New Zealand: Road Trips in North Island (Itinerary)

Kia Ora! Welcome to New Zealand!

Auckland is known as the city of sails with hundreds of boats parked and arranged nicely on its’ waterfront facing the South Pacific ocean. As this was our first family trip together after a very long time, my sister (Glam Traveller) became our unofficial trip planner. Even though the accomodation and flights were complimentary of Jetstar (for winning the JetstarTakeOnTheWorld contest), we had discussions after discussion on what everyone wanted to do from shopping to beaching. Yes the beaching part was my idea and I thought since we’re going to be in a city surrounded by the beautiful ocean, we’re definitely going to the beach! Anyhow, I’ve put together a short video summary of our trip there and the itineraries which would give you an idea of what we saw and did. New Zealand is simply beautiful and we’re definitely going to be coming back for more!

Watch the video summary of our trip to Auckland, New Zealand.

Day 1: Auckland

8:00 am – Arrived in Auckland airport and rented a car from Hertz (you can compare the pricing at the airport itself).
10:00 am – Checked into Waldorf Suite Apartment (complimentary by Jetstar)
3:00 pm – Went to Queens Wharf for a walk along the shops and waterfront.
6:00 pm – Dinner cruise on yacht (NZD 160 per person)

Day 2: Matamata, Waikato (South)

10:00 am – Drove to Matama (2 hours) from Auckland to visit Hobbit Town (NZD 75 per person)
5:00 pm – Tamaki Maori Village (dinner & cultural Maori show) (NZD 100 per person)

Day 3: Auckland City

2:00 pm – Mission Bay Beach, had ice cream from Movenpick, a well known ice cream parlour.
5:00 pm – Drove into Eden Park and go all the way up to Mt Eden, popular volcanic crater.

Day 4: Bay of Islands (North)

12:00pm – Arrive in Pahia to board a boat to Bay of Islands (NZD 95 per person)
12:30pm – Depart from Pahia (via ferry) and head to Russel to pick up passengers.
1:00 pm – Dolphin watching in the South Pacific Ocean. There were so many of them swimming about chasing after our boat. It was such a happy experience!
2:00pm – Stopped for lunch and visited the ancient Puketi Kauri Forest, with a 20 minute  boardwalk past 1,000 year old Kauri trees and native.
3:30pm – Continued journey to a breathtaking view of The Hole in The Rock as well as seeing the Cape Reinga lighthouse from our boat.
5:30pm – Drove back to Auckland but stopped at Kawiti to explore the Kawiti Glow Work and Limestone which was maintained by a local family.  (NZD 15 per person)

Day 5: Coromandel (Southwest)

11:00am – Stopped at Paeroa town and walked into its’ cute vintage shops and Salvation Army.
12:00pm – Waikino Railway Station in Coromandel. Alas this vintage train station was not operating but we chose to have lunch there instead.
2:30pm – Drove to Karangahake Gorges and took in its’ beautiful scenic view.
4:00pm – Arrived in Tairua for the Hot Water Beach and tried surfing. You could rent a spade for NZD 5 and pay a deposit of NZD 20 to dig the sand up and sit in the hot water by the beach. It’s pretty fascinating.
6:00pm – Drove to Cathedral Cove but it was closed so we just walked around the area and took photos.

Day 6: Taupo (South)

12:00pm – Arrived in Orakei Korako Geothermal Cave, did a 90m hike up to see the spouting hot water and bubbly mud pool (NZD 36 per person).
4:00pm – Drove to Huka Falls to see the icy jet blue water from the luxurious gushing waterfall. Did not manage to get on a boat which tours the area but we did walk along the bridge and park to see the waterfall.
6:00pm – Dinner at Waterside Restaurant in Lake Taupo area and watched the sunset.

Day 7: Auckland

11:00am – Stayed in Auckland, visited the Auckland Cultural International Festival with performances from the Maori folks, explored the morning market and walked the streets for a little shopping activity.

Our Road Trip Map and places we visited: 

About Yafieda Jamil

A Malaysian girl currently working abroad in Phnom Penh city. I love a good road trip, hot cappuccinos, spicy food and staring at old buildings. My mission is to inspire people to see the world differently before we all get any older. Oh and giraffes are the most beautiful creatures on earth.

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