6 Days 875 km


  • Wineries
  • Volcanoes and geysers
  • Museums and art galleries



Volcanic action and vineyards are major features of this 5-day journey to Wellington.

Visit the wine growing regions of Auckland, experience boiling mud, geysers and steaming craters in Rotorua and Taupo, and try trout fishing in Turangi. Napier and Hastings are packed with Art Deco design and world-class vineyards. Then take the tranquil drive through the Wairarapa to fun and vibrant Wellington.

Day 1: Spend the day in Auckland

Waiheke Island, Auckland


Vibrant city style and spectacular landscapes.


  • Enjoy delicious food and wine
  • Matakana Saturday markets
  • Auckland's vibrant nightlife


Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city is situated between two large harbours and dotted with 48 extinct volcanic cones. It’s a place to enjoy marine adventures, wine trails, forest walks and urban sophistication. Spend a day exploring the sights and sounds of central Auckland. 

 If you have time, visit picturesque Waiheke Island where you'll find plenty of vineyards, beaches and artists’ studios. For a taste of wilderness, travel to Auckland's West Coast, where you can explore the rugged black-sand coast.

Day 2: Auckland to Rotorua

Rotorua Geyser, Rotorua


Mud pools, adventure and unique Maori culture.


  • Redwood Forest canopy tours
  • Geothermal attractions
  • Maori cultural experiences


Today you'll journey south, through the green Waikato countryside to Hamilton. Along the way, side roads lead to Waingaro Hot Springs and Raglan; a surf resort on the west coast.

Hamilton is a city carved in two by the mighty Waikato River. Attractions include gardens, riverboat cruising and a giant free flight aviary. 

Further south, Rotorua is alive with geothermal activity and thrilling adventure. Explore the geothermal areas, discover the unique culture of New Zealand’s Maori people or spend the day trying out some of the many adventure activities on offer.

Day 3: Rotorua to Taupo

Lake Taupō Boat Cruise, Taupō


Teeming with outdoor activities and water sports.


  • Kayak to the Mine Bay Maori carvings
  • Huka Prawn Park
  • Orakei Korako Cave & Thermal Park


The road to Taupo is packed with geological attractions. Take a side road to Orakei Korako Cave & Thermal Park or Craters of the Moon where you’ll discover geysers, silica terraces and craters of boiling mud. Other diversions include Huka Falls, Huka Pawn Park and a world-acclaimed golf course.

The resort town of Taupo sits on the edge of New Zealand’s largest lake. You’ll find everything a traveller could wish for, including an excellent choice of restaurants. Most accommodation establishments make good use of the underground thermal activity to provide hot spas for relaxation.

Day 4: Day trip to National Park

Tongariro Alpine Crossing, New Zealand


  • Trout fishing
  • Skiing in winter
  • Tongariro Alpine Crossing



Home to the volcanoes of Tongariro, Ngauruhoe and Ruapehu.

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Follow the eastern edge of Lake Taupo to reach Turangi. The drive is very scenic and there are many picnic opportunities along the way. Turangi is a mecca for trout fishers, with famous fishing spots in almost every direction. 

Further on, National Park Village is well positioned for those who want to explore the Tongariro National Park, with its volcanic peaks of Ruapehu, Ngauruhoe and Tongariro. In 1887, the local Ngati Tuwaretoa tribe presented this land to the New Zealand people and it became the country's first National Park. It is now a World Heritage area packed with hiking trails including Tongariro Alpine Crossing, regarded by some as one of the best one-day walks in the world.

Day 5: Taupo to Napier

Hawke's Bay
Napier, Hawke's Bay, Hawke's Bay


Wine, orchards and Art Deco design.


  • Art Deco heritage
  • Cape Kidnappers Gannet Colony
  • Winery tours


The major entertainment on the road from Taupo to Napier is the fantastic scenery. There’s a bit of everything - rugged hills, beautiful valleys, gentle plains and huge vistas.

In 1931, a devastating earthquake nearly levelled Napier and its twin city Hastings. They were rebuilt in the style of the times, and are now highly acclaimed for their Art Deco design. Hastings is only 20 kilometres south of Napier and easily accessible by cycleway as are many of the Hawke’s Bay vineyards.

Another attraction is the gannet colony at Cape Kidnappers.

Day 6: Napier to Wellington

Wellington City, Wellington


A mix of culture, history, nature and cuisine.


  • The Classic New Zealand wine trail
  • Heritage architecture
  • Cafe culture


Today's journey takes you through the vineyards and small heritage towns of Wairarapa and on to Wellington.

Pause in Masterton, the Wairarapa's largest settlement. Here you will find the beautiful Queen Elizabeth Park, The Wool Shed (the National Museum of Sheep and Shearing) and Aratoi: Wairarapa Museum of Art & History. Masterton is also a great base to explore nearby Castlepoint.

Finish in Wellington, New Zealand's capital city and a hub of culture and heritage. The downtown area of this compact city is ideal for explorations on foot. Spend your remaining time enjoying the many cafes, restaurants, museums and galleries that populate the Wellington area.

View the route below

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