Overview

Travel around the North Island and discover the volcanic activity in the region. See the sulphur spas and geothermal wonderland of Rotorua, Mt Ruapehu and the Tongariro National Park, and New Plymouth.

Itineraries

All itineraries can be amended or combined with other itineraries. Flights can be included from Australia if required. Please advise amendments when requesting a quote.

Auckland - Rotorua - Taupo - National Park - Wanganui - New Plymouth - Hamilton - Auckland

Map of 10 Day Volcanic Explorer Self Drive
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Arrive Auckland
Auckland to Rotorua
Rotorua
Rotorua to Taupo
Taupo to Tongariro National Park
Tongariro National Park to Whanganui
Wanganui to New Plymouth
New Plymouth to Hamilton
Hamilton to Auckland
Depart Auckland

Day 1

Arrive Auckland

Day 2

Auckland to Rotorua

Travel Time: 3 hrs

Distance: 233 kms

Day 3

Rotorua

Day 4

Rotorua to Taupo

Travel Time: 1 hr

Distance: 81 kms

Day 5

Taupo to Tongariro National Park

Travel Time: 50 mins

Distance: 61 kms

Day 6

Tongariro National Park to Whanganui

Travel Time: 1 hrs 55 mins

Distance: 160 kms

Day 7

Wanganui to New Plymouth

Travel Time: 2hrs 15min

Distance: 159 kms

Day 8

New Plymouth to Hamilton

Travel Time: 3 hrs 5 min

Distance: 239 kms

Day 9

Hamilton to Auckland

Travel Time: 1 hr 45 mins

Distance: 126 kms

Day 10

Depart Auckland

On arrival collect your Rental Car. The rest of the day is free to explore at your leisure. View the city lights tonight from the Auckland Sky Tower.

Overnight accommodation:
Standard
- Scenic Hotel Auckland
Superior - Rydges Auckland

Travel south through lush Waikato farmland. This is hobbit country and the route takes you through the town of Matamata where you can still visit the film locations made famous in the Lord of the Rings trilogy at Hobbiton Movie Set and Farm Tours.  Rotorua is steeped in Maori culture and history.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Hobbiton Movie Set Tour

SUGGESTED TOUR: Tamaki Maori Village, Hangi & Concert

Two nights accommodation:
Standard
- Ibis Rotorua
Superior - Novotel Rotorua Lakeside

A day to explore Rotorua's many geothermal attractions including Waimangu Volcanic Valley or Hells Springs. Try spotting a kiwi at Rainbow Springs, relaxing at the Polynesian Spas, Maori Culture at Te Puia and Whakarewarewa Thermal Village.

The drive today takes you close to Orakei Korako the hidden Valley, a truly unique geothermal wonderland, one of nature's true gifts. The town of Taupo sits on New Zealand's largest lake, Lake Taupo.

Just north of the town are the Huka Falls and a short detour to view is highly recommended. The Huka Jet is 30 minutes of pure fun and exhilaration, skimming close to cliffs, sliding past trees, feeling the adrenalin of our full 360 degree spins. The excitement continues right up to the base of the foaming Huka Falls. Craters of the Moon is a nearby geothermal reserve with well formed walking tracks around its many bulling pools and steaming vents.

SUGGESTED OPTION: Huka Jet Ride

Overnight accommodation:
Standard
- Bellavista Taupo
Superior - Waimahana Apartments

Following the lake edge the drive takes you to the township of Turangi, rated as one of the worlds best trout fishing locations. Continuing onto the high central plateau you drive what is commonly known as 'the desert road'. A little further the military town of Waiouru also hosts the Army Museum, an incredible collection of New Zealand's military history and a memorial to its servicemen.

Tongariro National Park is one of New Zealand's three world heritage sites, and clouds permitting you can see the 2,500 metre peak of the still volcanically active Mt. Ruapehu. You might recognise the symmetrical shape of Mt. Ngauruhoe as this was used as the scenery of Mt. Doom in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy.

Overnight accommodation:
Standard & Superior
- Chateau Tongariro Hotel

Option:

Spend an extra night in Tongariro National Park and do the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, one of The Great Walks of New Zealand

A shorter days travelling following the Mangawhero River to Whanganui. Stop to take a jetboat trip to the Bridge to Nowwhere. This afternoon you could spend the afternoon on a river boat cruise. Travel on board New Zealand's last paddle steamer and enjoy your cruise along the Whanganui river.

Overnight:
Standard & Superior
- Kingsgate Hotel the Avenue

As the road heads west, interesting townships pop up regularly. Keep an eye out for small museums and quirky art shops. At Hawera it's time to make a choice. You can follow the 'Surf Highway' around Cape Egmont and have a beach view all the way or you can take the inland route via Stratford and enjoy the green serenity of farmland.

Overnight accommodation:
Standard
- Bella Vista New Plymouth
Superior - Copthorne Hotel Grand Central

Your journey begins with a procession of seaside villages. At Mokau or Awakino you can enjoy the wild beauty of the Tasman Sea before you drive eastward through a mixture of farmland, forest and rugged mountain country. Follow highway three making a stop at Waitomo for your Glow-worm cave tour where you will discover an underground labyrinth of ancient limestone cavern. 

Overnight accommodation: 
Standard - Ibis Tainui Hamilton
Superior - Novotel Hotel Tainui

Places of interest along the way include the coal town of Huntly and the wine growing district of Te Kauwhata. You know you're getting close to Auckland when you reach the motorway at the base of the Bombay Hills. As you approach Auckland, you can't miss the extinct volcanic cones that dot the landscape - there are 48 in all. Tonight enjoy the city's culinary temptations of its restaurant zones.

Overnight accommodation:
Standard
- Scenic Hotel Auckland
Superior - Rydges  Auckland Hotel

Today you are free to explore Auckland before returing your rental car for your onward journey.

Day 1, Arrive Auckland

Arrive Auckland

On arrival collect your Rental Car. The rest of the day is free to explore at your leisure. View the city lights tonight from the Auckland Sky Tower.

Overnight accommodation:
Standard
- Scenic Hotel Auckland
Superior - Rydges Auckland

Day 2, Auckland to Rotorua

Auckland to Rotorua

Travel Time: 3 hrs

Distance: 233 kms

Travel south through lush Waikato farmland. This is hobbit country and the route takes you through the town of Matamata where you can still visit the film locations made famous in the Lord of the Rings trilogy at Hobbiton Movie Set and Farm Tours.  Rotorua is steeped in Maori culture and history.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Hobbiton Movie Set Tour

SUGGESTED TOUR: Tamaki Maori Village, Hangi & Concert

Two nights accommodation:
Standard
- Ibis Rotorua
Superior - Novotel Rotorua Lakeside

Day 3, Rotorua

Rotorua

A day to explore Rotorua's many geothermal attractions including Waimangu Volcanic Valley or Hells Springs. Try spotting a kiwi at Rainbow Springs, relaxing at the Polynesian Spas, Maori Culture at Te Puia and Whakarewarewa Thermal Village.

Day 4, Rotorua to Taupo

Rotorua to Taupo

Travel Time: 1 hr

Distance: 81 kms

The drive today takes you close to Orakei Korako the hidden Valley, a truly unique geothermal wonderland, one of nature's true gifts. The town of Taupo sits on New Zealand's largest lake, Lake Taupo.

Just north of the town are the Huka Falls and a short detour to view is highly recommended. The Huka Jet is 30 minutes of pure fun and exhilaration, skimming close to cliffs, sliding past trees, feeling the adrenalin of our full 360 degree spins. The excitement continues right up to the base of the foaming Huka Falls. Craters of the Moon is a nearby geothermal reserve with well formed walking tracks around its many bulling pools and steaming vents.

SUGGESTED OPTION: Huka Jet Ride

Overnight accommodation:
Standard
- Bellavista Taupo
Superior - Waimahana Apartments

Day 5, Taupo to Tongariro National Park

Taupo to Tongariro National Park

Travel Time: 50 mins

Distance: 61 kms

Following the lake edge the drive takes you to the township of Turangi, rated as one of the worlds best trout fishing locations. Continuing onto the high central plateau you drive what is commonly known as 'the desert road'. A little further the military town of Waiouru also hosts the Army Museum, an incredible collection of New Zealand's military history and a memorial to its servicemen.

Tongariro National Park is one of New Zealand's three world heritage sites, and clouds permitting you can see the 2,500 metre peak of the still volcanically active Mt. Ruapehu. You might recognise the symmetrical shape of Mt. Ngauruhoe as this was used as the scenery of Mt. Doom in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy.

Overnight accommodation:
Standard & Superior
- Chateau Tongariro Hotel

Option:

Spend an extra night in Tongariro National Park and do the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, one of The Great Walks of New Zealand

Day 6, Tongariro National Park to Whanganui

Tongariro National Park to Whanganui

Travel Time: 1 hrs 55 mins

Distance: 160 kms

A shorter days travelling following the Mangawhero River to Whanganui. Stop to take a jetboat trip to the Bridge to Nowwhere. This afternoon you could spend the afternoon on a river boat cruise. Travel on board New Zealand's last paddle steamer and enjoy your cruise along the Whanganui river.

Overnight:
Standard & Superior
- Kingsgate Hotel the Avenue

Day 7, Wanganui to New Plymouth

Wanganui to New Plymouth

Travel Time: 2hrs 15min

Distance: 159 kms

As the road heads west, interesting townships pop up regularly. Keep an eye out for small museums and quirky art shops. At Hawera it's time to make a choice. You can follow the 'Surf Highway' around Cape Egmont and have a beach view all the way or you can take the inland route via Stratford and enjoy the green serenity of farmland.

Overnight accommodation:
Standard
- Bella Vista New Plymouth
Superior - Copthorne Hotel Grand Central

Day 8, New Plymouth to Hamilton

New Plymouth to Hamilton

Travel Time: 3 hrs 5 min

Distance: 239 kms

Your journey begins with a procession of seaside villages. At Mokau or Awakino you can enjoy the wild beauty of the Tasman Sea before you drive eastward through a mixture of farmland, forest and rugged mountain country. Follow highway three making a stop at Waitomo for your Glow-worm cave tour where you will discover an underground labyrinth of ancient limestone cavern. 

Overnight accommodation: 
Standard - Ibis Tainui Hamilton
Superior - Novotel Hotel Tainui

Day 9, Hamilton to Auckland

Hamilton to Auckland

Travel Time: 1 hr 45 mins

Distance: 126 kms

Places of interest along the way include the coal town of Huntly and the wine growing district of Te Kauwhata. You know you're getting close to Auckland when you reach the motorway at the base of the Bombay Hills. As you approach Auckland, you can't miss the extinct volcanic cones that dot the landscape - there are 48 in all. Tonight enjoy the city's culinary temptations of its restaurant zones.

Overnight accommodation:
Standard
- Scenic Hotel Auckland
Superior - Rydges  Auckland Hotel

Day 10, Depart Auckland

Depart Auckland

Today you are free to explore Auckland before returing your rental car for your onward journey.

Additional Information

Pricing

Cost per person

August 2018 - September 2019

 Twin/Double
Standard From AU$1,638* per person

* PLEASE NOTE *

Prices are estimates only, and are subject to availability and exchange rates when booking, seasonal or holiday price surcharges (such as Christmas/New Year and Easter); as well as special events that may be on. Please forward a request and we will be happy to forward a quote.

Payment

  • Deposit: $200 per person within 7 days of booking
  • Full Payment: 60 Days before travel
  • Airfares (if applicable): Paid in full no more than 6 days after booking

Cancellation Charges

  • Cancellation Fees up to 100% can apply after booking. Extra deposits or full payment may be requested to cover these charges prior to booking.
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Includes

Includes:

 9 nights accommodation in your chosen category:
Standard: 3 to 4 star motels / hotels
Superior: 4 to 4.5 star hotels

  • 1 Night Auckland
  • 2 Nights Rotorua
  • 1 Night Taupo
  • 1 Night Tongariro National Park
  • 1 Night Whanganui
  • 1 Night New Plymouth
  • 1 Night Hamilton
  • 1 Night Auckland

9 days car hire (C/CDAR Toyota Corolla or Similar)

Sky Tower admission with Sky Deck

Entry into Waitomo Glowworm Caves

Options

Travel Insurance

If you are going overseas, then travel insurance is a necessity. Compare rates and polices online and get a free travel insurance quote.

Kruse GPS Audio Travel Guide

A great alternative to normal GPS Sat Nav in New Zealand is a KRUSE GPS Audio Travel Guide. As well as working like a normal GPS, this great alternative also gives you a detailed commentary as you travel through each region. Let's you know what you can do, where the best restaurants and cafes are, as well as all those hidden secret gems.

Airfares

International flights can be included from Australia for all Australian residents.

Hobbiton Movie Set Tour

Become immersed in The Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit films when you visit the actual Hobbiton movie set. Located just outside of Matamata - in the heart the lush Waikato farming region, your two hour tour will begin with a drive through a picturesque sheep farm. You'll then be taken through Hobbit Holes, The Green Dragon Inn, The Mill and the Party Tree while your guide shares behind-the-scenes tales and insight into the making of the films.

Tamaki Maori Village, Hangi & Concert, Rotorua

Tonight you could visit Tamaki Maori Village for a Hangi & Concert. Be enthralled by the natural bush setting, see warriors in traditional dress. Enjoy a night of traditional culture and entertainment, before experiencing a Maori hangi (feast), with a selection of foods cooked the traditional Maori way underground.

Huka Jet boat ride, Taupo

The Huka Jet is 30 minutes of pure fun and exhilaration, skimming close to cliffs, sliding past trees, feeling the adrenalin of our full 360 degree spins. The excitement continues right up to the base of the foaming Huka Falls, where you get a spectacular water level view to New Zealand's most visited natural attraction. Nothing compares to watching 220,000 litres per second tumbling over the cliff face towards you.

The water from the mighty Huka Falls runs down the Waikato River through a series of Hydro Power Stations. You'll get a view of the Wairakei Geothermal Power Station in the comfort of our powerful Chevrolet V8 jet boats. This unique Geothermal Power Station uses underground geothermal activity to produce hot steamy water. The Waikato Rivers beautiful environment is varied and unique and is New Zealand's longest river flowing north from our largest lake - Lake Taupo.

Highlights

Auckland - Rotorua - Taupo - National Park - Wanganui - New Plymouth - Hamilton - Auckland

Auckland Sky Tower

Towering over Auckland and standing at 328m tall, the Sky Tower is the tallest free-standing structure in the Southern Hemisphere. Travel up in glass-fronted lifts to one of the 3 spectacular viewing platforms, where you can take in views of Auckland City & its twin harbours.

Waitomo Glowworm Caves Tour

Discover a truly amazing underground labyrinth of ancient limestone caverns & formations and marvel at a galaxy of tiny living lights in the famed Glowworm Grotto. The highlight of your tour is an unrivalled boat trip with your way lit by a myriad of tiny glowworm lights.

Book now, pay later No credit card required

10 Day Volcanic Explorer Self Drive

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