Our New Zealand North Island Self Drive holiday is a great way to discover the serene landscapes of New Zealand at your own pace. New Zealand is famous for its laid-back lifestyle and rich multicultural cities teamed with diverse natural beauty and vast open spaces. An integral part of Kiwi life is the Maori culture and heritage which is present in most towns and cities offering truly dynamic experiences. Whether it's the traditional Maori greeting that you may receive, the high-energy Haka dance or exquisite handmade arts and crafts, there's something for everyone to get involved with.
Enjoy the freedom to explore this region in your own vehicle and in your own time, choosing a route that is right for you. Our suggested itinerary will hopefully provide you with some inspiration when travelling across this exciting country, stopping at a few of our favourite places along the way. Visit the bustling markets of New Zealand where you will find artisan creations and unique gifts and keepsakes which reflect the native culture. The nation also produces an impressive variety of fish and seafood along its stretch of more than 14,000km of coastline. You can savour some of the most popular dishes made from indigenous ingredients including strong blue cheese, full-bodied wines and quality cuts of lamb.
With campervan hire included in the price and multiple night stays across some of New Zealand's best towns and landmarks, this trip provides a care-free and exciting way of discovering all that New Zealand's North Island has to offer.
|Day 1||Auckland, New Zealand|
|Days 2-5||Paihia (Bay of Islands)|
|Day 13||Auckland to UK|
Your tour starts with your flight from the UK to the New Zealand city of Auckland. Transfer to Heartland Hotel Auckland Airport for a one-night stay. Located just 3km from Auckland Airport, this modern hotel is 17km from Downtown Auckland and the CBD and just 12km from the vibrant hub of Manukau City. You can also arrange trips to famous local attractions such as Waiheke Island, Auckland Zoo, and Kelly Tarlton's Antarctic Encounters.
The hotel facilities include: an outdoor swimming pool, restaurant, gymnasium, spa, 24-hour reception, 24-hour room service, laundry, complimentary Wi-Fi access throughout, complimentary overnight car parking, local telephone calls, airport shuttle, and telephone for airport pickups from Domestic and International Terminals
The hotel's 141 modern guest rooms and suites range from Standard, Superior, and Superior Plus Rooms to One Bedroom Suites. Standard Rooms feature complimentary Wi-Fi access, air-conditioning, desk, bar fridge, alarm clock, radio, telephone, SKY TV, tea/coffee making facilities, ironing facilities, and bathroom with shower over the bath and toiletries.
Today pick up your campervan, leave Auckland behind, and head for Paihia — the Bay of Islands where you’ll stay for three nights, passing through the quaint town of Warkworth and the gateway to the islands, Kawakawa along the way. The Bay of Islands covers more than 140 subtropical islands dotted around the country's North Island. Its sublime beaches lie relatively untouched with azure-blue waters, golden sands, and big-game fishing opportunities. The lively seaside town of Paihia is known as 'the jewel of the Bay of Islands', a great base from which to explore the area. Follow a scenic walk, relax on the beach, or join a boat trip and swim with dolphins.
After a scenic drive of approximately 2.5 hours, you’ll arrive in Orewa on the Hibiscus Coast. Orewa's sun-drenched beach stretches 3km and is packed full of exciting outdoor attractions and water sports including swimming and kite surfing. Follow the 8km Millennium Walkway route from South Bridge and cross landscapes onto the beach and take in the majestic coastal views. Visit the prestigious Gulf Harbour Country Club for a game of golf or retire to the spa and indulge in a massage.
On day six you’ll travel to Whitianga, the main town on Mercury Bay along the Coromandel Peninsula. This bustling port town is famous for its fresh fish and quality seafood which is celebrated at the Whitianga Scallop Festival with food and wine stalls and cooking demonstrations. Take a ferry across to Cooks Beach on the opposite harbour and find the towering Shakespeare cliff and elegant seafront holiday homes. The area of Hahei covers Cathedral Cove and features the Te Whanganui-A-Hei Marine Reserve, dive along the Gemstone Bay Snorkel Trail, and catch a glimpse of the colourful marine life. With a wide selection of laid-back bars and family-run restaurants, there's something to do both day and night.
Take in the breathtaking scenery on your three-hour drive from Whitianga to Rotorua. This diverse town sits on the southern shores of its namesake lake and is known as the cultural centre for the native Maori people. Watch bubbling mud pools, natural hot springs, and the Pohutu geyser erupt multiple times daily or join a guided tour through Whakarewarewa, the living Maori village, and relive the history which spans more than five generations. Try the traditional Maori cooking method and experience hangi first hand which has been used for more than 2000 years. This social occasion sees chicken and pork placed in an underground oven until smoky and tender, and sometimes accompanied by a delicious hangi-steamed pudding for dessert.
Drive from Rotorua to Auckland on day 12 for the final night of your trip. Before departing for your flight back to the UK, Auckland's iconic Sky Tower is a must-see. Take in 360-degree views and spot key landmarks across the region, or if you're feeling brave take on a thrilling bungee jump or sky walk more than 600ft above ground!
Transfer to Auckland Airport where you’ll return your campervan before your flight back to the UK.