Total North Island

Duration: 11 nights self-drive tour

Price from: £1065pp

Auckland 2 nights
Bay of Islands 2 nights
Auckland 1 night
Coromandel 1 night
Rotorua 2 nights
Tongariro 1 night
Wellington 2 nights

Day 1 Auckland: After picking up your hire car, the day is at leisure to enjoy this wonderful city, which brims with things to see and do.

Day 2 Auckland: Today is at leisure. Perhaps explore the harbour, enjoy the bird's eye views from the Sky Tower, get your heart racing with adrenalin activities at SkyWalk or SkyJump, simply stroll around the shops or maybe take a day trip to Waiheke Island and sample local wines.

Day 3 Auckland/Bay of Islands: Leave Auckland for the scenic drive up to Paihia in the Bay of Islands. En route stop off and visit Waipoua Kauri Forest and Hokianga Harbour, which has a fascinating history (approx 3½ hours).

Day 4 Bay of Islands: A day at leisure to explore this subtropical micro-region with its stunning natural beauty, myriad of secluded beaches and almost 150 islands. There are also the historic sites of Waitangi, where New Zealand's treaty was signed and Russell, which was the first capital of New Zealand.

Day 5 Bay of Islands/Auckland: This morning, maybe take a cruise to Cape Brett, viewing dolphins and schools of fish on the way, then after lunch drive back to Auckland, known as the City of Sails (approx 3½ hours).

Day 6 Auckland/Coromandel: Leave behind the city once more and head east to the pristine beaches of the Coromandel Peninsula. With a mountainous interior cloaked in native rainforest and nearly 250 miles of dazzling beaches, the Coromandel is simply stunning (approx 2½ hours).

Day 7 Coromandel/Rotorua: This morning, drive onwards to the geothermal wonderland of Rotorua, which sits within the Pacific Rim of Fire. It's impossible not to be impressed by the spouting geysers and bubbling mud pools; however, Rotorua is also rich in Maori culture.

Day 8 Rotorua: A day to explore the city which is surrounded by mountains, rivers, native forests and lakes. Watch the famed Pohutu Geyser or, at Hell's Gate see the largest hot waterfall in the southern hemisphere and the only geothermal mud baths in New Zealand. If time allows, visit Te Puia to gain an insight into Maori culture and arts.

Day 9 Rotorua/Tongariro: Driving south you will come to Lake Taupo, the largest lake in New Zealand, known for its water based activities and which may be a good place to stop for lunch.  Travelling on, enter Tongariro National Park, one of only twenty places in the world awarded dual World Heritage status for its nature and culture. There are three volcanoes here plus some of the locations where Lord of the Rings was filmed (approx 4 hours).

Day 10 Tongariro/Wellington: Take a leisurely drive south to the capital, Wellington, known as the Windy City and recently  named "the coolest little capital in the world" by Lonely Planet (approx 5 hours).

Day 11 Wellington: Explore the city today. Options include travelling up Mount Victoria for a fantastic view of the harbour, visiting the Botanical Gardens by cable car, relaxing at Oriental Bay, Wellington's golden sand inner-city beach, delving into the many art galleries and theatre shows, or go to Te Papa Museum, New Zealand's national museum and one of the best interactive museum's in the world.

Day 12 Wellington: Your tour concludes as you drop off your hire car.

Departures: Daily.

Accommodation: 3* Copthorne Auckland City; Scenic Hotel, Bay of Islands; Aotearoa Lodge, Coromandel; Sudima Hotel, Rotorua; Chateau Tongariro; James Cook Grand Chancellor, Wellington.

Meals: Room only.

Tour price: The price shown is based on the best value travel dates in low season and includes accommodation and 12 days group C car hire. International flights are not included.

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