North Island ExperienceThis exceptional North Island tour has it all - superb coastline and beaches, hot springs and thermals, lakes and mountains, Maori culture, history and Art Deco architecture.
It's not all rush and no relaxation though; throw in some of the best dining and wineries in New Zealand and you've got the best tour on the North Island!
The North Island Experience Self Guided Motorcycle Tour
Discover the hidden delights of the North Island with this tour from Auckland. Experience the laid back lifestyles on offer on the Coromandel Peninsula before heading inland towards the geothermal hot-spots around Rotorua, the otherworldly spectacle of Tongariro National Park and the volcanic landscapes of Lake Taupo.
You'll also get to visit the oft-ignored spectacle of Mount Taranaki and the Waikato region in the west of the North Island, before heading further north past Auckland where you’ll ride on great roads along beautiful shorelines, through subtropical vegetation, past cascading waterfalls and around incredible scenery up to the famous Bay of Islands. The very tip of the North Island at Cape Reinga is a 'must see' for that very special feeling as you gaze over endless waters and two oceans meet.
The best way to cover the most ground around the North Island!
Start your trip in New Zealand's most cosmopolitan city. Stroll through Queen Street, enjoy some of the best dining in New Zealand and cruise magnificent Waitemata Harbour, the 'heart' of the city. You don't have to be a yachtsman to appreciate the City of Sails - but it helps!
You'll quickly see why New Zealanders flock here on holiday. The serenity attracts 'alternative lifestylers' away from Auckland but the rest come for the North Island's best beaches and coastal scenery. With a backdrop of rugged, green-forested mountains the views over the offshore islands are incredible. What better way to end the day than swim in crystal clear blue water, then dig a hole in the sand at Hot Water Beach and relax in your own sandy hot water spa!
One of New Zealand's best known tourist spots, the steaming crevices, mud pools and hot springs lead to healing thermal baths. It's an important cultural centre for the Maori and one of the most accessible to outsiders. The culture is alive in their arts and crafts, architecture and in traditional songs and dance.
Hawkes Bay and Napier
Napier is famous as one of the finest examples of an Art Deco city anywhere in the world but there’s so much more! Situated at the southern end of Hawkes Bay, palm trees fringe the city streets, parks and gardens punctuate the blocks of art deco buildings at frequent intervals and a Mediterranean climate all combine to create a superb atmosphere.
Friendly people, great restaurants offering various culinary delights and over 30 local Hawkes Bay wineries are simply the icing on an already pretty fantastic cake.
The largest lake in New Zealand was created around 25,000 years ago by one of the biggest volcanic eruptions in history. Now the self-proclaimed trout fishing capital of the world, you can also enjoy more adventurous activities such as white water rafting, jet boating, bungy jumping or skydiving if luring trout with imitation flies are not your thing. Or simply enjoy the scenery and magnificent Huka Falls.
Tongariro National Park
A ride along the famous ‘Desert Road’ brings you to Mount Tongariro National Park, New Zealand’s first national park, designated in 1887. You’ll recognise it from a distance though if you’re a fan of J.R.R Tolkein. Mount Ngauruhoe featured as ‘Mount Doom’ in The Lord of the Rings film trilogy, whilst the rest of the park featured as the somewhat less than enticing ‘Mordor’.
In reality of course it’s a fascinating and magical landscape, rich with significance in Maori heritage and a true wonder of nature. Three active volcanoes tower over the landscape, around which the park offers excellent hiking in summer and great skiing in winter.
New Plymouth and Mount Taranaki
Mount Taranaki’s 2,518m towering volcanic cone dominates the landscape in this lesser travelled area of New Zealand, a promontory far in the western reach of the North Island. New Plymouth is an affluent deep water port and serves as the hub for exploring around the legendary mountain.
Vying for your attention is epic surf, spectacular yet surprisingly intimate gardens and parks, the unmistakable mountain and countless outdoor and cultural adventures. Round it all off with some brilliant roads to ride, and it’s easy to see why the region prides itself on being a destination ‘like no other’.
The Waikato Region
Rolling hillsides, green fields and the mighty Waikato River will be your companions today. While the region looks much like England and was cast as the 'Shire' in The Lord of the Rings films it is a stronghold of Maoridom too. You'll have a chance to see the glow-worms in the magical Waitomo Caves or have an adrenaline-fueled underground adventure such as black-water rafting on the subterranean rivers in the cave system, abseiling or rock climbing.
You'll overnight in Hamilton which, despite being landlocked in an area known best for farming, is surprisingly sophisticated with some great bars and restaurants and 50 hectares of top-notch botanical gardens on the banks of the Waikato.
Northland and Cape Reinga
Clear blue water and innumerable sheltered coves will make plain to you why this area is so famous for its coastal scenery! A relaxed approach to pretty much everything, sets the pace in the Bay of Islands. Cape Reinga is a must see for that special feeling of reaching the 'end of the world' when you look out over the endless ocean. The coming together of the Tasman Sea and the Pacific Ocean happens just off the point, which makes for some very lively waters - even in good weather!
On the way back to Auckland the route along the west side of the island winds through lovely woodlands and valleys, past lakes and rivers and the 2000-year-old Kauri tree in the Waipoua Forest. A wild and relatively untouched region of the North Island, makes for some great riding to end your tour on.
This tour is completely customisable. Longer, further, curvier, anything you need (within reason). Just ask!
You can mouse-over the bike you are interested in to see an image of that type of bike. Images are for illustration only though and may not represent the exact bike available.