Another American trying to pack it all in! Any advice is appreciated as I do not know the area but I'm not deterred by a little driving (I'm from L.A.!)
On a Tuesday morning, we will be driving down from Coromandel to Waitomo Caves (via Thames?) and plan to spend the night in Taupo. We would spend Tuesday evening and Wednesday in Taupo and head to Rotorua Wednesday evening, Thursday in Rotorua and Friday head to a wedding in Tauranga by 4 p.m.
At most we will have Wednesday p.m., Thursday, and Friday a.m. in Rotorua. Is this enough? We planned to do the gondola/luge, hangi dinner, see the geysers and depending upon time maybe the Redwood forest, mud pools, buried village, and blue and green lakes.
Since there is so much to see and do in Rotorua, should we skip Taupo? And if not, what should we see in Taupo? I had Huka Falls, craters of the moon, and Lady Knox. How far is Tongariro from there if we took a day drive?
Also, if we want to see Hobbiton, would it be best to see it on the way down from Coromandel to Waitomo or between Rotorua and Tauranga?