We would like some help on planning a trip to the North Island in July.
We would land on Tues 2nd July at midday into Auckland and need to be back at the airport on Sun 14th July as we already have a hotel airport booking that night. I realise this is in the middle of winter and somewhat last minute but we weren't expecting to have this time so thought we'd take advantage of it. This gives us 13 nights and we'd like to see Northland (especially Cape Reinga, 90-mile beach and Bay of Islands), Rotorua, Coromandel and the Bay of Plenty. We have lived in Auckland before so would just want a day or two to revisit our old haunts. We are coming from Australia so no real jetlag issues. We love scenery, especially wild and desolate beaches (which we saw a lot of in the South Island) and getting away from civilisation. After this we are going to Tahiti so we don't mind how bad the weather is on this trip as long as the roads are driveable!
We were thinking of 2 nights in Auckland to start with, then drive up to Northland for 4 nights then onto the Coromandel peninsula for 3 nights, then the Tauranga area for 2 nights, then finish in Rotorua for 2 nights before heading back to the airport.
The thing we're not sure about is the driving times between these places - I know that driving from anywhere in Northland to the Coromandel would be a long drive but how can you get around that without stopping off in Auckland on the way (which we don't want to do).
We would be really grateful for some guidance in these early planning stages to put a good itinerary together.
Thank you so much for your help!