7 Days

Highlights

  • Beautiful vineyards
  • Maori culture and geothermal activity
  • Hot Water Beach

Proximity

  • By plane: Start your journey in Auckland
  • By car: Total trip distance: 685km

Discover some of North Island’s most unique features. Start with Auckland, a buzzing metropolis with beautiful vineyards, black sand beaches and exciting harbour activities. Then travel to Rotorua - a place steaming with excitement because the geothermal attractions never stop. And The Coromandel is home to beautiful coves, a stunning coastline and the famous Hot Water Beach.

Day 1 - 2, Auckland

Auckland
Hiking on the wild west coast, Auckland

By ATEED

Enjoy one of the many well-maintained tracks in the Waitakere Ranges on Auckland's ruggedly beautiful west coast.

Highlights

  • Art and culture
  • Black sand beaches
  • Gannet colony

Proximity

  • By car: 1hr from Auckland CBD to West Coast Beaches

Begin your New Zealand holiday by immersing yourself in Auckland’s rich arts scene, Maori culture and history at Auckland Art Gallery and the Auckland Museum. Then indulge in retail therapy at a bustling central city precinct. Next day, drive to Auckland’s wind-swept west coast black sand beaches (Piha, Muriwai, Karekare and Bethells’s to name a few). Great for surfers, they are also an ideal spot for picnics, relaxing walks and swims. If you don’t want to drive, tour operators offer trips to Piha and Muriwai.

Day 3, Waiheke Island

Auckland
Waiheke Island, Auckland

By Miles Holden

Enjoy over 20 unique wineries on a paradise island just 35 minutes by ferry from Auckland's CBD.

Highlights

  • Beautiful vineyards
  • Sandy beaches
  • Relaxed island lifestyle

Proximity

  • By ferry: 35min from downtown Auckland

The ultimate island retreat, Waiheke is a short ferry ride from downtown Auckland. Stunning views, beaches, great food and world-class wineries have earned it a spot on Lonely Planet’s top travel destinations for 2016. Enjoy wine tasting at one of the many vineyards – tours are also easily available. Most vineyards boast stunning onsite restaurants where you can sample the local cuisine. Explore the island’s galleries and boutiques before settling on a sandy beach – you’ll be spoilt for choice!

Day 4, Auckland - Rotorua

Rotorua
Pohutu Geyser in Te Puia, Rotorua

By Shaun Jeffers Photography

An iconic destination, Te Puia in Rotorua brings to life Maori culture and is home to teh Pohutu Geyser that can erupt up to 20 times a day.

Highlights

  • Maori culture
  • Geothermal wonderland
  • Natural hot pools

Proximity

Head south to Rotorua, a geothermal wonderland where you can experience the best of the Maori world and soak in natural hot springs. Places such as Te Puia offer cultural experiences that combine dramatic Maori performances (including the haka) with delicious Maori food and arts. It is also a geothermal reserve and home to the famous Pohutu Geyser. Wrap up your day by soaking in a steaming mineral pool while taking in glorious views or enjoying a wide range of treatments at one of the city’s many health spas.

Day 5, Explore a volcano in Rotorua

Rotorua
Discover incredible views, Rotorua

By Kaitiaki Adventures

For something really special, hike up mighty Mount Tarawera to see incredible views.

Highlights

  • Mount Tarawera
  • Pristine lakes
  • Rich history

Proximity

  • By car: 45mins from Rotorua city

Spend the day exploring the majestic Mount Tarawera. Revered by the local Maori, it is infamous for its violent eruption in 1886, which destroyed the legendary Pink and White Terraces, and created the youngest geothermal valley of Waimangu. The crater of Mount Tarawera can be explored with a guided walk or a scenic flight. There are a number of tracks surrounding Lake Tarawera, located at the foothill of the mountain, which are also worth exploring.

Day 6, Rotorua - The Coromandel

New Zealand
The stunning Cathedral Cove, New Zealand

By Tourism New Zealand

The well-formed archway of Cathedral Cove on The Coromandel coast is worthy of the photographic attention it gets.

The Coromandel

The Coromandel

Hahei accommodation

Highlights

  • Cathedral Cove
  • White sandy beaches

Proximity

Journey north to the coastal paradise of The Coromandel. Cloaked in native rainforest with dazzling white sand beaches and picturesque coves, it a favourite holiday spot with locals and visitors alike. Cathedral Cove is a popular attraction whose naturally-formed rock arch demands photographic attention. A kayak or boat trip is a great way to explore this region’s volcanic coastline and magnificent sea caves.

Day 7, The Coromandel - Auckland

New Zealand
Hot Water Beach, New Zealand

By Adam Bryce

Dig your own hot pool metres from the Pacific Ocean at world-famous Hot Water Beach.

Highlights

  • Hot Water Beach
  • Natural hot pools
  • Scenic coastal drive

Proximity

Head down to Hot Water Beach, where you can dig your own natural spa. You will need to time your visit carefully, as you need to be at Hot Water Beach within two hours of low tide to access the naturally heated water. If you have a spade or shovel, bring it with you. Otherwise you can hire one from the local cafes. Rejuvenated, take the scenic coastal route north to Auckland. Grand Pacific Ocean views guaranteed!

View the journey below

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