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14 Day North Island Tour

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Description

With these tours we present some of our most popular and compelling self-drive itineraries. Experience the benefits of self driving but enjoy the convenience and security of us pre-booking your chosen type of accommodation and rental car. Just enjoy the travelling without having to worry about where you are going to stay. 

Any of our itineraries can be modified as well as adding extra days in any of the locations. If you require something completely different, please advise and we will be happy to put something together. 

During your trip you can call us anytime to make amendments to your tour, book extra activity or simply ask for some advice. We will be happy to help you anytime of the day or night.

Inclusions

  • 13 nights accommodation in 3.5 to 5 star B&Bs / motels / hotels 
  • Rental vehicle of your choice including airport and ferry port collection charges, unlimited kms & additional driver fees 
  • Rental car insurance included – Excess reduced to zero 
  • Comprehensive travel itinerary, maps and vouchers 
  • Te Puia Geothermal Experience
  • 24/7 nationwide roadside accident assistance 
  • Free after hours assistance for amendments or additional bookings with you assigned consultant. 
  • 15% Goods and Services Tax

Other Information

Duration

  • These tours depart daily. Please click on the “Prices and Dates” tab for accommodation and rental car options.

Departure

  • ​Daily departures / 365 days of the year 
  • Tours can start and finish on any day of the week 
  • Mix, match and join individual tours together to create a tailor made itinerary

Plan and Book Ahead 
Preplanning and pre-booking your New Zealand vacation before you depart is essential. Limited accommodation in certain areas during the high season could mean that a town’s accommodation can be booked out well in advance. Without pre-booking, you may find that the you pay a higher rate upon check-in or waste a lot of time travelling between accommodation providers trying to find a suitable option. 
We know the best places and with our discounted rates you are guaranteed of receiving well chosen accommodation options at the best possible price. Pre-planning will ensure you make the most of your valuable holiday time. Acrossnz is well-versed with all areas of New Zealand and is totally experienced at arranging well planned self drive itineraries. Feel free to ask the advice of Acrossnz when planning your self drive adventure to make sure you maximize your holiday experience. 

Book early: New Zealand has very limited availability in the summer months and often books out well in advance. It is recommended to book early to avoid disappointment. 

Create Your Own Self Drive Holiday 
Along with choosing one of our prearranged itineraries you can construct your own ‘a la carte’ holiday by booking the rental vehicle from this link and selecting your accommodation from our accommodation link. If you choose to book your accommodation through our link we will happily assist with knowledge on your accommodation choices or amendment your itinerary to ensure your holiday is just what you want. 

Camper Vans & Motor Homes 
Perhaps you prefer to follow one of the itineraries we have created in a Motor Home? Just book the Motor Home with us and we will be happy to provide you for the full itinerary as well as assisting you with camping ground bookings. Click here to choose some of the cheapest options in NZ.

Arrive Auckland - Travel to Bay of Islands - Bay of Islands - Bay of Islands - Fly to Rotorua - Rotorua - Travel to Lake Taupo - Travel to Napier - Napier - Napier - Travel to Martinborough - Travel to Wellington - Wellington - Depart from Wellington

DAY1

Arrive Auckland

Welcome to Auckland, New Zealand’s largest, busiest and most diverse city. Home to almost one third of the country’s population, and the business centre of the nation, it’s not surprising this vibrant metropolis is often mistaken for the country’s capital. 

Known as the ‘City of Sails’, Auckland is magnificently framed by the stunning waterways, the Hauraki Gulf and Manukau Harbour. Easily highlights of the city, the harbour and marina are in walking distance of your accommodation. Distinct in its pace, opportunities and multi-cultural influences, Auckland offers many diverse events, attractions and experiences. Auckland is a popular arrival destination for starting your New Zealand holiday, a fantastic place for a city break or a perfect venue for an unforgettable surfing holiday. 

Auckland, the “City of Sails”, lies on an extinct volcanic bed and is magnificently framed by geographic wonders – the stunning waterways of the Hauraki Gulf and Manukau Harbour and by native forests. 

From boats and boutiques, to surfing and socialising, Auckland is a marvellous multi-cultural city that offers so very many diverse events, attractions and experiences and is thus a great place for a city break.

 
DAY2

Travel to Bay of Islands

Auckland to Paihia
Driving distance: 219 km / 136 miles 
Driving: Approx 3h22m 

The excitement of leaving Auckland via the magnificent Harbour Bridge and SH1 is quickly replaced by calm, scenic travelling options. Taking the east coast – take the exit to the Whangaparaoa Peninsula and the Gulf Harbour marina; visit the beach at Orewa; the thermal springs at Waiwera or taste some of the dairy delicacies at Puhoi before heading through native forests and farms – via pretty Warkworth and the Mahurangi River – towards Whangarei. 

En route distractions could be the beach Pakiri (great for surfing and horse treks), Kaiwaka if your fondness is for Dutch cheese; or the stunning vistas at Mangawhai Heads, Langs Beach and Waipu Cove. Subtropical Whangarei has a beautiful harbour and all the attractions of a popular small town – fine dining, shopping and gallery options. Before the scenery and allure of the Bay of Islands totally absorbs you, make time to visit Kawakawa for – as improbable as it sounds – the famous public toilet designed by Austrian artist Frederick Hundertwasser! The winding road via Opua and Paihia now leads to the breath-taking Bay of Islands. 

Driving along the west coast through Waipoua Forest you’ll come across the magnificent Tane Mahuta, the tallest kauri tree in an area that was once covered in kauri. Hokianga. Exit the forest and you come to the Hokianga Harbour with its huge white sand dunes and quiet beach communities.

 
DAY3

Bay of Islands

The Bay of Islands lies in the heart of the Northland, 4 hrs north of Auckland, on the coast line; warm, friendly and relentlessly beautiful, the Bay cradles 144 islands ready for exploration. Cruise around the bay and weigh up your options: swim with the dolphins, big game fishing, exploring the Maritime and Historic Park, relaxing in the resort towns of Paihia or Russell, or learning about New Zealand’s early identity at Waitangi. 

Paihia is the main township of the bay of Islands (BOI) and demands relaxation – rolling green hills meet sparkling blue waters which in turn lead you to the beautiful beaches. If sun-bathing and café hopping is just too slow, then there’s always sky diving, paragliding, fly trapezing, water or jet skiing and of course – swimming with dolphins (- this is the warmest water in NZ to swim with the dolphins). 

Another interesting historic town is Russell, the location of the first permanent European settlement in New Zealand and the one-time capital city (in 1840). Nearby Kerikeri has a similar very early history and historic sites which include Mission House, the oldest wooden structure still standing in New Zealand, and The Stone Store whose construction began 19 April 1832 making it the oldest stone building in the country. 

Waitangi is an extremely important place in New Zealand’s history and the Waitangi Meeting House commemorates this. In 1840 a treaty was signed between Maori and the British Crown and the resulting ‘Treaty of Waitangi’ became the founding document of modern day Aotearoa/New Zealand. The Waitangi Meeting House has displays, demonstrations and performances at regular intervals, be sure not to miss the striking waka – a carved wooden Maori war canoe.

 
DAY4

Bay of Islands

As described on Day 3, Paihia and surrounds are home to some significant early New Zealand happenings. 

Take today to explore and discover what every visitor to this region finds. An absolute treasure trove of goodies from self indulging in numerous activities, to shopping and delicious cafe fare, to learning about the local Maori and Pakeha historical buildings, culture and events.

Or it could be a great opportunity to catch up on some sleep, in readiness for more adventuring.

 
DAY5

Fly to Rotorua

Morning flight from Kerkeri to Rotorua 

Famed for its geothermal activity, Rotorua is utterly unique – peer into an active volcano and watch the belly of the earth bubble and roar as it leeches sulphurous steam trying to find its way out through thermal pools and geysers. Steeped in Maori history and culture, and picturesque to boot, Rotorua offers a profusion of opportunities for the long or short-term visitor. 

The thermal activity in Rotorua is fascinating – as is the local constant companion, the smell of sulphur! There are many geysers to view although the Pohutu Geyser in the Whakarewarewa Thermal Valley at Te Puia is arguably Rotorua’s favourite geyser known for its 30 metre high steam spurts! Whakarewarewa Thermal Village is where the rich Maori history and culture of the region is detailed through song, dance and storytelling. However there is more to Rotorua than hiss and steam. 

A visit wouldn’t be complete without seeing a few of the 16 magnificent lakes in this region – such as Lake Rotorua, Lake Tarawera or the beautiful Green (Rotokakahi) and Blue (Tikitapu) Lakes – perhaps even catch a trout for dinner? Popular water sports are kayaking, jet boating, water skiing, fishing (note that Green Lake is closed to public) and white water rafting (especially at the Kaituna River). Nearby Mount Tarawera is known for its devastating volcanic eruption of 1886 which, in destroying three whole villages, also buried The Pink and White Terraces, a geological phenomenon considered to be the eighth wonder of the world. 

Opportunities for families – attractions and actions – abound. For the adrenaline junkies why not try hurtling downhill in a plastic bubble, racing through space, body flying or bungy jumping 43 metres! But worry not, there’s always horse riding, orienteering and walks through the lovely Whakarewarewa (Redwood) Forest.

 
DAY6

Rotorua

Famed for its geothermal activity, Rotorua is utterly unique – peer into an active volcano and watch the belly of the earth bubble and roar as it leeches sulphurous steam trying to find its way out through thermal pools and geysers. Steeped in Maori history and culture, and picturesque to boot, Rotorua offers a profusion of opportunities for the long or short-term visitor. 

The thermal activity in Rotorua is fascinating – as is the local constant companion, the smell of sulphur! There are many geysers to view although the Pohutu Geyser in the Whakarewarewa Thermal Valley at Te Puia is arguably Rotorua’s favourite geyser known for its 30 metre high steam spurts! Whakarewarewa Thermal Village is where the rich Maori history and culture of the region is detailed through song, dance and storytelling. 

However there is more to Rotorua than hiss and steam. A visit wouldn’t be complete without seeing a few of the 16 magnificent lakes in this region – such as Lake Rotorua, Lake Tarawera or the beautiful Green (Rotokakahi) and Blue (Tikitapu) Lakes – perhaps even catch a trout for dinner? Popular water sports are kayaking, jet boating, water skiing, fishing (note that Green Lake is closed to public) and white water rafting (especially at the Kaituna River). Nearby Mount Tarawera is known for its devastating volcanic eruption of 1886 which, in destroying three whole villages, also buried The Pink and White Terraces, a geological phenomenon considered to be the eighth wonder of the world. 

Opportunities for families – attractions and actions – abound. For the adrenaline junkies why not try hurtling downhill in a plastic bubble, racing through space, body flying or bungy jumping 43 metres! But worry not, there’s always horse riding, orienteering and walks through the lovely Whakarewarewa (Redwood) Forest.

 

Activities

Geothermal Experiece | Te Puia
DAY7

Travel to Lake Taupo

Rotorua to Taupo 
Driving distance: 76 km / 47 miles 
Driving: Approx 1h5m 

Whether you drive on SH30, then SH1 or follow SH5 south towards Taupo, a riveting journey is guaranteed and our recommended route is via SH5 so can visit Waimangu Geotherrmal Valley and/or Wai O Tapu. Traversing this active geothermal area, the volcanic terrain is fascinating and has huge geological appeal. 

En route look out for the tremendous and unique thermal valleys. Wai-O-Tapu has been active for over 150,000 years and has some remarkable features such as the deep cauldron-like craters bubbling frantically with mud and the coloured pools. Waimangu Volcanic Valley is the world’s newest geothermal system and features both a scenic reserve and a wildlife refuge – walks, cruises and bus trips are available. 

The more secluded Waikite Valley Thermal Pools are equally worth a diversion. Other interesting places to visit include the hydro power station at Atiamuri and the Wairakei Geothermal Power Station further south. For a natural, perhaps ‘raw’, experience of the pure energy of water, make time to see the stunning Aratiatia rapids and the Huka Falls where water hurtles down at a rate of more than 220, 000 litres per second. 

Finally, the glistening harbour announces your arrival at the largest lake in New Zealand, Lake Taupo.

 
DAY8

Travel to Napier

Taupo to Napier 
Driving distance: 142 km / 88 miles 
Driving: Approx 2h3m 

The major entertainment on the road from Taupo to Napier is the fantastic scenery. There’s a bit of everything – rugged hills, beautiful valleys, gentle plains and huge vistas. At Tarawera you can walk to the hot springs, which are above the Waipunga River. You might also want to stop at the Waiarua Falls lookout, to view the twin waterfalls. 

In 1931 a devastating earthquake nearly levelled the city of Napier. It was rebuilt in the style of the times, and is now considered the Art Deco Capital of the world. The vineyards of Hawke’s Bay are all within easy reach of Napier. Another attraction is the gannet colony at Cape Kidnappers

 
DAY9

Napier

Sun soaked Hawke’s Bay is a popular holiday destination and a leading food and wine region famed for its abundant produce – grape and fruit growing are particular to this area. From architecture to nature, from food to fun, Hawke’s Bay is brimming with tourist attractions and interests including a world record for having the longest place name: Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateaturipukakapikimaung ahoronukupokaiwhenuakitanatahu! 

Towards the south of Hawke’s Bay is the ominously named Cape Kidnapper’s – a craggy peninsula home to the largest gannet colony in the world, all 15 000 of them! The rebuilding of nearby Napier in the 1930s after a devastating earthquake razed the town to rubble has been its making. Art Deco buildings feature throughout the town and a casual 1930s themed celebration is held annually. Beach, café, vino and art culture firmly establish Napier as a great holiday destination. 

Hastings similarly offers many opportunities to sample the area’s food and wine, whilst other activities include trout fishing, jet boating, white water rafting and horse trekking. For the children there’s Splash Planet, a fantastic water theme park. Havelock North makes a splendid job of showcasing the regions gourmet creations. From wine and cheese, to chocolate, honey and strawberries, you can sample, snack and savour these delicacies to your heart’s content. 

For stunning panoramic views – of Mahia beach and Mount Ruapehu in particular – drive the 399 metres up Te Mata Peak.

 
DAY10

Napier

As described on Day 9, Paihia and surrounds are home to some significant early New Zealand happenings. 

Take today to explore and discover what every visitor to this region finds. An absolute treasure trove of goodies from self indulging in numerous activities, to shopping and delicious cafe fare, to learning about the local Maori and Pakeha historical buildings, culture and events.

 
DAY11

Travel to Martinborough

Napier to Martinborough 
Driving distance: 287 km / 178 miles 
Driving: Approx 4h10m 

Travelling south from Napier on SH2, there are many distractions en route making this a leisurely, scenic journey. From abundant vineyards and the gannet colony at Cape Kidnapper’s to the many seaside resorts, picnic opportunities abound! As with Napier, Hastings was re-built after an earthquake in 1931 in art deco and Spanish mission style – and is well worth a visit. 

Waipawa is home to a few historic buildings – however if time and interest allows, 18kms west is small Ongaonga where there are11 fascinating historic buildings, perhaps seek out the toilets in the old police cells! 

Continuing south on SH2, there are museums at Norsewood and Dannevirke commemorating the arrival of Scandinavian pioneers; Woodville is popular for antiques; Mt Bruce wildlife sanctuary can be found in the green expanse of the Wairarapa; and in small Victorian Greytown you can browse haute couture made by New Zealand’s top fashion designer, Trelise Cooper. 

Diverting via SH53 to Martinborough where you check into your accommodation

 
DAY12

Travel to Wellington

Martinborough to Wellington 
Driving distance:
82 km / 51 miles
Driving: Approx 1h12m 

SH2 now leads through the Hutt Valley and into the country’s capital, Wellington. Whichever way you look, Wellington is sure to please. Vibrant and dynamic yet steeped in history, Wellington offers its visitors many diverse opportunities to explore the city’s political, cultural and creative heritage. Large enough to be the Capital City, small enough to be captivating, Wellington truly lives up to its slogan: “Absolutely Positively Wellington”. 

Seat of the New Zealand Government, take a free guided tour around the halls of power (Parliament Buildings and the Beehive, named for its shape); or perhaps clarify your political thoughts over a drink at the Backbencher bar! Occupying a stunning waterfront location is the National Museum, Te Papa Tongarewa, where state-of-the-art presentations and exhibits chronicle New Zealand’s art, history and Maori culture. For a different focus, there’s the Museum of Wellington City and Sea, Zealandia (Wildlife Centre) and even the Cricket Museum. 

Despite being nick-named ‘windy Wellington’ due to its proximity to the Cook Strait, Wellington is a beautiful and compact city well worth walking around. Beach (Kapiti Coast), bush and mountain views (Kaikoura Ranges due south, Rimutaka Ranges due east), all compete with the glistening seafront and busy harbour for the visitors attention; whilst historic buildings (Old St Paul’s, Saint Mary of the Angels, Colonial Cottage, 1858, author Katherine Mansfield’s home), gardens (the Botanical Gardens, Otari Wilton’s bush) and further explorations await (Cable car, two Observatories). 

Blending old-world charm of a European city with contemporary cosmopolitan ideas, Wellington offers Lambton Quay for quality shopping (showcasing some of New Zealand’s top designers), the Cuba Quarter for a taste of bohemia and Courtenay Place for the buzz of inner city entertainment, world-class performances, superlative dining, night-clubs, theatre, cinema and opera. Home to numerous national and international festivals, Wellington always has something for everyone. Absolutely Positive!

 
DAY13

Wellington

Day free Wellington

 
DAY14

Depart from Wellington

Drop you vehicle off at the airport and catch departing flight home.

Vehicle Quality Hotels Bed & Breakfast Superior Hotels Exclusive
Economy
NZ $3,556.00NZ $4,986.00NZ $4,596.00NZ $7,196.00
Compact
NZ $3,598.00NZ $5,028.00NZ $4,638.00NZ $7,238.00
Intermediate
NZ $3,766.00NZ $5,196.00NZ $4,806.00NZ $7,406.00
Full Size
NZ $3,808.00NZ $5,238.00NZ $4,848.00NZ $7,448.00
Permium Wagon AWD
NZ $4,004.00NZ $5,434.00NZ $5,044.00NZ $7,644.00
Intermediate 4WD
NZ $3,976.00NZ $5,406.00NZ $5,016.00NZ $7,616.00
Full Size 4WD
NZ $4,382.00NZ $5,812.00NZ $5,422.00NZ $8,022.00
8 Seater People Mover
NZ $4,200.00NZ $5,630.00NZ $5,240.00NZ $7,840.00
12 Seater Van
NZ $4,368.00NZ $5,798.00NZ $5,408.00NZ $8,008.00

Pricing Details
Pricing is based on 2 people. Option of  Double Room (1 bed) or Twin Room (2 beds) For single travellers or larger groups vacationing together please contact us for a customized quation to ensure you receive the best price. For different rooming configurations (eg triple share or special needs)  please contact us.

Children Costs
Children under 5 travel for free (max 2  excluding certain activities)  Children aged 5-14 at time of travel are an added extra (max 2)

Price Includes 
4 nights accommodation; 5 days rental vehicle of choice; All Inclusive rate hire including unlimited kilometres, loss damage waiver (LDW, provides Accident Damages Cover which is subject to excesses that can be reduced); airport concession fee recovery; accident excess reduction insurance; local sales tax (GST);Te Puia Geothermal Experience

Price Excludes
Flights to New Zealand and airport taxes

Prices are in New Zealand dollars and include 15% GST (local sales tax) Click here for an online currency converter to convert prices to your own currency (approximate only)

All prices are based on travel between October 1st through to March 31st. For prices outside these dates, please contact us directly

14 Day North Island Tour
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