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North Island Pioneer Tour

3 Days | All Inclusive | To & From Auckland

Department of Conservation Approved Sole Venture logotype
Sole Venture logotype
Sole Venture logotype New Zealand Tourism Guide Gold Membership

This incredible Kiwi adventure explores some of New Zealand’s most surreal experiences, fascinating locations and rich culture throughout the Rotorua and Taupo areas. Glide through native forests on a zipline, sail to 14m high Maori rock carvings, discover the magical Hobbiton, gaze in awe at geothermal valleys, step back in time with a genuine Maori culture experience and so much more!

 All-inclusive | From Auckland | 4 Days | NZ $2,499 inc tax

Accommodation  |  Luxury Transport  |  Experienced Local Guides  |  All Meals  |  All Activities  |  Professional Photography

What's Included

Accommodation  |  Luxury Transport  |  Experienced Local Guides  |  All Meals  |  All Activities  |  Professional Photography

Activity Level

A good mix of sightseeing versus activity, the Pioneer will immerse you in New Zealand’s stunning outdoors with a range of half day activities such as mountain biking, sailing and ziplining. Our guides are super flexible and will cater to what suits you best.

Tour Highlights

Discover - The magic of Hobbiton   |   Explore - The Putaruru Blue Springs   |   Step back in time - With an authentic Maori culture evening   |   Glide - Through native forest on more than 600m of ziplines   |   Cycle - Through the towering redwoods of Whakarewarewa forest   |   Explore - The surreal Wai-O-Tapu geothermal valley   |   Sail - Across the great Lake Taupo to 14m high Maori rock carvings   |   Soak - In some of Taupo’s famous natural thermal hot pools   |   View - The raging Huka Falls   |   Stay - On the shores of the idyllic Lake Taupo   |   Indulge - In some of NZ’s best food at top local restaurants

Read the full itinerary below!

day one


From Auckland we will make a few stops along the way before arriving at the picturesque Hobbiton movie set. Located on a 1200ha sheep farm in Waikato, this incredible place includes 44 beautifully detailed Hobbit Holes and the Green Dragon Inn. From Hobbiton we will journey south, stopping along the way to wander around the Putaruru Blue Springs, these springs are flowing with crystal clear water filtered for decades undeground and now supply nearly 70% of New Zealand’s bottled water. From Putaruru we will make our way to Rotorua and check in to our accommodation for the night, before heading out to join an authentic Maori culture experience at the Tamaki Maori Village. You will feel like you have stepped back in time as we explore a pre-European village, enjoy a powerful cultural perormance and feast on a traditional hangi for dinner.

Stay: Rotorua - lunch and dinner included

day two


Today is an adventure filled day, after breakfast we will kick things off with a fantastic Canopy Ziplining tour! Glide through native forest on over 600m of ziplines along with all manner of walkways and trails. This thrilling experience may sound full on but is designed to suit everyone, the guides are top notch and will help you relax and enjoy this unique experience. After lunch in a local cafe we will make the short trip to the famous Whakarewarewa forest to cycle among the towering redwoods and flowing streams. For those that are looking for a bit more action, we can adapt this mountain biking experience to include some of New Zealand’s best downhill mountain bike trails! The evening will be spent relaxing at our accommodation and enjoying dinner at one of the best local restaurants.

Stay: Rotorua - all meals included

day three


Day Three: After breakfast our first stop today is at the Wai-O-Tapu geothermal valley, this jaw-dropping place is one of the 20 most surreal places on earth according to TripAdvisor and we completely agree! With dozens of different geothermal features including champagne pools, geysers, hot springs, vivid green sulfur lakes and more it is not to be missed. From here we journey to Taupo and board an electric sailing vessel to cruise across the clear blue Lake Taupo to witness nearly 50ft high Maori rock carvings etched into the side of the cliff and only accessible via the water. These towering carvings offer fantastic photo opportunities before we enjoy nibbles and drinks on the return cruise where we will check in to our lakefront accommodation. For those interested we enjoy soaking in the idyllic natural thermal springs at Wairakei terraces before heading out for dinner.

Stay: Taupo - all meals included

day four


Day Four: First stop is a delicious café breakfast before we leave town and head to the Huka Falls. While the Huka Falls are a well know attraction, it’s always worth the quick stop! With nearly a billion liters of water flowing over the falls every hour (yes you read that correctly), they never fail to be an impressive sight! Next, we explore the Huka Honey Hive, a fascinating place that sells all manner of New Zealand honey products including liqueurs, renowned manuka honey, health and medical products. After leaving the falls we will begin our journey home, stopping for lunch on the way before arriving back in Auckland around 4-5pm.

Stay: Taupo - Breakfast and Lunch included.


View all of our TripAdvisor reviews!

"Tongariro Crossing: Perfect from start to finish. Great weather for the crossing. An amazing experience with Sole Ventures - punctual, professional, quick to respond, prepared for anything, and truly wonderful people. An added bonus was learning a lot about NZ through Sam and Danni. I’m an avid hiker who’s traveled the world, and this company is honestly the best. Highly recommend Sole Ventures and will definitely book with them again." - Christine, USA


"Tongariro Alpine Crossing: WOW, what a fantastic adventure we had with family & friends doing the crossing! We had spectacular weather, spectacular views and an outstanding set of guides who catered to our every need & every level, being the least fit in the group, I had my concerns of holding everyone up but never at any stage did I feel that way, at every turn our guides Sam or Cole were either beside me or just in front making sure no one felt under pressure, they gave great info along the walk & provided a sumptuous lunch at the lakes midway through the walk, to top off the day they organized to finish up with a well deserved soak in hot pools back in taupo. In short, it was an awesome experience not to be forgotten, thanks Sam & Cole we will definitely be signing up for more." - Sharon, NZ


"Tongariro Crossing and More!: The absolute best. Sam and Cole are the most fantastic hosts, guides and all round good guys. Their professionalism stands out - from their Sole Ventures coach to their expert knowledge on all things NZ. We started with our pick up in Auckland and managed to squeeze in a quick look around Waitomo caves which was outstanding! Sam and Cole made us feel like we were always at home, and always had the information for our never-ending questions! So full of insight. Their accommodation and food selections were outstanding. From the Chateau, to brunch, we always felt like royalty. We had an outstanding day on the crossing, with sun and smiles, and even a swim to cool off in Lake Taupo! Thanks so much Sam and Cole for an epic trip - I highly recommend Sole Ventures to everyone!! Will have to book a longer trip next time!" - Mitch, NZ


"Amazing Trip: Our visit to New Zealand was brief but packed with great sights and activities all thanks to Sole Ventures! I really appreciated that Cole took the time to customize our own 3 day adventure and made it more than affordable. The Mercedes van that we traveled in made long drives comfortable. The hospitality that Sam and Danni provided was top notch. It was great that they even provided extra gear for our Tongariro crossing which was cold and rainy. Restaurants were delicious and accommodations chosen were cozy. Aside from the weather not being the best, I couldn’t complain about a thing when it came to Sole Ventures. I would absolutely recommend them for any tour/adventure seekers traveling to New Zealand!" - Jane & Kentaro, USA


"Tongariro Crossing: Just the best. We were so lucky to have perfect weather for the crossing - February is a good time to go. I can't speak highly enough of Sam and Cole - their care and attention to detail is outstanding. Go Sole Ventures ! I will be travelling with you again. Can't wait fir the next adventure! Well done Sam and Cole" - Shirley, NZ


"Private Customized North Island Adventure: We had an awesome time with Sam and Danni during our 3 day tour in New Zealand from beginning to end. We (group of 4) were initially picked up in Auckland in their high end Mercedes Van, where they took us to Hobbiton, Waitomo Caves, Tongariro Crossing, Lake Taupo, and Huka falls, then dropped us back in Auckland on the final day.

Everything was well organized and they clearly put a lot of thought and planning in to everything they do. Accommodations and food locations were also fantastic. We had a 3 course dinner and brunch at the Chateau Tongariro Hotel, as well as delicious food from other local restaurants throughout the journey.

Sam and Danni made us feel very welcome, were easy to talk to, and very knowledgeable about the area. We particularly appreciated their enthusiasm for talking about the history and culture of New Zealand as well as their interest in hearing about our experiences and sharing theirs. They went out of their way to make sure we were comfortable - ie making pit stops along the way and bringing snacks in case we were hungry. Sam took group photos of us throughout the trip and sent them right to us. They made sure we were well equipped and safe during our trip, providing rain coats for the crossing.

Service was top-notch. I would recommend them to anyone! We look forward to seeing them again on our next trip to New Zealand." - Joshua & Ye, USA


"If you want a trip with energetic, competent, fun guides I thoroughly recommend Sole Ventures: In April, we organised a group of friends and family (9 of us) ages ranging from 16 to 62 to do the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. Sam and Cole, from Sole Ventures were our tour guides. Everything about our experience was fantastic, from booking, accommodation, transport, food and the actual tour. Sam and Cole's enthusiasm was evident for the whole tour which was contagious even at 5.30 am. Sam and Cole were attentive to details, for example our warmth, water intake, and suggestions like using tramping poles. Along the trek, Sam and Cole motivated and gave us interesting and informative information about the area.We stopped at Emerald Lakes for lunch and it was fabulous. We were given a choice of fresh wraps, fresh fruit and a cheese board - yum! The trek was spectacular - stunning views and a great challenge. At the end of the crossing we had the van waiting with very welcomed cool drinks.

If you want a trip with energetic, competent, fun guides I thoroughly recommend Sole Ventures." - Toni, NZ


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