When we travel to places like Europe or the USA, we tend to stay for a while and see as much as possible, knowing that we won't be there again any time soon. This is not the case for New Zealand. For us Australians it is common to jump on a plane for a short trip over to our Kiwi neighbours. Whether it is to visit family, for business or a holiday, New Zealand is just a quick flight away. It has so much to offer, so why not treat it like a destination that's far away? 'I don't have the time', you think, so we created a trip that will show you the best and as much as possible of New Zealand's Northern Island in 3 days.
Welcome to New Zealand, today you'll be exploring the city of Auckland! Auckland has a relative small airport so it's easy to find your way. Once you are through customs, you'll see the many car rental desks in the arrival hall. Due to the airport's size, you'll jump on a shuttle bus to the depot. Approximately 60% of Auckland's population commutes via car so you can expect good roads and easy parking. Prices in the CBD vary from $3 to $5 per hour, but most hotels offer parking as well. If you don't feel like leaving your car in the hotel overnight, you can pick up a vehicle downtown. Walk down to the Britomart at the wharf. Here you'll find a collection of high-end boutiques, vintage shops and fusion bars and lunchrooms. The area is comparable to cities like Antwerp and Rotterdam. Take Queen St. to Karangahape Rd., a street well known for its many gay bars. It has more to offer than just that, as you will find yourself browsing the many cooking gadgets, books, vintage furniture and clothing shops.
Take the Hopetoun St. down and enjoy a beautiful view over the city. Pass Aotea Square and walk up to Symonds St. where the University of Auckland is located. Here you can enjoy the vibrant atmosphere and beautiful early 20th century architecture.Have yourself a little picnic in Albert Park, established in 1880, where you can also visit the Auckland Art Gallery. Finish your Auckland tour with a stroll to the Auckland Skytower, the highest tower in the Southern Hemisphere. The tower has glass in the elevator and a glass floor 328 meters in the sky but what is really impressive is the 360 degrees view over the area. Believe it or not, but this tour will take you around 6 hours to complete. Grab yourself a lovely meal at Wynyard Quarter and go back to the hotel for a well-deserved night of sleep. It will be an early day tomorrow.
Quay St. - A cheerful cafe, ideal for breakfast!
Grab your car and get on the road to visit Rural New Zealand. It is advised to hit the road early, as Auckland's roads tend to block up during peak hour. You'll drive through the suburbs of Auckland and of course the dormant volcanoes. According to the Aucklanders, the country ends at Bombay Hill, but you are about to discover that this is not the case. Follow the road to Waitomo, famous for its glow worm cave. Park the car and go on an adventure. You can choose to raft through the cave or simply do a tour. Whilst you wander through the cave, the lights will go out, only to see the ceiling glow up like the stars in the night. This is one of nature's wonders that should be on your bucket list.Continue your journey to Rotorua and stop off at the town of Kihkiha to try 'the best meat pies in New Zealand' at Viands Bakery. Once in Rotorua, it is time to relax. The town has over 70 natural geysers and mud pools. These tend to be between 95 and 120 degrees and you can visit a spa if you'd like to jump into one a bit cooler. Visit the local Maori tribe and experience a traditional welcome ceremony and discover their history in the region.
Te Puia - where you can experience the geysers and the local Maori culture.
Pack up the car and drive up to Hobbiton, the set of the famous 'Lord of the Rings' trilogy and 'The Hobbit'. The set was built when the production of the first 'Lord of the Rings' movie started and destructed right after the filming was done. Despite the construction, visitors kept coming to see the magical village and when plans for the second movie came out, the local council gave permission for the film makers to build a permanent village. Visit the little houses that are built into the hills and pretend to be a hobbit for a day. It doesn't get more 'Lord of the Rings' than this. Here at Auto Europe, we personally loved the Hobbiton, because nothing is more magical.
You have now seen and done the best of New Zealand's North Island. It is time for you to fly back and plan your next 3-day trip. Who says you don't have the time? We definitely don't! Give us a call on 1300 656 601 or simply book online today!