• This program is 100% carbon offset. World Expeditions Schools absorb the cost of credits mitigating 100% of the unavoidable carbon emissions as its ongoing commitment to responsible travel
  • Join purpose built cultural program with tourism and Maori leader Nadine at TKohu Tapu Lodge
  • Visit the stunning Bay of Islands
  • Explore the transitioning city of Auckland
  • Learn about Rangitoto Island conservation program
  • Maori cultural immersion program at Waitangi Treaty grounds
  • Cycle along the stunning Twin Coast Cycle Trail
  • Kayak at Hokianga Bay
  • Conservation program at Piha Beach
  • Explore the geothermal activity at Rotorua, Wai O Tapu Thermal Park
  • Learn about climate change and marine widlife
  • Student lead activity including planning conservation program and food management

This unique 12 day activity based journey is filled with cultural, historical and physical learnings across some of the most stunning locations on the North Islands. We visit and stay at Maori run farms and lodges and join cultural immersion programs with local peoples that will share hundreds of years of history. Our journey starts exploring the city of Auckland currently transitioning into a more sustainable and people friendly city. We head to Rangitoto Island which has undergone a significant conservation and restoration program before spending time at the culturally significant Waitangi Treaty grounds overlooking the stunning Bay of Islands. We then venture south cycling along the twin coast cycle trail to a Maori Marae farm where we will join a cultural immersion program. We swap the bikes for kayaks as we explore Hokianga Harbour and join a conservation program at Piha Beach. Our attention stays on the environment as we visit the geothermal wonderland at Wai O Tapu Thermal Park in Rotorua. Our program ends on a very special note participating in a special purpose built cultural immersion program at the award winning Kohu Tapu Lodge with local tourism legend and Maori leader Nadine.



Grading:Introductory to Moderate   


Please make your way to the International Airport with enough time to check in at least 2 hours prior to your flight. On arrival in New Zealand you will be met at the airport by your experienced guide and transferred to our centrally located hotel. Your guide will run through a full trip and safety briefing and team introduction. We will talk a short walk from our hotel to the nearby vibrant Viaduct Harbour area. Auckland is a city currently going through architectural change transforming into a more sustainable and people friendly area with public spaces being created with shady Pohutukawa Trees. We will discuss the changes being made and why, as we explore this region by foot and get up close to the harbour with he new ‘tidal shelf’ viewing areas reaching out over the water. We explore on foot before having a welcome meal at a local restaurant.

Meals:  D

A scenic walk from our accommodation through The Domain takes you to Auckland Museum. The Auckland Domain is the city's oldest park and is spacious and diverse. The 75 hectare park has been developed around the cone of an extinct volcano. The 'tuff rings' created by volcanic activity thousands of years ago can be seen in the land contours. We will walk along a route with sculptural works by some of New Zealand's leading artists showcasing their history and culture. At the museum we will explore the Maori and Pacifica Island exhibits through the aotearoa,engaging-the-indigenous program. This focuses on Indigenous New Zealanders who travelled West to Australia and make a unique contribution to Australian culture through their sensitivity to place. Then it’s a time to see first hand why they call Auckland the City of Sails, as we take a cruise across the Gulf to the beautiful Rangitoto Island; which at only 600 years old, is the youngest volcano in New Zealand. Rangitoto is dormant. We will learn about the Islands significant conservation and restoration programme which has rendered the island entirely pest-free which encourages the native flora and fauna to thrive. We will walk through lava fields and forests to the summit of the island which stands 259m above sea level and has some stunning panoramic views of Auckland and the Hauraki Gulf. Walk Profile- Rangitoto Island: Distance- 8.5 km/5 miles, total ascent 249m and descent 245m, approx. 2-3 hours.

Meals:  B,L,D

This morning after breakfast we join our private vehicle for the to Paihia. We will have numerous stops along the way to see the dramatic coastline and points of interest as we drive north to the Bay of Islands. The first we’ll come across is approximately 1 hour into the journey, called the Dome Valley Lookout. After we stop it is around a 40 minute one way walk that takes you through native bush to a lookout platform looking back out to the Mahurangi Peninsula and Hauraki Gulf. On arrival in Paihia we will check into our accommodation before we catch the mid-afternoon ferry across to Russell, New Zealand’s first permanent European settlement. There’ll be time to explore this interesting small town and learn about its colourful history, with the option to walk up the nearby Flagstaff Hill. Late this afternoon we return to Paihia.

Meals:  B,L,D

Today we will join an immersive cultural experience at Waitangi. The Waitangi Treaty Grounds offers an authentic and inspiring cultural immersion experience that encompasses powerful Maori cultural performances in a beautifully carved meeting house. The Maori cultural performance is world-class, with the Te Pitowhenua, performing arts group, delivering a high-energy show including a wero, waiata, poi and famous haka,that will leave you spellbound. We will get to meet the performers and ask them questions about their craft and culture. We can then explore the award winning museum and try our hand at the art of Maori carving overlooking the stunning Bay of Islands. This afternoon we return to Paihia.

Meals:  B,L,D

"The Twin Coast is at the historical heart of Aotearoa New Zealand. The trail is just a great way to experience a range of physical and cultural landscapes that will stay with you long after you've finished the ride." (Jonathan Kennett, Cycling Guru) After breakfast, a short drive takes us to Opua and the start of the Twin Coast Cycle. The trail heads off along an estuary edged with mangroves. The gentle trail continues alongside the tracks of a vintage steam railway and crosses a beautifully restored bridge before ending in the small rural town of Kawakawa. Next, we cycle through the town of Moerewa where we’ll the opportunity to overnight at Te Rito Marae. This is a family run Marae in a beautiful rural setting where we’ll be treated to an authentic Maori marae experience. After a traditional powhiri welcome onto the marae and some traditional story telling we will enjoy a traditional Hangi dinner. During the stay you will experience Maori history, place and people through evocative stories and activities. Overnight traditional Maori Marae farm

Meals:  B,L,D

This morning after breakfast we will farewell our hosts at the marae then we’ll drive through to Kaikohe to pick up the next section of the cycle trail. We start by climbing gently along an old railway corridor to reach a viewpoint 280m above sea level. After passing through a tunnel constructed in 1915, the trail descends to Lake Omapere where we will have a picnic lunch. After lunch, we tackle the last part of the ride through farmland before descending into the valley following a series of switchbacks. A 1200m-long boardwalk section then snakes through the mangrove estuary connecting us to the Hokianga Harbour. The trail ends in the quaint historical settlement of Horeke. After loading up we’ll drive round to the small coastal town of Omapere where we’ll spend the night.

Meals:  B,L,D

This morning after breakfast we will have a full safety check and breifing before embarking on a early morning kayak on the huge expanse of Hokianga Harbour. Known also as 'Te Kohanga o Te Tai Tokerau', the nest of the northern tribes as most Maori trace their ancestry to the discovery and settlement of this harbour, making it the birthplace of the Nation. We then drive south to join the Tane Mahuta walk to see the God of the forrest - New Zealand's largest living Kauri tree. We continue to Muriwai or Piha Beaches to embark on a local conservation program on the beach.

Meals:  B,L,D

Today we keep heading south into the Mighty Waikato – a land rich in agriculture, history and geothermal activity as we drive to Rotorua. We can learn about farming techniques and crops in this region as we undertake a number of short walks and explore places of historical and cultural significance.

Meals:  B,L,D

Today is a special day. This morning we visit the Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, a spectacular showcase of New Zealand’s most colourful and unique geothermal elements sculpted by thousands of years of volcanic activity. It’s vibrant geothermal activity combines to provide students with a multi-layered field study and a positive learning experience. The local guides can concentrate on specific geographic, tourism or sustainable aspects of the park to enhance the discovery process and meet curriculum needs. After our exploration we continue onto the award winning Kohu Tapu Lodge, surrounded by lush farmlands and forestry and overlooking the pristine Lake Aniwhenua - teeming with Rainbow and Brown trout. Owned and operated by the Ngati Manawa Tribe, with their whakapapa (family tree) stretching back to these lands 400 years before the Great Migration, they will share their culture and history with students.

Meals:  B,L,D

Today we will have a full day interactive and hands on cultural immersion program that will not only be highly educational but a lot of fun! Nadine who runs the program here will join your group for the days activities. Many of the Ngati Manawa stories have been handed down generation to generation and are waiting to be shared, along with plenty of interactive cultural activities and traditional kai (food) experiences. he group will visit several nearby sights including waterfalls and caves where significant events have taken place in Maori local history. Nadine is a leader in the tourism industry and Maori community and is developing an audience nationally to help further educate and make aware of the struggles her people are still facing. She is full of life, larger than life and funny too. Nadine will be with the group and deliver the program – she is a super star – and the students will love her!

Meals:  B,L,D

Today we will continue to explore at Kohu Tapu Lodge before joining our vehicle for the drive back to Auckland and the last night of our program.

Meals:  B,L,D

This morning we wake very early and transfer to Auckland Airport for our flight home.

Meals:  B

Addressing the UN Sustainable Development Goals

Good Health And Well-being:  Ensuring healthy lives and promoting the well-being for all at all ages is essential to sustainable development.

Quality Education:  Obtaining a quality education is the foundation to improving people’s lives and sustainable development.

Clean Water And Sanitation:  Clean, accessible water for all is an essential part of the world we want to live in.

Affordable And Clean Energy:  Energy is central to nearly every major challenge and opportunity.

Decent Work And Economic Growth:  Sustainable economic growth will require societies to create the conditions that allow people to have quality jobs.

Industry Innovation And Infrastructure:  Investments in infrastructure are crucial to achieving sustainable development.

Reduced Inequalities:  To reduce inequalities, policies should be universal in principle, paying attention to the needs of disadvantaged and marginalized populations.

Climate Action:  Climate change is a global challenge that affects everyone, everywhere.

Life On Land:  Sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation, halt biodiversity loss

Learning outcomes for students

A World Expeditions Schools adventure is a unique learning experience. Our journeys are designed to encourage thriving and positive youth development along with leaving the communities and environments where we travel in a better condition than when we arrived.
The programs are designed to enhance the following life skills that will help you grow as an individual:
• the confidence to lead a group and make decisions
• the value of working together as a cohesive team to achieve a common objective
• the ability to face mental and physical challenges
• the ability to adapt to new environments outside of their 'comfort zone'
• to appreciate and care for the natural environment. The environments we trek through are beautiful and often pristine, invariably the students will gain a deeper appreciation and understanding about how their individual actions impact on the environment
• build strong friendships and bonds with their peers and also the local peoples
• basic outdoor skills obtained on trek such as personal hygiene, pitching a tent, helping to prepare meals
Importantly our adventures help increase general well-being and build resilience in young men and women to help them deal with adverse situations in life.
World Expeditions Schools absorbs the cost of credits mitigating 100% of the unavoidable carbon emissions. This is our commitment to being part of the solution to climate crises.


  • International Airfares including tax and fuel surcharges
  • 11 breakfasts, 10 lunches, 11 dinners
  • 11 nights lodge / dorm with shared facilities
  • Teachers in single rooms
  • 2 Professional qualified driver/guides
  • Private vehicle transport including all airport transfers
  • All activities as mentioned in itinerary
  • Traditional Maori welcome and cultural greeting at marae
  • Bike hire and helmet
  • Equipment required during coastal restoration project
  • Water, snacks and fruit during activities
  • Dept of Conservation concessions fees
  • NZ Goods and Services Tax (GST)
  • Cultural immersion program at Kohu Tapu

  • All beverages, other than breakfast
  • Water bottle (please help us save the environment and bring your own water bottle or hydration pack)
  • Optional activities not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Personal expenses (eg. phone calls, internet, laundry, shopping etc)
  • Travel insurance

About Your Leader

Our guides in New Zealand are one of our biggest assets. We pride ourselves on the standard and quality of these great people who you will be spending your holiday with. All are certified in first aid and CPR and many are advanced mountain guides.


Introductory to Moderate

Customise your program

We can fully customise a School Travel Program to suit your students' learning objectives and budget. Whether you require a Service Learning program, physical challenge, cultural immersion or certain curriculum targets - talk to one of our educational travel experts about the elements you need in your itinerary. We pride ourselves on developing unique itineraries to meet the learning requirements for schools.

World Expeditions Schools is a division of one of the world's leading adventure travel companies, World Expeditions. We can develop itineraries in any destination that is offered by World Expeditions, which is to every continent on earth.

Use our simple Expedition Design Form to contact us with your requirements and an educational travel expert will be in touch to assist.

Why travel with us

Why travel with us

Assisted over
14,000 Students Worldwide

Since the 1980's, we have helped students from around the globe to experience the world's most exciting destinations, allowing them to travel, give, grow.

400+ Service Learning

Together with students, we have completed over 400 Service Learning programs in developing countries. We will always continue to support causes including social justice, animal welfare, the environment and more.

Fully Customised
School Travel Programs

Want to include service learning, your school curriculum and a physical challenge, or any of the above? Contact us and we can design a program fully catered for your students and budget.

Safety and
Support - Our #1 Priority

Every school receives a detailed risk management plan that is guided by government advisories and the local partners we work with. We never compromise on the safety of your students to reduce the price of the program.


Want to find out more?

Our educational travel experts are ready to help you tailor an itinerary or service learning project to suit your school’s needs and budget. Contact us today to receive a free consultation.

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