With summer on the way in New Zealand now is the start of the cruise ship season. During the 2012/2013 cruising season a total of 84 cruise ships are scheduled to visit the Port of Tauranga, a beautiful scenic harbour located in the seaside resort of Mount Maunganui. If you are one of the lucky international travellers to visit Tauranga you will find that you are spoilt for choice on what to do on your day on land. One great option is to hire a car and drive a part of the picturesque Pacific Coast Highway.
The Pacific Coast Highway is 1000km long and navigates the most spectacular coastal scenery New Zealand has to offer. The highway links the Coromandel, Bay of Plenty, Whakatane and the East coast with Auckland in the North and Hawkes Bay in the South.
Given the time frame you will have as a day visitor we recommend either driving North or South on the Pacific Coast Highway for a maximum of 200 kilometres (approx.125miles) one way, this allows enough time to stop and enjoy the scenery without feeling rushed. Either direction on the highway will give you the opportunity time to see iconic white sandy beaches, lush New Zealand native bush, rolling farmland and more unforgettable coastal scenery. Along this highway you will witness why New Zealand has such a great combination of lifestyle and leisure.
The highway is well sign posted, and there are plenty of areas to stop for refreshments. For the culinary tourist, you will have many opportunities to try gourmet food and award winning wines at boutique wineries, specialty food stores, cafes and restaurants along the highway. On your drive you can also stop to visit important cultural sites such as Maketu, a small settlement in the Bay of Plenty where you can have a guided tour and learn the local Maori history. If you head south to Whakatane you can view New Zealand’s only active marine volcano ‘White Island’.
To make your day trip simple, choose a rental car company that is walking distance from the ferry terminal, or that has a free shuttle to and from their main office. Once there your rental car company will provide a detailed road map, and they can highlight the Pacific Coast Highway with main tourist stops along the route.
Visit Rite Price Rentals to book you car now. We offer unlimited kilometres for cruise ship passengers, so all you need to do is choose your vehicle, pick up you map and drive.