I am a mature female solo traveler from the eastern US and plan to visit friends in Fiji in February for about 10 days. I’ve never been anywhere in the Pacific and want to extend my visit to New Zealand. I’m not fond of bus tours and am used to traveling solo. I’m not into high adventure or major treks but I enjoy easy hikes, scenery, gardens, different cultures and photography. I am thinking of renting a car and staying in motels.
After many attempts at an itinerary encompassing both islands I decided that such a trip in the time I have available would be a total blur. I am looking at an in depth visit to the North Island in the hope that I can come back and concentrate on the South Island when I have more time.
I would appreciate input on my tentative itinerary.
Day 1 – Arrive in Auckland from Fiji – rent car? (Depends on flight arrival time – if late, spend night in Auckland) Drive to the Kauri Coast – 1 Night – stay where?
Day 2 – Drive to Bay of Islands – Paihia – 2 nights
Day 4 – Drive Paihia to Hibiscus Coast – Where to stop on the way to Rotorua?
Day 5 – Drive Hibiscus Coast to Rotorua– 2 nights
Day 7 – Lake Taupo – 1 night needed or cover from Rotorua?
Day 8 – Tongariro National Park – short walks? Night needed? Stay 2 nights in Lake Taupo?
Day 9 – Drive to Napier – 1 Night
Day 10 – Drive to Wellington – 2 Nights
Day 12 – Drive to New Plymouth – 2 Night? (may cut)
Day 14 – Drive to Auckland with a stop at Waitomo Caves – 2 Night
Day 15 – Fly Home
I want to avoid one night stops if possible. If I skip New Plymouth and the west coast I would stop at the Waitomo Caves on the way to Rotorua and fly from Wellington to Auckland.