Overview

This 8 Day Northern Family Fun Break Self Drive tour takes you to the finest visitor destinations of upper North Island. Leaving Auckland, the highlights of the tour include the Bay of Islands, Rotorua and Hobbiton before rounding it out back to the City of Sails. With an assortment of exciting activities for kids big and small and fantastic family-friendly accommodation, this tour promises to be an unforgettable holiday for the whole family.

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 - Bay of Islands - Auckland North Shore - Rotorua - Auckland

Map of 8 Day Northern Family Fun Break Self Drive
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View itinerary for day 8
Welcome to Auckland City
Auckland to Paihia, Bay of Islands
Explore the Bay of Islands
Bay of Islands to Snells Beach via Waipoua Forest
Snells Beach to Rotorua
Explore Rotorua
Rotorua to Matamata to Auckland
Depart Auckland

Day 1

Welcome to Auckland City

Day 2

Auckland to Paihia, Bay of Islands

Travel Time: 3 hrs

Distance: 226 kms

Day 3

Explore the Bay of Islands

Day 4

Bay of Islands to Snells Beach via Waipoua Forest

Travel Time: 3 hrs 50 mins

Distance: 295 kms

Day 5

Snells Beach to Rotorua

Travel Time: 3 hrs 25 mins

Distance: 287 kms

Day 6

Explore Rotorua

Day 7

Rotorua to Matamata to Auckland

Travel Time: 3 hrs

Distance: 241 kms

Day 8

Depart Auckland

On arrival you will be met by one of our team and driven to your Auckland accommodation.

Welcome to Auckland City

Auckland, New Zealand’s self-proclaimed ‘City of Sails’ is the country’s largest metro area. Resting between the Pacific Ocean and the Tasman Sea, this urban paradise has something for everyone. Surrounded by native bush, rainforests and an abundance of beaches, Auckland is a playground for both the city savvy and those with an eye for adventure. Explore the central museums and galleries on foot, or take a drive through one of over 800 regional National Parks to see deserted beaches, waterfalls and native forest.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Fullers Auckland Harbour Cruise

Stay 1 night Auckland

Collect your rental car

Auckland to Paihia, Bay of Islands

The trip from Auckland to the Bay of Islands takes around 3.5 hours but give yourself some leeway for stops and sightseeing. As you go through Puhoi, take in the bohemian atmosphere of this historical township. Stop for a breath of fresh salty air in Whangarei and take another break at Kawakawa - home to the world famous Hundertwasser toilets. Enjoy the native bush surrounds and marvel at the endless golden beaches as you arrive into central Bay of Islands, Paihia.

Stay 2 nights Bay of Islands

Commonly known as the ‘winterless north’ New Zealand’s Bay of Islands is made up of over 140 subtropical atolls. Renowned for its untouched beaches, abundant marine life and idyllic climate, this tropical paradise ticks all the boxes. Spend some time on a remote stretch of beach, or wander around Russell, a whaling port founded in 1843. Learn about our culture in historic Waitangi, the site where The Treaty of Waitangi was signed in 1840 between the Maori and European settlers dictating the terms by which New Zealand would become a British colony. 

Included: Dolphin Encounter

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Waitangi Treaty Grounds Guided Tour and Cultural Performance

From the Bay of Islands you will head west, leaving the Pacific Ocean for the wilder shores of Hokianga and the Tasman Sea. Small towns Omapere and Opononi are reminiscent of days gone by with a vintage seaside feel - and are the perfect place to stop for an ice cream in a hot day.

Stretch your legs and take the short walking track at the mouth of the Hokianga Harbour, which offers a unique vantage point to view the harbor and rolling sand dunes. To the south is the Kauri coast - which you're about to explore. Head south into the Waipoua Forest, home to giant Kauri trees. Allow time for one of a number of short walks available in the area. Not to be missed is the five minute loop to view the largest Kauri in New Zealand, Tane Mahuta.

Backtrack cross-country to the Matakohe Kauri Museum - an award winning museum with extensive historical displays. Continue on the road to Snells Beach, a lovely little township close to Warkworth. If you arrive in plenty of time, head into Matakana Wine Country for some great dining options. Another must do while you’re here is a day excursion to one of many deserted beaches in the Tawharanui Marine Reserve.

Stay 1 night North Auckland

Continuing south through Auckland, State Highway 1 quickly takes you into rolling green farmland and the rich dairy pasture of the Waikato. The Bombay Hills mark the outer boundary of the greater Auckland area and its here you turn inland to central Waikato. Continuing on you’ll pass several small farming communities before telltale signs of steam and other geothermal activity signal your arrival into Rotorua.

Stay 2 nights 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.

Included: Rotorua Forest Canopy Tours

Included: Mitai Maori Village and Rainbow Springs Beauty By Night combo

Rotorua to Matamata

Leave the steaming vents and boiling pools of the geothermal region behind as you make your way through the lush dairy pastures of the Waikato. Take in the emerald green landscapes most famous for their role in the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit films. Arrive into the small town of Matamata, for a visit to the fully intact set of Hobbiton.

Included: Hobbiton Movie Set Tour

Matamata to Auckland

Your drive continues north west crossing the dairy country of the Hauraki Plains before arriving at State Highway 1. The Bombay Hills guide you to Auckland City

Explore more of vibrant Auckland city before dropping your rental car at the airport depot and continuing your onward journey.

Day 1, Welcome to Auckland City

Welcome to Auckland City

On arrival you will be met by one of our team and driven to your Auckland accommodation.

Welcome to Auckland City

Auckland, New Zealand’s self-proclaimed ‘City of Sails’ is the country’s largest metro area. Resting between the Pacific Ocean and the Tasman Sea, this urban paradise has something for everyone. Surrounded by native bush, rainforests and an abundance of beaches, Auckland is a playground for both the city savvy and those with an eye for adventure. Explore the central museums and galleries on foot, or take a drive through one of over 800 regional National Parks to see deserted beaches, waterfalls and native forest.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Fullers Auckland Harbour Cruise

Stay 1 night Auckland

Day 2, Auckland to Paihia, Bay of Islands

Auckland to Paihia, Bay of Islands

Travel Time: 3 hrs

Distance: 226 kms

Collect your rental car

Auckland to Paihia, Bay of Islands

The trip from Auckland to the Bay of Islands takes around 3.5 hours but give yourself some leeway for stops and sightseeing. As you go through Puhoi, take in the bohemian atmosphere of this historical township. Stop for a breath of fresh salty air in Whangarei and take another break at Kawakawa - home to the world famous Hundertwasser toilets. Enjoy the native bush surrounds and marvel at the endless golden beaches as you arrive into central Bay of Islands, Paihia.

Stay 2 nights Bay of Islands

Day 3, Explore the Bay of Islands

Explore the Bay of Islands

Commonly known as the ‘winterless north’ New Zealand’s Bay of Islands is made up of over 140 subtropical atolls. Renowned for its untouched beaches, abundant marine life and idyllic climate, this tropical paradise ticks all the boxes. Spend some time on a remote stretch of beach, or wander around Russell, a whaling port founded in 1843. Learn about our culture in historic Waitangi, the site where The Treaty of Waitangi was signed in 1840 between the Maori and European settlers dictating the terms by which New Zealand would become a British colony. 

Included: Dolphin Encounter

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Waitangi Treaty Grounds Guided Tour and Cultural Performance

Day 4, Bay of Islands to Snells Beach via Waipoua Forest

Bay of Islands to Snells Beach via Waipoua Forest

Travel Time: 3 hrs 50 mins

Distance: 295 kms

From the Bay of Islands you will head west, leaving the Pacific Ocean for the wilder shores of Hokianga and the Tasman Sea. Small towns Omapere and Opononi are reminiscent of days gone by with a vintage seaside feel - and are the perfect place to stop for an ice cream in a hot day.

Stretch your legs and take the short walking track at the mouth of the Hokianga Harbour, which offers a unique vantage point to view the harbor and rolling sand dunes. To the south is the Kauri coast - which you're about to explore. Head south into the Waipoua Forest, home to giant Kauri trees. Allow time for one of a number of short walks available in the area. Not to be missed is the five minute loop to view the largest Kauri in New Zealand, Tane Mahuta.

Backtrack cross-country to the Matakohe Kauri Museum - an award winning museum with extensive historical displays. Continue on the road to Snells Beach, a lovely little township close to Warkworth. If you arrive in plenty of time, head into Matakana Wine Country for some great dining options. Another must do while you’re here is a day excursion to one of many deserted beaches in the Tawharanui Marine Reserve.

Stay 1 night North Auckland

Day 5, Snells Beach to Rotorua

Snells Beach to Rotorua

Travel Time: 3 hrs 25 mins

Distance: 287 kms

Continuing south through Auckland, State Highway 1 quickly takes you into rolling green farmland and the rich dairy pasture of the Waikato. The Bombay Hills mark the outer boundary of the greater Auckland area and its here you turn inland to central Waikato. Continuing on you’ll pass several small farming communities before telltale signs of steam and other geothermal activity signal your arrival into Rotorua.

Stay 2 nights Rotorua

Day 6, Explore Rotorua

Explore 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.

Included: Rotorua Forest Canopy Tours

Included: Mitai Maori Village and Rainbow Springs Beauty By Night combo

Day 7, Rotorua to Matamata to Auckland

Rotorua to Matamata to Auckland

Travel Time: 3 hrs

Distance: 241 kms

Rotorua to Matamata

Leave the steaming vents and boiling pools of the geothermal region behind as you make your way through the lush dairy pastures of the Waikato. Take in the emerald green landscapes most famous for their role in the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit films. Arrive into the small town of Matamata, for a visit to the fully intact set of Hobbiton.

Included: Hobbiton Movie Set Tour

Matamata to Auckland

Your drive continues north west crossing the dairy country of the Hauraki Plains before arriving at State Highway 1. The Bombay Hills guide you to Auckland City

Day 8, Depart Auckland

Depart Auckland

Explore more of vibrant Auckland city before dropping your rental car at the airport depot and continuing your onward journey.

Additional Information

Pricing

Cost per Person

 Twin/DoubleFamily**
Motel Accommodation from NZ$2,080* per person from NZ$1,492* per person

**based on 2 adults and 2 children (5-14 years)

*PLEASE NOTE

Price is based on two adults sharing a compact rental car and accommodation (twin/double-share).

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: 20% of the package cost or NZ$250 per person (whichever is the greater) at time of booking
  • Full Payment: 45 Days before travel
  • Airfares (if applicable): Paid in full at the time of 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:

 7 nights accommodation

  • 1 Night Auckland
  • 2 Nights Bay of Islands
  • 1 Night Auckland North Shore
  • 2 Nights Rotorua
  • 1 Night Auckland

7 days car hire

  • Rental car insurance: Fully inclusive with variable excess/deductible.
  • Rental car: GPS navigation unlimited kms, airport/ferry terminal fees, additional drivers

Private airport transfers

Dolphin Encounter

Rotorua Forest Canopy Tours

Mitai Maori Village and Rainbow Springs Beauty By Night combo

Hobbiton Movie Set Tour

Options

Travel Insurance

If you are going overseas, then travel insurance is a necssity. 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 resident

Optional Extras

Fullers Auckland Harbour Cruise, Auckland

Today Cruise the sparkling waters of Aucklands Waitemata harbour. You’ll learn about the most well-known city landmarks, including a stopover on dormant volcano Rangitoto. You’ll see spectacular views of the Harbour Bridge, the city skyline and Devonport’s historic naval base as well as enjoying the Bean Rock Lighthouse with a complimentary hot drink and sandwich. Each tour includes a complimentary return ticket to Devonport, that can be used on a day and time convenient to you.

Waitangi Treaty Grounds Guided Tour and Cultural Performance, Bay of Islands

Waitangi is one of New Zealand’s most historic sites where the Treaty of Waitangi was signed in 1840 between the local Maori and the British Government. This two day pass allows you access to the Treaty of Waitangi Grounds and includes admission to the Museum of Waitangi, a guided tour and a Maori Cultural performance. During your guided tour, you’ll learn about the history of the treaty and discover the stories and events that shaped New Zealand. The cultural performance inside the carved meeting house includes waiata (singing), poi, a display of Maori weaponry and the haka - a war dance New Zealand is known for.

Highlights

Dolphin Encounter, Bay of Islands

On this tour you will have the opportunity to experience dolphins in their natural habitat. Cruise the picturesque islands dotting the harbour as your crew keeps a lookout for dolphin pods. 

Rotorua Forest Canopy Tours

Embark on a three hour adventure through native New Zealand forest. Journey through the beautiful forest canopy via an incredible network of trails, tree platforms, Ziplines and swing bridges. See breathtaking views of the woodland valleys and hills as you fly through tight openings in the trees.

In between the thrill of the ziplines and suspended tree bridges, your guides will share their passion and knowledge for the forest and the conservation challenges to preserve it.

Rotorua: Mitai Maori Village and Rainbow Springs Beauty By Night combo

An evening at Mitai will give you an authentic introduction to Maori culture leaving you amazed and in awe. Be enthralled by the natural bush setting, see warriors in traditional dress, paddle an ancient warrior canoe (waka) down the Wai-o-whiro stream, and don't miss your only opportunity in the Rotorua area to see glow worms in their natural habitat. Marvel at the crystal clear water full of eels and trout, flowing directly from the earth at the sacred Fairy Spring. See your traditionally cooked hangi meal being lifted from the ground. During the cultural performance, you'll learn about maori history, carvings and ta moko (tattoo art). Be captivated by the displays of weaponry and combat, coupled with the grace and beauty of the poi dance. You'll be amazed by the spine tingling haka finale. The Mitai family is proud to have created a sacred and spiritual place that offers you an indigenous cultural experience like no other. You'll also enjoy a fully guided tour of Rainbow Springs under lights including a walk through the Kiwi enclosure and bird aviaries. (Rainbow Springs tour is approximately 45 minutes)

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.

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8 Day Northern Family Fun Break Self Drive

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