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Auckland-Rotorua-Taupo

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Hi I have been trying to decide if I should drive from Auckland to Rotorua. I will be arriving at 12am in Auckland and thought I will probably spend a night at the airport before driving.

But I was also afraid I will be too shagged! So alternatively maybe I can take an Intercity Bus to Rotorua and rent a car there, since I want to visit all the places (geothermal, maybe waitomo) and transports/tours seem to be really expensive.....

Wondering if this is a good idea? How's the drive during end of June? Has anyone tried the car rental companies in Rotorua itself? I found ritepricecarrentals.co.nz and wonder if this company is reliable? I will probably also do a drive down to Taupo. Any suggestions on how long should I stay there? I have about 8 days to spare and I have been to Auckland before.

Many thanks in advance.

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