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Paihia to Auckland airport

PJ
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98 posts
83 reviews
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Paihia to Auckland airport

Having posted our North Island Itinerary on the same forum earlier (dated 6 Aug), I would like to take a closer look at the last leg of our trip and ask some questions.

After spending 3 nights in Paihia, we plan to drive from there straight to Auckland airport on the last day via the west coast. We have practically the whole day & half the night to do so, as our flight is not until 1.35am early next morning. This is going to be a very leisurely drive but even so, there seems to be too much time on our hands to stretch a 5-hour drive to cover the whole day!

Should we

a) start late from Paihia, perhaps after lunch, or

b) start early, complete the route and spend a few hours in the city before heading to the airport, or

c) start early, check into an airport hotel for a few hours rest before flight?

Bearing in mind that the sun sets around 8.30pm in February, we do have quite a bit of daylight for our drive. We certainly would not want to attempt driving on unfamiliar roads after the sun sets.

Also, I notice on the Northland map that, from Wellsford going south, there is actually an SH16 running along the western coast to Auckland. What is the state of the road? Is that a good alternative to SH1? Are there interesting sights along the road?

Would appreciate your replies. Thanks.

Rarotonga, Cook...
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for Rarotonga, Waiheke Island, Southern Cook Islands, Auckland
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1. Re: Paihia to Auckland airport

SH16 is a pleasant route. It is windier and more narrow compared to SH1 with less passing lanes because it carries a lower volume of traffic compared with the main route. On a fine day, the views across Kaipara harbour and its bar to the Tasman Sea is amazing. There is a dedicated lookout to enjoy the views.

SH1 has a longer length of dual carriage motorway starting just south of Puhoi - say 20/25 minutes beyond Wellsford towards Auckland.

By the time you take sufficient rest stops and enjoy the attractions, you'll find the day will pass soon enough.

Surrey England
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2. Re: Paihia to Auckland airport

It's easy to fill a whole day going to the airport via the west coast.We did it a few years back and stopped in Opononi/Omapere to visit the little museum but you could also take a harbour boat trip or a boat across to the sand dunes.

Our next stop was the Waipoua forest to see NZ's tallest tree --Tane Mahuta.You could take as long as you wished walking in the forest and also see Te Mahura Ngahere,another famous tree with an enormous girth.

Our final stop was at the Kauri gum museum in Matakohe which makes for a very interesting visit.

We left Paihia at about 9am and were handing back our car around 6.30pm.Spening longer in these three key spots would easily fill up your time or you could find a couple of other places to see en route.

PJ
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98 posts
83 reviews
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3. Re: Paihia to Auckland airport

Great suggestions Frangipani & Mummygaot! We will take in the sights at our own leisure and savour the last day of our 2-week NZ sojourn then.

We should be back in the city before sunset. That should give us ample time to have a nice dinner and thereafter a visit to either Mt Eden or Stardome Observatory at One Tree Hill, before going to the airport.

Yes, looking forward to visiting NZ again!

4. Re: Paihia to Auckland airport

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