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Itinerary suggestions needed - 5 nights Auckland, late March

Connecticut
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Itinerary suggestions needed - 5 nights Auckland, late March

Hi, I will be cruising from Australia to New Zealand in March. We arrive in Auckland on March 22nd early morning and are not scheduled to fly home until almost midnight on March 27th. We are looking to rent a car so that we can see as much as possible in a short period of time.

The cruise will be stopping in Dunedin, Akaroa, Wellington, Tauranga and Bay of Islands, before ending in Auckland. This is our first visit to any of these areas, so it is difficult to know whether any of those are places we would want to see again, or if there many other options to spend our 5 nights.

I think there would be a few ways to schedule this:

1. Drive a far distance from Auckland on the first day, and work our way back towards Auckland by driving 2-3 hrs each day and stopping in an interesting area/sightseeing/spending the night, and doing the same the following day.

2. Drive a few hours out of Auckland to an interesting area, sightsee, spend the night there, drive a few hours the next day to another location, etc. and almost make a circle around a region that would ultimately get us back to Auckland.

3. One area that interests us is Rotorua for the various spa's, etc. This looks like a place we could spend some time in getting spa treatments, so I would like to incorporate this into the plans. We do not mind staying at a different hotel every night if that makes the most sense.

Areas of interest: Enjoy the local scenery; enjoy photography; beaches; shopping; wineries; anything that may be unique to the local region.

Would like to plan to arrive back in Auckland by Wed early afternoon, so that we do have the opportunity to see a little bit of Auckland before flying out on Thursday evening.

Thank you for all your help. Between trying to plan cruise excursions and figuring out this travel on the back end (without being familiar with the area), it's all been a bit overwhelming. Any comments or suggestions you can provide to point me in the right direction would be greatly appreciated!!

Whangarei, Northland
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1. Re: Itinerary suggestions needed - 5 nights Auckland, late March

I think you would probably be best planning a loop journey taking in the Coromandel, Rotorua/Taupo, possibly Hawkes Bay, National Park area, Waitomo and back to Auckland.

It depends on how much driving vs sightseeing you would like and whether you prefer just to relax a bit and maybe stay 2 or 3 nights each in 2 locations, or whether you prefer 1 night each in 4 or 5 locations....

I think you would have time to do all of the above things with only 3 to 4 hours driving maximum per day....

Rarotonga, Cook...
Destination Expert
for Rarotonga, Waiheke Island, Southern Cook Islands, Auckland Central
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2. Re: Itinerary suggestions needed - 5 nights Auckland, late March

Here's a proposed itinerary:-

Option 1)

March 22 & 23 - Coromandel peninsula - west and east coasts - 2N

24th & 25th - via Matamata to Rotorua - 2 nights

26th - Waitomo Caves tour - Raglan overnight

27th - Auckland.

Option 2) ...

22nd - to Waitomo Caves - overnight

23 - Tongariro NP - overnight Whakapapa village or nearby National Park village.

24 - Taupo - overnight

25 & 26 - Rotorua 2N

27 - Auckland.

Edited: 22 January 2014, 19:46
Connecticut
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3. Re: Itinerary suggestions needed - 5 nights Auckland, late March

Thank you both for your suggestions. I will start researching both options. It's very helpful to have a starting point now.

Much appreciated!!!

New Zealand
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4. Re: Itinerary suggestions needed - 5 nights Auckland, late March

To give you another option .....

22 March - late morning fly 1 hr Auckland to Napier (Hawkes Bay wine country); hire rental car at Napier airport; book afternoon winery tour; night in Napier

23 March - 9am go to Farmers Market in Hastings; do Art Deco walking tour Napier CBD; lingering lunch at winery; night in Napier

24 March - morning depart Napier for 2 hour drive to Taupo for lunch, wander around shops and photo ops of Lake and Mountains; perhaps a swim at deBretts pools, drive on to Rotorua 50mins; night in Rotorua

25 March - tourist sights and spa treatments in Rotorua ; night in Rotorua

26 March - Rotorua to either Hobbiton or Waitomo Caves ; drive on to Auckland for night

27 March - Auckland

5. Re: Itinerary suggestions needed - 5 nights Auckland, late March

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