Nature Lovers Self Drive
A self-drive tour is a unique way to uncover New Zealand’s natural beauty. Beginning and ending in Auckland, see sights like Coromandel Peninsula, Whakatane, Napier, and Rotorua on route. Experience New Zealand’s North Island at your own pace, focusing on natural wonders in one of the world’s most dramatic landscapes.
- 11 nights’ motel accommodation
- 12 Day Hertz Group I Kia Sportage or similar suv
- Co-pilot kit (maps, directions, discounts)
|January 5-March 1, 2022 from $1759|
|Upgrade to hotel||from $300 more|
*Please note: Holiday departures will have additional surcharges
Roundtrip airfare to Auckland additional, but can be added if available
Day 1 – Auckland to Coromandel Peninsula 164 km (102 miles) 2.5 hours
Depart Auckland and travel the Pacific Coast Highway touring route to the Coromandel Peninsula. The Coromandel’s dramatic and unspoiled coast, and beautiful white sandy beaches, offer endless opportunities for fishing, diving, boating, surfing and swimming.
Day 2 – Coromandel at leisure
Enjoy the unique experience of Hot Water Beach where at low tide you can dig in the sand, allowing the sulphur-heated waters to rise to the top to create your very own thermal spa. Swim with dolphins, hire a kayak and explore the many offshore islands or simply let the azure water lap at your feet and marvel at the beauty of the Pacific Ocean.
Continuing down the Pacific Coast Highway, sapphire waters and white sand beaches will give way to lush farmland and orchards of the Bay of Plenty. Enjoy the beautiful harbour of Tauranga and the white sand beaches of Mount Maunganui.
|Accommodation||Hotel Armitage Tauranga|
Day4 – Tauranga to Whakatane 97 km (60 miles) 1.25 hours
Further down the Pacific Coast Highway is Whakatane, gateway to one of the most accessible active volcanoes.
|Accommodation||White Island Rendezvous Whakatane|
Day 5 – Whakatane at leisure
Whakatane is one of the sunniest towns in New Zealand. Just offshore is White Island, a spectacular active volcano that can be visited by launch or helicopter. Other Whakatane attractions include the museum, an observatory and Maori historical sites. In summer, dolphin swimming is the thing to do.
Further down the Pacific Coast Highway the coastal landscape is untamed and wild. You can lose yourself in the hills and valleys, and renew your inner peace on the beautifully natural beaches.
|Accommodation||Portside Hotel Gisborn|
Day 7 – Gisborne to Napier 216 km (134 miles) 3 hours
From here you enter more breathtaking scenery as you travel your final leg on this highway to Hawke’s Bay Wine Country. Basking in a Mediterranean climate, the Hawke’s Bay region is known for its wine, food and fabulous scenery. Over 30 vineyards offer visitors a wine tasting and indoor/ outdoor dining experience. Napier and Hastings, the two main centres in the region, have a high concentration of Art Deco and Spanish Mission architecture. The rest of the day is free to enjoy the many vineyards and wonderful restaurants in the area.
|Accommodation||Bella Tuscany Motor Lodge Napier|
Day 8 – Napier to Taupo 143 km (89 miles) 2 hours
Depart Napier for a journey through to the Lake Taupo region. Taupo is the main centre of the region and Lake Taupo is one of the North Islands most popular holiday destinations.
|Accommodation||Phoenix Resort Taupo|
Day 9 – Taupo to Rotorua 80 km (50 miles) 1.25 hours
Depart Taupo for a short journey to Rotorua, famous for its spouting geysers, bubbling mud pools and warm geothermal ponds.
|Accommodation||Copthorne Hotel Rotorua|
Day 10 – Rotorua at leisure
As the spiritual home to the Maori and host to some of the worlds most incredible earth forces, there is plenty to see and do here with its steamy thermal attractions and fascinating cultural experiences.
Today head across to the Waitomo Caves district is famous for its subterranean splendour. Beneath the surface of this limestone region is a series of vast cave systems decorated with stalactites, stalagmites and glow-worms. Continue on to Auckland.
|Accommodation||Airedale Boutique Suite|
Day 12 – Depart Auckland
Return your rental car and depart Auckland for your onward destination.
Canadian passport holders entering New Zealand will need to get an electronic travel authority before their arrival, even if they are transiting to another country.
You will not be allowed to travel to New Zealand if you do not have a visa or an NZeTA.
You can apply online https://www.immigration.govt.nz/new-zealand-visas/apply-for-a-visa/about-visa/nzeta
You may also have to pay an International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL). The IVL costs NZD $35 and is paid at the same time as the NZeTA.
An NZeTA request costs NZD $9 on our free app, or NZD $12 if completed online.
Your passport must be valid for at least 3 months beyond the date you expect to leave from New Zealand
If you prefer Travel Best Bets will issue your New Zealand visas for $25 CAD per person (plus the Visa coss) after providing your agent with the required information.