North Island Classic

from £1521
excluding flights *
13 nights 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
  • Get an insight into Maori culture on a guided walk at Ohinemutu Village
  • Witness a geo-thermal wonderland on a visit to the hidden valley of Orakei Korako
  • Discover the incredible landscapes of Tongaririo National Park
  • Take a wine tour in picturesque Hawke's Bay

What's Included

  • Accommodation in rooms with private bathroom
  • Car rental throughout including GPS
  • Private airport transfer on arrival
  • Waimangu Valley self guided walk and boat cruise
  • Ohinemutu Village Guided Tour
  • Orakei Korako geothermal valley (Rotorua)
  • 24 hour emergency assistance from our team during your holiday
  • No surcharge guarantee
  • Full financial protection

Full description

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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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.

From prices per person based on 2 sharing a room with private bathroom, including car hire. Prices for other combinations of passengers and rooms available on request. Other vehicle types also available.

Departure Duration Car Category Twin Price (pp)
01 May - 30 Sep 2020 13 nights Toyota Corolla (or similar) £1,521
01 Oct - 31 Dec 2020 13 nights Toyota Corolla (or similar) £1,650
01 Jan - 31 Mar 2021 13 nights Toyota Corolla (or similar) £1,706

What's Included

  • Accommodation in rooms with private bathroom (mic of hotels, motels & apartments)
  • Car rental throughout (Toyota Corolla or similar) including GPS
  • Private airport transfer on arrival
  • Waimangu Valley self guided walk and boat cruise
  • Ohinemutu Village Guided Tour
  • Orakei Korako geothermal valley
  • 24 hour emergency assistance from our team during your holiday
  • No surcharge guarantee
  • Full financial protection »

Itinerary & Accommodation

Itinerary & Accommodation

The itinerary shown is an example of this self-drive holiday. We have many other hotels and route recommendations which can be tailored to your requirements. Please discuss with our Travel Specialists who can put together a bespoke itinerary for you.

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. Breakfast included.

Day 2: Auckland - Paihia, Bay of Islands (227 km)

Collect your 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 boat trip out into the bay, or enjoy some free time to explore and relax.
Overnight: Blue Pacific Apartments (2 nights).

Day 3: Bay of Islands

Spend today at leisure to explore the area. You might like to enjoy a full day sailing adventure with the opportunity to witness wild dolphins.

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 (2 nights).

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.

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 Faith's Church. Your guide will share the legends and history of the village which will give you an insight into Maori culture.
Overnight: The Springs (2 nights). Breakfast included.

Day 8: Rotorua

Today discover the Waimangu Volcanic Valley and Lake Rotomahana on a self guided walk and boat cruise. You can explore the world's youngest geothermal valley at your own pace along the beautiful walking trails, woven through a natural geothermal ecosystem. Walks vary in length from 1.5kms - 4.5kms, covering a range of geothermal activity, hot springs, volcanic craters, nature and wildlife. The trail leads you down to the lake, where you can complete the experience with a relaxing 45 minute boat cruise around Lake Rotomahana, the final resting place of the Pink & White Terraces.

Day 9: Rotorua - Tongariro National Park (151 km)

Today witness the superb and dramatic scenery of North Island's heartland. En route to Tongariro National Park 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. Make your way on to Ruapehu, a snow-capped volcano surrounded by desert like lava and ash.
Overnight: Powderhorn Chateau (2 nights).

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.

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 (2 nights).

Day 12: Napier

Enjoy a full day at leisure today, perhaps take a guided walking tour of this fascinating Art Deco city, 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.

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.

Blue Pacific Apartments

New Zealand

Grade: Superior

Type: Self Catering

Blue Pacific Apartments is a collection of 1, 2 or 3 bedroom properties, all with breath-taking sea views, private balconies and onsite parking.

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Copthorne Oriental Bay, Wellington

New Zealand

Grade: Standard

Type: Hotel

Located just 2 minutes’ walk from the Te Papa national museum, this 118-room hotel is within easy reach of vibrant Courtney Place and a variety of the city's best restaurants, bars and shops.

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Heritage Auckland

New Zealand

Grade: Superior

Type: Hotel

This historic building has been transformed into a luxury 467-suite hotel with views over the city to the sparkling harbour beyond.

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Pauanui Pines Motor Lodge, Coromandel

New Zealand

Grade: Standard

Type: Motel

This 21-unit property is located at Pauanui Beach on the Coromandel Peninsula and is within easy walking distance of the harbour, beach and shopping village.

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The Springs, Rotorua

New Zealand

Grade: Superior

Type: Hotel

Built in 1998 and modelled in the style of a 1930's home, this boutique property in Rotorua offers 4 rooms within easy access of the city's attractions.

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