Driving NI 5 days

Feb 4th, 2008, 03:47 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 78
Driving NI 5 days

we have an stopover at Auckland before Sydney from where we'll cruise to LA
After reading previous posts and threads we plan to rent a car(Apex?) in Auck, and during 5 days visiting the most we can of NI
I understand is a tight schedule but is what we have...flights to and from Auckland with Aerolineas Argentinas (our best choice $) are not daily.
Our interest is more about aboriginal and different scenic and geological views (different from home in Argentina) than cities...
Then our plans are driving to Matamata,Rotorua,Tongariro, Waitomo caves and if possible get to Bay of Islands and back to Auckland
We are arriving on Apr 1st early in the morning and leaving on Apr 6 in the morning also.
I'll apreciate suggestions and answer to some questions
1) Hangi at Tamaki,Mitai or other? (the most authentical
2) Better a midium car than small for bigger engine?(we are 2 people)
3) B&B sugestions?
Thanks so much for your help
VIRGINIAUSH is offline  
Feb 4th, 2008, 07:26 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 342
My first bit of advice would be for you to visit the following NZ-based website with multiple different driving routes and a comprehensive listing of attractions/interest areas all along each route.

My wife and I spent 9 days in NZ this past November, and drove AKL/Hamilton/Rotorua/Taupo/Napier/Hawkes Bay/Palmerston/Wellington before flying back to AKL.

Our hangi experience was in Rotorua, which I highly enjoyed. I can't speak to whether others are better, however.
Your itinerary doesn't seem that difficult - given that you aren't going all the way to the South end of the NI, but doing all the stuff in the Central portion along WITH the BOI might be a bit much.

A medium car will be fine, or a small one depending on your interest and budget. There is not THAT much up/down hills to be concerned with in the areas you're describing.

Best, Dave
Dave is offline  
Feb 4th, 2008, 01:23 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 78
thanks Dave the link to the driving routes is very helpful
Do you remember which hangi in ROtorua did you attend?
thanks again!
VIRGINIAUSH is offline  
Feb 5th, 2008, 04:23 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 342
The Hangi that we attended has been recommended on this board, but for the life of me I can't recall its name at present.

It WAS a bus ride out of town if that's of help - I'll try to get the name and repost.
Reservations are REQUIRED.

Best, Dave
Dave is offline  
Feb 5th, 2008, 04:25 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 342
The one we attended was Tamaki Village. Here is a link to the website.

It is WELL worth the effort and a fantastic time. Don't miss it!!

Best, Dave
Dave is offline  
Feb 5th, 2008, 02:13 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 78
thanks Dave...I-ve read recomendations of Tamaki and Mitai hangi...I/ve checked both on the web,...I accept your recomendation about Tamaki!
VIRGINIAUSH is offline  
Feb 11th, 2008, 11:40 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 786
Definitely leave out the Bay of Islands if you intend doing the other areas, it is quite a hike and a long way north of Auckland and not the easiest of drives. In five days it would be pretty impossible to include it if you go to Tongariro National Park anyway. Suggest this route, Matamata or Tauranga/Mt Maunganui to Rotorua, Taupo, Tongariro and Waitomo back to Auckland, that will be full on.
Mitai is the best hangi and ethnic performance in Rotorua, they will also show you a large spring and glow worms after the concert. Book from your accomodation or at the info centre on Fenton St, Rotorua. If you go via Mt Maunganui you will be on the coast and it is worth driving along the sea shore there.
You could easily wing it at that time of year, there are plenty of B & B's, hotels, motels, farm stays etc everywhere. Have a nice time. Try and have one night at the Chateau on the lower slopes of Mt Ruapehu.
KathyNZ is offline  
Feb 12th, 2008, 11:01 AM
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 240
For an absolutely authentic hangi experience at Rotorua try Rotoiti Tours who will take you to a small family marae, Rakeiao.
It's the real thing, not fabricated like the Tamaki empire. Otherwise Mitai would be my second choice.
capekidnappers is offline  

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