park is about 30 km south of Rotorua. The highlight here: The Lady Knox Geyser shoots a fountain of water high into the air every morning at 10:15 AM. Shortly before that, all the places around the geyser fill up, and a ranger will share interesting facts about the hot spring. Then they will pour soapy water into the interior of the geyser, causing a beautiful water fountain to shoot up. There are other small craters and hot pools in the park, with bubbling pools and water vapor rising from all around. Sometimes the water and the rocks are gray, sometimes green, and occasionally bright yellow or orange.

Rotorua is also known for its surrounding forests and lakes, offering excellent opportunities for hiking, cycling, and horseback riding. A gondola takes you directly to Mt. Ngongotaha, where you can enjoy panoramic views of the city.

Our tip: Visit the Tamaki Maori Village today and take part in a village tour (optional). Learn all about Maori culture and history, enjoy a delicious hangi meal, and watch traditional dance performances

Travel time the Coromandel Peninsula - Rotorua: about 3 hours / approx. 210 km

Overnight with breakfast in Rotorua, New Zealand

After breakfast, choose from the many activities available in Rotorua. Our favorite activity is an ecological-cultural full-day hiking tour in the Maori rainforest (optional).

The trail takes you beside the east bank of the river to the Whirinakii Valley. Enjoy a stunning picnic surrounded by the breathtaking nature. In the background, an eight-meter high waterfall rushes down the cliffs, and blue skies and green vegetation perfectly combine with the views. Your Maori guide will share detailed information about the flora and fauna of the region. Learn how the Maori traditionally used the wild rainforest's natural materials in the past and to this day. In the afternoon, the hiking trail takes you back beside the west bank, until you end up at the starting point.

Overnight with breakfast in Rotorua, New Zealand

The drive from Rotorua to New Plymouth is an adventure within itself. Let your mind wander amongst the unique panoramic views, and the scenes change right before your eyes. The sights and smells make today’s long drive feel like a breeze.

New Plymouth is an excellent highlight because it’s away from the crowds. Many visitors usually rush past the west of the island to get to Wellington. But what they don’t know is that a stopover in this region will impress all its visitors. About 65 km north of the city, directly on Highway 3, the bizarre rock formations, you will discover Elephant Rock and Three Sisters.

This charming town enchants with a relaxed surf atmosphere, small cafes, art, open-hearted people, a dense rainforest, and Mount Taranaki. It’s the perfect place to relax away from the crowds of the Tongariro Crossing.

Travel time Rotorua - New Plymouth: approx. 4 hours / approx. 294 km

Overnight with breakfast in New Plymouth, New Zealand

No other region has such a striking volcano as Mount Taranaki. Take your time and explore the stunning area around the volcano. Participate in a tour of the Egmont National Park. At the foot of the mountain, you will experience nature in all its fascination (optional).

Follow your Maori guide around the glittering Lake Mangamahoe, then follow them into the rainforest and over hills to the hidden villages of Inglewood and Stratford. The majestic Mount Taranaki always guides the way as your breathtaking backdrop. After a picnic, explore the coastal towns of Okato and Oakura, and head for the Sugar Loaf Islands - five uninhabited and protected islands that look like little sugar loaves. Moturoa Island, the largest island, is the furthest, about one and a half kilometers away. The tour’s duration is six to seven hours.

Overnight with breakfast in New Plymouth, New Zealand

On today's journey to Wellington, be sure to stop in Whanganui, a town with an idyllic river, art, and fantastic boutiques.

Nestled between the sparkling blue sea and lush green hills lies the New Zealand's capital of Wellington. In 2011, the city was named the "coolest capital in the world" by Lonely Planet. Would you like to find out why? Naturally, there's an array of cool cafes, hip restaurants, and trendy shops popular amongst all tastes. Not to mention, the vibrant art and culture scene gives it a unique charm. Picturesque sceneries, culinary delights, and the multicultural and architectural diversity round up why Lonely Planet and many other visitors believe that this is the "coolest capital in the world."

For some first impressions, the best thing to do is climb up to the city's roof. A cable car will lead you to the Botanical Garden, where a panoramic view will reward you of stunning cityscapes. Notice the trendy district on the waterfront from high above. It used to be a harbor area but has now developed into something new. Shopping fans will get their shop on in the Lambton District, and foodies will try flavors from every culture in the world on the main street of the Courtenay Quarter. All districts of the city are within walking distance, making it easy to discover everything you need to know about this hip destination. Did you know Wellington has more cafes, clubs, and restaurants per capita than New York?

Weta Cave is a must for all Middle-earth fans. Get a behind-the-scenes look at the Hobbit saga.

Travel time New Plymouth - Wellington: about 4.5 hours / approx. 352 km

Overnight with breakfast in Wellington, New Zealand

Hop onto a plane and head to your next destination on your combination round trip: Samoa! The “Cradle of Polynesia” is about a six-hour flight from New Zealand. Wake up from your nap and look out your window: you’ve reached your South Pacific paradise for the next four days!

When you land in Samoa, a warm welcome, or as the locals like to say: “Talofa ma afio mai,” awaits you. Get ready for a tropical getaway on the main island of the archipelago consisting of fourteen islands.

Let the natural beauty and friendly people enchant you in the days to come. Samoa has many natural spectacles in store for you. Of course, this includes the beautiful beaches of the South Sea and the volcanic mountains covered with rainforest, which extend to the paradisiacal coast. Green valleys and oases also make their way to the blue sea. Last but not least, immerse yourself in the Polynesian traditions of the Samoans.

Travel time Wellington - Airport: about 15 minutes / approx. 9 km

Flight time Wellington - Samoa: approx. 6 hours

Driving time Samoa airport - hotel: about 35 minutes / approx. 25 km

After breakfast, it’s time to say goodbye to this tropical paradise. Today you will take your return flight home.

Since there are flight connections from Samoa, combination trips are possible with other South Sea islands, such as the Cook Islands, Tonga, or Fiji. Our travel advisors are happy to help you extend your trip. Contact us!

Travel time hotel - Samoa airport: about 35 minutes / approx. 25 km

Great Ponsonby Hotel****+, Auckland, New Zealand

Only a two-minutes walk from the center of Ponsonby, the Ponsonby Hotel is located in a 19th century building. The rooms are decorated in the colors of the Pacific Ocean and adorned with traditional New Zealand artwork. Breakfast is served either in the dining room or outside on the terrace.

Copthorne Hotel & Resort Bay of Islands****, Paihia, New Zealand

The hotel is only a three-minute drive from the center of Paihia and is located directly on the sea. Some of the rooms offer direct views of the Bay of Islands or the beautiful hotel garden.

Anchor Lodge****, Coromandel Town, New Zealand

The Anchor Lodge Motel is located five minutes from the city center. The facilities include a heated outdoor pool and a Jacuzzi. An LCD TV and a DVD player provide entertainment. Some of the rooms look to the sea, others to the hinterland. The rooms are heated and have a kitchenette including toaster and microwave. A private bathroom with shower and towels is also available.

Seascape Villa****, Tauranga, New Zealand

Seascape Villa is located five minutes by car from the center of Tauranga. The accommodation uses solar energy and 100% renewable carbon zero certified electricity. Wi-Fi is free of charge throughout the accommodation.

The rooms are equipped with bathrooms with bathrobes, hair dryer and skin care products. Each room overlooks the garden and has an LCD TV, insect screen, radio, closet and alarm clock.

Holiday Inn Rotorua****, Rotorua, New Zealand

The hotel is located adjacent to the Whakarewarewa thermal field, only about three kilometers from the city center. The hotel's facilities include a pool, wellness area with whirlpool, parking facilities, etc. Wi-Fi is also offered free of charge. There is a golf course five kilometers away.

Boolovers B&B***, Wellington, New Zealand

This charming B&B is located in a classic New Zealand villa. Lovers of books and café culture will find what they are looking for here. The Te Papa Museum is only a ten-minute walk away. Free parking and Wi-Fi are available.

Sinalei Reef Resort & Spa*****, Siumu Village, Samoa

The hotel was built in Polynesian style and is located in a lush oasis of palm trees and orchids. All bungalows are made of lots of wood and are equipped with all amenities and an outdoor shower. The two open bungalows serve traditional and international cuisine. Kayaks, canoes, snorkeling equipment, as well as tennis courts, golf course and fitness center can be used free of charge. The hotel also has a diving center, which you can use for a fee.

Closest airport: Auckland International Airport

Duration of the trip: 19 days / 18 nights

Including

  • 16 overnight stays in the aforementioned accommodations or similar:
    • 2 nights at the Great Ponsonby Hotel****+ with breakfast in a villa in Auckland, New Zealand

    • 2 nights at the Copthorne Hotel Resort Bay of Islands**** with breakfast in a standard room in Bay of Islands, New Zealand

    • 2 nights at Anchor Lodge**** with breakfast in the spa suite in Coromandel Town, New Zealand

    • 1 night at Seascape Villa**** with breakfast in a standard room in Tauranga, New Zealand

    • 2 nights at Holiday Inn Rotorua**** with breakfast in a standard room in Rotorua, New Zealand

    • 2 nights at the Copthorne Hotel Resort Bay of Islands**** with breakfast in a standard room in Bay of Islands, New Zealand

    • 2 nights in Booklovers B&B*** with breakfast in the Ensuite Room in Wellington, New Zealand

    • 5 nights at Sinalei Reef Resort & Spa***** with half board in a Traditional Garden View Villa on Samoa

    • 12 days rental car, e.g. Toyota Corolla Hatch or similar (cards, one-way fees, unlimited mileage, 24-hour roadside assistance, drop-off/pickup outside opening hours, tire and windshield insurance, additional driver)

  • Transfer airport to hotel on day 1 in Auckland
  • Transfer from Samoa airport to the hotel and back
  • The starting price is valid in the travel period 01.10.20 - 30.04.21

Excluding

  • International flights
  • Entrance fees to national parks or similar
  • Optional excursions
  • Meals and drinks not mentioned in the scope of services
  • Car rental: petrol, young driver supplement, deposit, other extras (WIFI) etc.
  • Personal expenses, such as tips etc.
  • Visa, if required
  • Travel protection

Rental car

  • The general terms and conditions of GO Rental New Zealand apply
  • Child seats, GPS, and snow chains must be pre-booked
  • Carriers only for selected car types and only by pre-booking

Notes

  • Prices are valid for double occupancy
  • Please note that during public holidays such as Christmas/New Year's Eve etc., changed (earlier) payment terms apply
  • No children under 12 years of age allowed in Sinalei Reef Resort & Spa

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