Auckland - Napier

Fly total time: 8 days

This seven day itinerary passes through The Coromandel, Bay of Plenty, Eastland and Hawke’s Bay regions of New Zealand.

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 0
    Arrive in Auckland. Spend the day exploring New Zealand's largest city.

    Auckland is an immensely varied region full of diverse activities and attractions. With a stunning natural landscape, beautiful beaches, outstanding food and wine, rich culture, great shopping and plenty of adventure – Auckland has it all.

    Recommended activities:

  • Day 2: Auckland - Whitianga

    Drive Fly 2 hours 23 minutes 191 KMS 118 MI
    In the morning collect a rental vehicle in downtown Auckland and self-drive along the coast, around the Firth of Thames, to Whitianga on the Coromandel Peninsula, approximately 2 hours 23 minutes.
    Spend the day exploring The Coromandel.
    There are many beautiful places in the world, but only a few can be described as truly special. With thousands of natural hideaways to enjoy, gorgeous beaches, dramatic rainforests, friendly people and fantastic fresh food The Coromandel experience is truly unique and not to be missed.

    Recommended activities:

  • Day 3: Whitianga - Tauranga

    Drive Fly 2 hours 23 minutes 166 KMS 103 MI
    Spend a leisurely morning enjoying one or two activities in The Coromandel. After lunch self-drive south from Whitianga to Tauranga, approximately 2 hours 23 minutes.
    There may be time to enjoy an afternoon or evening activity in Tauranga, before your clients retire for the night.
    The coastal Bay of Plenty stretches from Waihi Beach to Ohope along the stunning Pacific Coast Highway. From beaches and harbour, New Zealand’s only active marine volcano to thriving kiwifruit industry and Maori culture, the destination has plenty to offer. Boasting 125km of white sand beaches, and officially the sunniest place in New Zealand, the Bay of Plenty is the perfect holiday destination.

    Recommended activities:

    The Coromandel
    • Enjoy a guided tour with Coromandel Adventure, there are a range of exciting tours to choose from
    • Visit Rapaura Water Gardens, endorsed as a 'Garden of Regional Significance' by the New Zealand Garden Trust

  • Day 4: Tauranga - Whakatane

    Drive Fly 1 hour 12 minutes 92 KMS 57 MI
    After breakfast climb to the top of Mount Maunganui for spectacular coastal views. Then self-drive from Tauranga to Whakatane, approximately 2 hours 23 minutes.
    Your clients may wish to stop en route in Te Puke and visit Kiwi360. After Te Puke they may like to take a short detour to Paengaroa to visit Experience Comvita, before continuing on to Whakatane.

    Recommended activities:

    • Enjoy a unique kiwifruit tour at Kiwi360
    • Learn about the health benefits of Manuka honey at Experience Comvita. Have a delicious snack or lunch at Café Restore
  • Day 5: Whakatane - Gisborne

    Drive Fly 3 hours 5 minutes 215 KMS 133 MI
    In the morning your clients may like to visit White Island an active volcano off the coast of Whakatane. In the afternoon self-drive from Whakatane to Gisborne via the East Cape, approximately 3 hours 5 minutes. There are plenty of secluded bays and places of interest to stop along the way. 
    If your clients are pressed for time they may wish to take the more direct inland route from Whakatane to Gisborne, approximately 2 hours and 21 minutes.

    Recommended activities:

    • Take an incredible tour to White Island, an active volcano off the coast of Whakatane. Boat tours take approximately 6 hours
    • Experience a helicopter ride to White Island
    • Visit Moutohora Island Sanctuary (Whale Island) – a dormant volcano and wildlife sanctuary five nautical miles off Whakatane, allow approximately 3 hours 30 minutes
    East Cape
    • Walk along Tolaga Bay Wharf, the longest concrete wharf in the Southern Hemisphere
  • Day 6: Gisborne - Napier

    Drive Fly 2 hours 40 minutes 215 KMS 133 MI
    Spend the morning exploring Gisborne. In the afternoon self-drive to Napier, approximately 2 hours 40 minutes.
    Located on the east coast of the North Island, Hawke’s Bay is one of New Zealand’s leading food and wine destinations. It is the country’s oldest winemaking region and is renowned for its award-winning red wines. Hawke’s Bay is also home to world-class Art Deco architecture, fresh local produce and artisan food producers complemented by a vibrant arts scene and rich Māori culture.

    Recommended activities:

    • Interact with wild stingrays, eagle rays and other marine animals at low tide with Dive Tatapouri
    • Enjoy a chilled glass of Chardonnay and discover why Gisborne is known as the ‘Chardonnay capital of New Zealand’
    • Browse the nationally significant collection of art and objects at MTG Hawke’s Bay
  • Day 7: Napier

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    Spend the day exploring Napier and the Hawke’s Bay region, there are plenty of activities and attractions to keep your clients entertained.

    Recommended activities:

    • Hire a bicycle and enjoy Hawke’s Bays beautiful cycle trails. These grade one (easy) trails are part of the New Zealand Cycle Trail and may be cycled independently or as part of a guided tour. There are three rides to choose from: The Water Ride, The Landscapes Ride and The Wineries Ride
    • Join a tour to visit the mainland gannet colony at Cape Kidnappers (September to April)
    • Board the Hawke’s Bay Express, a modern road train crafted like an old-fashioned steam engine, for a tour around Napier
  • Day 8: Napier

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    Today is the final day of your client’s Pacific Coast Highway itinerary. Your clients may wish to spend another day exploring the Hawke’s Bay region or fly home.
    There are regular scheduled flights from Napier airport to Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. Alternatively your clients may wish to self-drive from Napier to Wellington, approximately 4 hours, or Napier to Auckland, approximately 4 hours 50 minutes.

    Recommended activities: