We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

North Island Itinerary 12 days - Advice & Suggestions please

Dublin, Ireland
Level Contributor
18 posts
Save Topic
North Island Itinerary 12 days - Advice & Suggestions please

Hi There

My Husband and I- mid 50's are planning a trip to New Zealand in February visiting both Islands(going to post in S.I Forum also) Would like some activities but mostly sights and cultural experiences.

We live on a farm and would be interested in Farmstays to meet local farmers and B & B's to meet local people. Where is best area for farmstay in NI.

After much studying of Forum itineraries I have come up with following

Feb 4th arrive in Auckland at midday via Hong Kong (stopover) from Ireland. Overnight

Feb 5th Explore. Afternoon Waiheke Island. Overnight

Feb 6th Pick up Hire car in am and travel to Waitomo Caves then continue to Taupo for overnight

Feb 7th Explore area - Rotorua evening and overnight

8th & 9th Explore

10th Leave early for Coromandel Peninsula explore and overnight Whitianga

11th Explore further

12th Leave am and travel to Matakohe visit Kauri Museum,West coast Baylys Beach Waipoua Forest Overnight this area Advice?

13th Explore - Bay of IslandsBay of Islands Overnight

14th Travel down east coast - best sights? Close to Auckland for flight to Nelson at noon on 15th( or would we have time to travel to airport on morning of 15th How difficult is it to get to Airport?)

15th Fly to Nelson

Is this itinerary feasible in the time? Any advice to make better use of time?

We would really like to visit Cape Reinga or Wellington but don't think we have enough time on this visit as we want to spend some time on South Island also. Hopefully will be back again but it is a long way!

We had thought of travelling on ferry between Islands but have decided to fly to make better use of our time Thanks in advance

San Francisco, CA
Level Contributor
1,024 posts
99 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: North Island Itinerary 12 days - Advice & Suggestions please

Depending on how bound you are to this sequence, I'll suggest starting by going north on arriving, then heading south to Rotorua and Taupo and ending up in Wellington (my favorite spot on the North Island). The ferry to Picton is scenic, and Nelson is closeby.

I'd also cut Auckland days. While the area has its charms, you might enjoy another half day elsewhere more.

Rarotonga, Cook...
Destination Expert
for Rarotonga, Waiheke Island, Southern Cook Islands, Auckland Central
Level Contributor
15,561 posts
113 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: North Island Itinerary 12 days - Advice & Suggestions please

Hi Molly,

Your N I itinerary looks great as it is, and you'll enjoy your visit to Waiheke Island when you arrive Auckland! Waiheke is a unique eco-blend of wineries, lifestyle blocks, beachside & bush living, and open farmlands.

For accommodation following your Waipoua Forest visit, there are a number of motels, hotel and a resort in the Hokianga twin towns of Omapere & Opononi. Golden sand dunes on the north side of this harbour glow golden in the morning sun. The Bay attractions include a strong emphasis on culture, since this area is the cradle of the nation, and will require a length of time to explore both the land and marine attractions. I suggest you forgo a trip to the Cape this visit.

A picturesque area for accommodation after the BOI is the Waiwera-Orewa area on Whangaparaoa peninsula. This would be a very handy base for the motorway to airport the following day. The drive from Paihia to Orewa will take about 3 hours at a steady pace. Admire the Whangarei Falls heading south, or enjoy a coffee break overlooking Bream Bay in the Ruakaka/Waipu area.

Getting to the domestic airport from Orewa township? Allow 1.5 hours for the drive so long as it's not during the morning commuter traffic. even then I have overstated the length of time it actually takes to err on the side of caution for you. I live in Northland, so am well used to drving the journey to/from Auckland airport. One tip is to continue through Auckland city using the southern motorway and use the South Eastern highway exit well south of Penrose. Airport lane (right hand lane - important) which takes you through Onehunga to join with the South Western Motorway which branches off to the airport.

Wellington - lovely city which can also be reserved for your return visit! Happy travels.

Edited: 03 October 2010, 02:55
Auckland Central...
Level Contributor
1,531 posts
47 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: North Island Itinerary 12 days - Advice & Suggestions please

Hi

If I calculate correctly you have about 12 days in the north island which is time to visit both Northland and the central north island but you may need consider given Waiheke a miss unless you particularly wish to go there.

You may wish to consider the following:

Feb 4th Arrive Auckland

Overnight Auckland

Feb 5th Auckland

Overnight Auckland

Feb 6th Auckland to Hokianga via Kauri Museum and Waipoua Forest

It is a good day’s drive from Auckland to the Hokianga but with a reasonably early start it is quite doable.

Overnight Hokianga

Feb 7th Holianga to Bay of Islands

This is just a short drive – 1 to 2 hours

Overnight Bay of Islands

Feb8th Bay of Islands – Trip to Cape Reinga and 90 mile beach

Would recommend bus trip. If you wanted to take in 90 mile beach then bus trip is the only option as rental car companies do not allow their vehicles on the beach

Overnight Bay of Islands.

Feb 9th Bay of Islands to Auckland Region

It is really too far to drive from BOI to Rotorua in one go so I would suggest taking the coast roads – a bit longer but more scenic than the main road.

Overnight somewhere around Warkworth or just a bit further south at Puhoi – with its character laden pub.

Feb10th Auckland Region to Waitomo and then on to Taupo

This would be another good day’s drive but again with early start and pleny of daylight hours is doable

Overnight Taupo

Feb 11th Taupo and then on to Rotorua (just over an hour’s drive)

Overnight Rotorua

Feb 12th Rotorua

Overnight Rotorua

Feb 13th Rotorua - Coromandel

Overnight Coromandel

Feb 14th Coromandel

Overnight Coromandel or depending on flight head back to close to airport

Feb 15th Fly to south island

If you needed more time the you may wish to consider flying from Rotorua to South Island which would avoid having to back track to Auckland

I always use and recommend Google Maps for route planning:

www.maps.google.co.nz

The times are basic driving times and can be as much as doubled to allow for stops etc.

Try and avoid Auckland any time from about 3.30 pm onwards on weekdays which is when the afternoon traffic peak starts to build to about 6.00 pm.

Be aware that Sunday 6th is a national holiday – Waitangi Day. This is a very busy weekend particularly at Waitangi in Bay of Islands

Dublin, Ireland
Level Contributor
18 posts
Save Reply
4. Re: North Island Itinerary 12 days - Advice & Suggestions please

Thanks for your prompt replies Itswindy, Frangipani and Lonekaurilodge, you have given me food for thought. At the moment we are committed to going South of Auckland when we arrive as meeting friends of friends who hope to be travelling through area at that time but this may change. Waiheke is one of my must sees so will travel there and thanks for directions to airport Frangipani - very helpful.

Have one or two further questions please I am confused about Geothermal attractions in Rotorua eg Wai-o tapu Hells'Gate Waimangu or Craters of Moon - Which is best Should we visit just one or more than one because they are different??

Also Which Hangi and cultural evening Tamaki Mauri, Mitai, Tepuia Mataaki..... Which is most authentic

Thanks again

Auckland Central...
Level Contributor
1,531 posts
47 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: North Island Itinerary 12 days - Advice & Suggestions please

Hi again

My personal preference regarding thermal areas is Hells Gate. This is out on the airport side of the lake. In the city itself is Kurau Park, a municipal park with no charge and well worth a wander round if you have time.

Craters of the Moon are at Taupo and again well worth a visit. If I am not mistaken it is run by a Trust and is not expensive.

Wai-o-Tapu is between Rotorua and Taupo. I have never been to the thermal park itself but on the Wai-o- Tapu Loop Road there is an impressive hot mud pool. Also on the loop road is the Secret Place – a natural pool where a hot and cold stream converge – nice to luxuriate in. Also between Rotorua and Taupo is another natural spot –Kerosene Creek where there is another hot pool which is nice to relax in.

If you want luxury of course then there are the Polynesian Pools in Rotorua

Others will hopefully be able to offer advice on the cultural evenings.

Rarotonga, Cook...
Destination Expert
for Rarotonga, Waiheke Island, Southern Cook Islands, Auckland Central
Level Contributor
15,561 posts
113 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: North Island Itinerary 12 days - Advice & Suggestions please

Yet Waiheke Island is the jewel in Auckland's crown and well deserves at least a half day tour; or at the very least a return ferry ride. Besides a ferry/harbour cruise offers visitors an excellent opportunity to explore the magnificence of the Waitemata harbour, and a closer encounter with the Gulf islands - Rangitoto, Motutapu, Motuhi, Browns and Rakino, and the city's seascape in general. An Auckland "Must Do" in my opinion.

Dublin, Ireland
Level Contributor
18 posts
Save Reply
7. Re: North Island Itinerary 12 days - Advice & Suggestions please

Thanks again for your feedback re geotherals. Didn't receive information re cultural evenings on this post but have seen good information on similar posts My itinerary is coming nicely together thanks to you all

8. Re: North Island Itinerary 12 days - Advice & Suggestions please

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 04 April 2011, 07:15