Advice on this North Island Itinerary?

Mar 4th, 2009, 10:59 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 58
Advice on this North Island Itinerary?


This is the preliminary itinerary. We will not be arranging accommodations beforehand. Suggestions for basic motels in the overnight towns are welcomed, in the $100NZ range or less. There are 2 of us.

Friday March 20
Depart Honolulu at 7:10am

Saturday March 21
Arrive in Nadi at 11:55am
Find accommodations near airport
Visit Garden of the Sleeping Giant if time

Sunday March 22
Depart Nadi at 8:45am
Arrive in Auckland at 12:50pm. Pick up accommodation guides in airport.
Drive to Waitomo (3 hours, 125 mi)
OVN Waitomo

Monday March 23
Legendary Blackwater Rafting Company Black Abyss Tour (5 hours) (9am, 11am, 2pm)
If extra time: get walking pamphlet from I-SITE and do a walk
Drive to National Park (1.5 hr, 63 mi to Taumarunui)
OVN National Park

Tuesday March 24
Tongariro Crossing Hike
OVN National Park

Wednesday March 25
Drive National Park to Taupo 1.5 hr, 61mi) and head north to
Orokei Korako Thermal Cave and Thermal Park (25 minutes from Taupo, 8am-5:30pm, $28NZ)
Lake Taupo Cruise (some to see Maori Carvings, maybe Barbary yacht). Go to Launch office to see choices.
Extra Time: Craters of the Moon north of Taupo ($5, dawn to dusk) and
Huka Falls Lookout north of Taupo
OVN Taupo

Thursday March 26
Drive Taupo to Rotorua (1:15, 51 mi)
White water rafting on Kaituna
Extra Time: Polynesian Spa (p. 328, starting at $20 for Adult Pool, $40 for Lake Spa, need to bring or rent towel)
OVN Rotorua

Friday March 27
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland (get there by 9:45am in order to get to Lucky Knox Geyser which goes off at 10:15am. 27 km south of Rotorua)
Drive to Matamata (45 minutes from Rotorua)
Wairere Falls (p. 232, 45 minute walk to lookout)
OVN in Matamata

Saturday March 28
Hobbiton Move Set (p. 232, 2 hours) (9:50am, 11:05am, 12:20pm, 1:35pm, 2:50pm, 4:05pm)
Drive to Hahei (unknown time) and see Cathedral Cove
OVN Hahei or nearby

Sunday March 29
Drive to Auckland
Auckland sights?
Fly out of Auckland at 19:10, be at airport by 17:10
lia018 is offline  
Mar 4th, 2009, 12:23 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 14,895
Looks like a well thought out itinerary. My only suggestion is to look into Bella Vista Motels, which are near your price range and can be found in many towns throughout NZ.
Melnq8 is offline  
Mar 4th, 2009, 09:32 PM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 11,469
The YHA hostel in Waitomo has private chalets; we stayed there in 2004 and had a good experience. I would do the earliest Black Abyss tour so you have time to drive to Tongariro before dark.

Lee Ann
ElendilPickle is offline  
Mar 11th, 2009, 10:42 AM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 17,546
I think you could easily consolidate and drop a day from the Rotorua and Taupo thermal area and take another night around Coromandel Peninsula. YOu might be a bit overloaded on thermal parks.
mlgb is offline  
Mar 13th, 2009, 08:23 PM
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 5
You look like you have done plenty of research into your trip.
I can recommend the blackwater rafting- it is fabulous.
On the Wednesday an alternative is to drive through to Taupo and do the cruise (leaves at 10 am)then drive through to Huka Falls, Orakei Korako and on to Rotorua for the next 2 nights.
Depending on what time your white water rafting trip is (can recommend this also - great fun) you would have time to either go up the gondola and zip down the luge - hilarious fun, or you could go to the agrodome for the sheep show if that's your thing, also on site is bungy jumping and zorbing.
art_deco_kiwi is offline  
Mar 13th, 2009, 08:42 PM
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 5
part 2 - Saturday looks dificult to acheive - the drive would be about 3hrs on a very windey road and the walk to cathedral cove and back would take about 3hr - my guess it will be dark by the time you got back. mlbg's suggestion of droping a thermal park and going through to Matamata on friday morning -in time for 9.50 tour then driving to Whitianga (beter accom for the night) Then either do walking trip to cathedral cove Sat or take boat trip from Whitianga wharf (you see a whole lot more of the scenery that way - we did a caves and cathedral cove tour - well worth it and saw dolphins on the way back. In Auckland - the sky tower is great but right in middle of town also the waterfront is not far away.
With regards to accommodation there are also plenty of motor camps with tourist cabins/motels for a reasonable price.
art_deco_kiwi is offline  

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