Auckland - Rotorua

Fly total time: 6 days

A six-day journey around the top half of the North Island of New Zealand, starting in Auckland.

The tour will cover wonders such as the Waitomo Caves and glow-worms, Hobbiton – the home of Bilbo and Frodo Baggins – and the mysterious bubbling mud pools of Rotorua. This tour is a great introduction to three distinctive areas of the North Island of New Zealand, with plenty to see in-between.

 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 1 - Auckland

    Drive Fly

    Arrive into New Zealand. Spend the day at leisure. Surrounded by two sparkling harbours, vibrant and multicultural Auckland is the country’s largest city and commercial hub. Home to 1.5 million people, it offers world class accommodation, outstanding food and wine, and great shopping, sights and attractions.

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  • Day 2 - Auckland to Waitomo

    Drive Fly 2 hours 50 minutes 195 KMS 121 MI
    Subterranean waterfalls, spectacular glowworm light displays, swirling lost rivers and awe-inspiring rock formations created millions of years ago make Waitomo a destination like no other. With its name coming from Wai' which translates as water and 'tomo' which means entrance or hole in Maori, Waitomo is the perfect setting for some of New Zealand’s most natural wonders and life-changing adventures.
    Filming for The Hobbit Trilogy took place on private farmland near the famous Waitomo Caves and locals moved out of their homes to allow the film crew to stay in the area.
    One of the reasons Peter was attracted to Waitomo was we didn’t ever see limestone in The Lord of the Rings, it was never shown - so this gave it a fresh feel." Jared Connon - Supervising Location Manager The Hobbit.

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  • Day 3 - Waitomo -Hamilton

    Drive Fly 1 hour 7 minutes 78 KMS 48 MI

    Explore more of the caves if you wish, before driving from Waitomo to Hamilton.The riverside city of Hamilton lies in the heart of the Waikato region. Best known for nature-based tourism and off-the-beaten track experiences, the city and surrounding area offers something for everyone.

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  • Day 4 - Hamilton - Hobbiton - Hamilton

    Drive Fly 1 hour 44 minutes 127 KMS 78 MI

    In the lush countryside of Waikato, New Zealand’s most productive dairy farming region, there’s a slice of land that has become world-famous for something that the owners have taken for granted for generations.

    The Alexander family farm which sits in rolling countryside just outside the town of Matamata was spotted by The Hobbit Trilogy Director Sir Peter Jackson and New Line Cinema in 1998 during an aerial search for film sites for The Lord of the Rings Trilogy. Mature pine trees (one in particular - later re-named the Party Tree) in front of a picturesque lake with surrounding landscapes untouched by 20th century clutter, perfectly resembled The Shire as described by author, J. R. R. Tolkien. It became the famous setting for Hobbiton and was rebuilt in 2011 for The Hobbit Trilogy to remain a permanent tourist attraction.

    "I’ll never forget that feeling of coming to Hobbiton the first time…there’s so many feelings of nostalgia and history." - Elijah Wood (Frodo)

    Just 45 minutes from Hamilton, you can visit the HobbitonTM Movie Set from The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit Trilogies in a fascinating two-hour guided tour. There are spectacular views across to the Kaimai Ranges from the rolling green hills of the movie set. This is still a working sheep and beef farm and there’s the chance to cuddle and bottle-feed pet lambs. Enjoy lunch at The Green Dragon before heading down to Rotorua. The drive from Matamata to Rotorua will take a further 45 minutes.

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  • Day 5 - Hamilton - Rotorua

    Drive Fly 1 hour 22 minutes 107 KMS 66 MI

    The city of Rotorua is surrounded by a fascinating landscape of geothermal activity, freshwater lakes and majestic native forests.

    Home to the Te Arawa tribe, it’s a region steeped in Māori legend. Whether you want to explore amazing boiling mud pools and steam vents, relax in a natural hot pool or try your hand at trout fishing, Rotorua is the place to do it.

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  • Day 6 - Departure

    Drive Fly

    Depart Rotorua