Arrive in Auckland – the “City of Sails” is New Zealand’s largest city and is bordered by two stunning harbours. Collect your rental car from the airport, explore the city, then make your way to your accommodation.
This evening, if you would like to dine with a spectacular view, you might like to visit the Sky Tower. You are spoilt for choice with three restaurants and cafés up the Sky Tower, including the Orbit 360
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 will 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.
In the afternoon you have the option to experience Maori culture by visiting Waitangi’s treaty house, gardens and national marae (meeting house).
Driving time Bay of Islands to Auckland 219 km / 136 miles, 4 hours
Journey back to Auckland today. This afternoon you might like to visit the Auckland Museum, Auckland Zoo, Kelly Tarlton’s Underwater World, or you may even like to do a spot of shopping.
Auckland is a shopaholic’s paradise, with everything from top-end designers to open-air street markets. Discover the diverse range of cafés and restaurants offering cuisine from around the globe and check out the buzzing nightlife of the central city. Favourite spots include Wynyard Quarter, the Viaduct Harbour, the Britomart precinct and City Works Depot.
Stay 1 night in Auckland City.
Driving time Auckland to Coromandel Peninsula 187 km / 116 miles, 3 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 2 nights in Whitianga, Coromandel Peninsula.
Discover the excitement and adventure of the Hahei Explorer boat tour to Cathedral Cove – the most photographed beach in New Zealand. Penguins, seals and dolphins are a big favourite when they take time out of their busy schedules to visit the boat. Visit places only accessible by boat, including coastal islands in the marine reserve and spectacular sea caves. When the tide is right you will be taken inside an amazing blowhole 80 feet high – a truly magical place.
Driving time Coromandel Peninsula to Tauranga 170 km / 106 miles, 2.5 hours
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 Mt Maunganui is the region’s seaside resort. Why not take to the sky with Aerius Helicopters and explore the nearby active volcano, White Island?
Stay 1 night in Tauranga.
Driving time Tauranga to Matamata 48 km /29 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 Café.
Driving time Matamata to Rotorua 68 km / 42 miles, 1 hour
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 2 nights in Rotorua.
Relax in Rotorua for the day.
In the evening, enjoy a Maori Cultural Experience including a Hangi Dinner. Hear stories and learn how Maori traditions live on today. Experience an authentic Maori welcome. Watch a challenge by the Maori warriors, a karanga (call) from the Maori women welcoming you onto the marae, and a whaikorero (welcome speech). Relax and enjoy the beautiful waiata (songs), the world renowned haka (challenge), and the elegant poi dance. Learn Maori customs including Maori musical instruments, haka and poi. The dining experience is a culinary opportunity like no other. Following dessert, you will be transported down into the valley to conclude your evening beside the awe-inspiring Pohutu geyser.
Driving time Rotorua to Taupo 76 km / 47 miles, 1 hour
Enjoy the short drive south to Taupo, rich in natural beauty and filled with attractions such as the Huka Falls, incredible bush walks, relaxing boat cruises, and bungy jumping. Option to add on a Peek at the Lake Scenic Floatplane Flight or partake in the famous Great Lake Hole-in-One Golf Challenge.
Stay 2 nights in Taupo.
Relax in Taupo for the day. Taupo is a great lake for water-skiing, sailing and kayaking. The Maori rock carvings at Mine Bay, which can only be seen from the water, make for a great boat trip or kayaking excursion. The forests surrounding the lake offer hiking and mountain biking to suit all levels of experience. Just north of Lake Taupo you’ll find New Zealand’s most visited attraction, the magnificent Huka Falls, where more than 220,000 litres of water thunder over the cliff face every second.
Driving time Taupo to Waitomo Caves 153 km / 95 miles, 2 hours
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 Otorohanga 24 km / 14 miles, 20 minutes
After discovering the Waitomo Caves, drive the short distance to Otorohanga and to a beautiful hilltop luxury farmstay. Relax and explore the area in the afternoon – this peaceful and quiet location has panoramic views of extinct volcanoes, rolling hills and green valleys. While you spend time on a working farm, explore the farmland and visit the animals, with the option to do a scenic farm tour.
Stay 2 nights near Waitomo (Otorohanga) at a Farm Stay with full cooked gourmet breakfast and continental breakfast.
Relax and explore Otorohanga today. This peaceful and quiet location has panoramic views of extinct volcanoes, rolling hills and green valleys. While you spend time on a working farm, explore the farmland and visit the animals, with the option to do a scenic farm tour.
Driving time Otorohanga to Auckland 198 km / 123 miles, 3 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 City.
Drop off your rental car at Auckland Airport and depart Auckland.
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