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North Island Pioneer Tour

 All-inclusive | From Auckland | 4 Days

Department of Conservation Approved Sole Venture logotype
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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!

Service Level


All - Inclusive of : Comfortable and luxurious accommodation with fantastic facilities, delicious meals mostly in top local cafes and restaurants, transport in our late model Mercedes - Benz coaches, professional photography, a full tour schedule of activities and sightseeing and of course time to relax. Luxury service makes for the ultimate stress - free vacation!

Duration4 days

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 price

NZ $2,499 inc tax

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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



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.

Breakfast and Lunch included.


All Meals

  • Day one - Cafe lunch in Putaruru, traditional hangi dinner with the evening cultural experience
  • Day two – Buffet breakfast, lunch at one of Rotorua’s top cafes, Dinner on the iconic ‘Eat Street’
  • Day three – Café breakfast, lunch in one of Taupo’s delicious cafes, Dinner at the award winning Brantry restaurant
  • Day four – Breakfast at the scrumptious Storehouse café, lunch at the iconic Red Shed on the return to Auckland

All Accommodation

  • Enjoy staying in comfortable and luxurious accommodation with fantastic facilities and central locations
  • Night one – Rotorua Central
  • Night two – Rotorua Central
  • Night three – Taupo lake front

All activities and entrance fees

  • Guided tour of the magical Hobbiton Movie Set
  • Exploring the picturesque Putaruru Blue Springs
  • An authentic Māori cultural evening with a traditional hangi for dinner in Rotorua
  • Three-hour ziplining tour through the stunning native forests near Rotorua
  • A Relaxed, guided mountain biking tour through the Redwoods of Whakarewarewa Forest
  • Exploring the surreal Wai-O-Tapu geothermal valley
  • Serene sailing trip across Lake Taupo to see the 45ft high Māori rock carvings
  • Soaking in the natural thermal pools at Wairakei Terraces

Additional sightseeing if you’re up for it

  • Explore the iconic government gardens in Rotorua
  • See the iconic Rotorua Bath House
  • Take a wander along the Taupo lake front and explore the town



Read all of our TripAdvisor reviews!
  • Christine, USA

    Christine, USA

    “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 travelled the world, and this company is honestly the best. Highly recommend Sole Ventures and will definitely book with them again."

  • Sharon, NZ

    Sharon, NZ

    “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."

  • Jane & Kentaro, USA

    Jane & Kentaro, USA

    “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 travelled 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!"

  • Mitch, NZ

    Mitch, NZ

    “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!"

  • Afraz, NZ

    Afraz, NZ

    “I have travelled extensively and used multiple tour companies and guides around the globe... nothing comes close to the service we were offered by Sole Ventures. Sam and Cole Johnston were hands down one of the best tour guides I’ve ever had. My whole team were well looked after and they paid attention to every detail from pickup to drop off. They looked after all our needs and walked alongside us throughout the crossing. Check ins and check outs at the hotels were a breeze as they took care of everything. The meals and cafe stops along the way and at the destinations were fantastic. They are both very knowledgeable and most importantly they are fun to hang with. I would recommend them to anyone at any time. Looking forward to a few more exciting adventures with them in future.”


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