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    Experience the Thermal Explorer Highway

    The Thermal Explorer Highway runs through central Northern Island of New Zealand. A country that's jammed packed with adventure and astonishing outdoor beauty, this will be a striking self-driving journey, that will not disappoint the young or the old.

    Begin by choosing the places that capture your interest, drop by and spend the day exploring. Each stay in different cities along the way will leave you with a unique story and memory to hold onto for a lifetime. Whether it's discovering the incredible attractions in the vibrant city of Auckland, find marvellous landscape at Mt. Ngauruhoe volcano to heart-pounding excitement while you skydive in Taupo!

    Day 1 - Auckland

    Spend your first day exploring the sights in Auckland. Visit the sky tower and while you make your way to the very top, you can reward yourself at the fine 360 degree Orbit restaurant. This restaurant completes a full rotation within an hour, so eat while you are presented with a spectacular view of the city! If you're after something a bit more adventurous then head to the very top! Jump off the Sky Tower and experience a 192 metre drop that will definitely give you that rush! Or if you're after something a bit more secure then the Sky Walk around the 1.2 metre wide platform provides you with an unexplainable visual view of the city. Around Auckland you are able to shop till you drop, drive along the Auckland Harbour Bridge or spend a relaxing day at Albert Park filled with a beautiful mixture of flowers. There is certainly something for everyone here.

    Auckland City

    Day 2 - Hamilton

    It's now time to commence your thrilling Thermal Explorer Highway experience and venture off on a 2 hour drive to majestic, Hamilton. Start your day off with some adventure at the stunning Waitomo Caves. Ruakuri Cave is home to echoing waterfalls and mesmerising limestones that drop from the ceiling. After exploring Ruakuri Cave you can explore the Waitomo glow worm cave, prepare to be completely breath taken by the thousands of tiny glow worms that cling onto ceiling, lighting up the dark cave making it look like picture perfect stars in the night sky.

    Day 3 - Rotorua

    Travel a 2 hour drive from Hamilton to refreshing Rotorua and be dazzled by all the incredible things to do. Spend the day rejuvenating at the Polynesian Spa after your long drive between destinations. Feel at ease with the option of taking part in a variety of exquisite relaxation spots such as the Lake Spa, Private Pools, Family Spa, Spa Therapies or Adult Pools and Priest Spa while at the same time you are opened to magnificent outdoor scenery. Fit in a trip to Waimangu Volcanic Valley and walk along the track and experience excellent volcanic craters, geysers, boiling steams, steaming lakes and a clear aqua blue acid lake. A visit to Rotorua is not complete until you stop by the famous Lake Rotorua and cast your eyes upon the second largest lake in the Northern Island of New Zealand.

    Day 4 - Taupo

    Drive 2 hours from Rotorua and stop at Taupo. Jump into the day by firstly visiting Huka Falls, a remarkable 11 metre high waterfall. Enjoy the natural attraction by walking the tracks alongside the river and stop at the platforms that allow you to stop and be captivated by the 220,000 litres per second that pass through. Be sure to make a visit to the famous Lake Taupo and feel at peace while you take in the astonishing scenery that surrounds you.

    Waimangu Volcanic Valley

    Day 5 - Napier

    Coming to the end of your exhilarating itinerary, take on a drive that's a little over an hour from Taupo to Napier. A destination that's well known for it's electrifying food and wine, an enjoyable and relaxing end to your fantastic journey along the Thermal Explorer Highway.


    Your self-drive journey will be a phenomenal one, no matter what route you take to the places you decide to visit. Your unique lifetime adventure will be one to remember in the Northern Island of New Zealand. Auto Europe has your New Zealand car hire needs covered. Call us on 1300 656 601 or visit our online booking engine today.

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