7 Days


  • Arts and culture
  • Natural hot pools
  • World-class wine and food


  • By plane: Start your journey in Auckland
  • By car: Total trip distance: 805km

Explore museums in Auckland and Wellington for a unique insight into our culture and history. Witness the deep connection between the people and the land in Rotorua and Lake Taupo, before journeying to the Hawke’s Bay and Wairarapa regions to see stunning examples of our rich architecture and to taste award-winning wines.

Day 1, Auckland

Auckland Museum, Auckland

By Julian Apse

One of New Zealand's most important museums and war memorials, Auckland Museum in central city is a must for culture enthusiasts.


  • Art and culture
  • Cosmopolitan city culture
  • Harbour views


Immerse yourself in Auckland’s rich arts scene, Maori culture and history at Auckland Art Gallery and Auckland Museum in the city centre. Wrap up your day by soaking in glorious harbour views and sampling local cuisine at one of the many eateries located in the bustling central city precincts.


Day 2, Auckland - Rotorua

Pohutu Geyser in Te Puia, Rotorua

By Shaun Jeffers Photography

An iconic destination, Te Puia brings to life the Maori culture and is also home to the world-famous Pohutu Geyser that erupts up to 20 times a day.


  • Maori culture
  • Te Puia
  • Pohutu Geyser


Head south to Rotorua, a geothermal wonderland where you can experience the best of 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.

Day 3, Rotorua - Lake Taupo

Lake Taupo
Maori rock carvings at Mine Bay, Lake Taupo

By Alistair Guthrie

The huge Maori rock carvings on the western shores of Lake Taupo are a magnificent sight, and can be reached only by kayak or a boat cruise.


  • Maori rock carvings
  • Natural hot pools


Drive south from Rotorua to Lake Taupo and take a boat, kayak or cruise around the secluded coves and beaches of this stunning lake. The Western Bays of the lake feature intricate and huge Maori rock carvings at Mine Bay, accessible only by water and a must-see. After a busy day exploring, head to one of Lake Taupo’s many naturally-heated hot pools to recharge your weary muscles.

Day 4, Lake Taupo - Napier

Hawke's Bay
Art Deco Capital of New Zealand, Hawke's Bay

By First Light Travel

Boasting one of the highest concentrations of Art Deco architecture anywhere in the world, take your time exploring Napier's rich heritage.

Hawke's Bay

Hawke's Bay

Napier accommodation


  • Art Deco architecture
  • Wine and food


  • By car: 1hr 50mins from Taupo

In 1931 a devastating earthquake nearly levelled the city of Napier. It was rebuilt in the style of the times, and is now considered the Art Deco Capital of the world. To get in touch with the history of this region, visit the Earthquake Exhibition and Nga Tukemata (an exhibition which celebrates the Maori history of the East Coast) at the local museum. The acclaimed vineyards of Hawke’s Bay are all within easy reach of Napier. It is also the perfect spot to sample the popular artisan fare.

Day 5, Napier - Martinborough

Martinborough, Wairarapa

By Destination Wairarapa

Take a tour of the local vineyards by foot on a bike in the charming village of Martinborough that is at the centre of Wairarapa's wine experience.


  • World-class vineyards
  • Country charm


  • By car: 3hrs 30mins from Napier

On your way to Wellington, visit the Wairarapa region, teeming with country charm and world-class vineyards. Part of the Classic New Zealand Wine Trail, it is home to the village of Martinborough, which has become the gourmet capital of the lower North Island. It has more than 25 boutique vineyards and several fabulous eateries. You can walk or cycle to most of the local vineyards and attractions.

Days 6- 7, Martinborough - Wellington

Te Papa Museum, Wellington

By Two Bearded Men

Te Papa, as it’s colloquially known, is New Zealand's national museum and is one of the best interactive museums in the world.


  • Arts and culture
  • Heritage and architecture
  • Culinary capital


Drive south over the Rimutaka Ranges to Wellington, a compact and cultured city that is full of character. Nestled between the harbour and the hills, the downtown area is ideal for exploration on foot. Enjoy museums and galleries, including Te Papa, an innovative national museum and a world leader in interactive experiences. Dance, theatre and musical performances are a Wellington specialty along with cafes and restaurants that are bursting with local charm. 

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