North Island Classic

Orakei Korako geothermal valley, Rotorua
from £1375 13 nights | Year round Exc. flights See price details
  • Departs:
  • Year round


Explore the wonderfully lush scenery of the North Island on this two-week self drive from the magnificent Bay of Islands in Northland to the geothermal and rugged landscapes of Rotorua and Tongariro National Park. Combined with the superb beaches and rainforest of the Coromandel Peninsula, the richness of Maori culture and the wonderful wineries of Hawke's Bay this itinerary will ensure you see the very best highlights


  • experience sub-tropical Northland and the Bay of Islands
  • explore the forest-fringed Coromandel Peninsula and its spectacular walking tracks
  • enjoy Rotorua's geo-thermal wonderland on a visit to the hidden valley of Orakei Korako (included)
  • get an insight into Maori culture on a guided walk at Ohinemutu Village (included)
  • discover the incredible landscapes of Tongaririo National Park
  • take a wine tour in picturesque Hawke's Bay

Focusing entirely on the North Island this 14-day itinerary incorporates some of the most dramatically scenic areas in the country as well as New Zealand's soft side.

Starting in Auckland, drive to the sub-tropical Bay of Islands before exploring the wonderful lush landscape of the Coromandel, the geo-thermal heartland of Rotorua and the magnificent scenery of Tongariro National Park. En route to the capital city of Wellington enjoy time in picturesque Hawke's Bay, New Zealand's second largest wine region.

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Itinerary & Accommodation

Day 1: Arrive in Auckland
You will be met on arrival and transferred to your hotel in the city for an overnight stay.
Overnight: Heritage Auckland.
Day 2: Auckland - Paihia, Bay of Islands (227 km)
Collect your compact automatic rental car today and travel to the beautiful Bay of Islands. Stretching 350km north from Auckland, Northland is New Zealand’s only sub-tropical region and with its above average sunshine record and glorious beaches, it is popular with locals as well as visitors. This afternoon you may like to take a fast boat to Cape Brett with Fullers Bay of Islands, sail a tall ship or swim with the dolphins.
Overnight: Blue Pacific Apartments.
Day 3: Bay of Islands
Explore at your leisure today.
Overnight: Blue Pacific Apartments.
Day 4: Bay of Islands - Orewa (196 km)
Leave Paihia at your leisure today and travel to Orewa, lying on the Hibiscus Coast, just north of the base of the Whangaparaoa Peninsula and 40 kms north of central Auckland.
Overnight: Waves Motel.
Day 5: Orewa - Pauanui, Coromandel Peninsula (184 km)
Depart Orewa today and travel to the beautiful Coromandel Peninsula. Separated from Auckland by the broad Firth of Thames, the verdant Coromandel comprises a forested backbone of mountains separating the precipitous west coast from the coves and white sand beaches of the east.
Overnight: Pauanui Pines Motor Lodge.
Day 6: Pauanui
Today is at your leisure to experience the very best this wonderful region has to offer. Renowned worldwide for its natural beauty and lush flora, the Coromandel is blessed with hundreds of natural hideaways, making it an ideal place to slow down, relax and unwind.
Overnight: Pauanui Pines Motor Lodge.
Day 7: Pauanui - Rotoura (180 km)
Drive south today, either following the coast road via Tauranga or inland via the interesting towns of Paeroa and Te Aroha, towards the active geo-thermal heartland of Rotorua. Enjoy a personal guided tour of Ohinemutu Village including the iconic St Faiths Church. Your guide will share the legends and history of the village which will give you an insight into Maori culture.
Overnight: The Springs.
Day 8: Rotorua
Enjoy a visit to Orakei Korako geothermal area today (also known as “The Hidden Valley”), situated on the Waikato River at Lake Ohakuri. Even with two thirds of the original geothermal area covered by an artificial lake, Orakei Korako is still New Zealand’s largest geyser field and one of the country’s must-see natural attractions.
Overnight: The Springs.
Day 9: Rotorua - Tongariro National Park (151 km)
Witness the superb and dramatic scenery of North Island's heartland. Visit the Wairakei geothermal area and Lake Taupo en route to Ruapehu, a snow-capped volcano surrounded by desert like lava and ash.
Overnight: Chateau Tongariro
Day 10: Tongariro National Park
You may like to spend today hiking the world famous Tongariro Alpine Crossing, one of New Zealand’s 9 Great Walks or alternatively spend time at leisure and explore the striking volcanic landscapes.
Overnight: Chateau Tongariro.
Day 11: Tongariro National Park - Napier (204 km)
This morning continue your journey down to Napier, New Zealand's Art Deco capital for a 2 night stay. Napier is set in the heart of Hawke's Bay Wine Country. With a feast of Art Deco Architecture, the city was rebuilt in the early 1930s following a massive earthquake. Subsequent fires destroyed most of its commercial heart. By the end of the decade, Napier was the newest city on the globe and nowhere else can you see such a variety of buildings in the styles of the 1930s - Stripped Classical, Spanish Mission and Art Deco - in such a concentrated area.
Overnight: The Crown Hotel.
Day 12: Napier
Enjoy a full day at leisure today, perhaps take a guided walking tour of the Art Deco, visit the gannet colony at Cape Kidnappers on an overland safari or alternatively spend time at leisure exploring the wineries the region is renowned for.
Overnight: The Crown Hotel.
Day 13: Napier - Wellington (327 km)
Depart Napier and make your way to Wellington, New Zealand's capital city. Wellington, offers an unforgettable urban experience in a stunning natural setting. Set between a sparkling harbour and rolling green hills, this compact city has great shopping, professional theatre, memorable arts, culture and heritage and great cafes and restaurants all close to untouched nature spots. Central Wellington itself is only 2 kilometres in diameter and you can walk from one side to the other in under 20 minutes.
Overnight: Copthorne Hotel, Oriental Bay.
Day 14: Depart Wellington
Drop off your rental vehicle at the airport depot today and depart.

Accommodation Options

Pauanui Pines Motor Lodge, Coromandel

  • Grade: Standard
  • Type: Motel

This 21-unit property is located at Pauanui Beach on the…

The Springs, Rotorua

  • Grade: Superior
  • Type: Hotel

Built in 1998 and modelled in the style of a 1930's home…

Chateau Tongariro Hotel

  • Grade: Superior
  • Type: Hotel

Set in the pristine world heritage park of Tongariro, th…

Copthorne Oriental Bay, Wellington

  • Grade: Superior
  • Type: Hotel

Located just 2 minutes walk from Te Papa, the national m…

Blue Pacific Apartments

  • Grade: Superior
  • Type: Self-catering

Enjoy unparalleled views from one of the serviced luxury…

Heritage Auckland

  • Grade: Superior
  • Type: Hotel

Located a few minutes from the city centre this Green Gl…


A variety of accommodation options are included in this holiday, some of which are listed above. For further details, please contact us.



A number of excursions are included in this itinerary, some of which are listed in more detail below. Your Travel Specialist will be able to advise on additional or upgraded excursion options to suit your interests.

Discover the Bay Hole in The Rock Cruise, Bay of Islands

A classic way to explore the pristine stretch of the Bay of…

Introducing Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington

A tour of Wellington's cultural highlight at the Te Papa Mu…

Mitai Maori Hangi & Concert, Rotorua

An evening at Mitai will give you an authentic introduction…

Ohinemutu Maori village guided walk, Rotorua

Ohinemutu is a living Maori village set on the picturesque …

The Classic Art Deco Walking Tour, Napier

Levelled by an earthquake and the resulting fire in 1931, a…

Tongariro Full Day Guided Walk, Taupo

Tongariro National Park takes in the twin peaks of Tongarir…

Prices & Dates

Airfares start from around £825 per person and are quoted separately to the holiday price.

When enquiring, our Travel Specialists will provide the best fare possible from your preferred airline / airport. We recommend booking early to secure the best airfares.

Price from £ per person

Twin Share

Price Includes
Meet and greet and airport transfer on arrival ● Accommodation and meals as specified ● Excursions: Ohinemutu Village Guided Tour, Orakei Korako geothermal valley (Rotorua) ● 12 Days mid-range vehicle rental (including unlimited kilometres, & vehicle insurance subject to an insurance excess). For 1-2 persons a Budget CDAR (Ford Focus, 1.8-2.0 litre, 5 door automatic with air conditioning, or similar. Other car types are available - please contact us for further details.

Price Excludes
International and domestic flights and airport taxes ● Travel insurance ● Fuel and vehicle insurance excess waiver fee ● Personal expenses ● Tips and gratuities

We pride ourselves on our ability to tailor make holidays for our clients. Please let us know if you have any specific requests.

How to book

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So that we may send you a personalised quote and confirmation of availability, please click on the link below and complete our Enquiry form. One of our Travel Specialists will then be in touch to complete your booking or answer any further questions you might have.

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Speak to a specialist: 1-844-584-0668

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