Overview

Looking for a quick escape around North Island? This 6 Day Northern Rapture self drive from Wellington to Auckland is a great option if you don’t have a lot of time in New Zealand, but want to see fantastic sights and landscapes, and experience the fantastic culture of the Maori people.

This itinerary starts in Wellington, New Zealand’s ‘cool little’ capital. Don’t forget to explore the city’s many museums and cafes. On the following day, you will drive to Rotorua but just before arriving at the country’s geothermal wonderland, drop by Lake Taupo, the largest lake in New Zealand and Australasia. In Rotorua, you will learn more about the Maori people and participate in a traditional feast (hangi).

Your next destination is the world-famous Hobbiton Movie Set and then, on to Pauanui where you can relax at Coromandel’s many beautiful beaches. Cap off your holiday with a dinner cruise at Auckland harbour or if you plan to stay longer, explore the city’s great culinary scene and nearby wineries.

Wellington - Rotorua - Hobbiton Movie Set - Pauanui - Auckland

Don't want to drive? This itinerary is also available as a coach tour!

Map of 6 Day Northern Rapture Self Drive Wellington to Auckland
View itinerary for day 1
View itinerary for day 2
View itinerary for day 3
View itinerary for day 4
View itinerary for day 5
View itinerary for day 6
Arrive Wellington
Wellington to Rotorua
Explore Rotorua
Rotorua to Pauanui
Pauanui to Auckland
Depart Auckland

Day 1

Arrive Wellington

Day 2

Wellington to Rotorua

Travel Time: 5 hrs 40 mins

Distance: 452 kms

Day 3

Explore Rotorua

Day 4

Rotorua to Pauanui

Travel Time: 3 hrs

Distance: 212 kms

Day 5

Pauanui to Auckland

Travel Time: 2 hrs

Distance: 151 kms

Day 6

Depart Auckland

On arrival into Wellington airport collect your hire car and spend the day exploring the nation's capital at your leisure. Today you have the time to delve into the history and stories of New Zealand at Te Papa Museum, see Wellington’s natural beauty from the cable car and wind down as you indulge your taste buds with Wellington’s gourmet foodie delights.

Stay 1 night Wellington

Leaving the city behind, make your way through Tongariro National Park, bordering the volcanic cone of Mt Ruapehu. Follow Desert Road to the popular lakeside town of Taupo, located on the shores of New Zealand’s largest lake. Stop to view the mighty Huka Falls and travel past massive pine forests to reach Rotorua, the centre of Maori culture and famous for its geysers, boiling mud pools and steaming craters.

Stay 2 nights Rotorua

This morning make your way to Te Puia, home to Te Whakarewarewa Thermal Reserve and the New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Centre. Explore nature’s thermal wonders including silica terraces and the famous Pohutu Geyser. After lunch, take some time to relax in your own private thermal bath at the traditional Polynesian Spa. As evening arrives, make your way to the Tamaki Maori Village for an authentic cultural experience. Sit down to a traditional Hangi (feast) followed by a stirring performance of Maori songs, chants and dance including the haka.

Continue your drive onward through the natural beauty of New Zealand’s Waikato region renowned for its fertile farming land. At Matamata enjoy a visit to the living set used in The Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies. After working up a thirst on your tour make your way to The Green Dragon for a cider or ale in authentic Hobbit style! Make your way to the coastal town of Pauanui where you will spend the night in luxury surrounded by native bush and stunning views.

Stay 1 night Pauanui

Today head around the Coromandel Peninsula. At the quaint township of Coromandel, ride the famous Driving Creek narrow gauge railway through native Kauri forest to a fascinating artist colony. Spend your day exploring the rugged landscape of this hidden paradise set amongst golden beaches and towering mountains. Make your way onward to the lively and ever-expanding ‘City of Sails’. Tonight, see Auckland from a unique perspective as you cruise alongside the harbour city enjoying an intimate three-course dinner by starlight and city lights!

1 night Auckland

Make Auckland city your playground with unlimited opportunities to enjoy the last of your North Island trip! No matter what your style, the vibrant city will have you finishing your holiday on a wonderful high before heading home to share your travel stories of New Zealand.

Day 1, Arrive Wellington

Arrive Wellington

On arrival into Wellington airport collect your hire car and spend the day exploring the nation's capital at your leisure. Today you have the time to delve into the history and stories of New Zealand at Te Papa Museum, see Wellington’s natural beauty from the cable car and wind down as you indulge your taste buds with Wellington’s gourmet foodie delights.

Stay 1 night Wellington

Day 2, Wellington to Rotorua

Wellington to Rotorua

Travel Time: 5 hrs 40 mins

Distance: 452 kms

Leaving the city behind, make your way through Tongariro National Park, bordering the volcanic cone of Mt Ruapehu. Follow Desert Road to the popular lakeside town of Taupo, located on the shores of New Zealand’s largest lake. Stop to view the mighty Huka Falls and travel past massive pine forests to reach Rotorua, the centre of Maori culture and famous for its geysers, boiling mud pools and steaming craters.

Stay 2 nights Rotorua

Day 3, Explore Rotorua

Explore Rotorua

This morning make your way to Te Puia, home to Te Whakarewarewa Thermal Reserve and the New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Centre. Explore nature’s thermal wonders including silica terraces and the famous Pohutu Geyser. After lunch, take some time to relax in your own private thermal bath at the traditional Polynesian Spa. As evening arrives, make your way to the Tamaki Maori Village for an authentic cultural experience. Sit down to a traditional Hangi (feast) followed by a stirring performance of Maori songs, chants and dance including the haka.

Day 4, Rotorua to Pauanui

Rotorua to Pauanui

Travel Time: 3 hrs

Distance: 212 kms

Continue your drive onward through the natural beauty of New Zealand’s Waikato region renowned for its fertile farming land. At Matamata enjoy a visit to the living set used in The Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies. After working up a thirst on your tour make your way to The Green Dragon for a cider or ale in authentic Hobbit style! Make your way to the coastal town of Pauanui where you will spend the night in luxury surrounded by native bush and stunning views.

Stay 1 night Pauanui

Day 5, Pauanui to Auckland

Pauanui to Auckland

Travel Time: 2 hrs

Distance: 151 kms

Today head around the Coromandel Peninsula. At the quaint township of Coromandel, ride the famous Driving Creek narrow gauge railway through native Kauri forest to a fascinating artist colony. Spend your day exploring the rugged landscape of this hidden paradise set amongst golden beaches and towering mountains. Make your way onward to the lively and ever-expanding ‘City of Sails’. Tonight, see Auckland from a unique perspective as you cruise alongside the harbour city enjoying an intimate three-course dinner by starlight and city lights!

1 night Auckland

Day 6, Depart Auckland

Depart Auckland

Make Auckland city your playground with unlimited opportunities to enjoy the last of your North Island trip! No matter what your style, the vibrant city will have you finishing your holiday on a wonderful high before heading home to share your travel stories of New Zealand.

Additional Information

Pricing

Cost per Person

May to September 2019

 Twin/Double
Standard 3-3.5 Star Accommodation from AU$2,179* 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.

Car Rental

  • Car hire excess fees of up to NZ$3500 + GST applies. This will be imprinted on a credit card upon collecting the vehicle. Excess reduction options are available at an additional cost per day. 
  • Airport/Ferry pick up fee applies in some locations. This must be paid direct in New Zealand. 
  • Car parking fees may apply in some locations.

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:

5 nights accommodation including breakfast

  • 1 night Wellington
  • 2 nights Rotorua
  • 1 night Pauanui
  • 1 nightAuckland

6 days car rental (excess applies)

Private airport transfers

Te Puia Thermal Reserve

Traditional Maori Hangi and Cultural Experience

Hobbiton movie set tour

Driving Creek Railway, Pauanui

Auckland Harbour Dinner Cruise

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.

Accommodation

There is a choice of accommodation available on all packages, which depending on locations, includes motels, 3 star hotels, 4 star hotels, boutique lodges & hotels and luxury lodges and hotels. We are happy to quote on alternate accommodation requests.

Airfares

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

Optional Extras

Polynesian Spa, Rotorua

It is New Zealand’s leading international acclaimed spa, providing a unique thermal spa experience on the shore of Lake Rotorua; with the option of the Lake Spa, where you enjoy lake views and tranquil bathing amongst native flora, in the four hot mineral pools of the deluxe Lake Spa.

Introducing Te Papa Museum Guided Tour, Wellington

Te Papa will show you the country's past, present and future, so you can explore the land and its people. In 20 galleries explore the oceans, the land and its wildlife; learn of the Maori people, the more recent settlement and diversity of its people, its arts and visual culture. As you will discover this is no ordinary museum with many interactive displays.

Highlights

Wellington - Rotorua - Hobbiton Movie Set - Pauanui - Auckland

Te Puia Thermal Reserve, Rotorua

New Zealand's Maori Arts and Crafts Institute Te Puia is located in the beautiful Te Whakarewarewa Thermal Valley. See silica terraces and bubbling mud pools, view the world famous Pohutu Geyser erupting from the ground up to 30 metres high, and view exhibitions, demonstrations by qualified artists in their respective fields of weaving and carving. Spend your time at Te Puia with a guided tour and complete your experience with a Maori Cultural performance.

Traditional Maori Hangi and Cultural Experience, Rotorua

Step back in time and learn about The Chronicles of Uitara tale, pre European time in New Zealand. Your night starts by approaching the Maori forest village where you are met by Maori warriors before being welcomed in to the village. The tribe will share ancient ceremonies of Welcome and Farewell as you watch in amazement as they re-enactment their story. Based on a true story, with real characters and actual events you will finish your night with a delicious Hangi feast.

Hobbiton Movie Set Tour

On beautiful private farmland, you can visit the Hobbiton Movie Set from The Lord of the Rings & The Hobbit film trilogies in a fascinating guided tour. See Hobbit Holes, The Green Dragon Inn and other structures & gardens built for the films.

Driving Creek Railway, Coromandel Peninsula

Experience this innovatively designed train that takes you through replanted native kauri forest and includes 2 spirals, 3 short tunnels, 5 reversing points and several large viaducts as it climbs up to the mountain top terminus. The journey will take you 1 hour as you travel up to the new 'Eyefull Tower' for panoramic views over the island studded Hauraki Gulf. The journey also offers guess entry to the pottery complex and craft shop where you can view the finished works.

Auckland Harbour Dinner Cruise

An on water dining experience not to be missed. Watch the sun set as the night lights of photogenic Auckland come alive. Choose from a set menu served by the crew during the dinner stop at a sheltered mooring. A selection of local wine & beer is also available for purchase onboard. Departs 6pm; duration 2½ hrs

Book now, pay later No credit card required

6 Day Northern Rapture Self Drive Wellington to Auckland

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