Overview

Take a 7 Day Family Fun North Island Self Drive tour of some of the iconic attractions of North Island of New Zealand including the fascinating culture and adventure mecca of Rotorua. The idyllic vacation destination of Coromandel Peninsula is the first stop in your journey. Here you’ll get a chance to ride the one-of-a-kind Driving Creek Railway line before heading to the beachside village of Whitianga.

Moving on, spend two nights in Rotorua and enjoy an exciting day of animal encounters. Before returning to Auckland, you’ll get the chance to visit the dreamy village of Hobbiton, making this tour a must for the family.

Auckland - Coromandel Peninsula - Rotorua - Taupo - Auckland

Map of 7 Day Family Fun North Island Self Drive
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
View itinerary for day 7
Auckland City
Auckland to Coromandel Peninsula
Coromandel Peninsula to Rotorua
Explore Rotorua
Rotorua to Taupo
Taupo - Matamata - Auckland
Depart Auckland

Day 1

Auckland City

Day 2

Auckland to Coromandel Peninsula

Travel Time: 3 hrs

Distance: 204 kms

Day 3

Coromandel Peninsula to Rotorua

Travel Time: 3hrs 20min

Distance: 221 kms

Day 4

Explore Rotorua

Day 5

Rotorua to Taupo

Travel Time: 50 mins

Distance: 75 kms

Day 6

Taupo - Matamata - Auckland

Travel Time: 3 hrs 25 mins

Distance: 287 kms

Day 7

Depart Auckland

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

Welcome to 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. 

Stay 1 night Auckland

Collect your rental car

Auckland to Coromandel Township

As you leave the Auckland city boundary the landscape changes to lush farmland. You'll cross the fertile Hauraki Plains. Arriving into the old gold mining town of Thames, there are two different routes to the east coast of the Coromandel. Either directly over the Coromandel Ranges or north to Coromandel Township along the Pohutukawa Coast.

Driving Creek Railway & Potteries
The 1 hour return train trip on the innovatively designed trains 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 pottery is still producing and you can watch the artists at work as well as purchase items.

Coromandel Township to Whitianga
The short drive from Coromandel Township to Whitianga takes you via the scenic coastline of Whangapoua Harbour and the Kuaotuna beach. 

Stay 1 night Whitianga

Heading south from the Coromandel Peninsula you pass through the seaside town of Whangamata - a popular location for Kiwi holidaymakers and home to one of the best beaches in the region. Next you come to the old mining town of Waihi.

For rail enthusiasts the Goldfields Railway operates passenger trains along a scenic and historic section of track towards Waikino. The route now takes you into the Bay of Plenty and the port town of Tauranga before you head along the scenic Pyes Pa Road to Rotorua. 

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Cruise from Whitianga 

Stay 2 nights Rotorua

Peppered with natural hot springs, boiling mud pools and steaming geysers, Rotorua sits within one of the worlds most active volcanic regions. But geothermal landmarks aside, this city of sulphur has a rich indigenous history. Home to several prominent Maori tribes, a visit to the Mitai Maori Village.

Agrodome Sheep Show and Organic Farm Tour
Gain a fascinating insight into New Zealand’s agriculture at Rotorua’s renowned Agrodome sheep show.

Rainbow Springs and Behind the Scenes Kiwi Encounter
At Rainbow Springs you’ll have the chance to see some of New Zealand’s native flora and fauna within the majestic forests of Rotorua. 

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Te Puia Daytime Experience 

Today drive through the heart of the Central North Island volcanic plateau. Visit the geothermal regions Wai O Tapu Thermal Wonderland and Waimangu Volcanic Valley, before arriving into the town of Taupo, which sits on New Zealand's largest lake - Lake Taupo. 

The nearby Huka Falls are a spectacular sight and a jet boat ride will give you a very exciting ride to view the thundering water from below.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Maori Rock Carving Cruise 

Stay 1 night Taupo

The lush farmland of the Waikato provides some great scenery as you head north. In the small village of Tirau you can stop and get your photo next to the giant sheep and farm dog which also double as the Tourist Information centre. Once you reach Matamata you are in hobbit country and the route takes you to 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.

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

Stay 1 night Auckland

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

Day 1, Auckland City

Auckland City

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

Welcome to 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. 

Stay 1 night Auckland

Day 2, Auckland to Coromandel Peninsula

Auckland to Coromandel Peninsula

Travel Time: 3 hrs

Distance: 204 kms

Collect your rental car

Auckland to Coromandel Township

As you leave the Auckland city boundary the landscape changes to lush farmland. You'll cross the fertile Hauraki Plains. Arriving into the old gold mining town of Thames, there are two different routes to the east coast of the Coromandel. Either directly over the Coromandel Ranges or north to Coromandel Township along the Pohutukawa Coast.

Driving Creek Railway & Potteries
The 1 hour return train trip on the innovatively designed trains 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 pottery is still producing and you can watch the artists at work as well as purchase items.

Coromandel Township to Whitianga
The short drive from Coromandel Township to Whitianga takes you via the scenic coastline of Whangapoua Harbour and the Kuaotuna beach. 

Stay 1 night Whitianga

Day 3, Coromandel Peninsula to Rotorua

Coromandel Peninsula to Rotorua

Travel Time: 3hrs 20min

Distance: 221 kms

Heading south from the Coromandel Peninsula you pass through the seaside town of Whangamata - a popular location for Kiwi holidaymakers and home to one of the best beaches in the region. Next you come to the old mining town of Waihi.

For rail enthusiasts the Goldfields Railway operates passenger trains along a scenic and historic section of track towards Waikino. The route now takes you into the Bay of Plenty and the port town of Tauranga before you head along the scenic Pyes Pa Road to Rotorua. 

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Cruise from Whitianga 

Stay 2 nights Rotorua

Day 4, Explore Rotorua

Explore Rotorua

Peppered with natural hot springs, boiling mud pools and steaming geysers, Rotorua sits within one of the worlds most active volcanic regions. But geothermal landmarks aside, this city of sulphur has a rich indigenous history. Home to several prominent Maori tribes, a visit to the Mitai Maori Village.

Agrodome Sheep Show and Organic Farm Tour
Gain a fascinating insight into New Zealand’s agriculture at Rotorua’s renowned Agrodome sheep show.

Rainbow Springs and Behind the Scenes Kiwi Encounter
At Rainbow Springs you’ll have the chance to see some of New Zealand’s native flora and fauna within the majestic forests of Rotorua. 

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Te Puia Daytime Experience 

Day 5, Rotorua to Taupo

Rotorua to Taupo

Travel Time: 50 mins

Distance: 75 kms

Today drive through the heart of the Central North Island volcanic plateau. Visit the geothermal regions Wai O Tapu Thermal Wonderland and Waimangu Volcanic Valley, before arriving into the town of Taupo, which sits on New Zealand's largest lake - Lake Taupo. 

The nearby Huka Falls are a spectacular sight and a jet boat ride will give you a very exciting ride to view the thundering water from below.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Maori Rock Carving Cruise 

Stay 1 night Taupo

Day 6, Taupo - Matamata - Auckland

Taupo - Matamata - Auckland

Travel Time: 3 hrs 25 mins

Distance: 287 kms

The lush farmland of the Waikato provides some great scenery as you head north. In the small village of Tirau you can stop and get your photo next to the giant sheep and farm dog which also double as the Tourist Information centre. Once you reach Matamata you are in hobbit country and the route takes you to 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.

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

Stay 1 night Auckland

Day 7, 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 Share
Motel Accommodation from NZ$1,794 per person from NZ$1,280** per person

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

* PLEASE NOTE*

Price is based on two adults sharing a 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:

6 nights accommodation

  • 1 Night Auckland
  • 1 Night Coromandel Peninsula
  • 2 Nights Rotorua
  • 1 Night Taupo
  • 1 Night Auckland

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

Hobbiton Movie Set

Agrodome Show and Farm Tour

Entrance to Rainbow Springs and Kiwi Encounter

Driving Creek Train ride

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.

Itineraries

All itineraries can be amended or combined with other itineraries. Please advise amendments when requesting a 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

Coves, Caves and Coastline Cruise from Whitianga

Explore the volcanic coastline with its many caves, blowholes and golden beaches all from the comfort and safety of an ex coastguard 28 ft cruiser. Departing from Whitianga Wharf journey past the towering Shakespeare's Cliffs and historic Cooks Beach. Visit Cathedral Cove and the islands in the marine reserve. There is also a chance to swim with the abundant fish in the reserve (on board snorkel gear provided - dont forget your swimsuit and towel). For those who prefer to stay dry an underwater camera relays images to an onboard TV.

From Rotorua

Te Puia Daytime Experience

Only a short hop from the Rotorua township you'll find Te Puia, known as New Zealand's living Maori cultural experience. Sprawling across 60 hectares of volcanic land, it's home to the world renowned Pohutu Geyser, a live kiwi enclosure and more than 500 geothermal wonders. Shrouded in a continuous haze of steam, Te Puia has a dramatic and ethereal air.

Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland

This thermal area around 30 kilometres south of Rotorua has many walking tracks to take you through this strange landscape. Bubbling mud pools, simmering waters rising from the depths and colourful sulphurous pools make this a fascinating insight into the geothermal activity that goes on below Rotorua's surface. Lady Knox Geyser can be seen erupting at 10:15am daily, shooting water up to 10 metres into the air. There are 3 well signposted walking tracks and an informative brochure tells you about each feature. A gift shop and cafe are also on site.

Maori Rock Carving Cruise, Taupo

Sit back and relax in luxury bean bags on board the yacht Barbary as you enjoy a scenic sail across Lake Taupo to the 10-metre high Maori rock art, only accessible by boat. You're guaranteed amazing photo opportunities as you experience one of life's postcard moments on this Maori tour. Glide across a smooth lake as you soak up the warming sun or go for a swim before you enjoy free light refreshments at the rock carvings. If you're looking for a little more activity you can help hoist the sails or take a turn at the wheel. Taupo's Maori rock carvings may look like the remains of a 1,000-year-old Maori village, but these rock carvings were created in the late 70s by local artists lead by John Randall. Duration of cruise is 2 to 2.5 hours.

Highlights

Hobbiton Movie Set

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.

Explore Rotorua

Agrodome Show and Farm Tour

Gain a fascinating insight into New Zealand's agriculture at Rotorua's renowned Agrodome sheep show. You'll see 19 different breeds of champion sheep as well as watching one of them being shorn by a real kiwi shearer. Marvel as the huntaway dogs work the animals then complete a sheepdog trial.

Entrance to Rainbow Springs and Kiwi Encounter

At Rainbow Springs you'll have the chance to see some of New Zealand's native flora and fauna within the majestic forests of Rotorua. Wander the beautiful tree-lined park and take in the flourishing bush, ferns, flowers and plants. See the spring-fed pool with rainbow, brown and tiger trout, then visit the on-site aviaries - home to New Zealand species such kea, kaka, tui, kereru and kiwi. The tuatara, known as New Zealand's living dinosaur can also be seen here.

Driving Creek Train Ride, Coromandel

Driving Creek Railway and Potteries has become a Coromandel icon. The dream of Barry Brickell was to establish a pottery workshop on his land. Using a railway he would have access to the clay on the land and the pine kiln fuel. Over the next 15 years the railway developed until in 1990 it was finally licensed to carry fare paying passengers and ever since thousands of visitors have made the trip to Coromandel to experience this unique attraction. The 1 hour return train trip on the innovatively designed trains 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 pottery is still producing and you can watch the artists at work as well as purchase items.

Huka Falls Jet Boat Tour, 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.

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7 Day Family Fun North Island Self Drive

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