I have already posted some messages on this topic but thought I should start a clean one.
After weeks of researching, our itinerary will look like this – we will then adjust once we are there but I have tried to gather as much info as I could (campsites, powered sites, playgrounds, family activities etc...) before we leave so we have a good idea of what to do and where to go:
Day 1 – Arrive in Auckland + night in Auckland
Day 2 – Pick up motorhome from airport + drive to Tongariro NP including stops at Waitomo Caves and Te Kuiti for lunch + night at Discovery Lodge (longest day on road)
Day 3 – Morning: drive to Whakapapa village and take the chairlift ride and enjoy the views from the cafe (no bushwalking planned at that stage)
Afternoon: Easter event at Ohakune including kids rides, food stalls etc...sounds like a great way to spend the afternoon with the kids
+ night in Mangawhero DOC
Day 4 – Drive Desert Road to Taupo. Not sure what else to do on that day. Thinking about stopping at the Tongariro Estate for lunch as it seems quite child friendly or may be go on a cruise on Lake Taupo to see the Maori carvings (Barbary cruise departs at 2PM from Taupo) + night in Five Mile DOC
Day 5 – Morning: Huka Falls and Liliput Farm (for the kids)
Afternoon: drive to Waikite Campground, may be stop at Hidden Valley on the way or go straight to campground and enjoy hot pools
+ night at Waikite campground
Day 6: Visit Wai-o-Tapu and Buried Village as it seems very kids friendly with playground, kids activities etc...exactly what we are looking for!
Then drive to Waihi + spend night near Waihi (Bowentown caravan park?)
Day 7 – Drive to Waikawau Bay (DOC) and stop on the way at Hot Water beach and Cathedral Cove + night at Waikawau Bay
Day 8 – Waikawau Bay – nothing planned – rest
Day 9 – Drive back to Auckland – stop at Coromandel for Creek train. We must be at the depot in Auckland airport by 3.45PM + night in Auckland
Now I still have a couple of questions:
- Given that we won’t be able to do any long walk in Tongariro NP, should we skip Ohakune and Desert Road?
- Instead of spending 2 nights in Tongariro (1 in National Park, 1 in Ohakune) should be spend only 1 night and drive to Taupo the day after via road SH47? The main consideration for us is to be able to get a good view of all the volcanoes
Any suggestion welcome.