3 Days

Auckland and Waiheke Island

5.0 - Based on 1 travel review
From $750
/ Adult

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What's Included

  • Accommodations (4-star hotel)
  • 2 Breakfasts
  • Ferry to Waiheke Island
  • Hop-On-Hop-Off Explorer Bus

What's Excluded

  • International Airfare
  • Airport taxes and excess baggage fees
  • Beverages & Meals not specified
  • Optional Activities
  • Gratuities
  • Personal Expenses
  • Travel Insurance
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Overview

Spend a few days in New Zealand’s largest city with its cosmopolitan charm and the natural beauty and award winning boutique wineries of Waiheke Island. This tour seamlessly blends urban exploration in Auckland, a serene escape to Waiheke Island, and mesmerizing bioluminescence. Explore the city's iconic landmarks, vibrant arts scene, and waterfront attractions. Delight in panoramic views from the Sky Tower, immerse yourself in history at the Auckland War Memorial Museum, and stroll along the picturesque Viaduct Harbour. As the sun sets, experience the magic of bioluminescence on a kayak tour under the starry night sky, where the waters come alive with sparkling blue and green plankton, creating a surreal spectacle of light. Paddle through the shimmering waters, marveling at the natural phenomenon and listening to the gentle lapping of the waves. It's a truly unforgettable experience that adds an extra touch of wonder to your North Island journey. Venture on a day trip to Waiheke Island, where you'll discover its stunning beaches, boutique vineyards, and artistic communities. Indulge in wine tasting, savor delicious cuisine at waterfront restaurants, and explore the island's charming villages and scenic trails.

Adventure Highlights

  • Discover Auckland’s beautiful parks, gardens, museums, and culinary scene
  • Paddle under the starry night sky, where the waters come alive with sparkling bioluminescent plankton, creating a surreal spectacle of light that offers a truly unforgettable experience
  • Take a ferry to Waikeke Island and discover why it is known as the “Island of Wine”
  • Savor delicious cuisine at waterfront restaurants
  • Immerse yourself in history at the Auckland War Museum
  • Delight in panoramic views from the Sky Tower
  • Join a Small Group Tour

    TRIP DATES AVAILABILITY PRICE SPACE LEFT
    November 22, 2024 - November 24, 2024 Available $750
    16 Available

    Traveling solo? No problem!
    On our group trips, we offer free roommate-matching and will pair you with a same-sex roommate, so you are never obligated to pay the single supplement fee. 

    Want Your Own Room?
    Single Supplement is available for an additional fee (based on availability)

    By booking this trip, you agree to the Booking Terms and Conditions.

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    Daily Itinerary

    Upon arrival at Auckland Airport (AKL), you’ll be greeted by your driver who will transfer you to your accommodation. Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city, is a vibrant metropolis nestled between two stunning harbors on the North Island. Known as the “City of Sails,” Auckland boasts a rich maritime heritage and a bustling waterfront lined with cafes, restaurants, and entertainment venues. The city’s diverse neighborhoods offer a blend of cultures, reflected in its eclectic dining scene, vibrant arts scene, and dynamic street life. Iconic landmarks such as the Sky Tower punctuate the skyline, providing panoramic views of the surrounding region. With its beautiful beaches, lush parks, and proximity to volcanic cones, Auckland seamlessly combines urban sophistication with natural beauty, offering visitors a captivating mix of experiences in the heart of New Zealand.

    If time permits, take a walk up Mt Eden, an ancient volcano that overlooks the city. It’s located just a few miles outside of the city and offers panoramic views of the city’s skyline, the Waitematā Harbour, and the Hauraki Gulf. Take in the sweeping views from the expansive crater rim, where you can marvel at the geological formations and gain insight into the area’s volcanic history.

    This evening, we’ll hop aboard a kayak with local Kiwi guides for an exhilarating night paddle in Auckland. Hit the water and marvel at the wonders of nature as you witness the phenomenon of bioluminescence. Watch as your kayak leaves a glittering wake behind you known as ‘Sea Sparkle.’ This blue glow is in part a result of its biological reaction to being disturbed – a defense mechanism to protect itself. It is the glow that is referred to as bioluminescence and it is only visible at night.

    Many people compare the experience to Pandora of “Avatar.” Some even recall the bioluminescence scene in “Life of Pi” as the gentle plankton leave a trickling glow when you hold it in your hands and let it trickle down your arm. Fortunately for us, it would appear that Auckland’s Hibiscus coastline has idyllic conditions for this to occur.

    After our kayaking tour, you’ll surely have worked up an appetite. We’ll find a place to grab dinner near the hotel.

    INCLUDED:
    — Airport Transfer
    — Bioluminescence Kayak Tour (2 hours)

    Overnight in Auckland – M Social Auckland

    Hotel

    This morning, we’ll have breakfast at the hotel and then walk across the street to the ferry terminal where we’ll board the ferry for a 40-minute ride to Waiheke Island, known as the “Island of Wine,” Waiheke boasts numerous boutique vineyards producing award-winning wines. Beyond its vineyards, Waiheke offers stunning beaches with pristine white sands and crystal-clear waters, perfect for swimming, kayaking, or simply relaxing in the sun. The island’s rugged coastline is dotted with picturesque coves and bays, while its interior is adorned with lush native bush, offering ample opportunities for hiking and exploring. Waiheke is also home to a vibrant arts community, with galleries showcasing the works of local artists and artisans. Whether indulging in wine tasting, enjoying outdoor adventures, or immersing oneself in the island’s artistic culture, Waiheke offers a captivating escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.

    The Hop-On-Hop-Off Explorer bus stops at 16 destination, so you can explore the island at your own pace. The bus stops at a selection of wineries, restaurants, shops, art galleries, beaches, and nature walks. Hop off and explore the destinations along the way or stay on the bus and enjoy a full scenic 1.5-hour loop tour.

    This evening, we’ll take the ferry back to Auckland and find a place to grab dinner.

    INCLUDED:
    — Meals: Breakfast
    — Ferry to Waihake Island (40 min)
    — Hop-On-Hop-Off Explorer Bus

    Overnight in Auckland – M Social Auckland

    Breakfast
    Hotel

    Today you’ll have the day free to explore this vibrant city. There are several must-see sights that capture the essence of the city’s beauty and cultural richness.

    Start your exploration with a visit to the iconic Sky Tower, offering panoramic views of the city skyline and beyond. Next, immerse yourself in nature at the Auckland Domain, a vast parkland featuring lush gardens and the Auckland War Memorial Museum. Stroll along the vibrant Viaduct Harbour, where you can enjoy waterfront dining and admire luxury yachts. Don’t miss the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, home to an extensive collection of artworks from New Zealand and around the world. Venture to Piha Beach on the west coast for surfing and exploring its rugged coastline. Climb to the summit of One Tree Hill/Maungakiekie for panoramic city views and historic monuments, then conclude your adventure with a visit to Auckland Zoo, where you can encounter native and exotic animals amidst beautifully landscaped gardens in Western Springs. These must-see sights offer a diverse range of experiences, ensuring there’s something for every visitor to enjoy in Auckland.

    INCLUDED:
    — Meals: Breakfast

    Overnight in Auckland – M Social Auckland

    Breakfast

    FAQs

    When is the best time to visit?

    Late November to March

    Do I need a Visa to visit New Zealand?

    US & Canadian Citizens traveling to or transiting through New Zealand will need an NZeTA to travel under the visa waiver program. It can take up to 72 hours to process an NZeTA, so apply well in advance of your trip. The NZeTA is valid for multiple visits for up to two years.

    How rough is the ferry ride to Waike Island?

    Generally, the ferry ride from Auckland to Waiheke Island is relatively short and the waters of the Hauraki Gulf are typically calm. However, if you're prone to motion sickness, it's a good idea to take precautions such as sitting near the center of the ferry where there is less movement, focusing on the horizon, and avoiding heavy meals before the journey. Additionally, over-the-counter motion sickness medication or natural remedies like ginger may help alleviate symptoms. If you're concerned about seasickness, it's advisable to consult with a healthcare professional before your trip.

    Is Waiheke part of Auckland?

    Yes. Waiheke Island is a suburb that lies within the Territorial Authority of Auckland, one of 269 residential suburbs which form the wider region. The Waiheke Local Board area includes, in addition to Waiheke Island, the islands of Rangitoto, Motutapu, Motokorea, Motuihe, Ponui, Rakino, and a number of smaller islands.

    How big is Waiheke Island?

    The island has an area of 92 square kilometers (35 sq mi) and is 19.3 km (12 miles) in length from West to East.

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    Auckland and Waiheke Island

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