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Arrive Auckland - then where?

Felpham, United...
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Arrive Auckland - then where?

Hi TA experts and fellow NZtravellers,

We arrive Auckland at 3.50 (21/10/13) and then pick up a car from the airport.

Our destination is Russell or Kaitaia.

Is it possible to arrive there in about 4 hours?

Should we take West road or East?

We have 6 nights to spend in Northland, travelling East and West coast with trip to Cape Reinga.

Alternatives gratefully accepted - you NZ experts know best!!

All accommodation recommendations welcome, too!

All advice gratefully received.

Many thanks in advance

Masha

New Zealand
Destination Expert
for South Island
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1. Re: Arrive Auckland - then where?

Hi Masha

You can check drive times here http://maps.aa.co.nz/#directions

best not get off a long-haul flight and directly behind the wheel of a car. Driving jet lagged is the same as driving drunk - there have been some horrific accidents.

On arrival in Auckland get a good sleep then spend the day exploring by public transport and taxis. After another good sleep in Auckland collect your rental car and head off, bright eyed and bushy tailed.

Safe travels :)

New Zealand
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for South Island
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2. Re: Arrive Auckland - then where?

Now I see you actually arrive Auckland 15:50, not 3:50am, so disregard everything I said earlier!

Dunedin, New Zealand
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for Dunedin
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3. Re: Arrive Auckland - then where?

Still - don't try to drive to the Bay of Islands that night.. Plus, by the time you get out of customs etc, you'll be in the middle of rush hour traffic, at least once you get past the CBD, which is not very pleasant. If you drive direct, it is about 4 hours but there are things to divert you. If you take the West road (by which I assume you mean you turn off to Dargaville and go through Waipoua and the Hokianga), that is easily a full day's drive and you might want to consider taking your first night around Waipoua. But if you don't go up that way, you can come back it - think of your plan as being a circuit, with the connection being at an intersection at Brynderwyn.

Whangarei, Northland
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4. Re: Arrive Auckland - then where?

You will not get through the airport til about 5, which is the absolute worst time to try and head north through peak hour traffic. Russell or Kaitaia are not really feasible on that day.

I would aim to get to Whangarei area at the very most, but probably more realistically Warkworth/Matakana area

Felpham, United...
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5. Re: Arrive Auckland - then where?

Many thanks for all of that!

I agree about the jet lag danger, but as we will only being coming from Nelson, it probably won't be an issue!!

We will have hold luggage so that will slow us down at the airport.

If we think of the trip as a circuit, which road would it be best to aim for to avoid( if possible!) the rush hour traffic? I'm thinking that the airport is south of Auckland?

We have been to Auckland before and want to spend these 6 days exploring the Northland.

Thanks for all the helpful replies.

Masha

Edited: 01 June 2013, 08:26
Dunedin, New Zealand
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6. Re: Arrive Auckland - then where?

The circuit starts north of Auckland, so you have to go through central Auckland to head north - it is about 100 km before the roads split to take you east or west (although you can take diversions - going out the Western Motorway to see the Kaipara and rejoining the main road north at Wellsford, from where you can cut across to the East coast (Mangawhai) and around to Waipu to rejoin the main road.

Or you can go up the main road from Auckland to Warkworth and head east to see Matakana and Leigh.

If you plan to go up via Waipoua, you are best not to take the Mangawhai detour, as the road from Brynderwyn to Dargaville takes you past the very worthwhile Matakohe museum.

I'm thinking that taking a look at a map will help you make sense of what I am saying.

Felpham, United...
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7. Re: Arrive Auckland - then where?

Another thought! As it will be October, will we have to book accommodation in advance, or will we be able to just arrive? I'm thinking of Motels, really. Obviously, for B&Bs I would book ahead. And I will book accommodation in the places we plan to stay for a couple of nights.

Whangarei, Northland
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8. Re: Arrive Auckland - then where?

There is really no way of avoiding Auckland traffic if you are heading north - I would try to get as far as Whangarei area, you should be able to get there by about 7.30-8pm. I would aim to have your accommodation booked for that night. After that you could book accommodation as you go if you prefer to do it that way, as October is still a relatively quiet time of year around Northland.

6 days is a great amount of time to do a Northland loop taking in Whangarei/ Tutukaka Coast, Bay of Islands, Doubtless Bay, Cape Reinga/90 mile beach, Hokianga, Waipoua Forest, Kauri Museum at Matakohe, and then back to Auckland.

Felpham, United...
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9. Re: Arrive Auckland - then where?

Many thanks Andychef and all others who gave advice!

I have also discovered the Northland Tourist website which is fantastic.

Can't wait to get there!

Masha

Melbourne, Australia
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10. Re: Arrive Auckland - then where?

HI Andychef,

Love your feedback here, thought you might be able to help me!

We fly into Auckland 5.30pm and are here for 2 weeks. It was an impulse but intentional booking on sale flights. Can we do Nth and Sth in 2 weeks or what would you suggest? Most likely will hire a capervan.

Thinking we want to do Rotura, Queen Charlotte Drive, Franz Josef???

Any tips, ideas etc. would be much appreciated!

Thank-you :)