Fine Tours New Zealand
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7 Day North Island Explorer

Wellington to Auckland, 7 days 6 nights self drive tour, staying in Hotel 3 star

7 Day North Island Explorer
7 Day North Island Explorer
7 Day North Island Explorer
7 Day North Island Explorer

Tour map

Travel through the heart of the North Island on this 7 day adventure. Begin in Wellington, famous for its vibrant creative culture and fantastic food, wine, craft beer and coffee. From here you will cross the Rimitaka Ranges and travel through the Wairarapa to Hawke's Bay, visiting the largest mainland gannet colony in the world. In Taupo, take a ride on the Huka Jet for a close look at the might Huka Falls, then it's on to Rotorua for a real taste of New Zealand Maori culture and a forest canopy tour. Carry on north to Auckland city, where you will climb the famous Auckland Harbor Bridge before rounding off your action packed weekend.

The approximate total driving distance and time for this itinerary is: 768 kms / 477 miles, 9.4 hours

You can expect to spend around NZ$111 in fuel cost on this itinerary based on an intermediate sized car.

 

Day 1

Welcome to Wellington

Private transfer Wellington airport to hotel

You will be met on arrival into Wellington airport and transferred to your hotel.

Welcome to Wellington

Welcome to Wellington
Welcome to Wellington
Welcome to Wellington
Welcome to Wellington

Wellington City is New Zealand's capital. It sits on a wonderful deep natural harbour and is surrounded by bush clad hills. The city centre itself is quite compact (only around 1 square kilometre) and so exploring on foot is relatively easy. From your city centre accommodation you can easily stroll the cafes and restaurants around Courtenay Place and if you arrive early enough New Zealand's national museum, Te Papa, is also close by.

Your accommodation - Travelodge Wellington

Style: Hotel 3 star

Accommodation features

  • Check in time: 2 pm
  • Check out time: 11 am
  • Walk time to shops/restaurants: 2-5 mins
  • Parking: onsite paid parking NZ$20-NZ$30 per 24 hrs
  • Internet facilities: In room free access
  • Restaurant on site
  • Breakfast service available
  • Tea/coffee facilities in room
  • Room service available
Travelodge Wellington
Travelodge Wellington
Travelodge Wellington
Travelodge Wellington
 

Day 2

Today you'll cross the Rimutaka Ranges and travel through the Wairarapa to the Hawkes Bay

Driving distance and time: 320 kms / 199 miles : 4.0 hours

 

Times are based on averages for this specific route and allow for stops. Use these times as guidelines and to assist in the planning for your day.

 

Today collect your rental vehicle for your Fine Tours New Zealand holiday

Today collect your rental vehicle for your Fine Tours New Zealand holiday
Today collect your rental vehicle for your Fine Tours New Zealand holiday
Today collect your rental vehicle for your Fine Tours New Zealand holiday
Today collect your rental vehicle for your Fine Tours New Zealand holiday

Collect your rental vehicle for your Fine Tours New Zealand holiday.  You can choose from an extensive range of late model cars and 4WD vehicles, from Europcar, Budget or Hertz.

GPS navigation system

Use the latest GPS technology as you tour New Zealand. Your portable GPS features a simple touch screen interface with automatic route calculation and turn-by-turn voice-prompted directions including street name announcement. The automotive-grade GPS unit is easy to use and has multiple language options.

Wellington to Napier

Wellington to Napier
Wellington to Napier
Wellington to Napier
Wellington to Napier

Leaving Welllington today you will first pass the Wairarapa on the eastern side of the Rimutaka Ranges. A significant contrast to the hills of Wellington, it's rich pastures and boutique vineyards of Martinborough give way to grassy plains and rugged coastal shores. Go through Greytown, home to the largest number of wooden buildings in the country then stop in Masterton, a small farming town known for its Golden Shears competition - where shearers compete for the title of fastest shearer. Continue on to Hawkes Bay and Havelock North before arriving in Napier, the art deco capital of New Zealand.

Your accommodation - Art Deco Masonic Hotel

Style: Boutique lodges & hotels

Accommodation features

  • Check in time: 2 pm
  • Check out time: 10 am
  • Walk time to shops/restaurants: 2-5 mins
  • Parking: onsite paid parking NZ$10-NZ$15 per 24 hrs
  • Internet facilities: In room free access
  • Restaurant on site
  • Breakfast service available
  • Bar on site
  • Tea/coffee facilities in room
  • Hairdryer
  • All rooms non smoking
Art Deco Masonic Hotel
Art Deco Masonic Hotel
Art Deco Masonic Hotel
Art Deco Masonic Hotel
 

Day 3

Visit the largest mainland gannet colony in the world

Cape Kidnappers Gannet Beach Adventures

Cape Kidnappers Gannet Beach Adventures
Cape Kidnappers Gannet Beach Adventures
Cape Kidnappers Gannet Beach Adventures
Cape Kidnappers Gannet Beach Adventures

On this unique four hour eco-adventure you will get to experience one of the largest and most accessible mainland gannet colonies in the world. You'll be pulled on a trailer from the back of a vintage tractor along the beach to the Black Reef Colony - where you'll have the chance to see the birds in their natural habitat. Depending on the season, visitors can witness new-born chicks through to four month old gannets preparing for their first ever flight, which will take them all the way to Australia. Continuing on to the Cape, you'll break for 90 minutes which enables visitors the chance to picnic, swim or enjoy a scenic walk to the Plateau Colony.

Your accommodation - Art Deco Masonic Hotel

Style: Boutique lodges & hotels

 

Day 4

Journey from Napier to Taupo, then experience the thrill of the Huka Falls Jet Boat

Driving distance and time: 130 kms / 81 miles : 1.5 hours

 

Times are based on averages for this specific route and allow for stops. Use these times as guidelines and to assist in the planning for your day.

 

Napier to Taupo

Napier to Taupo
Napier to Taupo
Napier to Taupo
Napier to Taupo

Crossing the Ahimanawa Ranges you arrive into the town of Taupo sitting on New Zealand's largest lake, Lake Taupo - a gigantic volcanic caldera formed during one of the world’s largest ever eruptions.  Just north of the Taupo are the Huka Falls and a short detour to view is advised. The Huka Jet can get you much closer with a thrilling jet boat ride. Nearby Craters of the Moon is a geothermal reserve with great walking tracks around its many boiling pools and steaming vents. Taupo is a lively place with many shops, bars and cafes all catering for the traveller and visitor. A whole host of activities can be undertaken here such as bungy jumping, sky diving, fishing for trout in the lake and rivers, kayaking, sailing, horse riding and walking and hiking to name but a few.

Hukafalls Jet Boat Ride

Hukafalls Jet Boat Ride
Hukafalls Jet Boat Ride
Hukafalls Jet Boat Ride
Hukafalls Jet Boat Ride

The Huka Jet is 30 minutes of pure fun and exhilaration, skimming close to cliffs, sliding past trees, feeling the adrenalin of full 360 degree spins. The excitement continues right up to the base of the foaming Huka Falls, where you get a spectacular water level view to New Zealand's most visited natural attraction. Nothing compares to watching 220,000 litres per second tumbling over the cliff face towards you. The water from the mighty Huka Falls runs down the Waikato River through a series of Hydro Power Stations. You'll get a view of the Wairakei Geothermal Power Station in the comfort of a powerful Chevrolet V8 jet boat. This unique Geothermal Power Station uses underground geothermal activity to produce hot steamy water. The Waikato Rivers beautiful environment is varied and unique and is New Zealand's longest river flowing north from our largest lake - Lake Taupō.

Your accommodation - Suncourt Hotel & Conference Centre

Style: Hotel 3 star

Accommodation features

  • Check in time: 2 pm
  • Check out time: 10 am
  • Walk time to shops/restaurants: 2-5 mins
  • Parking: onsite free parking
  • Internet facilities: On site free access
  • Restaurant on site
  • Breakfast service available
  • Dinner service available
  • Bar on site
  • Tea/coffee facilities in room
  • Room service available
  • Hairdryer
  • Laundry facilities: On site
  • Laundry facilities: Drycleaning service available
  • Swimming pool
  • Childrens playground
  • All rooms non smoking
Suncourt Hotel & Conference Centre
Suncourt Hotel & Conference Centre
Suncourt Hotel & Conference Centre
Suncourt Hotel & Conference Centre
 

Day 5

Today it's a short drive to Rotorua, then explore the forest

Driving distance and time: 76 kms / 47 miles : 0.9 hours

 

Times are based on averages for this specific route and allow for stops. Use these times as guidelines and to assist in the planning for your day.

 

Taupo to Rotorua

Taupo to Rotorua
Taupo to Rotorua
Taupo to Rotorua
Taupo to Rotorua

The drive today takes you through the city of Rotorua, famous for its bubbling mud pools and Maori culture. Wai O Tapu Thermal Wonderland and the Waimangu Volcanic Valley are well signposted on the highway between the two towns. On Rotorua's lake front Volcanic Air Safaris offer scenic flights over Mt. Tarawera or for a longer trip to White Island, one of the most active volcanoes in the region. The Rotorua Museum and Blue Baths in the Government Gardens offer one of the best displays of any museum in the country. Focussing on local history the eruption of Mt. Tarawera in 1886 is brought to life.

Rotorua Canopy Tours: The Original Canopy Tour

Rotorua Canopy Tours: The Original Canopy Tour
Rotorua Canopy Tours: The Original Canopy Tour
Rotorua Canopy Tours: The Original Canopy Tour
Rotorua Canopy Tours: The Original Canopy Tour

Embark on a three hour adventure through native New Zealand forest. Journey through the beautiful forest canopy via an incredible network of trails, tree platforms, Ziplines and swing bridges. See breathtaking views of the woodland valleys and hills as you fly through tight openings in the trees.In between the thrill of the ziplines and suspended tree bridges, your guides will share their passion and knowledge for the forest and the conservation challenges to preserve it. 

Your accommodation - Sudima Lake Rotorua

Style: Hotel 3 star

Accommodation features

  • Check in time: 2 pm
  • Check out time: 11 am
  • Parking: onsite free parking
  • Internet facilities: In room paid access
  • Restaurant on site
  • Bar on site
  • Tea/coffee facilities in room
  • Hairdryer
  • Swimming pool
Sudima Lake Rotorua
Sudima Lake Rotorua
Sudima Lake Rotorua
Sudima Lake Rotorua
 

Day 6

Travel North to Auckland City

Driving distance and time: 219 kms / 136 miles : 2.6 hours

 

Times are based on averages for this specific route and allow for stops. Use these times as guidelines and to assist in the planning for your day.

 

Rotorua to Auckland

Rotorua to Auckland
Rotorua to Auckland
Rotorua to Auckland
Rotorua to Auckland

The drive from Rotorua to Auckland takes you through the heart of the Waikato and its rich agricultural land. New Zealand's longest river - the Waikato - guides you through the art and craft stores of Tirau and the township of Cambridge. Continue on a little further to arrive into Auckland City, your destination for the night.

Auckland Harbour Bridge Climb

Auckland Harbour Bridge Climb
Auckland Harbour Bridge Climb
Auckland Harbour Bridge Climb
Auckland Harbour Bridge Climb

This spectacular AJ Hackett walking tour is the only bridge climb in New Zealand and the ultimate way to experience the iconic Auckland Harbour Bridge. All walkways are custom engineered and gentle sloping archways mean this activity is suitable for all ages. As you're guided to the top you'll be greeted with a 360 degree, panoramic view of the sparkling Waitemata harbour. See the best of the city from above and learn all about the secrets of the bridge!

Your accommodation - Hotel Grand Chancellor Auckland City

Style: Hotel 3 star

Meals included: Dinner

Accommodation features

  • Check in time: 2 pm
  • Check out time: 10 am
  • Walk time to shops/restaurants: 5-10 mins
  • Parking: onsite paid parking NZ$20-NZ$30 per 24 hrs
  • Internet facilities: In room paid access
  • Restaurant on site
  • Breakfast service available
  • Bar on site
  • Tea/coffee facilities in room
  • Kitchen/kitchenette in room
  • Room service available
  • Hairdryer
  • Laundry facilities: On site
  • Swimming pool
  • Gym/fitness centre
  • All rooms non smoking
Hotel Grand Chancellor Auckland City
Hotel Grand Chancellor Auckland City
Hotel Grand Chancellor Auckland City
Hotel Grand Chancellor Auckland City
 

Day 7

Explore more of Auckland, before departing for home

Driving distance and time: 25 kms / 16 miles : 0.4 hours

 

Times are based on averages for this specific route and allow for stops. Use these times as guidelines and to assist in the planning for your day.

 

Depart Auckland today

Explore more of vibrant Auckland city before dropping your rental car at the airport depot and continuing your onward journey.

 
 
price from
NZ$ 1,435.00 pp (small car, low season - details)

This tour includes