A day out of town can do wonders to refresh and revive even the weariest of city slickers. Lucky for those in Auckland, the area surrounding the city has innumerable options to get some much-needed fresh air – from the Hauraki Gulf to magnificent underground cave systems. Hop in your car (or onto a ferry) and get exploring.
Waiheke Island ticks all the day-trip boxes: idyllic beaches, divine vineyards and incredible views back towards the city, all within a 40-minute ferry ride of downtown Auckland. With its lush bushland and slower pace of life, you’ll be on island time within minutes of stepping off the ferry, ready to spend the day sunning by the sea or sampling some of the country’s best wines.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Combining the best of the island’s two draw cards – wine and nature – this tour will have you traversing through the island’s rugged bushland one minute, and sipping award-winning wines the next. Your guide will point out some of New Zealand’s famously shy wildlife, talk through the native plants and provide context to the magnificent views you will encounter along the way. Afterwards, rest your legs at one of the island’s best vineyards, and sample a few different grape varieties over a delicious lunch.
With its pristine white-sand beaches, bush-lined coast and bleached-white cliff faces, it’s no surprise the Coromandel has been immortalised in film, such as the Chronicles of Narnia series. It’s the perfect depiction of what New Zealand has to offer: wild landscapes and wide-open spaces that are an excellent antidote to hectic city life.
As it’s not known for its smooth roads, this day tour of the Coromandel allows you to access some of the peninsula’s more remote spots, which less confident drivers might struggle to reach. Your guide will drop you off at Stony Bay where you will begin the 10-kilometre (6.2-mile) hike to Fletcher Bay, where you will be collected. This route immerses you in the country’s natural grandeur, taking you along craggy cliff faces and through native bush, with the sparkling ocean alongside you. Don’t forget your swimsuit to make the most of the swimming spot at the end of the trail; having been tempted by the ocean for the duration of your walk, you’ll want to dive straight in.
With the Waikato River snaking through its centre, and a flourishing food and drink scene, once-overlooked Hamilton is coming into its own. The city’s most prominent attraction is the Hamilton Gardens, where thousands of plant and flower species flourish in themed garden designs. A day wandering its pathways is best paired with a meal at one of the city’s impressive restaurants.
Explore and interact with endangered species of flora and fauna at Sanctuary Mountain. Surrounded by predator-proof fences, it’s a place where at-risk species can flourish without the human and animal impact that has threatened their habitats elsewhere. Your knowledgeable guide will explain the species to you, the reasons they’re endangered and the process of regeneration at Sanctuary Mountain. Your entry fee will go towards local conservation, helping to preserve this important and delicate ecosystem.
The town of Waitomo might be small, but the real reason people visit is underground. A series of limestone caves run under the earth, formed by the ocean around 30 million years ago. They are now home to thousands of ethereal glow-worms, which light up the limestone roofs like a starry sky.
Experience one of the greatest natural wonders in the country. Put on your boots and helmet, and prepare to descend underground, hiking among boulders and streams through this magnificent space. The tour is limited to six people, allowing you a much more atmospheric and personalised experience. Expect to be filled in on the history of the caves alongside the fascinating biology of the worms themselves. Turning off your head torch in an echoing cave lit up by countless tiny glow-worms is an experience you won’t soon forget.
Rotorua is home to some of the world’s most active geothermal activity, making it infamous for its citywide sulphurous rotten-egg aroma, and earning it the nickname Sulphur City. But don’t let that put you off. Its billowing geysers, geothermal mud pools and magnificent lakes will be spectacular enough to distract you.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.