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North Island Tour & Self-Drive


Experience so many North Island highlights in a week! First up is a spectacular Bay of Islands escorted tour. Then start your wonderful self-drive itinerary from Auckland to Wellington via Rotorua and Napier.

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Trip Details:

New Zealand North Island Bay of Islands Tour & Self-Drive – 8 days

Experience so many North Island highlights in a week! First up is the Bay of Islands tour and your chance to absorb all the valuable information from your local driver guide.

The escorted journey includes the seaside town of Paihia and a tour of the Waitangi Treaty Grounds. There’s also a full day adventure to Cape Reinga and Ninety Mile Beach and a cruise to the famous Hole in the Rock.

After you arrive back in Auckland, it’s time to travel at your own pace through the heart of the North Island on this self-drive tour. Journey south through the Waikato countryside to Rotorua, the Maori culture capital of New Zealand. Then head to the Art Deco city of Napier in the Hawkes Bay area, home to New Zealand’s oldest vineyards. The final leg of your trip travels through the Wairarapa region to the capital city of Wellington.

Why you’ll love this trip:

  • Discover the beautiful Bay of Islands with local insight from your experienced guide.
  • Enjoy time to explore at your leisure on the drive from Auckland to Wellington.
  • Experience the many wonders of New Zealand’s North Island in a neat holiday package!

Your Holiday Includes:

  • Accommodation – 7 nights hotels or motels, typically 3-star
    • Standard rooms with private facilities, based on twin share
  • Tour – Bay of Islands tour in air-conditioned coach with driver-guide
    • Bay Hole in the Rock cruise
    • Cape Reinga & Ninety Mile Beach full day tour
  • Car hire – 5 days car rental
    • Pick up Auckland and drop off Wellington

Departs Daily from Auckland:

2021 – 25 April to 10 June, 25 July to 10 September, 10 October to 30 November

Note: Departures are subject to confirmation at time of booking and price may vary depending on your travel date. Please ask us for travel outside of these dates.

Get the Brochure:

View Brochure

Click on the button to view or download a copy of the brochure. The brochure includes more details and the full itinerary (where applicable).

Want to Stay Longer or Upgrade?

You can add extra nights in New Zealand. We can also provide a quote for international flights or add on a tour of the South Island.

Ask us today about staying at other properties or adding more services. We are happy to design a holiday that will suit you best.

Travelling Solo?

We can look after you. Please contact us for solo traveller rates.

Booking Conditions:

This special deal is valid for a limited time. Please contact us for current rates.

All prices are per person, based on twin share, and listed in Australian dollars (AUD). The package is subject to confirmation at the time of booking and prices may change without notice. Booking conditions and cancellation fees apply.

Please read Australia & New Zealand Travel Company’s Terms & Booking Conditions prior to making a reservation. By booking any travel service with us, you have agreed to be bound by these terms and conditions.

How to Book

To make a booking please call Australia & New Zealand Travel Company on 1300 168 910 or email reservations@anztravelco.com.

You can also select a trip and request it via this website – please make sure you enter the quantity for the number of people travelling. In the ‘Additional Information’ field on the Checkout page, add your preferred departure date plus any other information that will help us process your booking, such as departure city and travel preferences.

No payment is required to submit an online booking request, but your booking is pending and no place is being held. Your booking status will be advised when you hear from our travel consultants. Bookings are normally actioned within 24 hours – Monday to Friday.

Itinerary & Booking Info

Travel Style

Independent self-drive & tour



DAY 1 – Arrive Auckland
Arrive in Auckland and make your own way to your hotel for the evening.
Auckland is New Zealand's self-proclaimed "City of Sails" is the country's largest metro area. Resting between the Pacific Ocean and the Tasman Sea, this urban paradise has something for everyone. Surrounded by native bush, rainforests and an abundance of beaches, Auckland is a playground for both the city savvy and those with an eye for adventure. Explore the central museums and galleries on foot, or take a drive through one of over 800 regional National Parks to see deserted beaches, waterfalls and native forest.
Overnight: Auckland

DAY 2 – Auckland to Paihia including Waitangi Treaty Grounds
Leaving Auckland city early, your journey into the 'winterless North' begins as you cross over the iconic Auckland Harbour Bridge. Along the way your driver guide will keep you informed and entertained, pointing out sites of interest as you drive through rolling farmland and lush native forest into the Northland region. Take a brief morning tea break in Kaiwaka, your tour continues past Whangarei and through Kawakawa before arriving at the seaside town of Paihia.

On arrival in the Bay of Islands visit the Waitangi Treaty Grounds for a guided tour of the historic place where in 1840, the Treaty of Waitangi was signed between Māori and the British Crown. Explore the original Treaty House, one of New Zealand's oldest and most visited historic homes and Te Whare Runanga, a fully carved Maori meeting house, which is representative of all iwi in New Zealand. The Waitangi Treaty Grounds offer a truly unique insight into New Zealand's early history. You'll have the rest of your day at leisure to explore Paihia and relax.
Overnight: Paihia

DAY 3 – Cape Reinga scenic coach tour via Ninety Mile Beach
As you travel north, enjoy a taste of New Zealand's varying and beautiful landscape: the rolling hills of Northland's rural countryside, breath-taking coastal views and native forest. Drive along the shores of Ninety Mile Beach as the waves crash beside the custom-built coach. Feel the sand between your toes as you help your driver guide dig for shellfish (conditions permitting). Your off-road journey continues up Te Paki Stream, stopping at the massive sand dunes where you can experience the thrills and spills of sand surfing. Visit the Puketi Kauri Forest and get up close to ancient and majestic giant kauri trees and native bush. Stroll along an elevated walkway as these graceful giants surround you, and learn about conservation efforts to preserve the forest today. Visit Cape Reinga and hear the stories of this significant site where, according to Māori legend, spirits depart on their journey home to Hawaiki.

Enjoy spectacular panoramic views, visit the iconic lighthouse, and see the point where the Tasman Sea and the mighty Pacific Ocean come crashing together.
During your Cape Reinga tour, you'll also experience another Kiwi icon: a lunch of delicious fish and chips at the historic Wagener Museum at Houhora. Your journey home will be equally enjoyable as your tour guide's combination of local insight, extensive historical knowledge and a sense of humour create an unforgettable adventure. Overnight: Paihia

DAY 4 – Hole in the Rock cruise, return to Auckland
This morning enjoy a Cruise to the Hole in the Rock. Board your cruise and take in the stunning views as you glide out through the islands and along the Rakaumangamanga Peninsula to Cape Brett, where a historic lighthouse keeps watch over and Piercy Island/Motukōkako, or as it is popularly known the ‘Hole in the Rock’. According to Māori legend, local warriors used to paddle through the Hole in the Rock in their canoes before departing for battle. Drops of water from the cave roof above were a good omen. If conditions permit, your skipper will expertly guide the ship through the narrow space. Keep an eye out for common and bottlenose dolphins, whales and other marine life during your cruise, and have your camera ready as you get up close to the action. The purpose-built catamaran is licensed by DOC (the Department of Conservation). We return to Auckland in the afternoon. Enjoy a relaxing sightseeing tour from Paihia to Auckland. The afternoon departure time allows you to spend a full day in the beautiful Bay of Islands before returning to Auckland. Your local driver guide will point out scenic highlights as you travel through farmland and past native forests.

Upon arrival back in Auckland, your detailed tour pack will be hand delivered by one of our trusted representatives. The pack contains everything you need for the duration of your self-drive tour. It will include a comprehensive, printed and bound version of your itinerary as well as clear driving instructions and maps for each leg of your journey. It also contains all the reservation details for your accommodation and activities – along with relevant brochures and information. While in New Zealand we offer 24 hour support – details on how to contact us at any time will be documented.
Overnight: Auckland

DAY 5 – Auckland to Rotorua, collect rental car
Collect your rental car and head south through the lush Waikato farmland stopping to visit Hobbiton on your way to Rotorua. The drive south from Auckland takes you past the Bombay Hills and into the rolling farmland and rich dairy pastures of the Waikato. The Bombay Hills mark the outer boundary of greater Auckland area and it's here you turn inland to central Waikato. You’ll soon go through the town of Matamata where you can visit the fully intact Hobbiton film set used in the shooting of the Lord of The Rings and Hobbit trilogies. Continuing on, you’ll pass several small farming communities before telltale signs of steam and other geothermal activity signal your arrival into Rotorua.
Overnight: Rotorua

DAY 6 – Rotorua to Napier
Pass through Lake Taupo before travelling east to Hawke's Bay. This drive will take you through the thermal region just south of Rotorua.
Home to a plethora of unique geothermal attractions including boiling mud pits, natural hot springs and steaming geysers, this area is a must do before you move on to Napier. Notable attractions are Wai-O-Tapu Waimangu and Craters of the Moon. Continue on to Taupo and marvel at the lake – a giant crater formed following a volcanic eruption in the year 180 CE. As you approach the city, be sure to stop at Huka Falls to view the spectacular sight of hundreds of cubic metres of water spilling every second down the narrow 11 metre drop. For an extra thrill take a jet-boat ride to the base of the falls. Leaving Taupo, follow the road as it climbs the rugged Ahimanawa Range before descending back down the Pacific Coast to Napier.
Overnight: Napier

DAY 7 – Napier to Wellington via Masterton
Drive through the Wairarapa region and over the Rimutaka Ranges to Wellington. The rolling countryside of the Hawke's Bay leads you into some of New Zealand’s richest farmland, located around the Manawatu region. Passing along the Manawatu Gorge the Wairarapa welcomes you. Masterton is home to the Golden Shears sheep shearing competition while just further south Greytown boasts the largest concentration of historic wooden buildings in the country.
Nearby Martinborough is home to dozens of boutique wineries. The route takes you over the Rimutaka Range and along the magnificent natural harbour that the capital city of Wellington sits upon.
Overnight: Wellington

DAY 8 – Depart Wellington
Explore more of Wellington City today before dropping your vehicle at the Wellington Airport rental car depot today.

Please note: The day by day descriptions published are intended as an indicative guide only. Travel by nature is unpredictable. Weather patterns, road conditions, public holidays, travel restrictions and a multitude of other factors may necessitate itinerary changes that ultimately are for the client’s benefit. It is essential that clients are flexible and open minded in this regard.

Travel Tips

See our blog article for more information about driving in New Zealand.

How to Book

Bookings can be made by calling Australia & New Zealand Travel Company on 1300 168 910 or email to reservations@anztravelco.com.

Online booking requests may also be submitted via this website by selecting a trip. Please make sure you include your preferred departure date in the ‘Additional Information’ field on the Checkout page.

Bookings are pending and not confirmed until you receive a status update from an Australia & New Zealand Travel Company consultant.


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