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

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Classic Wellington to Auckland touring route

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

Classic Wellington to Auckland touring route
Classic Wellington to Auckland touring route
Classic Wellington to Auckland touring route
Classic Wellington to Auckland touring route

Tour map

From the capital city of Wellington to Auckland, 'City of Sails', and everything in between, this tour encompasses the best of the North Island. Taking in the Hawke's Bay region with its fantastic wineries and spectacular coastline, the cultural epicenter of Rotorua, jet boat thrills in Taupo and a relaxing few days exploring the Coromandel Peninsula, enjoy 11 days of New Zealand adventure with this classic self drive tour.

The approximate total driving distance and time for this itinerary is: 988 kms / 613 miles, 13.0 hours

You can expect to spend around NZ$143 in fuel cost on this itinerary based on an intermediate sized car.

 

Day 1

Welcome to Wellington, transfer to your accommodation and then explore the capital

Private transfer Wellington airport to hotel

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

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 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 - Bolton Hotel Wellington

Style: Hotel 4 star

Accommodation features

  • Check in time: 3 pm
  • Check out time: 11 am
  • Walk time to shops/restaurants: 2-5 mins
  • Parking: valet 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
  • Kitchen/kitchenette in room
  • Hairdryer
  • Swimming pool
  • Gym/fitness centre
Bolton Hotel Wellington
Bolton Hotel Wellington
Bolton Hotel Wellington
Bolton Hotel Wellington
 

Day 2

Collect your rental car and 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 - McHardy Lodge

Style: Boutique lodges & hotels

Meals included: Breakfast

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: In room free access
  • Includes continental breakfast
  • Includes cooked breakfast
  • Hairdryer
  • Swimming pool
McHardy Lodge
McHardy Lodge
McHardy Lodge
McHardy Lodge
 

Day 3

Explore the oldest wine region in New Zealand

Explore Napier and the Hawke's Bay

Explore Napier and the Hawke's Bay
Explore Napier and the Hawke's Bay
Explore Napier and the Hawke's Bay
Explore Napier and the Hawke's Bay

With is mediterranean climate and Art Deco style, Hawke's Bay is an attractive holiday prospect. As the nation's first winemaking region, a visit to one of its 30 wineries is a must. A trip to Mission Estate, touted as the the birthplace of NZ wine, can't be missed. For the truly enthused, head out on a tour of the vines. We recommend the to make the most of what's on offer. Those into Gatsby will enjoy the chance to view prominent Art Deco landmarks on a 1930s Vintage Car Tour. Passengers will spend just over an hour learning about the history of the city's architecture - including the Napier Municipal Theatre, one of the top ten Art Deco Buildings in the world. If you're after some fresh air, hire a bike and take your pick of one of over 200km of cycling trails or head on down to one of the many beaches that ring the area. Ocean or Waimarama beach are good choices, and both are patrolled by surf lifeguards during the summer. Indulge in some local produce and head out on a cheese, chocolate, honey or orchard tour. End on a high with another ride, this time in comfortable trailer pulled by a tractor en-route to Cape Kidnappers Gannet Colony - the largest of its kind in the world.

Your accommodation - McHardy Lodge

Style: Boutique lodges & hotels

Meals included: Breakfast

 

Day 4

Journey from Napier to Taupo home to New Zealand largest lake

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 - Hilton Lake Taupo

Style: Hotel 4 star

Meals included: Breakfast

Accommodation features

  • Check in time: 3 pm
  • Check out time: 12 noon
  • Walk time to shops/restaurants: 10-15 mins
  • Parking: offsite paid parking NZ$15-NZ$20 per 24 hrs
  • Parking: valet paid parking NZ$30-NZ$40 per 24 hrs
  • Restaurant on site
  • Tea/coffee facilities in room
  • Hairdryer
  • Swimming pool
  • All rooms non smoking
Hilton Lake Taupo
Hilton Lake Taupo
Hilton Lake Taupo
Hilton Lake Taupo
 

Day 5

A short drive through the geothermal valleys to Rotorua, the Maori cultural centre of New Zealand

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.

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 6

Explore the unique attractions of Rotorua

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 7

Head north today to the beautiful Coromandel Peninsula

Driving distance and time: 192 kms / 119 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 Tairua, Coromandel Peninsula

Rotorua to Tairua, Coromandel Peninsula
Rotorua to Tairua, Coromandel Peninsula
Rotorua to Tairua, Coromandel Peninsula
Rotorua to Tairua, Coromandel Peninsula

Today take Pyes Pa Road - the scenic route towards the Bay of Plenty and the town of Tauranga - before heading north along the coast towards the first of the Coromandel towns, Waihi. This old gold mining settlement still has an operating open cast mine and you can view its workings from a vantage point near the city centre. For rail enthusiasts, the Goldfields Railway operates passenger trains along a scenic and historic section of track towards Waikino. Continue on through the popular holiday destination of Whangamata to arrive into Tairua, Coromandel Peninsula.

Your accommodation - Grand Mercure Puka Park Resort

Style: Hotel 4 star

Meals included: Breakfast

Accommodation features

  • Check in time: 2 pm
  • Check out time: 11 am
  • Parking: onsite free parking
  • Internet facilities: On site free access
  • Restaurant on site
  • Bar on site
  • Tea/coffee facilities in room
  • Hairdryer
  • Laundry facilities: Drycleaning service available
  • Swimming pool
  • Gym/fitness centre
  • All rooms non smoking
Grand Mercure Puka Park Resort
Grand Mercure Puka Park Resort
Grand Mercure Puka Park Resort
Grand Mercure Puka Park Resort
 

Day 8

Relax at the beach or explore the inland forest of the Coromandel

Tairua

Tairua
Tairua
Tairua
Tairua

Tairua is a small seaside town and fishing village sitting on a natural harbour. The dominant feature is Paku Hill and extinct volcanic cone that stands at the harbour entrance. Great views of the town ship and the Pacific Ocean can be enjoyed from the look out at the top. With numerous white sandy beaches, cafes and restaurants this is a great place to spend some relaxing time. Dive trips to the Alderman Islands depart from here.

Hot Water Beach

Hot Water Beach
Hot Water Beach
Hot Water Beach
Hot Water Beach

Hot Water Beach derives its name from the geothermally heated water that continually seeps in through the sands. At low tide you can dig a hole and create your own mineral pool. The beach itself is golden, fine sand and is an ideal place to relax.  A few cafes and art stores are also worth a look - in particular Moko which has a great range of local indigenous arts and crafts for sale.

Your accommodation - Grand Mercure Puka Park Resort

Style: Hotel 4 star

Meals included: Breakfast

 

Day 9

Take the scenic drive around the Peninsula before continuing to Auckland

Driving distance and time: 247 kms / 153 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.

 

Tairua to Auckland through Coromandel Township

Tairua to Auckland through Coromandel Township
Tairua to Auckland through Coromandel Township
Tairua to Auckland through Coromandel Township
Tairua to Auckland through Coromandel Township

Today you'll drive the scenic coastal road north to Coromandel Town, before following the Firth of Thames inland and then continuing north to Auckland.  The Coromandel ranges run the length of the peninsular and provide some of the most dramatic bush clad mountain scenery in the North Island. The tallest peak is Mt. Te Aroha at 953 metres. Heading north along 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.  When gold was discovered in the ranges in the 1850's the population of the area, Coromandel Township in particular, grew very quickly as miners followed the gold rushes of the era. Today there are still known deposits of gold, silver, lead and zinc throughout the ranges but residents and conservationists are unlikely to allow any form of exploitation of the region. Remote towns, isolated bays and a rich history of pioneers and fortune hunters make this one of the more diverse regions to explore. The west coast of the peninsula drops to the Firth of Thames with steep pohutukawa clad cliffs, on the other side of the Firth of Thames is Miranda and this out of the way spot is a haven for shorebirds. Ornithological societies have censured the numbers and found that 5-6,000 lesser knots and 7-10, 000 bar tailed godwits travel here during the summer months before departing to the Siberian and Alaskan feeding grounds. In addition over 20, 000 South Island pied oystercatchers and 300 wrybills spend the summer months here after breeding in the South Island. For more information, the Miranda Shorebirds Centre has a number of displays on the local wildlife. The shoreline of Miranda itself is also very unique and is considered the finest example in the world of an active sand and chenier plain. The Hunua ranges to the east mark the original shoreline about 4000 years ago and since then continuous tidal and wind action has deposited shell ridges to form the land or coastal plain you see today. The drive to Auckland now takes you through the Hauraki Plains, a very fertile dairy farming region and then State Highway 1 delivers you to Auckland City.

Your accommodation - Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour

Style: Luxury Lodges & hotels

Meals included: Breakfast

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 10

A full day to immerse yourself in New Zealand's largest city

Explore Auckland City

Explore Auckland City
Explore Auckland City
Explore Auckland City
Explore Auckland City

Perched on the edge of a large natural harbour, New Zealand's ‘City of Sails’ offers the best of both worlds. Sandy beaches, native bush and lush rainforests give way to a vibrant urban culture, humming with life. Spend time in the Viaduct Harbour - try your hand at sailing an America’s Cup yacht - or take the ferry to nearby Waiheke Island for a gourmet food and wine experience.

Walk (if you're that way inclined) to the top of Auckland's highest volcano, Mt Eden, and take in soaring views of the gulf. Pack a picnic lunch and lose yourself in one of the 800 regional national parks on offer or grab a book and relax on a deserted beach. Head up the Sky Tower, standing at just over 300m tall (about 1,000 feet) and have a meal in the 360 degree revolving restaurant. Scale the outermost perimeter of the Harbour Bridge - or test your stomach and bungy off both. To end your day, catch a cab to Ponsonby Road and sample some upmarket culinary delights.

Your accommodation - Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour

Style: Luxury Lodges & hotels

Meals included: Breakfast

 

Day 11

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$ 3,626.00 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
  • Private airport transfers
  • Huka Falls Jet Boat Tour