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Rotorua to Wellington

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My wife and I are traveling in New Zealand from October 30 to November 22. We our both in our 70’s. Adventure sports, hiking, fishing, resorts, wine tastings are definitely not items on our agenda. Our main interest while traveling is photography. That makes our travel times much longer than what shows up in the GPS or aa.co/nz Maps. Our vacations are self-drive staying either one night or two in on location.

As part of the 24 day trip we are planning driving from Rotorua to Wellington. aa.co.nz shows the driving time as 5 hours 40 minutes which is too long of day for us with all the photo stops. Looking at breaking up the trip into 2 days. Taupo is a possible but it is still more than 4 hours north of Wellington. Any suggestions where to spend the night between the Rotorua and Wellington is appreciated.

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