Arrive in Auckland – the “City of Sails” is New Zealand’s largest city, bordered by two stunning harbours. Collect your rental car from the airport, explore the city, then make your way to your accommodation.
Stay 1 night in Auckland City.
Driving time Auckland to Bay of Islands 219 km / 136 miles, 4 hours
Drive to the Bay of Islands, renowned for its 144 islands and surreal maritime park where you’ll find an abundance of marine life that includes whales, penguins and dolphins. In the afternoon, relax on one of the many warm, secluded beaches and explore the area.
Stay 2 nights in Paihia, Bay of Islands.
Today, board the premium Discover the Bay Cruise and see for yourself the best of what the Bay of Islands has to offer. Journey to the Hole in the Rock and if weather permits, sail through it. See marine wildlife including Dolphins and stop off at Otehei Bay on Urupukapuka Island to have a swim, go for a walk and relax. This cruise includes a delicious BBQ lunch.
Relax in the Bay of Islands for the rest of the day.
Driving time Bay of Islands to Auckland 219 km / 136 miles, 4 hours
Journey back to Auckland and relax in the city for the day, doing a bit of boutique shopping or exploring attractions such as the Sky Tower, the Auckland Zoo, and Viaduct Harbour.
Stay 1 night in Auckland.
Driving time Auckland to Hamilton 125 km / 78 miles, 2 hours
Journey to Hamilton, New Zealand’s largest inland city, situated on the banks of the Waikato River. As Hamilton is located 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. For fun, visit the chocolate and candy factory, the Hamilton Gardens, or the weekly markets. From cafes, art galleries, and shopping through to an ever-changing calendar of high profile events, Hamilton is a great holiday destination.
Stay 1 night in Hamilton.
Driving time Hamilton to Waitomo Caves 71 km / 44 miles, 1 hour
Make your way to Waitomo Caves, where you will venture underground on a thrilling Lost World Tour*. Abseil down into one of the most spectacular abysses in the world before exploring the otherworldly reaches of the Lost World caves. See glowworms, fantastic limestone formations, and massive caverns as you make your way through the underground world.
* Ages 10 and up only. If you are travelling with children under 10, this will be changed to the Waitomo and Ruakuri Caves Combo Tour.
Driving time Waitomo Caves to Rotorua 139 km / 86 miles, 2 hours
After your Waitomo Caves adventure, 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.
Stay 3 nights in Rotorua.
Embark on a wholly unique adventure today—“The Squeeze.” First, take a scenic jet boat ride through the stunning Tutukau Gorge. Disembark in warm, knee-deep water and wade through a narrow gap in the cliff face. You’ll manoeuvre your way through narrow crevasses, over boulders, and through warm water until you emerge in stunning native bush. There, you’ll soak in the atmosphere while relaxing in the thermal waters of a naturally heated pool. On the return journey, zip down the canyon on a thrilling jet boat ride!
It’s play day today! Ride the gondola up to the Skyline complex, where you will each get 5 rides on the luge, a turn on the Sky Swing, and a thrilling ride on the Zoom Zipline.
Driving time Rotorua to Taupo 76 km / 47 miles, 1 hour
Stay 2 nights in Taupo.
If you’re up for a challenge, today you will climb an awe-inspiring volcanic crater on the Tongariro Crossing. Widely considered to be one of the best day hikes in the world, the Tongariro Crossing will take you through native forest, over barren volcanic plateaus, through an otherworldly volcanic crater, and past lava tubes, steam vents, and jewel-bright turquoise lakes.
If you would rather not climb a volcano, you will instead get the opportunity to experience Taupo from the air on a scenic floatplane flight around the lake. Afterwards, relax and explore the lake or visit the Huka Falls.
Driving time Taupo to Matamata 117 km / 72 miles, 1.5 hours
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 Coromandel Peninsula 163 km / 101 miles, 2.5 hours
Renowned worldwide as a spectacular holiday destination, with warm white-sand beaches, misty rainforests and wilderness aplenty, the Coromandel is the ideal place to relax and unwind. Relax on the coastline, exploring beaches, volcanic reefs and the world-famous Cathedral Cove!
Stay 3 nights in Whitianga, Coromandel Peninsula.
Explore the spectacular Coromandel coastline today on a Cathedral Cove kayak tour! The Te Whanganui-A-Hei Marine Reserve is a kayaking paradise, with beaches, islands, and rock gardens just waiting to be explored. Paddle through sea caves, interact with the local marine life, and visit the famous Cathedral Cove.
Relax and enjoy the Coromandel Peninsula today. Dig your own hot pool at Hot Water Beach, venture down one of the peaceful forest tracks, or go for a swim at one of the stunning beaches.
Driving time Coromandel Peninsula to Auckland 178 km / 110 miles, 2.5 hours
Drive back to Auckland at your leisure. Relax in Auckland for the afternoon or join the crew and enjoy an America’s Cup sailing trip, a must-do experience where you get a chance to spend 2 hours out on the harbour on an actual America’s Cup yacht!
Stay 1 night in Auckland.
Drop your rental car off at Auckland Airport and depart Auckland at your leisure.
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