Overview

Embark on a 7 Day North Island Explorer Self Drive adventure and explore the heart of North Island from Wellington, New Zealand’s bustling capital famous for its creative culture fuelled by world-class cuisine, wine, coffee and craft beer. Then journey across the Rimutaka Ranges in the heart of the Wairarapa region on your way to Hawkes Bay where you will find the biggest mainland gannet colony in the world.

Discover the thrill of a jet boat ride at Huka Falls in Lake Taupo before visiting Rotorua for a refreshing canopy tour and unique experience of authentic New Zealand culture. Continue on north to Auckland City for a thrilling climb atop the iconic Auckland Harbour Bridge before rounding off an eventful week.

Wellington - Hawkes Bay - Taupo - Rotorua - Auckland

Map of 7 Day Wellington to Auckland North Island Explorer Self Drive
View itinerary for day 1
View itinerary for day 2
View itinerary for day 3
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View itinerary for day 6
View itinerary for day 7
Arrival in Wellington
Wellington to Napier
Cape Kidnappers Gannet Beach Adventures
Napier to Taupo
Taupo to Rotorua
Rotorua to Auckland
Depart Auckland

Day 1

Arrival in Wellington

Day 2

Wellington to Napier

Travel Time: 4 hrs

Distance: 320 kms

Day 3

Cape Kidnappers Gannet Beach Adventures

Day 4

Napier to Taupo

Travel Time: 1 hr 30 mins

Distance: 130 kms

Day 5

Taupo to Rotorua

Travel Time: 1 hr

Distance: 76 kms

Day 6

Rotorua to Auckland

Travel Time: 2 hrs 40 mins

Distance: 219 kms

Day 7

Depart Auckland

Private transfer Wellington airport to hotel
You will be met on arrival into Wellington airport and transferred to your hotel.

Welcome to Wellington

Wellington City is New Zealand's capital. It sits on a wonderful deep natural harbour and is surrounded by bush clad hills. The city centre itself is quite compact (only around 1 square kilometre) and so exploring on foot is relatively easy. From your city centre accommodation you can easily stroll the cafes and restaurants around Courtenay Place and if you arrive early enough New Zealand's national museum, Te Papa, is also close by.
Stay 1 night in Wellington

Collect your rental car 
 

Wellington to Napier 

Leaving Welllington today you will first pass the Wairarapa on the eastern side of the Rimutaka Ranges. A significant contrast to the hills of Wellington, it's rich pastures and boutique vineyards of Martinborough give way to grassy plains and rugged coastal shores. Go through Greytown, home to the largest number of wooden buildings in the country then stop in Masterton, a small farming town known for its Golden Shears competition - where shearers compete for the title of fastest shearer. Continue on to Hawkes Bay and Havelock North before arriving in Napier, the art deco capital of New Zealand.

Stay 2 nights Napier

On this unique four hour eco-adventure you will get to experience one of the largest and most accessible mainland gannet colonies in the world. You’ll be pulled on a trailer from the back of a vintage tractor along the beach to the Black Reef Colony - where you’ll have the chance to see the birds in their natural habitat. Depending on the season, visitors can witness new-born chicks through to four month old gannets preparing for their first ever flight, which will take them all the way to Australia.Continuing on to the Cape, you'll break for 90 minutes which enables visitors the chance to picnic, swim or enjoy a scenic walk to the Plateau Colony.

Crossing the Ahimanawa Ranges you arrive into the town of Taupo sitting on New Zealand's largest lake, Lake Taupo - a gigantic volcanic caldera formed during one of the world’s largest ever eruptions.  Just north of the Taupo are the Huka Falls and a short detour to view is advised. The Huka Jet can get you much closer with a thrilling jet boat ride. 

Huka Jet boat ride

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. 

Stay 1 night in Taupo

The drive today takes you through the city of Rotorua, famous for its bubbling mud pools and Maori culture. Wai O Tapu Thermal Wonderland and the Waimangu Volcanic Valley are well signposted on the highway between the two towns. 

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. 

Stay 1 night in Rotorua

Estimated Driving Time: s, Distance:

The drive from Rotorua to Auckland takes you through the heart of the Waikato and its rich agricultural land. New Zealand's longest river - the Waikato - guides you through the art and craft stores of Tirau and the township of Cambridge. Continue on a little further to arrive into Auckland City, your destination for the night.

Auckland Harbour Bridge Climb 

The only bridge climb in New Zealand, this spectacular AJ Hackett walking tour is the ultimate way to experience the iconic Auckland Harbour Bridge. 

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, Arrival in Wellington

Arrival in Wellington

Private transfer Wellington airport to hotel
You will be met on arrival into Wellington airport and transferred to your hotel.

Welcome to Wellington

Wellington City is New Zealand's capital. It sits on a wonderful deep natural harbour and is surrounded by bush clad hills. The city centre itself is quite compact (only around 1 square kilometre) and so exploring on foot is relatively easy. From your city centre accommodation you can easily stroll the cafes and restaurants around Courtenay Place and if you arrive early enough New Zealand's national museum, Te Papa, is also close by.
Stay 1 night in Wellington

Day 2, Wellington to Napier

Wellington to Napier

Travel Time: 4 hrs

Distance: 320 kms

Collect your rental car 
 

Wellington to Napier 

Leaving Welllington today you will first pass the Wairarapa on the eastern side of the Rimutaka Ranges. A significant contrast to the hills of Wellington, it's rich pastures and boutique vineyards of Martinborough give way to grassy plains and rugged coastal shores. Go through Greytown, home to the largest number of wooden buildings in the country then stop in Masterton, a small farming town known for its Golden Shears competition - where shearers compete for the title of fastest shearer. Continue on to Hawkes Bay and Havelock North before arriving in Napier, the art deco capital of New Zealand.

Stay 2 nights Napier

Day 3, Cape Kidnappers Gannet Beach Adventures

Cape Kidnappers Gannet Beach Adventures

On this unique four hour eco-adventure you will get to experience one of the largest and most accessible mainland gannet colonies in the world. You’ll be pulled on a trailer from the back of a vintage tractor along the beach to the Black Reef Colony - where you’ll have the chance to see the birds in their natural habitat. Depending on the season, visitors can witness new-born chicks through to four month old gannets preparing for their first ever flight, which will take them all the way to Australia.Continuing on to the Cape, you'll break for 90 minutes which enables visitors the chance to picnic, swim or enjoy a scenic walk to the Plateau Colony.

Day 4, Napier to Taupo

Napier to Taupo

Travel Time: 1 hr 30 mins

Distance: 130 kms

Crossing the Ahimanawa Ranges you arrive into the town of Taupo sitting on New Zealand's largest lake, Lake Taupo - a gigantic volcanic caldera formed during one of the world’s largest ever eruptions.  Just north of the Taupo are the Huka Falls and a short detour to view is advised. The Huka Jet can get you much closer with a thrilling jet boat ride. 

Huka Jet boat ride

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. 

Stay 1 night in Taupo

Day 5, Taupo to Rotorua

Taupo to Rotorua

Travel Time: 1 hr

Distance: 76 kms

The drive today takes you through the city of Rotorua, famous for its bubbling mud pools and Maori culture. Wai O Tapu Thermal Wonderland and the Waimangu Volcanic Valley are well signposted on the highway between the two towns. 

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. 

Stay 1 night in Rotorua

Day 6, Rotorua to Auckland

Rotorua to Auckland

Travel Time: 2 hrs 40 mins

Distance: 219 kms

Estimated Driving Time: s, Distance:

The drive from Rotorua to Auckland takes you through the heart of the Waikato and its rich agricultural land. New Zealand's longest river - the Waikato - guides you through the art and craft stores of Tirau and the township of Cambridge. Continue on a little further to arrive into Auckland City, your destination for the night.

Auckland Harbour Bridge Climb 

The only bridge climb in New Zealand, this spectacular AJ Hackett walking tour is the ultimate way to experience the iconic Auckland Harbour Bridge. 

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/Double
3-Star Accommodation from NZ$1,761 per person

* 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:

Accommodation for 6 nights

  • 1 Night Wellington
  • 2 Nights Napier
  • 1 Night Taupo
  • 1 Night Rotorua
  • 1 Night Auckland

Rental 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

Auckland Harbour Bridge Climb

Rotorua Forest Canopy Tours

Huka Falls Jet Boat Tour

Cape Kidnappers Gannet Beach Adventures

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

Highlights

Auckland Harbour Bridge Climb

The only bridge climb in New Zealand, this spectacular AJ Hackett walking tour is the ultimate way to experience the iconic Auckland Harbour Bridge. Custom engineered walkways provide a safe and enjoyable experience - meaning this activity is suitable for all ages. As you're guided along the curving archways you'll be greeted with a 360 degree, panoramic view of the sparkling Waitemata harbour. See the best of the city from above and learn all about the secrets of the bridge!

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.

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.

Cape Kidnappers Gannet Beach Adventures, Hawkes Bay

On this unique four hour eco-adventure you will get to experience one of the largest and most accessible mainland gannet colonies in the world. You'll be pulled on a trailer from the back of a vintage tractor along the beach to the Black Reef Colony - where you'll have the chance to see the birds in their natural habitat. Depending on the season, visitors can witness new-born chicks through to four month old gannets preparing for their first ever flight, which will take them all the way to Australia. Continuing on to the Cape, you'll break for 90 minutes which enables visitors the chance to picnic, swim or enjoy a scenic walk to the Plateau Colony.

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7 Day Wellington to Auckland North Island Explorer Self Drive

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