Heart of the North Taster Hiking and Food Tour

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Explore the Waikato by foot in the heart of the North Island and enjoy local flavours on our 3-day taster experience.


Duration: 3 Days
Starts in: Auckland
Ends in: Auckland
Group Size: 4-10
Difficulty: 3/5

Operated by:

Nature and Nosh Tours New Zealand

Nature and Nosh offer guided hiking tours (pack-free!) for small groups. Experience stunning day walks and sample regional flavours. Stay in boutique accommodation local fo...

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Perfect for people who like small group hiking tours and enjoy sampling local produce. Our passionate outdoor guides lead us up Sanctuary Mountain, where the air is filled with bird song in a forest alive with some of our rarest native birds, thanks to a world-class conservation project. Immerse yourself in local culture and taste traditional Māori delicacies on the mountain's marae. Hike to the top of the tallest waterfall in the North Island and take in the views before we reward our efforts with a trip to the land of award-winning ice cream. Taste the creamiest gelato made from premium jersey cow milk fed on lush Waikato pastures. Leave your hiking boots behind as we head to local fifth-generation, family owned and operated winery and sample multi-award winning wines.Stay two nights at our charming country guesthouse enjoying homely kiwi meals prepared by our local hosts with love.

All inclusive. Return transfers from Auckland. Prices are per person, double/twin share.

Day One: Sunday

10km (6 miles) / 3 hours walking (easy grade). Your journey starts from either Auckland or Hamilton where our guide will collect you. South bound, we head for the famous Blue Springs of Putaruru, with water so pure and clear it supplies around 70% of New Zealand’s bottled water. Now we are ready for our first walk of the tour along the banks of the pristine turquoise stream leading to Te Waihou. Our next stop is a boutique specialty cheese factory and deli where you have the opportunity to sample handcrafted cheeses, in a region known for its dairy farming. Gathering at our guesthouse at the base of Sanctuary mountain we take in the full profile of tomorrow's climb over a glass of wine. We guarantee you will be made to feel right at home with Mary's delicious cooking where you'll be treated to no less than a four-course meal. Get used to it, because you'll be eating like kings and queens for the next two nights!

Day Two: Monday

10km (6 miles) / 4-5 hours hiking (hard grade). Wake to the dawn chorus of native birds singing their happy song thanks to the sanctuary sitting above us. Fuel up at breakfast before a short drive delivers us to the far side of the mountain where we begin our grand traverse. Explore the functioning ecosystem on Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari which is as close to the pre-human New Zealand environment as it’s possible to find. A trip to the local marae to try some 'kai timo timo' - traditional Maori fare and delicacies makes for a unique cultural experience and a memorable afternoon, before heading back to base for a four-course meal cooked by the lovely Mary.

Day Three: Tuesday

5km (3.7 miles) / 4 hours hiking (moderate grade). Relish in a leisurely morning and home made breakfast before climbing to the top of the tallest waterfall in the North Island. Plunging 153m from the Kaimai range above, a well maintained track winds across bridges with lovely views of cascades, before reaching to our first view of the falls. From here we climb to the top of the falls for a breath-taking view over the valley and Waikato plains. To reward our efforts, we head to local dairy farm to taste handmade gelato made from full cream jersey cow milk fed on lush Waikato pastures. A visit to a local family-owned and operated winery where we are treated the tastes of their multi-award winning wines rounds off our day before we take you back to Hamilton or Auckland with fond memories and a sweet taste in your mouth.

Note: This itinerary should be seen as a guide only and is subject to change at any time due to elements outside our control. We will always endeavour to stick as closely to this itinerary as possible to deliver the best experience to you. The above doesn't detail all 'Nosh' experiences in full as we like to keep some things a surprise!


  • Return shuttle transfers from Auckland or Hamilton.
  • Comfortable and spacious transport with air conditioning.

  • Professional local guide and assistant guide with local knowledge and stories leading the way.

  • Charming and comfortable country guesthouse with local hosts.

  • ALL meals. Cooked and continental breakfast options, nutritious and uniquely Kiwi packed lunches, wholesome evening meals with a glass of New Zealand wine, beer or drop of your choice. (Sunday - lunch + dinner, Monday - breakfast, lunch, dinner, Tuesday - breakfast + lunch)

  • Delicious food experiences unique to Nature and Nosh Tours (our secret ingredient!).

  • First aid kits, safety equipment and all your fresh New Zealand drinking water.


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Add your business today to reach The Outbound's audience of adventurous travelers.