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Wellington to Auckland or Auckland North? or both?

Chicago
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Wellington to Auckland or Auckland North? or both?

My partner and I are traveling to New Zealand for the second time in November 2014. We've done the South Island from top to bottom and now want to discover the North Island. We have roughly two weeks to spend traversing the region. Is two weeks enough time to see the entire North Island or should we try concentrate our time either doing the north or south part of the island? If the latter, any opinions as to which part (north or south)? We can enter the country at either WLG or AKL.

Christchurch, New...
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1. Re: Wellington to Auckland or Auckland North? or both?

I think if you able to open jaw, two weeks will be plenty of time for the whole of the NI one way eg fly into WLG; drive northwards through Napier, Taupo, Rotorua, Waitomo Caves etc to Akl, then spend 4-5 days up north. Return to Akl & fly home.

Blenheim, New...
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2. Re: Wellington to Auckland or Auckland North? or both?

Two weeks would give you a good look at the North Island and would give you time to see the highlights.

The central area of the North Island is most interesting, that includes Rotorua, Taupo and the Volcanic Plateau.

North Land is also worth a look, the highlights can be seen in a three day trip from Auckland. Allow a extra day if you want to explore some of the less well known sights.

Coromandel is quite nice, I prefer the northern coastline, the road to Port Jackson is very scenic with ancient Pōhutukawa trees arching across the road. Also great coastal views. It is a gravel road which does limit rental car options. Allow say 2 days to explore the Coromandel, but it can be done in 1.

The south eastern part looks quite a bit like South Marlborough, North Canterbury. Dry pastures with quite a few vineyards. Its quite scenic, but I was not overly excited about it. Maybe because it remained me to much of home.

Taranaki, and the south western coast I find a bit boring. Whanganui has its charms. I like the wide riverside parks. On a clear day, Mount Egmont is quite stunning dominating the Taranki plains. On a raining day all you see are endless dairy farms with a few scattered patches of bush.

I have not visited East Cape, or spent enough time in Wellington to have a informed opinion about either.

Rarotonga, Cook...
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3. Re: Wellington to Auckland or Auckland North? or both?

I'm also in favour of arriving Wellington to make your way north with an Auckland departure. 2 weeks is a good length of time to explore the North Island. Also agree with spending 4 days at least in Northland and the Far North. Cape Reinga, if you can make it that far, is well worth the effort.

Temperatures will hopefully warm up the further north you travel. It's easy to do a loop tour of Northland driving along one coastline, and returning south along the other.

East Cape is an awesome and less visited region. If you are able to map out an itinerary taking in Gisborne, Te Kaha, Whakatane to Rotorua this side trip will be memorable. Taupo and Tongariro NP can be included next en-route to the Waitomo Caves.

All the best.

4. Re: Wellington to Auckland or Auckland North? or both?

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