10 day North Island road trip

Day 1 – 2 Auckland

Start your North Island road trip in New Zealand’s largest and most cosmopolitan city, Auckland. Popular attractions include Kelly Tarlton’s Antarctic Encounter and Underwater World, the Auckland Museum and Auckland Zoo. Scale to the top of Sky Tower for a fantasic view around the city and harbour and test your nerves on the glass floor! Or take a harbour cruise to Devonport on the ferry.

Day 3 – 4 Rotorua

Distance 235km

Approximate Driving Time 3 hours 20 mins

Suggested stop en route:  Tirau – kids will love exploring in the Christmas Heirloom Company shop that’s open year-round!

Travel through green farmland to Rotorua, New Zealand’s thermal wonderland. Take in a Maori dinner with cultural entertainment or visit the many thermal geysers and mud pools that make Rotorua famous including Hell’s Gate and Wai-o-Tapu. Take the Skyline Gondola to the top of Mt Ngongotaha and then enjoy the excitement of the luge ride to the bottom!

Day 5 Taupo

Distance 76km

Approximate Driving Time 1 hour

Suggested stop en route:  Craters of the Moon – for just a small fee, take a walk around the hissing steam vents and boiling mud pools.

It’s approximately one hour driving to Lake Taupo, New Zealand’s largest lake. Once a huge volcano, Lake Taupo is now a water lover’s dream with activities galore. Take a cruise on the lake or visit the spectactular Huka Falls on the Waikato River.

Day 6 – 7 Wellington

Distance 375km

Approximate Driving Time 5 hours

Suggested stop en route:  National Army Museum at Waiouru – a fantastic museum for families to explore.

Travel south through the desolate Desert Road and the Tongariro National Park – don’t forget to stop for those awe-inspiring snaps of the volcanoes! Onward to Wellington, New Zealand’s capital city and home to Te Papa, the National Museum. This extensive museum is situated on the waterfront and entry is free. A popular activity is to take a step back in time and travel on the Cable Car to enjoy the beautiful harbour views then make your way down to the city through the Botanical Gardens. Don’t forget a stop at Carlton Observatory for a look at our place in the universe.

Day 8 Wanganui

Distance 191km

Approximate Driving Time 2 hours 45 mins

Suggested stop en route:  Levin Adventure Park – a huge playground and park with so much to explore and enjoy!

Return northwards to Wanganui. The might Whanganui River can be enjoyed on a paddle boat cruise or visit the beautiful Virginia Lake Reserve. Drury Hill Tower provides a great view.

Day 9 Waitomo

Distance 270km

Approximate Driving Time 4 hours

Suggested stop en route:  National Park Village – great views of Mt Ruapehu, Mt Ngauruhoe and Mt Tongariro from this adventure hub.

Waitomo Caves are famous for their stunning limestone formations and not to be missed is the silent boat journey through the glow worm grotto. Or take the plunge and travel through the underwater river on an inner tube!

Day 10  Return to Auckland

Distance 195 km

Approximate Driving Time 2 hours 50 mins

Suggested stop en route:  Otorohanga Kiwi House & Native Bird Park – close-up views of our national bird plus view native birds and reptiles.

One Comment

  1. kimmyjadenz 28/10/2017 at 12:59 pm

    We just did a similar trip! We also went on a hunt for the giant things of New Zealand such as the Carrot, Kiwi, Apple and Gumboot! It added a bit of silliness to the trip. The Levin playground was a hit with our children too. it was the perfect leg stretch after leaving Wellington and great for both my bigger son and younger one plus the locals are so friendly with one father cheering on his children as they went down the flying fox and mine as well! Road trips around the North Island are so much fun!

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