Auckland - Auckland

Fly total time: 7 days

The Twin Coast Discovery touring route is an 800km circular touring route which starts and ends in Auckland.

Over 7 days your clients will discover giant kauri trees, lush native forest, stunning golden beaches, charming seaside towns and a world-renowned marine reserve. The region is rich in Māori culture and European heritage, with many authenic attractions and activities allowing visitors to learn the history and culture of the area.

With a pleasant sub-tropical climate, Northland is excellent to visit anytime of the year.

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

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    Arrive in Auckland. Spend the day exploring New Zealand’s largest city.
    Surrounded by two sparkling harbours, vibrant and multicultural Auckland is the country’s largest city and commercial hub - home to 1.5 million people. Auckland offers world-class accommodation, outstanding food and wine, great shopping, and many attractions and sightseeing options.

    Recommended activities:

    • Visit Auckland Museum – Tamaki Paenga Hira
    • Jump off the tallest building in New Zealand or walk on the edge 192 metres above Auckland. Try the Sky Jump or Sky Walk
    • Take a stroll around Auckland’s Viaduct and Britomart Precincts. Here your clients can indulge at one of the area's fine eateries and browse boutique shops
  • Day 2: Auckland - Hokianga

    Drive Fly 4 hours 330 KMS 205 MI
    In the morning collect a rental vehicle in central Auckland and self-drive to Hokianga, approximately 4 hours. 
    Approximately 1 hour 40 minutes into the journey, your clients will pass the Kaipara Harbour and arrive at Matakohe. Here they might like to stop at the Kauri Museum to learn about the history of the kauri tree. 

    Continuing north past the town of Dargaville, your clients will venture into the Waipoua Forest - home to Tane Mahuta, the largest kauri tree in the world. Your clients may like to take a guided walk through the forest to learn about māori legend and history in the area.

    A 2 hour drive north of the Waipoua Forest will have your clients arrive at historic Hokianga Harbour.

    Recommended activities:

    • Discover the history of the kauri tree and early pioneers at the Kauri Museum
    • Enjoy a guided tour through the Waipoua Forest and marvel at Tane Mahuta (‘The Lord of the Forest’) who stands an impressive 51 metres tall 
  • Day 3: Hokianga - Karikari Peninsula

    Drive Fly 2 hours 105 KMS 65 MI
    Today your clients will self-drive to the Karikari Peninsula, approximately 2 hours.

    Spend a relaxing morning in Hokianga. After lunch depart Hokianga and head to Rawene, New Zealand's third oldest European settlement. Here your clients will need to take the vehicle ferry to Kohukohu. From Kohukohu continue driving for one hour until arriving at Ahipara, the gateway to 90 Mile Beach. Keen surfers may wish to hire a board and tackle one of New Zealand's best left hand surf breaks.

    After exploring Ahipara, continue driving north-east to the Karikari Peninsula, approximately 40 minutes. Your clients may like to make a short stop en route in Kaitaia.

    There is an option to drive from Ahipara to Cape Reinga, where the Tasman Sea meets the Pacific Ocean - a place deeply significant to Māori. After exploring Cape Reinga your clients would then continue to the Karikari Peninsula. The detour will take approximately 4 hours.

    Recommended activities:

  • Day 4: Karikari Peninsula - Bay of Islands

    Drive Fly 1 hour 30 minutes 110 KMS 68 MI
    Spend a lazy morning around the Karikari Peninsula. At leisure self-drive to the beautiful Bay of Islands, approximately 1 hour 30 minutes.
    Your clients might like to stop en route at Kauri Cliffs, one of New Zealand’s premier golf resorts.
    There is a good range of accommodation in the Bay of Islands. Paihia and Russell are good options for your clients to base themselves.

    Recommended activities:

    • Visit the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, where the Treaty of Waitangi was first signed in 1840 between Māori chiefs and the British Crown
    • Enjoy a Hole in the Rock boat cruise
    • Explore the beautiful coastal waters with a dolphin viewing cruise or enjoy an incredible dolphin swimming experience
  • Day 5: Bay of Islands

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    Spend another day exploring the stunning Bay of Islands.

    Recommended activities:

    • Take a trip to Cape Reinga (full day if travelling by coach, or half day by light aircraft)
    • Visit the galleries and museum in Russell
    • Enjoy a tall ship sailing experience
    • Visit the Kerikeri Mission House, the country's oldest house built in 1821, and the Mission's Stone Store dating from 1832. These buildings are regarded as the 'Cradle of the Nation'
  • Day 6: Bay of Islands - Whangarei/Tutukaka

    Drive Fly 1 hour 30 minutes 100 KMS 62 MI
    In the morning self-drive from Bay of Islands to Whangarei or Tutukaka, approximately 1 hour 30 minutes.
    Whangarei is a modern city set in a sub-tropical landscape and offers a good range of accommodation options. Thirty minutes' drive north-east of Whangarei is Tutukaka, a bustling nautical town with beautiful coastal views. The town is also the gateway to Poor Knights Island where spectacular diving, snorkelling and fishing abounds.

    Recommended activities:

  • Day 7: Whangarei/Tutukaka - Auckland

    Drive Fly 2 hours 30 minutes 187 KMS 116 MI
    In the morning self-drive from Whangarei or Tutukaka to Auckland, approximately 2 hours 30 minutes.
    Your clients may wish to stop en route at the Matakana Coast and visit one of the region’s excellent wineries. Remember to designate a sober driver if wine tasting.
    Spend another day exploring Auckland or fly home.

    Recommended activities: