Arrive in Wellington, New Zealand’s capital city. Set on the edge of a stunning harbour, surrounded by rolling hills, it’s a city rich in culture waiting to be explored. Collect your rental car from the airport and explore the city.
Wellington’s top attractions include Te Papa, Weta Workshop, Wellington Cable Car, Mt Victoria Lookout and Wellington Zoo.
Stay 1 night in Wellington.
Driving time Wellington to Napier 328 km / 203 miles, 4.5 hours
Head to the East Coast and discover Napier, the Art Deco capital of New Zealand. Set within the country’s oldest and
Explore Napier today, with the option to visit the National Aquarium of New Zealand, home to the country’s most diverse range of sea life. You might also like to visit Otatara Pa (Maori Fortified Village) which was the largest Pa in the Hawkes Bay region, now a historical reserve showcasing many of the foundations of terraced dwelling sites and food pits.
Stay 2 Nights in Napier.
Today, enjoy a Napier Wine Experience Tour, visiting four world class local wineries for wine tastings and a winery tour with a difference! Includes wine tastings at New Zealand’s oldest winery and New Zealand’s only winery museum.
Driving time Napier to Rotorua 219 km / 136 miles, 3 hours
Enjoy the scenic journey to Rotorua, distinguished by Maori culture and geothermal activity. This diverse city will put on a display as you encounter geysers, mud pools, steaming craters and 16 beautiful lakes.
Rotorua sits right on the Pacific Ring of Fire, so volcanic activity is part of this town’s past and present. Rotorua is the tribal home of the Te Arawa people, who settled in its lakeside geothermal area more than 600 years ago.
Stay 2 nights in Rotorua.
The Hell’s Gate Geothermal Park is Rotorua’s most active geothermal area featuring a walkway lined with unique geothermal wonders and interactive opportunities. Experience the geothermal features with a self-guided map to show you around or join a guided tour of the reserve to learn more about the history, features and uniqueness of the geothermal area.
See bubbling mud pools, steaming craters, mineral pools, learn about New Zealand’s history and culture, and even try Maori weaving and wood carving! After this, the geothermal waters of the Hell’s Gate Sulphur Spa will rejuvenate and refresh you, as you relax and take in the surreal surroundings of the wondrous geothermal landscape.
Option to add on a Maori Cultural Experience including a Hangi Dinner in the evening.
Driving time Rotorua to Tauranga 63 km / 39 miles, 1 hour
The Bay of Plenty is one of the most popular summer holiday destinations in New Zealand. Located along the idyllic Pacific Coast Highway, it offers a great mix of activities, beaches and dining experiences. Tauranga is the main centre, whilst the coastal suburb of Mount Maunganui is the region’s seaside resort.
Why not take to the sky with Aerius Helicopters and explore the active volcano White Island?
Stay 2 nights in Tauranga.
Relax in the Bay of Plenty for the day. Around Tauranga are hectares of orchards and gardens producing everything from kiwifruit and citrus fruit to avocados. Add to this bounty the local wines and the plentiful fresh seafood and you just know that this is a place where you will dine well. Mount Maunganui, a short distance from Tauranga, has spectacular beaches which are a magnet for surfers all year round and voted New Zealand’s best by TripAdvisor.
Driving time Tauranga to Matamata 51 km / 31 miles, 1 hour
Make your way to Matamata to discover the real Middle-Earth on the most picturesque private farmland. Near Matamata, visit the Hobbiton Movie Set from the Lord of the Rings films in a fascinating two-hour guided tour. The set has been completely rebuilt and will remain as it was seen in the films. There are spectacular views across to the Kaimai Ranges from the rolling green hills of the movie set, which is still a working sheep and beef farm. You can relax and soak up the unique atmosphere with a great cup of coffee or a light meal in The Shire’s Rest Cafe.
Driving time Matamata to Hamilton 62 km / 38 miles, 1 hour
After your Hobbiton adventure, journey to Hamilton, New Zealand’s largest inland city, situated on the banks of the Waikato River. Situated in the hub of the central North Island, visitors have easy access to iconic attractions such as Raglan’s surf coast and Te Aroha Mineral Pools.
Stay 1 night in Hamilton.
Driving time Hamilton to Waitomo Caves 73 km / 45 miles, 1 hour
Venture to the Waitomo Caves, where you will enjoy the Waitomo Glowworm Caves and Ruakuri Caves Combo! Deep underground in the heart of the Waikato are a series of unique caves that will take your breath away. At the Waitomo Glowworm Caves, thousands of tiny glowworms cling to the cave ceiling, creating a starry sky within the underground night. Nearby, the Ruakuri Cave is home to an innovative spiral entrance, echoing waterfalls, and limestone that flows into delicate shawl-like formations.
Driving time Waitomo Caves to Taupo 144 km / 89 miles, 2 hours
After your Waitomo Caves adventure, journey to Taupo, a township rich in natural beauty and filled with attractions such as the Huka Falls, incredible bush walks, relaxing boat cruises, Taupo Bungy and the famous Great Lake Hole-in-One Golf Challenge.
Stay 1 night in Taupo.
Driving time Taupo to Wellington 319 km / 198 miles, 4 hours
At your leisure, journey back to Wellington today. Relax and explore Wellington in the afternoon.
Stay 1 night in Wellington.
Drop your rental car off at Wellington Airport and depart Wellington.
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