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Wellington to Auckland Drive - what route?

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Edinburgh
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Wellington to Auckland Drive - what route?

Hi guys, i'm in NZ next March for a short period - flying into Christchurch and out of Auckland. Now that the Tranzscenic Overlander route will no longer be running I'm looking at driving between Auckland and NZ. Does anyone have any suggestions of a good route to do to see the wonders of North Island? I'll have about four days which I understand is more than enough for a direct drive. I've been looking at Roratura but other than that I haven't identified any other possibility.

I'm young and an experienced driver so long hours behind the wheel aren't a problem.

Any advice would be much appreciated

best wishes!

Wellington, New...
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1. Re: Wellington to Auckland Drive - what route?

Are you anticipating driving north from Christchurch ( South Island) or are you driving north from Wellington once you cross the Cook Strait. Do you have 4 days to get to Auckland from Christchurch or 4 days from Wellimgton. Your route can differ considrably

Edinburgh
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2. Re: Wellington to Auckland Drive - what route?

Hi bean, thanks for the reply

Christchuch to Wellington I'm taking the Tranzscenic train - easier to see the sights than when I'm having to concentrate on driving. It's just Wellington to Auckland I'm looking to drive and I have four full days (possibly five) to do it. Four days allows me three days in Wellington and three in Auckland. I can take a longer drive at the cost of losing a day or more in either city - but I understand the may be more to see on the drive than in the cities anyway

Thanks

Edinburgh
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3. Re: Wellington to Auckland Drive - what route?

Sorry - just realised I said 'Auckland and NZ' in that first post. I meant to say between Wellington and Auckland - sorry for the confusion (It was late...)

Wellington, New...
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4. Re: Wellington to Auckland Drive - what route?

jack here is a scenario you might want to consider. Reduce your stay in Wellington to 2 days, you should be able to see everything you need to see here in that time. Make sure you allow at least half a day at Te Papa the national museum.

Travelling north : State highway one to Taupo - about 5 hours with a further hour to Rotorua. Stay the next day in Rotorua - visit the AGrodome complex, Whakarewarewa Maori village and take in one of the natural thermal wonderlands.

Day three: Travel to Auckland via Tauranga, Waihi on State highway 2 Travel time about 4 hours.

Day four relax in Auckland

Day 5 : Travel to Bay of Islands approx 4 1/2 hours. Stay in paihia

Day 6 : Spend a day on a cruise of the Bay out to The Hole in the Rock

Day 7 leave Paihia ealy morning and be back in Auckland by lunchtime.

You will get see a significant part of the north island without stressing yourself out too much and still have time in Auckland to take in what it offers.

Hope this helps

Regards

MIke from Wellington

Wellington, New...
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5. Re: Wellington to Auckland Drive - what route?

jack here is a scenario you might want to consider. Reduce your stay in Wellington to 2 days, you should be able to see everything you need to see here in that time. Make sure you allow at least half a day at Te Papa the national museum.

Travelling north : State highway one to Taupo - about 5 hours with a further hour to Rotorua. Stay the next day in Rotorua - visit the AGrodome complex, Whakarewarewa Maori village and take in one of the natural thermal wonderlands.

Day three: Travel to Auckland via Tauranga, Waihi on State highway 2 Travel time about 4 hours.

Day four relax in Auckland

Day 5 : Travel to Bay of Islands approx 4 1/2 hours. Stay in paihia

Day 6 : Spend a day on a cruise of the Bay out to The Hole in the Rock

Day 7 leave Paihia ealy morning and be back in Auckland by lunchtime.

You will get see a significant part of the north island without stressing yourself out too much and still have time in Auckland to take in what it offers.

Hope this helps

Regards

MIke from Wellington

Edinburgh
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6. Re: Wellington to Auckland Drive - what route?

Mike

That sounds excellent. I think i'll do this. Thanks for the advice

Best wishes

New Zealand
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7. Re: Wellington to Auckland Drive - what route?

Some other options to consider

1 Day 3 Drive to Auckland via Waitomo (caves)

or

2 Stay in Taupo for two days

One day: do Rotorua (an hour's drive away)

Other day: Do the Tongariro Crossing - said to be the world's best day walk.

See the Lonely Plant's Year of Adventures for a description

If you're into diving or snorkling you could try the famous Poor Knights Marine Reserve

Wellington, New...
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8. Re: Wellington to Auckland Drive - what route?

The Tongariro is weather dependant and you need a reasonable level of fitness. The Waitomo caves are a great attraction, but going up the western side of the island in my view reduces the attractions in NZ that you can participate in during your short stay.

Edinburgh
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9. Re: Wellington to Auckland Drive - what route?

Gannet/Bean - thanks - these are all great suggestions. I'll need to look into it in more depth but I suspect I'll stick pretty closely to bean's itinerary. The day walk sounds fantastic but not sure it will be the best use of my time.

I'll look into this and may come back with more questions! Thanks meantime though

Wellington, New...
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10. Re: Wellington to Auckland Drive - what route?

I second the decision to visit Waitomo Caves. Make sure you set aside the time and money to go absailing and/or blackwater rafting in the caves. It is a lot of fun and really spectacular.