Hiking Tour From Auckland to Wellington in New Zealand

North Island | New Zealand
5.00
5 REVIEWS
Trip Highlights

Top three reasons to go hiking in New Zealand

  • Trip Highlight

    One of the most sought after hiking trails in the world

  • Trip Highlight

    Dive into the underground world illuminated by glowworms

  • Trip Highlight

    Explore the Tongariro National Park boasting geothermal peculiarities

Enter a world of geothermal marvels on a 5-day journey from Auckland to Wellington in New Zealand. Your schedule will be bursting with all those places you’ve been googling—float Lake Tarawera in the backdrop of a mighty volcano, uncover the hidden treasures of a 15,000-year-old lava flow in Tongariro National Park and plunge into a subterranean starry night of glowworms in the Waitomo Caves. On the world-renowned Tongariro Alpine Crossing, explore emerald lakes, glacial valleys, crater pools, calderas and more. Leaving behind the wilderness, you’ll end your voyage with the charming capital of Wellington; pick an eclectic food place to lounge and scroll through your gallery overflowing with photos from the trip.

Season

November through March

Nearest city

Your tour begins in Auckland, NZ

Duration

5 days

Skill level

Beginner to advanced

Itineraries

Book this adventure

Group Hiking Tour from Auckland to Wellington

5 days

Discover the underground world of bioluminescent Waitomo Caves, take a swim in Lake Tarawera and explore the Tongariro National Park. The park, which is one of the oldest ones in the world, safekeeps the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, a challenging hike along which you’ll find green lakes, glacial valleys, lava flows and more. Excellent ensuite rooms in quality hotels and lodges and an eclectic mix of restaurants will make your evenings just as enjoyable as your days spent outdoors.

Trip Highlights

Itinerary

Day 1: Auckland to Rotorua

Meet your guide and your group at the Heritage Hotel in Auckland at 7 am. Drive south and enjoy the passing scenery of lush countryside greenery alongside the Waikato River, the longest one in New Zealand. Arriving at the 30-million-year-old Waitomo Caves, journey down to the depths of the world-famous Ruakari Cave—a magical universe offering a bioluminescent experience like no other place on the planet. Thousands of tiny glowworms glittering like stars in the night sky will dazzle you, as will the crystal tapestries and subterranean waterfalls you’ll find along the way. Surfacing back to sunlight, go on a loop trail through a limestone canyon. Final stop of the day is the volcanically active area of Rotorua, the center of Māori cultural tourism and your accommodation for that day in which you’ll have your evening meal and see a cultural performance.
Accommodation: Distinction Hotel, Rotorua
Meals: Lunch and dinner
Hiking: 2 hours, 0.6-1.2 miles/ 1-2 km

Glowworms in Waitomo caves.

Day 2: Rotorua to Lake Taupo

Hike alongside Lake Tarawera, the largest lake surrounding the eponymous volcano. If the canopies of tree ferns aren’t providing you enough shade, dive into the lake at any one of the pumice beaches along the way and cool off while drinking in the views of the vast volcanic area. Rotorua also features geothermal phenomena, which you’ll have the chance to explore in the afternoon—blow off any steam you might have by strolling along bubbling mud pools and lakes. Moving onto the lakeside town of Taupo and the mighty Huka Falls, you’ll hear, feel, and see huge amounts of water erupting from a natural gorge and thundering into the Waikato river. Spend the night in Taupo.
Accommodation: Beechtree Hotel, Taupo
Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Hiking: 5 hours, 5 miles/ 8 km

Geothermal pool in Rotorua

Day 3: Tongariro National Park

Spend your morning exploring the Tongariro, the oldest national park in New Zealand where you’ll hike through mountain beech woodlands around the volcanic peak of Mount Pihanga and stroll around the peaceful Lake Rotopounamu. Take a leisure walk to Taranaki Falls, possibly encounter some of the park’s fauna along the way and go see a waterfall cascading over a 15,000-year-old lava flow. Settle in the hotel at the gateway of Tongariro where you’ll stay for two nights and have a well-deserved meal with your group.
Accommodation: Hotel at the gateway to Tongariro National Park
Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Hiking: 2-4 hours, 5 miles/ 8 km

Lake Rotopounamu in Tongariro NP

Day 4: Tongariro

Regarded as one of the best hiking trails on the planet, trek across the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. Expect a challenging full-day hike and steep climbs, and your effort will be awarded with a profusion of natural phenomena: tour the strikingly green Emerald Lakes, the flaming Red Crater, steaming vents, glacial valleys, lava flows, alpine flora, and vivid crater lakes. If you prefer to take it easy, there’s plenty to do at the village—you can tour the Soda Springs walk and Taranaki Falls walk, or you can learn more about the area at the Park Visitor Center. Recuperate with a glass of wine and enjoy your second night in the village.
Accommodation: Hotel at the gateway to Tongariro National Park
Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Hiking: 6-8 hours, 14 miles/ 23 km

Emerald Lakes in Tongariro National Park.

Day 5: Tongariro to Wellington

Relax and rest while driving through verdant rural landscapes on your way to the capital city of Wellington. Choose what you want to do or see—discover New Zealand’s history at the interactive national museum Te Papa, ride the historic Wellington cable car, get your coffee fix in whichever of the vibrant cafés you choose, or saunter down the promenade. At the end of the day, take a few last photos and say farewell to New Zealand!
Meals: Breakfast

Cable car in Wellington.
Reviews

Reviews (5)

Bytown about Hiking New Zealand on TripAdvisor

Our experience with Hiking New Zealand, (Northern Portion ) and most particularly our guide, Justin, couldn’t have been better. Despite the unpredictable weather Justin assessed and reassessed the best routes and days in order to make our hikes successful. His knowledge of all things environmental added an element of interest we had not anticipated. Additionally , Justin was a great cook and an affable companion to our small group. It was an excellent experience and we would recommend Hiking New Zealand to anyone wishing to explore the beauty of New Zealand.

nadine_emmenegger about Hiking New Zealand on TripAdvisor

I enjoyed an unforgettable, amazing and well organised week with Hiking New Zealand. Our guide Grace did a brilliant job in bringing us New Zealand’s nature and practical tipps for this outdoor adventure closer. In a small group of 6 we discovered remote, stunning places which you might not visit on your own, cooked tasty meals and had lots of fun. Recommendable from A to Z!

Old_guy_and_wife_11 about Hiking New Zealand on TripAdvisor

Having made other plans for the South Island, we were thrilled that Hiking NZ offered a separate trip in the north. Our trip could not have been better. Because we are older (in our 70’s), we had some anxiety about whether we could do the hiking and whether we would hold others up. These concerns turned out to be unwarranted. Yes, on some hikes we were slower than some of our companions. This didn’t seem to phase either the other guests or our guides. Eva served as “sweep” and saw that we made it to the end of each hike without incident. For those of us at the back, she served as a lovely companion.
The Tongariro Alpine Crossing was the highlight for us, and, with Justin and Eva guiding, we managed the hike, including the few hundred yards of scree that had been on our minds for days. Hikes and activities other than Tongariro exceeded our expectations. We enjoyed keeping very busy.
The food and accommodations were terrific. We hadn’t expected such luxury.

daneapalmer about Hiking New Zealand on TripAdvisor

This tour was absolutely amazing. Our guide (Justin) was extremely knowledgable, friendly, and fun! He planned the adventure around the weather and everyone’s needs. This was an unforgettable experience and I highly recommend it.

Linda M about Hiking New Zealand on TripAdvisor

In 5 days there is a lot packed in, but the pace feels about right. Lots of lovely walks, with the Tongariro crossing the last and most spectacular. Very good accommodation and meals along the way. A thoroughly enjoyable way to see the natural beauty of the north island.

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Things to know

Things to know

Covid measures in New Zealand

57hours is committed to providing safe outdoor adventure experiences. We require all guides using our platform to have a COVID-19 safety plan and to make the details of that plan accessible to travelers. In most cases, group sizes will be reduced, guides will avoid overcrowded locations, and other safety measures will be met depending on the location and activity. 

We also expect clients to respect local regulations and take measures to protect themselves, guides and the communities they’re traveling to. For more information on COVID-19 measures in New Zealand, please refer to the official New Zealand travel website.

Please contact us if you have any questions or require further information. We are happy to provide you with the most up-to-date information!

What’s included?

What you get on this adventure:

    • An experienced, local hiking guide with extensive knowledge of the area
    • 5 days of hiking and exploration
    • Accommodation (hotels and lodges)
    • Minibus transportation for the duration of the tour
    • All activities outlined in itinerary
    • Maori Village Experience and Wai-o-tapu Thermal Wonderland
    • Breakfast, lunch and dinner during the hike

What’s not included:

    • Transportation to Auckland
    • Breakfast on day 1, lunch and dinner on day 5
    • Transportation from the endpoint of the tour
    • Accommodation before and after the tour

How fit do I need to be?

The best thing about the New Zealand guided hiking tour is that there are options for all skill levels. The hiking tour suits all skill and fitness levels, but keep in mind that you’ll be doing around 4-5 hours of physical activity per day. The most you’ll hike is on day 4, when you’ll walk 23 km (14 miles) through the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. However, there is an option for a more restful day where you can choose how you want to spend your day. You’ll also be carrying your daypack (25-40L).

What do I need to bring?

Here’s a list of the equipment you need to bring:

    • Day pack large enough to carry all the items listed (around a 25-40L bag)
    • Hiking poles — optional
    • Water bottle or hydration bladder (2L capacity)
    • Lightweight hiking boots or shoes
    • Spare clothes for layering
    • Waterproof rain jacket
    • Thermal underwear, socks, warm hat, gloves
    • Swimwear
    • Sunhat
    • Toiletries (sunscreen, hand sanitizer, bug spray, toilet paper, etc.)
    • Headlamp or flashlight
    • Sunglasses
    • Camera — optional (but recommended)

Dress comfortably and for the weather in clothes you can move in. We suggest bringing clothing appropriate for the season. Layers are best and don’t wear jeans.

Group sizes and age requirements

Group sizes and prices:

    • For this adventure, the usual client to guide ratio is 13:1. 
    • The cost does not decrease as the group grows. 
    • There is a possibility of a single supplement and it costs $320, in case you would like to ensure a room to yourself, and not share it with anybody.

Hiking in New Zealand can be arranged for larger groups. Contact us to make arrangements.

Min. age requirements:

    • If you are older than 18, you’re good to go.
    • Minors younger than 18 may be permitted to join the hike on a case-by-case basis, but must be in the presence of a parent or legal guardian.

If your group has hikers under the age of 18, contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.

Deposits and cancellation policy

A 25% deposit to secure your place is due upon booking. The remaining amount is paid 95 days prior to departure. For bookings within four (4) months of the departure, full payment is required.

Once the trip is confirmed by the guide, the cancellation policy stated below applies. 

    • If Client cancels the Booking anytime prior to ninety-five (95) days before the departure, Client gets an 80% refund of the deposit back.
    • If Client cancels the Booking anytime prior to twenty-one (21) calendar days in advance of the trip contemplated by the booking, Client is entitled to a refund in the amount of eighty percent (80%) of the total amount paid when Booking. 
    • For cancellations twenty (20) to eleven (11) calendar days in advance, Client is entitled to a refund in the amount of fifty percent (50%) of the total amount paid when Booking. 
    • After that deadline, Client is not entitled to any refund. Any reimbursable expenses arising out of the Booking incurred by Guide prior to the date of cancellation (including but not limited to plane tickets, car rental payments, and lodging or transportation fees) are non-refundable as soon as they are incurred by the Guide.

Getting there and meeting location

To start this tour, most people fly into Auckland International Airport. From there, you can take a bus, shuttle or taxi to Auckland city center. You’ll meet your New Zealand hiking guide and the rest of the group in the Heritage Hotel foyer at 7am on Day 1 of your tour.

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Wired for a better world

Outdoor adventuring makes us fall in love with our planet and people, it gets our brains rewired differently and forces us to rethink our life priorities.

For years, we’ve dreamt of building a company that can make an impact on things that we deeply care about. Here are some initiatives we are grateful to be contributing to.

1% of our sales goes to environmental non-profits
We provide work to thousands of local guides worldwide
We operate on carbon neutral and renewable energy
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