Auckland - Auckland

Fly total time: 5 days

Your clients can experience the energy and diversity of New Zealand’s largest city as well as the country’s unique scenery and rich cultural history in just five days.  Take them on a  tour of the top of the North Island from Auckland to Paihia, Hokianga and back.

To ensure your clients are well rested after their flight, we recommend they stay a night or two in their arrival city before collecting a rental vehicle. Driving in a new country can be challenging and will be even worse if the driver is tired. The driver should always be well rested, take regular breaks during the journey and plan to drive for only 1-2 hours at a time.
 
New Zealand has unique road rules and driving conditions that your clients may not be used to. For a safe and enjoyable journey make sure your clients know where to find information on New Zealand’s road rules before they depart for their holiday.
 
Here are some suggestions:

  • Day One - Auckland

    Drive Fly 0

    Your clients can jet into Auckland and spend a leisurely day exploring  the beautiful Waitemata Harbour.   They can even hop on a ferry from the CBD and venture out to nearby Waiheke Island.

    Fly via domestic airlines from Auckland to Kerikeri in just 45 minutes.   Hop onto a shuttle van and head over to Paihia in around 20 minutes.  Or pick up a rental car from Kerikeri airport.  

     
    If your clients want to drive, from Auckland to Paihia takes around 3.5 hours.
     
    An alternative route is to drive to and stay overnight at Tutukaka on the West Coast of Northland.   Visit the Poor Knights Islands Marine Reserve, 22km from the coast with a local operator.  Dive Tutukaka and experience one of the best dive sites in the world.  Or catch yourself an amazing experience with the big game fishing on offer.  For more information go to the Department of Conservation website. 
     

    Recommended activities:

    Enjoy the hustle and bustle of Auckland CBD:
     
    • Alert your clients to the opportunity to buy gifts or treat themselves by shopping for unique New Zealand goods or top international brands.  Shop central Auckland including the Britomart Precinct and the colourful Victoria Park Market
    • Discover more about New Zealand’s unique cultural and natural history by visiting Auckland Museum 
    • Experience New Zealand’s marine life up close at Kelly Tarlton’s Sea Life Aquarium
    • Get a bird’s eye view of the city from Sky Tower and enjoy the activities in the Sky City complex or book Skyjump or Skywalk for an unforgettable experience looking down over Auckland
    • You can also walk  Auckland Harbour Bridge or even bungy jump off it
     
    Get out on the harbour and enjoy the delights of this city from the water:
     
    • Enjoy easy access to the Waitemata Harbour from the Viaduct area in the CBD. Take a cruise under sail on Pride of Auckland or the Sail NZ Americas Cup or zip around by jet boat.
    • Take the short ferry ride to the charming seaside village of Devonport. Relax in the cafes and shops or walk up Mt Victoria for spectacular harbour and city views
    • Spend half a day with nature on the fascinating volcanic Rangitoto Island. Or spend a relaxing full day enjoying world class food and wine and scenic beaches on Waiheke Island or West Auckland
  • Day Two - Auckland - Paihia

    Drive Fly 2 hours and 47 minutes 227 KMS 141 MI
    Paihia is a great place to experience New Zealand’s beautiful scenery and unique wildlife.  There’s a range of activities easily accessible from Paihia Wharf:  Visitors can take a dolphin safari , walk the ‘island paradise’ of Urupukapuka,  see the bay’s famed ‘Hole in the Rock’ or take in views by air on a scenic flight. .
     
    Paihia is also just 5km from Waitangi, the birthplace of New Zealand’s founding document of nationhood – The Treaty of Waitangi.
     
    Stay in Paihia or nearby Waitangi or Russell.  Together they offer a wide range of accommodation to suit all budgets including B&Bs, luxury lodges, apartments, motels and backpackers.

    Recommended activities:

    • Visitors seeking a cultural experience should visit the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, where New Zealand’s founding document was signed
    • History lovers should visit the historic town of Russell
    • For spectacular scenery take a day trip to Cape Reinga, a special place for Maori at the northern tip of the North Island
    • Enjoy the southern ocean with a cruise to the Hole in the Rock
    • Keen anglers won’t want to miss big game fishing in the Bay of Islands in the December to June season
    • Adventurers can paddle in a traditional Maori canoe or waka with Maori guides
    • Take  to the air with a  scenic flight
  • Day Three - Paihia

    Drive Fly
    Consider a day trip to Cape Reinga at the northern tip of the North Island or some of the activities in and around the Bay of Islands you didn’t have time for yesterday.
     
    Stay in Paihia or nearby Waitangi or Russell.  Together they offer a wide range of accommodation to suit all budgets including B&Bs, luxury lodges, apartments, motels and backpackers.

    Recommended activities:

    • As per Day Two
  • Day Four - Paihia - Hokianga Harbour

    Drive Fly 1.3 hours 80 KMS 49 MI

    Head across the Hokianga harbour to experience the wonder of Hokianga’s 500m high golden sand dunes. Head inland to New Zealand’s ancient Waipoua Forest, home to huge native trees and rare birds.  Waipoua is the largest remaining area of native forest in Northland. Visit Tane Mahuta, the largest living kauri in New Zealand and the second largest tree in the world. At over 2000 years old he is revered by Maori and truly is the ‘Lord of the Forest’.
     

    Recommended activities:

    • Take a short  5 minute walk through native forest to see Tane Mahuta and some of Northland’s other majestic kauri trees, or visit with a local guide from Footprints Waipoua
    • Visit Hokianga Harbour’s giant sand dunes and experience the thrill of surfing down them
  • Day Five - Auckland

    Drive Fly 3 hours 30 minutes 281 KMS 174 MI
    Visitors can make the most of their return to Auckland by checking out new activities and attractions they missed last visit or revisiting their highlights first visit.
     

    Recommended activities:

    Visitors with a late afternoon or evening check in have time to explore attractions and activities further afield in the wider Auckland area. Tour companies are on hand in all of these areas:
     
    • On the return drive to Auckland your clients may like to stop at The Kauri Museum in Matakohe and discover the history of the kauri tree and early pioneers
    • Tour the wineries in Kumeu and West Auckland or pause at the Villa Maria Winery, just a 5 minute drive from the International Terminal
    • Visit the unusual black sand beaches of Piha and other West Coast beaches
    • Enjoy a bush walk in the Waitakere Ranges
    • Visit an Island in the Hauraki Gulf such as Waiheke, Rangitoto or Tiriri Matangi. Each as its own personality and attractions
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