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11 Day Volcanic Experience

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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.


  • 10 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 
  • 24/7 nationwide roadside accident assistance 
  • Te Puia Daytime Experience, includes a guided tour of the geothermal wonderland
  • Free after hours assistance for amendments or additional bookings with you assigned consultant.
  • 15% Goods and Services Tax

Other Information


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


  • 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 Coromandel - Travel to Rotorua - Full Day Rotorua - Travel to Lake Taupo - Continue through to Napier - Full Day Napier - Travel to Tongariro National Park - Tongariro National Park - Travel to Auckland Via Waitomo Caves - Auckland


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.


Travel to Coromandel

Auckland to Coromandel 
Driving distance: 169 km / 105 miles
Driving: Approx 2h27m 

Your drive to Coromandel begins on the southern motorway. Suburban scenery gradually gives way to the farmland of South Auckland. Just beyond the Bombay Hills you’ll take a left turn toward the Coromandel Peninsula. 

The hilly, pastoral scenery gradually flattens out to become the Hauraki Plains, a dairy farming district. Miranda’s hot springs and bird sanctuary make an excellent side tour. After negotiating the one lane Kopu Bridge, which has a Historic Places Trust listing, you’ll encounter the gold rush township of Thames. 

The road to Coromandel clings to the edge of the coast. You’ll enjoy amazing views and a constant procession of beautiful beaches. Formerly a gold-mining and timber town, Coromandel is now a haven for artists, craftspeople and conservationists. It has many well-preserved Victorian buildings.


Travel to Rotorua

Coromandel to Rotorua 
Driving distance: 234 km / 145 miles 
Driving: Approx 3h23m 

During the drive from Coromandel to Rotorua, you can visit Hot Water Beach, where geothermally-heated water bubbles up through the sand. At low tide you can dig your own spa pool. Further on, the road takes you past the surf town of Whangamata and historic Waihi, a gold mining town. 

As you approach the city of Tauranga, roadside stalls are an opportunity to buy seasonal fruit. Tauranga has a well developed café culture and boat charters are available to take you big game fishing, snorkelling or dolphin watching. Nearby Mt Maunganui is a destination for surfing and beach walking. It’s an easy drive from Tauranga to Rotorua. 

The road climbs up and over the Mamaku Range, delivering fabulous views before descending towards Lake Rotorua. Rotorua sits squarely on the Pacific Ring of Fire, so volcanic activity is part of the city’s past and present.


Full Day 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.



Geothermal Experiece | Te Puia

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.


Continue through 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.


Full Day 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: 


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.


Travel to Tongariro National Park

Napier to Tongariro National Park 
Driving distance: 275 km / 171 miles 
Driving: Approx 3h59m

After wining and dining in Napier its time for a road trip to Tongariro National Park. Its a relatively sedate drive via Taupo passing through some quiet country villages. There’s plenty of iconic rural vistas and maybe a stop by the lake in Taupo for some refreshment will be in order.

You will cross two ranges on your way to the Central Plateau and while you are so busy checking out the scenery (remember not to get too distracted) before you know it you will be in Tongariro.


Tongariro National Park

Three active volcanoes define the Tongariro National Park and deservedly elicit gasps of awe at the incredible sight of these huge geological beasts expelling lava. The three volcanic peaks are Mount Ruapehu, Mount Tongariro and Mount Ngauruhoe. 

The National Park is so naturally spectacular and culturally significant that it has been awarded the rare accolade of dual World Heritage Site status. Covering almost 80 000 hectares, the national park’s scenery is sublime and varied – dry deserts and barren tussocks morph into mountain beech forest and wetlands, it is no wonder this became a favourite filming location for “The Lord of the Rings.” 

Tracks and huts are available for fit trampers/walkers especially on the popular walks – the ‘Tongariro Northern Circuit Great Walk’, the ‘Round the Mountain (i.e. Mount Ruapehu) Track’ and the famous one day track – the ‘Tongariro Alpine Crossing Track’.


Travel to Auckland Via Waitomo Caves

Ohakune to Auckland 
Driving distance: 358 km / 222 miles 
Driving: Approx 5h12m

From your base at Ohakune you will travel to Auckland. This is a lovely scenic route. If possible include a visit to the National Army Museum at Waiouru. 

On the way you will visit the Waitomo Glowworm caves, a unique experience where the only light in the caves comes from the glowworms, creating a sky of living lights.

In Tirau you can stop for a few minutes to enjoy the quirky corrugated iron sculptures. 

From here you can head to Hamilton for a comfort stop, and then from there to the highways of your destination, Auckland.



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

Vehicle Quality Hotels Bed & Breakfast Superior Hotels Exclusive
NZ $2,823.00NZ $3,923.00NZ $3,623.00NZ $5,623.00
NZ $2,856.00NZ $3,956.00NZ $3,656.00NZ $5,656.00
NZ $2,988.00NZ $4,088.00NZ $3,788.00NZ $5,788.00
Full Size
NZ $3,032.00NZ $4,132.00NZ $3,832.00NZ $5,832.00
Permium Wagon AWD
NZ $3,175.00NZ $4,275.00NZ $3,975.00NZ $5,975.00
Intermediate 4WD
NZ $3,153.00NZ $4,253.00NZ $3,953.00NZ $5,953.00
Full Size 4WD
NZ $3,461.00NZ $4,561.00NZ $4,261.00NZ $6,261.00
8 Seater People Mover
NZ $3,351.00NZ $4,451.00NZ $4,151.00NZ $6,151.00
12 Seater Van
NZ $3,483.00NZ $4,583.00NZ $4,283.00NZ $6,283.00

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 Daytime 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

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