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7 Day North Island Explorer 

7 days from Wellington to Auckland

Travel through the heart of the North Island on this 7 day adventure. Begin in Wellington, famous for its vibrant, creative, culture, fuelled by great wine, food, craft beer and coffee. From here you will cross the Rimitaka Ranges and travel through the Wairarapa to Hawke's Bay, visiting the largest mainland gannet colony in the world. In Taupo, you will take a ride on the Huka Jet for a close look at the fascinating Huka Falls. Then it's on to Rotorau for a real taste of New Zealand culture and a forest canopy tour. Carrying on north, you will reach Auckland cityr, where you will climb the famous Auckland Harbour Bridge before rounding off your action packed week.

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 This suggested tour costs from per person (twin share, low season) (get instant quote here)
 7 days/6 nights from Wellington to Auckland
 Accommodation suggested on this tour is: Hotel 3 star (Can be customised? YES )
 Rental car insurance included: Fully inclusive with variable excess/deductible
 Rental car inclusions: GPS navigation, unlimited kms, airport/ferry terminal fees, additional drivers
 Tour pack: Includes detailed driving instructions, maps, guide books and much more
 This tour can be customised to suit you precisely - just request here

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Auckland city, New Zealand
Huka Falls, New Zealand
 

7 Day North Island Explorer - at a glance (See detailed itinerary)

Day 1: Welcome to Wellington
Accommodation: Travelodge Wellington

Day 2: Today you'll cross the Rimutaka Ranges and travel through the Wairarapa to the Hawkes Bay
Accommodation: Art Deco Masonic Hotel
Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 320 kms / 199 miles : 4.0 hours

Day 3: Visit the largest mainland gannet colony in the world
Accommodation: Art Deco Masonic Hotel

Day 4: Journey from Napier to Taupo, then experience the thrill of the Huka Falls Jet Boat
Accommodation: Suncourt Hotel & Conference Centre
Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 130 kms / 81 miles : 1.5 hours

Day 5: Today it's a short drive to Rotorua, then explore the forest
Accommodation: Sudima Lake Rotorua
Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 76 kms / 47 miles : 0.9 hours

Day 6: Travel North to Auckland City
Accommodation: Hotel Grand Chancellor Auckland City
Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 219 kms / 136 miles : 2.6 hours

Day 7: Explore more of Auckland, before departing for home

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 25 kms / 16 miles : 0.4 hours

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7 Day North Island Explorer - Day 1

Day 1 - Welcome to Wellington

Private transfer Wellington airport to hotel

You will be met on arrival into Wellington airport and transferred to your hotel.

Welcome to Wellington

Wellington City is New Zealand's capital. It sits on a wonderful deep natural harbour and is surrounded by bush clad hills. The city centre itself is quite compact (only around 1 square kilometre) and so exploring on foot is relatively easy. From your city centre accommodation you can easily stroll the cafes and restaurants around Courtenay Place and if you arrive early enough New Zealand's national museum, Te Papa, is also close by.

Your accommodation: Travelodge Wellington

Located right in the city centre the Travelodge Wellington offers great value accommodation and facilities all within easy walking of the city attractions.
Travelodge Wellington

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7 Day North Island Explorer - Day 2

Day 2 - Today you'll cross the Rimutaka Ranges and travel through the Wairarapa to the Hawkes Bay

Choose from our great range of late model rental cars for your driving holiday

Today you’ll take to the road for your New Zealand Self Drive holiday, so take a look through the great selection of late model vehicles available and take your pick.  To help you on your way GPS is included with all rentals.

GPS navigation system

Use the latest GPS technology as you tour New Zealand. Your portable GPS features a simple touch screen interface with automatic route calculation and turn-by-turn voice-prompted directions including street name announcement. The automotive-grade GPS unit is easy to use and has multiple language options.

Wellington to Napier

Today you'll leave the city lights behind as you continue north to Napier. Drive through the Wairarapa, home to the rich pastures and boutique vineyards of Martinborough, then pass through Greytown - a small victorian settlement with the largest number of wooden buildings in the country. Stop in Masterton, the service capital of the area, known for its Golden Shears competition. Continue on through the grape growing region of Hawkes Bay and Havelock North before arriving in Napier, the art deco capital of New Zealand.

Your accommodation: Art Deco Masonic Hotel

The Art Deco Masonic Hotel occupies a significant historic building on Napier’s waterfront and has been richly refurbished in keeping with the Art Deco architecture. With its central location and decadent décor, this is the best place to experience what Napier is famous for.
Art Deco Masonic Hotel

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg is: 320 kms / 199 miles : 4.0 hours

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7 Day North Island Explorer - Day 3

Day 3 - Visit the largest mainland gannet colony in the world

Cape Kidnappers Gannet Beach Adventures

On this unique four hour eco-adventure you will get to experience one of the largest and most accessible mainland gannet colonies in the world. You'll be pulled on a trailer from the back of a vintage tractor along the beach to the Black Reef Colony - where you'll have the chance to see the birds in their natural habitat. Depending on the season, visitors can witness new-born chicks through to four month old gannets preparing for their first ever flight, which will take them all the way to Australia. Continuing on to the Cape, you'll break for 90 minutes which enables visitors the chance to picnic, swim or enjoy a scenic walk to the Plateau Colony.

Your accommodation: Art Deco Masonic Hotel

The Art Deco Masonic Hotel occupies a significant historic building on Napier’s waterfront and has been richly refurbished in keeping with the Art Deco architecture. With its central location and decadent décor, this is the best place to experience what Napier is famous for.
Art Deco Masonic Hotel

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7 Day North Island Explorer - Day 4

Day 4 - Journey from Napier to Taupo, then experience the thrill of the Huka Falls Jet Boat

Napier to Taupo

Crossing the Ahimanawa Ranges you arrive into the town of Taupo sitting on New Zealand's largest lake, Lake Taupo - a gigantic volcanic caldera formed during one of the world’s largest ever eruptions.  Just north of the Taupo are the Huka Falls and a short detour to view is advised. The Huka Jet can get you much closer with a thrilling jet boat ride. Nearby Craters of the Moon is a geothermal reserve with great walking tracks around its many boiling pools and steaming vents. Taupo is a lively place with many shops, bars and cafes all catering for the traveller and visitor. A whole host of activities can be undertaken here such as bungy jumping, sky diving, fishing for trout in the lake and rivers, kayaking, sailing, horse riding and walking and hiking to name but a few.

Hukafalls Jet Boat Ride

The Huka Jet is 30 minutes of pure fun and exhilaration, skimming close to cliffs, sliding past trees, feeling the adrenalin of full 360 degree spins. The excitement continues right up to the base of the foaming Huka Falls, where you get a spectacular water level view to New Zealand's most visited natural attraction. Nothing compares to watching 220,000 litres per second tumbling over the cliff face towards you.
The water from the mighty Huka Falls runs down the Waikato River through a series of Hydro Power Stations. You'll get a view of the Wairakei Geothermal Power Station in the comfort of a powerful Chevrolet V8 jet boat. This unique Geothermal Power Station uses underground geothermal activity to produce hot steamy water. The Waikato Rivers beautiful environment is varied and unique and is New Zealand's longest river flowing north from our largest lake - Lake Taupō.

Your accommodation: Suncourt Hotel & Conference Centre

Suncourt Hotel overlooks the Great Lake and is just a short walk to the town centre. With the onsite restaurant, pool and children’s play area you’ll find everything you need for a great Taupo holiday.
Suncourt Hotel & Conference Centre

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg is: 130 kms / 81 miles : 1.5 hours

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7 Day North Island Explorer - Day 5

Day 5 - Today it's a short drive to Rotorua, then explore the forest

Taupo to Rotorua

The drive today takes you through the city of Rotorua, famous for its bubbling mud pools and Maori culture. Wai O Tapu Thermal Wonderland and the Waimangu Volcanic Valley are well signposted on the highway between the two towns. On Rotorua's lake front Volcanic Air Safaris offer scenic flights over Mt. Tarawera or for a longer trip to White Island, one of the most active volcanoes in the region.
The Rotorua Museum and Blue Baths in the Government Gardens offer one of the best displays of any museum in the country. Focussing on local history the eruption of Mt. Tarawera in 1886 is brought to life.

Rotorua Canopy Tours: The Original Canopy Tour

Embark on a three hour adventure through native New Zealand forest. Journey through the beautiful forest canopy via an incredible network of trails, tree platforms, Ziplines and swing bridges. See breathtaking views of the woodland valleys and hills as you fly through tight openings in the trees.
In between the thrill of the ziplines and suspended tree bridges, your guides will share their passion and knowledge for the forest and the conservation challenges to preserve it. 

Your accommodation: Sudima Lake Rotorua

The Sudima Hotel Lake Rotorua enjoys a location that is second-to-none on the very shores of beautiful Lake Rotorua, adjacent to the world famous Polynesian Spa complex and just a short stroll to all the attractions in Rotorua.
Sudima Lake Rotorua

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg is: 76 kms / 47 miles : 0.9 hours

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7 Day North Island Explorer - Day 6

Day 6 - Travel North to Auckland City

Rotorua to Auckland

Today you will make your way to Auckland through the heart of the Waikato and its rich dairy pastures. Follow the Waikato river through the small artsy settlement of Tirau and the township of Cambridge. Continue on a little further to arrive into Auckland City, your destination for the night.

Auckland Harbour Bridge Climb

This spectacular AJ Hackett walking tour is the only bridge climb in New Zealand - and the ultimate way to experience the iconic Auckland Harbour Bridge. All walkways are custom engineered and gentle sloping archways mean this activity is suitable for all ages. As you're guided to the top you'll be greeted with a 360 degree, panoramic view of the sparkling Waitemata harbour. See the best of the city from above and learn all about the secrets of the bridge!

Your accommodation: Hotel Grand Chancellor Auckland City

Located on Hobson Street, downtown Auckland the hotel offers apartment style convenience with hotel facilities.

Meals included: Dinner

Hotel Grand Chancellor Auckland City

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg is: 219 kms / 136 miles : 2.6 hours

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Day 7 - Explore more of Auckland, before departing for home

Depart Auckland today

Explore more of vibrant Auckland city before dropping your rental car at the airport depot and continuing your onward journey.

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg is: 25 kms / 16 miles : 0.4 hours

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