Fine Tours New Zealand
Call us FREE in New Zealand on 1855 277 3818
Call us FREE in New Zealand on 1855 277 3818

Similar itineraries

Auckland to Queenstown 11 day highlights

11 days starting in Auckland, finishing in Queenstown
Accommodation style: Hotel 4 star

Auckland to Christchurch 11 day Splendour

11 days starting in Auckland, finishing in Christchurch
Accommodation style: Boutique lodges & hotels

Classic Wellington to Auckland touring route

11 days starting in Wellington, finishing in Auckland
Accommodation style: Boutique lodges & hotels

 

Classic upper North Island touring route

Auckland to Auckland, 11 days 10 nights self drive tour, staying in Boutique lodges & hotels

Classic upper North Island touring route
Classic upper North Island touring route
Classic upper North Island touring route
Classic upper North Island touring route

Tour map

Starting and finishing in Auckland, this classic route takes you north to the stunning Bay of Islands, featuring countless beautiful beaches. Throw in the heritage of the area along with the natural wonders of the central North Island, and you have a memorable and rewarding travel experience. Return south from the Bay of Islands via the Kauri Coast towards the beaches and bush of the Coromandel Peninsula. Spend some time exploring the volcanic central plateau and limestone regions of Waitomo, before returning to finish up your vacation back in Auckland.

The approximate total driving distance and time for this itinerary is: 1449 kms / 898 miles, 19.9 hours

You can expect to spend around NZ$209 in fuel cost on this itinerary based on an intermediate sized car.

 

Day 1

Arrive Auckland, transfer to accommodation and rest of day at leisure

Personal meet and greet, and private transfer to your accommodation

On arrival you will be met by one of our team and driven to your Auckland accommodation.

Your tour documentation pack and support

Your tour documentation pack and support
Your tour documentation pack and support
Your tour documentation pack and support
Your tour documentation pack and support

Once you touch down in New Zealand your detailed tour pack will be hand delivered by one of our trusted representatives. The pack contains everything you need for the duration of your stay. It will include a comprehensive, printed and bound version of your itinerary as well as clear driving instructions and maps for each leg of your journey. It also contains all the reservation details for your accommodation and activities - along with relevant brochures and information. While in New Zealand we offer 24 hour support - details on how to contact us at any time will be well documented.

Welcome to Auckland City

Welcome to Auckland City
Welcome to Auckland City
Welcome to Auckland City
Welcome to Auckland City

Auckland, New Zealand’s self-proclaimed ‘City of Sails’ is the country’s largest metro area. Resting between the Pacific Ocean and the Tasman Sea, this urban paradise has something for everyone. Surrounded by native bush, rainforests and an abundance of beaches, Auckland is a playground for both the city savvy and those with an eye for adventure. Explore the central museums and galleries on foot, or take a drive through one of over 800 regional National Parks to see deserted beaches, waterfalls and native forest.

Your accommodation - Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour

Style: Luxury 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$35-NZ$45 per 24 hrs
  • Internet facilities: In room free access
  • Restaurant on site
  • Breakfast service available
  • Bar on site
  • Tea/coffee facilities in room
  • Room service available
  • Hairdryer
  • Laundry facilities: Drycleaning service available
  • Swimming pool
  • Gym/fitness centre
Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour
Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour
Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour
Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour
 

Day 2

Collect your rental car and head north to the tropical Bay of Islands

Driving distance and time: 230 kms / 143 miles : 3.3 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.

Auckland to Russell, Bay of Islands

Auckland to Russell, Bay of Islands
Auckland to Russell, Bay of Islands
Auckland to Russell, Bay of Islands
Auckland to Russell, Bay of Islands

The drive from Auckland to the Bay of Islands normally takes around three and a half hours - but plan to take a little longer for there are many things to see along the way. Stretch your legs in Puhoi, New Zealand's only Bohemian settlement. Go through Warkworth, and Whangarei and see the world famous hundertwasser toilets in Kawakawa. Arriving into Russell via the Opua Ferry, you'll be greeted by lush bush-clad hillsides dropping to golden sandy beaches

Your accommodation - Arcadia Lodge, Russell

Style: Boutique lodges & hotels

Meals included: Breakfast

Accommodation features

  • Check in time: 3 pm
  • Check out time: 11 am
  • Walk time to shops/restaurants: 2-5 mins
  • Internet facilities: In room free access
  • Includes continental breakfast
  • Includes cooked breakfast
  • Hairdryer
  • All rooms non smoking
Arcadia Lodge, Russell
Arcadia Lodge, Russell
Arcadia Lodge, Russell
Arcadia Lodge, Russell
 

Day 3

A full day to explore the Bay of Islands marine reserve

Explore the Bay of Islands

Explore the Bay of Islands
Explore the Bay of Islands
Explore the Bay of Islands
Explore the Bay of Islands

Commonly known as the ‘winterless north’ New Zealand’s Bay of Islands is made up of over 140 subtropical atolls. Renowned for its untouched beaches, abundant marine life and idyllic climate, this tropical paradise ticks all the boxes. Spend some time on a remote stretch of beach, or cool off during a ‘swim with dolphins’ ocean safari. If diving is your thing, take the morning to descend the Rainbow Warrior - The Greenpeace flagship sunk by French saboteurs in 1985. Wander around Russell, a whaling port founded in 1843. Learn about our culture in historic Waitangi, the site where The Treaty of Waitangi was signed in 1840 between the Maori and European settlers dictating the terms by which New Zealand would become a British colony. Take a travel day to Cape Reinga, the very top of the North Island.

Your accommodation - Arcadia Lodge, Russell

Style: Boutique lodges & hotels

Meals included: Breakfast

 

Day 4

Cross the width of the country to the west coast

Driving distance and time: 84 kms / 52 miles : 1.1 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.

 

Bay of Islands to Hokianga

Bay of Islands to Hokianga
Bay of Islands to Hokianga
Bay of Islands to Hokianga
Bay of Islands to Hokianga

Heading west from the Bay of Islands you leave the Pacific Ocean and travel through the quirky township of Kawakawa, home of the funky Hundertwasser public toilets. Continue through rural Northland and you soon arrive into the Hokianga and the wilder seas of the Tasman. The small townships of Omapere and Opononi have a great seaside feel and the perfect place to stop for an ice cream.

Your accommodation - The Heads Luxury Villas

Style: Boutique lodges & hotels

Meals included: Breakfast

Accommodation features

  • Check in time: 2 pm
  • Check out time: 10 am
  • Parking: onsite free parking
  • Internet facilities: In room paid access
  • Restaurant on site
  • Breakfast service available
  • Bar on site
  • Tea/coffee facilities in room
  • Room service available
  • Hairdryer
  • Laundry facilities: On site
  • Swimming pool
  • All rooms non smoking
The Heads Luxury Villas
The Heads Luxury Villas
The Heads Luxury Villas
The Heads Luxury Villas
 

Day 5

Explore the Kauri Coast as you head south, then cross country to the east coast

Driving distance and time: 192 kms / 119 miles : 2.8 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.

 

Hokianga to Mangawhai

Hokianga to Mangawhai
Hokianga to Mangawhai
Hokianga to Mangawhai
Hokianga to Mangawhai

Leaving the Hokianga Harbour, journey South through rolling farmland and towering native forest before arriving at your seaside destination Mangawhai, home to beautiful beaches, vineyards and olive groves.

Your accommodation - Mangawhai Lodge Bed and Breakfast

Style: Bed & breakfast (B&B)

Meals included: Breakfast

Accommodation features

  • Check in time: 2 pm
  • Check out time: 10 am
  • Walk time to shops/restaurants: 10-15 mins
  • Parking: onsite free parking
  • Internet facilities: In room free access
  • Includes cooked breakfast
  • Tea/coffee facilities in room
  • Hairdryer
  • All rooms non smoking
Mangawhai Lodge Bed and Breakfast
Mangawhai Lodge Bed and Breakfast
Mangawhai Lodge Bed and Breakfast
Mangawhai Lodge Bed and Breakfast
 

Day 6

Drive the Pacific Coast Highway around the Coromandel Peninsula

Driving distance and time: 295 kms / 183 miles : 4.1 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.

 

Mangawhai to Coromandel Township and Kuaotunu

Mangawhai to Coromandel Township and Kuaotunu
Mangawhai to Coromandel Township and Kuaotunu
Mangawhai to Coromandel Township and Kuaotunu
Mangawhai to Coromandel Township and Kuaotunu

Leaving the idyllic Mangawhai region behind you head south on State Highway 1 back towards Auckland, the city of sails. The route takes you through the farming regions of Wellsford and Warkworth. Pass through the suburbs of the North Shore before crossing the harbour bridge and into the heart of Auckland City. Once you leave the city boundaries the landscape changes to rolling lush farmland. The fertile Hauraki Plains are one of New Zealand's largest dairy producing regions. The Thames Estuary is a haven for wildlife in particular shore birds and a short detour to Miranda (well sign posted) is worthwhile to see the large flocks of godwits and oyster catchers amongst others. Arriving into the old gold town of Thames follow the scenic route north to Coromandel Township along the Pohutukawa Coast (part of the Pacific Coast Highway). This is one of the most spectacular drives in the region and not to be missed. Coromandel Township was named after HMS Coromandel which visited the bay in 1820 to collect spars. Although the timber trade was providing the towns inhabitants with work in the early 1800's, it was the gold rush of the 1850's that contributed to the towns success and growth. The first gold strike, by Charles Ring, in 1852 was short lived when it was discovered the precious metal had to be hacked from rock with hand tools. Later in 1869 alluvial gold was found at Tokatea Hill and the boom started in earnest. The population soared to a staggering 10, 000 people compare with today's estimate of just 1,400. Old buildings from these pioneering times can still be seen in the picturesque little town and there is also a gold mining museum. Craft shops and cafes also line the street. About 3 kilometres north is Driving Creek Railway, a narrow gauge track that can take you into the heart of the Coromandel and its regenerating kauri forest.  From Coromandel you head east to the small holiday settlement of Kuaotunu.

Your accommodation - Kuaotunu Bay Lodge

Style: Boutique lodges & hotels

Meals included: Breakfast

Accommodation features

  • Check in time: 3 pm
  • Check out time: 11 am
  • Parking: onsite free parking
  • Internet facilities: In room free access
  • Includes continental breakfast
  • Includes cooked breakfast
  • Tea/coffee facilities in room
  • Hairdryer
  • All rooms non smoking
Kuaotunu Bay Lodge
Kuaotunu Bay Lodge
Kuaotunu Bay Lodge
Kuaotunu Bay Lodge
 

Day 7

Continue along the beaches and bays of the Coromandel and then into the heartland and Rotorua

Driving distance and time: 238 kms / 148 miles : 3.6 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.

 

Kuaotunu (Coromandel) to Rotorua

Kuaotunu (Coromandel) to Rotorua
Kuaotunu (Coromandel) to Rotorua
Kuaotunu (Coromandel) to Rotorua
Kuaotunu (Coromandel) to Rotorua

Heading down the east coast you pass through the town of Whitianga and from here you can take the small foot ferry over to Cooks Beach and Flaxmill Bay. A little further south is the famous Hot Water Beach and the holiday town of Hahei. Cathedral Cove is a popular walk and is well worth the effort to view the massive limestone formation aptly named on the golden sand beach. Tairua is also a great location and Paku Hill offers spectacular views over the natural harbour and the Pacific Ocean.

Heading south from the Coromandel Peninsula you pass through the seaside town of Whangamata. A popular location for Kiwi holidaymakers the town boasts one of the best beaches in the region. The old mining town of Waihi still has an operating open cast gold mine and you can view the workings of the Martha Mine from a vantage point signposted from the town centre. For rail enthusiasts the Goldfields Railway operates passenger trains along a scenic and historic section of track towards Waikino.

The route now takes you into the Bay of Plenty and the port town of Tauranga before you head along the scenic Pyes Pa Road to Rotorua. For Lord of the Rings fans a detour to Matamata is recommended as this is the location of Hobbiton. Arriving into Rotorua from the north you are welcomed with some great views of the lake.

Your accommodation - Peppers on the Point

Style: Luxury Lodges & hotels

Meals included: Breakfast

Accommodation features

  • Check in time: 2 pm
  • Please note: Check in is ONLY between 2-5pm unless otherwise arranged
  • Check out time: 11 am
  • Parking: onsite free parking
  • Internet facilities: In room free access
  • Breakfast service available
  • Dinner service available
  • Tea/coffee facilities in room
  • Room service available
  • Hairdryer
  • Laundry facilities: Drycleaning service available
  • Gym/fitness centre
Peppers on the Point
Peppers on the Point
Peppers on the Point
Peppers on the Point
 

Day 8

A full day to explore Rotorua's unique attractions

Explore Rotorua

Explore Rotorua
Explore Rotorua
Explore Rotorua
Explore Rotorua

Peppered with natural hot springs, boiling mud pools and steaming geysers, Rotorua sits within one of the worlds most active volcanic regions. But geothermal landmarks aside, this city of sulphur has a rich indigenous history. Home to several prominent Maori tribes, a visit to the Mitai Maori Village should be high on your agenda, as should an excursion to the Polynesian Spa for an invigorating soak in its natural mineral hot springs.Live on the edge when you hop aboard a helicopter bound for White Island, New Zealand’s most active volcano. Spike your adrenaline at Agroventures on stomach-dropping attractions such as static skydiving, or a giant swing reaching 130 km per hour. Go up the Gondola for soaring lake views, and ride the luge at night for an extra thrill.Fans of Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit should drive to nearby Matamata and experience the actual movie set ‘Hobbiton’. Make the most of your time in Rotorua with an excursion through the Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, one of the area’s most colorful volcanic attractions.

Your accommodation - Peppers on the Point

Style: Luxury Lodges & hotels

Meals included: Breakfast

 

Day 9

Cross the Central Plateau and skirt Tongariro National Park en route to the limestone region of Waitomo

Driving distance and time: 212 kms / 131 miles : 2.5 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.

 

Rotorua to Waitomo via Taupo

Rotorua to Waitomo via Taupo
Rotorua to Waitomo via Taupo
Rotorua to Waitomo via Taupo
Rotorua to Waitomo via Taupo

Today you'll make your way through the volcanic valleys of Wai O Tapu Thermal Wonderland and Waimangu before reaching the town of Taupo, located on New Zealand's largest lake - Lake Taupo. A little further north you'll come across the Huka Falls, well worth the short detour. Continuing on, you'll arrive in the trout fishing capital of New Zealand, Turangi, before passing through Tongariro National Park - known for its peaks. End your driving today by traversing the rich dairy pastures preceding the limestone region of Waitomo - your destination for the night.

Your accommodation - Kamahi Cottage

Style: Boutique lodges & hotels

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Accommodation features

  • Check in time: 2 pm
  • Check out time: 11 am
  • Walk time to shops/restaurants: 30 mins +
  • Parking: onsite free parking
  • Internet facilities: On site free access
  • Includes continental breakfast
  • Includes cooked breakfast
  • Dinner service available
  • Bar on site
  • Tea/coffee facilities in room
  • Kitchen/kitchenette in room
  • Room service available
  • Hairdryer
  • Laundry facilities: On site
  • All rooms non smoking
  • Apartments serviced weekly
Kamahi Cottage
Kamahi Cottage
Kamahi Cottage
Kamahi Cottage
 

Day 10

Return to Auckland across the Waikato farmland

Driving distance and time: 178 kms / 110 miles : 2.1 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.

 

Waitomo to Auckland City

Waitomo to Auckland City
Waitomo to Auckland City
Waitomo to Auckland City
Waitomo to Auckland City

The lush farmland of the Waikato and the limestone hills of the Waitomo region provide some great scenery as you head north. Visit the Otorohanga Kiwi House en route for a great look at some of New Zealand's native birds in particular our famous flightless namesake.

Your accommodation - Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour

Style: Luxury Lodges & hotels

Meals included: Breakfast

 

Day 11

Depart Auckland today

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$ 3,690.00 pp (small car, low season - details)

This tour includes

  • 10 nights accommodation
  • Your choice of rental car
  • Rental car insurance
  • Unlimited mileage
  • GPS navigation
  • No hidden fees
  • Detailed tour pack
  • All breakfasts
  • 1 dinner
  • Private airport transfers