North Island Explorer – New Zealand
Day 1 – Arrival into New Zealand from Fiji
Kia Ora! And welcome to New Zealand. You will arrive into Auckland where you will be met by our exciting Kiwi staff. They will help you settle into your new Kiwi lifestyle. Today we will get straight to the point with some traditional meat pies for lunch. In the afternoon, we will head into downtown Auckland and have an optional (add on cost) SkyJump or SkyWalk! The Skytower is the tallest building in the Southern Hemisphere standing 192 meters (630 feet) tall! You can choose to Sky-Jump, a cable-controlled jump, or take a wobbly walk around the circumference of the viewing deck. Friends watching the jumps from the inside can take pictures! The view is awesome and the experience is unforgettable.
Day 2 – Waitomo Glow Worm Caves and Black Water Rafting
We will depart Auckland this morning and head south to the Waitomo Caves. On our first leg of the road trip, we’ll travel through Waikato Country to see beautiful rolling farms and hundreds (if not thousands) of sheep! We will venture underground for an exhilarating caving experience that blends climbing, tramping and floating through a unique underground river system. Lower yourself into a sinkhole to see the awesome limestone and experience the adrenaline rush as you clamber and slide through squeezes, zip into the black water-filled abyss, and scramble up waterfalls in your pursuit of daylight.
Day 3 – Kiwis and the Luge
This morning you will spend the morning learning about New Zealand’s native flora and fauna at the Otorohanga Kiwi House. This trip will be highlighted by a visit to the kiwi room, where you will see live kiwis roaming around their enclosures.
In the afternoon say farewell to Waikato country and hello to the Bay of Plenty as you make your way to Rotorua. Along the way create an unforgettable memory as you take a gondola to the top of Mount Ngongotaha. Enjoy the sites of the surrounding landscape as you head up to the Skyline luge track. Strap on your helmet and race your friends down the winding curves of the high speed track. Feel your adrenaline pumping as you make your way to the finish line and head up to do it again!
Day 4 – Zorb, Agrojet and Swoop
Start the day flipping head over heels on a Zorb ride! Laugh and giggle the whole way down the track with new friends. Now that you’re warmed up, it’s time for some real adrenaline! You can choose to participate in an Agrojet ride. This 13 foot, 450 horsepower jet boat will deliver you up to 100kph in four seconds! In the tight man-made watercourse, you’re will take corners not unlike Formula One race cars. Or, let’s keep the action going with a Swoop. One, two, or three people are placed in hang-gliding harnesses, hoisted 40 meters in the air, and then released for an adrenaline-pumping free fall! If the swoop is too much excitement for you, then race another Kiwi original, the Schweeb! After a quick lunch, take a relaxing stroll through the beautiful Redwood Forest and catch a glimpse of the thermal pools spread throughout Rotorua.
This evening you will participate in a Maori Hangi and concert, where you will learn about New Zealand’s native people and enjoy a traditional Maori feast.
Day 5 – White Water Rafting
Today we will take on the mighty Kaituna, which boasts the highest commercially rafted waterfall (22 feet) in the world. This spectacular region of the country offers wonderful scenery and some of the finest rafting conditions around! This afternoon we take a gorgeous drive along SH5 to Taupo where we will settle into our new hostel. We will take some time before dinner to explore Lake Taupo, the biggest lake in New Zealand, with Mt. Doom in the background. It is a beautiful sight.
Day 6 – Hidden Valley Cave and Thermal Parks
Come and explore a volcanic world of gushing geysers, hot springs, bubbling mud pools and some of the largest and most amazing silica terraces in the world.
Wander through the Hidden Valley and visit the thermal Ruatapu Cave which extends more than 36 meters down into volcanic tuff to the ‘Waiwhakaata’ or ‘Pool of Mirrors’ hot pool at the bottom.
Orakei Korako boasts the most active geysers of any geothermal park in New Zealand. Up to 23 active natural geysers play freely through the area, which is constantly changing. Marvel at the number of boiling hot springs and the vibrant colours all around you, or take a native bushwalk through this untouched geothermal paradise. Many who visit consider this arguably the best thermal area left in New Zealand.
Day 7 – Optional Bungy Jumping or Skydiving
After trying some marmite and toast for breakfast, take the plunge! Create an unforgettable end to your time in New Zealand by participating in an optional bungy jump or skydive (please note that these activities are NOT included in the program tuition – an additional fee will apply). At this point, surely all of your kiwi dreams came true! Before heading out to Auckland take the time to explore the city of Taupo or enjoy a hike with your group around the lake. The afternoon will best pent driving back to Auckland. On the way back, take a relaxing dip in the natural hot springs that run down along the river. After getting settled into the hostel, the evening will be filled sharing memories about the week of adventure and packing up to head home tomorrow.
Day 8 – Departure Day
In the morning, finish up packing and head into the city for some final souvenir shopping. Your week has flown by like a dream and you should now be truly immersed in New Zealand. You will have time to say goodbye to your new friends and this incredible country before hopping on your flight home.
Flight Details: Rustic Pathways will provide flight details once students are enrolled