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This North Island New Zealand road trip travels from Wellington to Wellington, visiting top sights along the loop. Enjoy a Hawkes Bay wine tour, explore a geothermal reserve in Rotorua, and experience a Maori cultural evening including a hangi dinner.
This North Island New Zealand road trip itinerary is perfect for travellers who wish to avoid the chaos of Auckland. Wellington makes for a welcoming arrival in New Zealand.
Read on for more details on the 7 Day North Island Wine & Culture Package.
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.
This afternoon, you may like to visit Zealandia, located a 10-minute drive from downtown Wellington. Hidden in a suburban valley, this project aims to return a 225-hectare section of bush to its pre-human state. Take a walk and hear the songs of the flourishing native bird population.
Stay 1 night in Wellington.
Driving time Wellington to Napier 324 km / 201 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 second-largest wine
Explore Napier this afternoon, 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 220 km / 137 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.
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
In the evening, enjoy Te Puia 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. After dinner you will be invited to board the motorised waka (people mover) for a journey Through the Valley Under Lights. Be awed by the magical evening sights of Te Puia’s geothermal valley.
Driving time Rotorua to Taupo 82 km / 51 miles, 1 hour
Enjoy the short drive south 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.
Option to add on a Scenic Floatplane Flight over Lake Taupo with highlights which include flying over the Craters of the Moon.
Stay 1 night in Taupo.
Driving time Taupo to Wellington 372 km / 231 miles, 5.5 hours
At your leisure, make you way back to Wellington. From shopping and picturesque walks to concerts, live theatre, exhibitions, festivals, Te Papa Tongarewa: the Museum of New Zealand, and more – Wellington has something for everyone.
Stay 1 night in Wellington.
Drop your rental car off at Wellington Airport and depart Wellington.
As you begin planning your New Zealand holiday, we recommend browsing our itineraries for inspiration. We offer many North Island itineraries to choose from, including:
Our holiday packages are fully customisable. In other words, you can change the inclusions, modify the schedule, or upgrade the accommodation to suit your preferences.
Contact New Zealand Travel Organiser today to plan your North Island holiday.