North Island trips

A Halfling's ramble

7 Days


Auckland Central to Taupo


  • Hobbiton
  • Waitomo Caves
  • Volcanic Ruapehu

Best time of year

All year

Most hobbits don’t like to stray too far from home. Here’s a week-long Middle-earth itinerary through the North Island.


Cathedral Cove in the Coromandel

Photo by Destination Coromandel

Day 1

Auckland - The Coromandel

2 hrs

51 mins

215 km

134 mi


Journey from the exciting urban hub of Auckland to the coastal paradise of the Coromandel. Cloaked in native rainforest with dazzling white sand beaches and picturesque coves, The Coromandel is a relaxed seaside paradise.

Take the shorter route across the base of the Peninsula, or the scenic drive along the Firth of Thames. Whichever route you choose, allow time to see two of the Coromandel's must-see attractions.

Cathedral Cove is a picturesque photo spot, and at Hot Water Beach you can dig your own natural spa. You can see both these attractions in one day - but you'll need to time it carefully, as you need to be at Hot Water Beach within 2 hours of low tide to access the naturally heated water.

Spend the night in the beach town of Whitianga. It's got a good range of accommodation, shops and restaurants - expect to eat some excellent seafood while you’re here.

Situated near Victoria Park in the city centre, La Zeppa has fabulous views of the Sky Tower and the

Start in Auckland Central

This is the heart of Auckland, with a relaxed coastal living vibe by day and a night-time energy shared by the inner-city suburbs that surrounds it.

The Mercury Islands, near Whitianga, are popular for fishing

End in Whitianga

From Whitianga you can enjoy the beaches, water sports and boat excursions of Mercury Bay. Expect great seafood and enjoy a forest walk or two.

Driving in New Zealand

Important things you need to know about driving in New Zealand.  
Time & distance calculator

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