7 Days


  • Whales and Dolphins
  • Cathedral Cove
  • White Island


  • by car:

    Total driving time 11 hrs

  • Total distance 1250 kms

Experience a holiday of refreshing relaxation, geothermal attractions and every kind of seaside scenery as you travel the epic Pacific Coast Highway, from Auckland to Whakatane.

Day 1: Auckland

Hauraki Gulf Maritime Park, Auckland


  • Whale watching and marine life
  • Fly above the forest canopy on a zipline
  • Visit world-class vineyards


  • by ferry:

    35 minutes

  • Downtown Auckland to Waiheke Island

With its picturesque harbour and bountiful islands, Auckland is the perfect place to start a coastal holiday.

Island hopping is a favourite pastime for Auckland ‘boaties’ and it's easy to see why, the region is simply littered with islands. Wind your way through the Hauraki Gulf on a whale and dolphin-watching cruise as you discover some of the gulf's friendly wildlife.

The most accessible of Auckland's islands is Waiheke, also known as the ‘island of wine’ for its numerous award-winning wineries. Indulge your taste buds with a delicious food and wine tour or for something a little more adventurous, try flying through the forest canopy on a zipline.

Day 2: Hahei (Cathedral Cove)

Cathedral Cove, Coromandel


  • Explore the world famous Cathedral Cove
  • Snorkel Orua sea cave
  • Dig your own hot pool at Hot Water Beach


  • by car:

    2 hrs 30 mins

  • Auckland to Cathedral Cove

Coromandel Peninsula, is home to some of the North Island's most spectacular natural sights, including the world famous Cathedral Cove, featured in the film Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian. Here the soft white rock has eroded away to create a magnificent archway connecting two secluded coves. A rocky island pinnacle completes the picture making it one of The Coromandel's most photogenic spots.

Not far from Cathedral Cove, you will find Hot Water Beach. Dig down into the sand a little way and create your own seaside bath from the rising natural spring that resides beneath the surface.

As you continue south to Whangamata, stop to take a kayak tour of Whenuakura Island. This unusual island contains a tranquil lagoon at its centre, due to the collapse of a volcanic blowhole. 

Day 3: Tauranga

Bay of Plenty
Sunrise on Mt Maunganui, Bay of Plenty


  • Mount Maunganui - voted NZ's best beach
  • Cycle the Hauraki Rail Trail
  • Evening kayaking with glowworms


  • by car:

    2 hrs 20 mins

  • Hahei to Tauranga

Journey down the peninsula to Waihi where you will find one of New Zealand's Great Cycling Trails. Following a historic railway route from Waihi to Paeroa and beyond, the Hauraki Rail Trail is rich with gold mining history and stunning scenery. One highlight is the Owharoa Falls, in the spectacular Karangahake Gorge.

Your next stop is the sunny city of Tauranga. Learn more about this favourite kiwi holiday spot with a guided tour of Mount Maunganui. Enjoy hearing local Maori legends as you wander from the mountain's base to its summit.

Alternatively, spend the afternoon on board a boat cruise meeting the Bay of Plenty's friendly marine life and exploring the region's many secluded islands.

Day 4: Whakatāne

Bay of Plenty
West End Ohope Beach , Bay of Plenty


  • by car:

    1 hr 10 mins

  • Tauranga to Whakatane


  • Endangered native wildlife
  • Maori historical sites
  • Dolphin and seal nature tours


Learn more about New Zealand's only active marine volcano.

More about White Island

Watch the sunrise from Mount Maunganui, before driving the short distance to Whakatāne. This stretch of coastal road is dotted with berry farms – pick your own berries between October and January.

Discover endangered native wildlife on a trip to island sanctuary Moutohorā (Whale Island). You can journey by motor or sailing catamaran to this pest-free oasis and learn about the conservation efforts that protect this precious slice of New Zealand. Then dig yourself a soothing geothermal spring pool at the island’s secluded hot water beach.

Or, spend the afternoon onboard a boat cruise meeting the Bay of Plenty's friendly marine life.

Day 5: Rotorua

Soak in hot pools at Polynesian Spas, Rotorua


  • Soak in hot pools at Polynesian Spas
  • Ride the Redwood mountain biking trails
  • Maori cultural performances at Te Puia


  • by car:

    1 hr 20 mins

  • Whakatane to Rotorua

From the Bay of Plenty, continue your journey inland towards Rotorua. Spend the morning soaking in natural hot pools and relaxing.

If you're into mountain biking you can't go past Rotorua's Whakarewarewa Forest. Known to most simply as the 'Redwoods', this forest boasts world-class mountain biking trails and is one of just 6 centres in the world to receive gold-class status from the International Mountain Biking Association.

Switch gears in the afternoon, with a visit to Te Puia, where stunning geothermal features and unique Maori cultural experiences combine. Watch the world famous Pohutu geyser erupt, gaze on pools of bubbling mud and end the day with an authentic cultural performance.

Day 6: Napier

Hawke's Bay
Cape Kidnappers/Te Kauwae-a-Māui, Hawke's Bay


Discover wineries, wildlife and Art Deco design


  • Cape Kidnappers gannet colony
  • Winery tours
  • Art Deco architecture


  • by car:

    2 hr 20 min 

    Rotorua to Napier

Another scenic drive from Rotorua gets you to the city of Napier, a great place to relax and unwind.

Hawke’s Bay is a fertile wine-growing region that boasts one of the world’s best collections of Art Deco architecture.

Once in Napier, you can visit the Hawke’s Bay’s many wineries on a self-drive, chauffer driven or bicycle tour. The winery restaurants make it easy to appreciate lush sauvignon blanc, smooth merlot and spicy cabernet sauvignon.

Nearby Cape Kidnappers/Te Kauwae-a-Māui is home to the world’s largest gannet colony which can be reached on foot, by kayak or on a tractor. The Cape also happens to have one of the country’s best golf courses.

Day 7: Return to Auckland

It is a long (five and a half hour) but beautiful drive back to Auckland, through rolling hills and lush countryside. As you pass through take time to visit some of the region's many unique rural towns.