Rotorua to Wellington

Jan 2nd, 2008, 12:56 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 396
Rotorua to Wellington

With just six weeks before we go, more questions: After two nights in Rotorua, we're heading down to Wellington for two nights. Which is the better route--toward Napier or via Rt 1, the Desert Road? We plan to stop in Lake Taupo for a look around. Anything else to stop and see along the way? We think we will see a little of Tongariro Nat Park and its LOTR volcanoes if we go Desert Road, is this right? Should we stay overnight en route? I figure it's at least six hours driving not including short stops-is that about right? But this is not "hard" driving (i.e., twisty, windy roads) like we'll deal with on the SI, right?


This is our itinerary (February/March):

Days 1 & 2, Auckland
Day 3, Waitomo
Days 4 & 5, Rotorua
Days 6 & 7, Wellington
Days 8 & 9, Abel Tasman National Park (ferry Welly to Picton on day 8)
Day 10, Punakaiki
Days 11 & 12, Fox Village
Day 13, Wanaka
Days 14, 15, & 16, Te Anau
Days 17 & 18, Queenstown
Day 19, Oamaru
Day 20, Mt Cook
Day 21, Christchurch
Day 22, Fly back to USA
nola77382 is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2008, 07:36 PM
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 468
It will be a long day's driving. Go the desert rd - brilliant if you get a clear day to see the volcanoes.

There is some twisty road but it is a good road into Wellington in most places.
wilees is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2008, 09:53 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 396
Thanks, wilees. I'm definitely interested in the sights along the Desert Road. I'm glad to know the road isn't super windy and twisty, at least until Wellington.

Any suggestions on places to stop and things to see are appreciated since we'll have to take breaks on this long driving day!

nola77382 is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2008, 11:45 AM
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 96
If you visit Napier you must try lunch at the Mission winery - fabulous.

Art Deco area of Napier is also worth a look. Napier holds some fond memories for me - I was there the night England won the Rugby World Cup in 2003.
mickrory is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2008, 05:34 PM
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 1,092
Yes, I would second...go the Desert Road. Seeing your going in February/March (Summer weather), I reckon you will get a swim in, at Abel Tasman National Park. I did last November when the sea temperature was 17 degrees (a bit bracing), but the local Water Taxi operator said that in Feb/March the water temps get to around 21-22 degrees. When you see the beautiful bays & beaches of this lovely National Park, you will want to dive in.
tropo is offline  
Jan 4th, 2008, 05:34 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 396
Tropo, fitting in the Abel Tasman National Park was a priority for us, and we had to leave out other things (like Arthur's Pass, Dunedin and even more time in ChCh) to visit it. I am veru much looking forward to seeing in person what I've so far only enjoyed in pictures. It looks so idyllic and I think I'll want to savour everything about it, including swimming in the peaceful bays. Do you recall if sandflies were a big problem when you were there? We'll be prepared, no matter what.

Mickrory, unfortunately I think we'll be missing Napier this time. The Desert Road really calls to me...

nola77382 is offline  

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