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Beginning in Auckland, this all-gay New Zealand tour will leisurely guide you around the North Island. Together we’ll walk in the footsteps of the Māori, appreciating their sacred groves, kauri forests and geothermal pools. Over a traditional hāngi meal, we’ll break bread with a village elder and learn the traditional haka dance. We’ll paddle a 12m/40ft Waka Taua (war canoe) and stroll suspension bridges dangling from ancient redwoods. If you’re feeling brave, optional skydiving and bungee jumping activities are available. But then, so are massage treatments and spa packages… By the end of this tour, you’ll have earned a deep appreciation for this small but vibrant country.
If you’re looking to extend your stay in the wop wop (middle of nowhere), this tour is meant to be paired with our New Zealand: Active South Island Expedition.
Kia Ora! Welcome to Auckland, New Zealand. A shared airport shuttle will drive you to our joining point hotel. Upon arrival you’re welcome to unpack and relax after (likely) a very long journey. This afternoon we have a group meeting at 3PM where we’ll get acquainted with each other. Afterwards, our guide will take us on a private tour of the city before our official Welcome Dinner.
After a leisurely breakfast we’ll board a private transfer bound for the famous glowworm caves of Waitomo. We’ll enter the vast caverns and witness the glow of the local critters. Our guide will also regale us with a unique cultural story relevant to the area. Then it is on to nauseas Rotorua, an important Māori region characterised by the sulphur pools and bubbling mud pots. After lunch on your own, why not indulge in our schmancy hotel’s swimming pool, three spas and signature massage treatments. Finally, after tonight’s included group dinner, we’ll stroll the famous redwood forest and traverse the suspension bridges swinging from its ancient 75-metre high giants.
Good morning, Gentlemen! Today we’ll tour Te Puia with an LGBT guide and dig deeper into the local Māori culture Rotorua is famous for. Come face to face with Pōhutu Geyser, jumping mud pools, and live kiwi birds. We’ll watch master carvers and weavers at work, and hear stories passed down from their ancestors. If you’re feeling peckish, you’re welcome to grab lunch on your own. Later this afternoon we head to Kohutapu Lodge in Murupara—a Māori village—where you will experience a tribal tour by a village elder. The tribe will also give you a chance to learn the world-famous haka dance, and weave your own dinner plate using flax (a type of plant). Tonight’s dinner is a traditional hāngi meal. Buried underground, the dish braises in its own juices and becomes infused with a smoky, earthy fragrance—it will fill your puku (belly) right up!
Please note: Tonight’s accommodation is a 5-bedroom home. Single supplements will not apply to this evening’s accommodation as all rooms and facilities will be shared. Also, there is no Wi-Fi available at today’s accommodation—perhaps this is a good chance to unplug. Please see ‘Accommodation Examples’ further down for photos.
This morning we’re off to nearby Taupō. Have your togs, er, swimwear ready to dip into one of the natural hot springs along the way. Taupō is a gorgeous town that sits right on the country’s largest lake—in fact, it’s roughly the same size as Singapore. If there are any adrenaline junkies among us, this is the perfect destination to take a leap of faith with a tandem skydive, heartstopping bungee jump or swing. Your guide can book these as optional extras. For the faint of heart, perhaps a leisurely stroll along the scenic waterfront? Feel free to grab lunch on your own. This evening you can choose to take a soak in the healing and therapeutics waters of Wairakei Terraces. After a busy day, we’ll enjoy a relaxing dinner together.
After a scenic breakfast at our hotel, we’ll commandeer a private sailing boat and cruise Lake Taupō. Enjoy the crisp air and the mountainous scenery en route to a famous Māori rock carving site. Our skipper will regale us with stories from the lake and you’ll even have the chance to help hoist the sails and take a turn at the wheel. Weather permitting, feel free to belly flop into the crystal-clear waters. Back in Taupō, grab a quick lunch (Kiwi pie, anyone?) before we skip over to magical Hobbiton. Even if you’re not a Lord of the Rings fan, the majestic film set has the power to cast your imagination on a high-fantasy adventure.
Late-afternoon we’ll drive north towards Auckland, veering slightly off to the coast. Auckland’s wild west is renowned for its rugged beauty—this is where the Tasman Sea’s mighty surf crashes onto vast black-sand beaches. We’ll unpack and head out for a group dinner together.
Today we continue north. It’s a long drive but our guide will make stops along the way to stretch our legs and grab a late lunch. We’ll stop at Waipoua Forest, home of the kauri, one of the world’s mightiest trees. The largest kauri reach 50m/165f and have trunk girths of 16m/53f. Some saplings took root over 2,000 years ago. Our Footprints Waipoua tour will take its first steps in the early evening, guiding us through the important Māori forest. Afterwards, a free night awaits.
Today is our local guide’s government-mandated day off. While they’ll certainly be missed, we have a busy morning ahead on an exciting Waitangi River excursion. We’ll board and paddle a 12m/40ft Waka Taua (war canoe) along the tidal estuaries, absorbing the stories and ancient history of the Ngapuhi, New Zealand’s largest Māori tribe. After disembarking at the Treaty Grounds, we have free time to explore the little seaside village. If some of our group wishes, we can ferry to Russell, just a 15 minute boat ride. Tonight we’ll enjoy dinner together.
After a leisurely breakfast, we’ll further explore The Bay of Islands during a Hole in the Rock Dolphin Seeker Cruise. This special excursion will take us to a unique rock formation with a hole that, according to Māori legend, local warriors used to paddle through before departing for battle. Drops of water from the cave ceiling were a good omen. Beyond this formation, keep your eyes on the sea for marine wildlife. After lunch on your own, we’ll reboard our transfer and head back to Auckland for our glorious Farewell Dinner at one of the city’s best restaurants, a gay-owned Italian restaurant.
As the final day of our tour, there are no activities planned. Whether you’re continuing on to our gay New Zealand: Active South Island Expedition or heading home, a shared airport shuttle has been arranged. Safe travels!
Our fearless leader Rob offers his list of the most gay friendly countries in the world. Do you agree with his list?Read More
While these trips typically attract gay men, all genders are welcome, and we encourage friends and family to join the fun as well.Learn More
All accommodations on Out Adventures tours include breakfast and are located in areas central to our activities. All amenities are examples only, and may differ from hotel to hotel.
4-Star Hotels: Smart New Zealand designs with plush rooms and most amenities such as a restaurant, bar and breakfast area. Some featuring spas and special treatments. Customer service is excellent.
5-bedroom house: A 220 sqm2 building with polished floors, a full working kitchen with a large island, ducted heating, 3 full bathrooms and 2 additional washrooms (all facilities are shared). Single supplements will NOT apply for this one night.Learn More
This trip is fully booked but cancellations occur. If you’d like to be contacted if space opens up, please click “Book Now”, select the appropriate departure and you will be prompted to provide limited information.
If you are a solo traveller willing to share a room with another solo traveller, please select Shared/Twin Room when booking this tour.
If you are a solo traveller interested in booking a private room, please select single supplement when booking this tour (based on availability). If you are willing to share a room with another solo traveller, please select Solo Shared.
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