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Auckland to rotorua

Australia
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79 posts
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Auckland to rotorua

We arrive at Auckland Airport around 5pm. Would it be best that:

•we drive straight to Rotorua (avoiding the traffic to Auckland City), stay the night and next day visit waiotapu thermal wonderland and Waitomo and back to Auckland; or

•stay the night in Auckland and drive to Rotorua the next morning visit waiotapu thermal wonderland and Waitomo and back to Auckland.

How long is the drive from the airport to Rotorua.

Wellington, New...
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for Wellington, Bay of Islands
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1. Re: Auckland to rotorua

You are looking at a 3 hour plus drive to Rotorua from Auckland at peak traffic. Allowing for an hour plus to get through customs and get your vehicle it would be around 9.00pm before you get Rotorua and probably another 30 - 40 mins to get settled in, making it around 10 pm.

I would bunk down in Auckland taking my time and head south around 6 - 7 am in the morning stopping for breakfast enroute arriving around 9.30 am settled in your motel by 10.00am. In practice you probably wont have lost anything timewise. Its going to be a very very long day if you are doing Waiotapu, Waitomo and back to Auckland in the one day. Are you flying back to Aussie the next day.

Why not extend the time in Rotorua to a full day , leave for Waitomo early the following day, take your time through the caves and if necessary leave Waitomo for a late arrival back in Auckland.

This is a pretty tight schedule you are giving yourself for a "holiday."

Feilding, New...
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for Rotorua
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2. Re: Auckland to rotorua

Lady Knox geyser at Wai-o-tapu erupts at 10.15a.m.daily so if you wanted to see this you would need to be at Wai-o-tapu by 10 a.m. at the very latest. Perhaps you could stop overnight at Hamilton or Cambridge if you are tired and get up early the next morning and drive to Wai-o-tapu.

The drive from Auckland Airport to Rotorua is usually around 3 hours but 5 p.m. is a busy time with commuters heading south so you could be held up with traffic.

If your interest is mainly in seeing a geothermal park rather than Wai-o-tapu in particular you may like to travel down to Waitomo, stay the night there,(recommend Woodlyn Park for something unique) do the caves (Spellbound recommend 3.5.hrs), journey down through Te Kuiti, Benneydale, Whakamaru, Atiamuri and on highway 1 towards Taupo but turning off to Orakei Korako. After you have seen O.K. head North for Auckland on Highway 1.

Christchurch, New...
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for Zhuhai, Christchurch, South Island
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3. Re: Auckland to rotorua

It is simply not possible to do Rotorua AND Waitomo in a day trip Auckland-to-Auckland. Many companies offer a day trip one way from Auckland -Waitomo-Rotorua but they assume you will spend at least another day in Rotorua.

If that is all the time you have it might be an idea to stay the night in Hamilton (only 1.5 hr from the Airport) and get an early start next morning.

Australia
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4. Re: Auckland to rotorua

Thank you all for your comments. I throughly appreciate it. This tripadvisor forum sure is a great thing. I think I will now drive up towards Waitomo and either stop on the way there or at Waitomo (depending on the time) stay the night and do the caves in the morning followed by the thermal activity and than back to Auckland. I will let you all know how it went.

Minnesota
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5. Re: Auckland to rotorua

We were struggling with the same challenge .. here's how we resolved it in for our itinerary... (I'm not an expert on nz - just sharing how we managed through a similar challenge)

Arrive in Auckland at 3pm

Instead of driving (our original plan), we found a cheap flight from AKL to Rotorua at 5:30pm (40minute flight). Even with the layover, we get in Rotorua earlier than if we drove, and pick up a rental car there.

We then have an entire full day the next day in Rotorua/area.

Stay the night there again and leave the next morning for Waitomo and caves, and the head back towards Auckland.

Looking at your calendar.. perhaps you could fly to Rotorua (There's a 5:30 and 7:30pm flight), and then visit rotorua in the morning, head to the caves, and get back to auckland?

6. Re: Auckland to rotorua

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