Recommended Length: 5 Days
Distance: 796 km (498 miles)
This straight-down-the-middle route lets you experience the volcanic heart of the North Island. Auckland’s sea and city attractions get you in the holiday mood before the drive to Hamilton, where you can enjoy gardens and a riverboat cruise. The subterranean labyrinth of Waitomo Caves is next, followed by Rotorua’s spectacular geothermal and Maori attractions. At Lake Taupo there are more geothermals to see, as well as hot spas to soak in. Follow the lake’s edge to Turangi, a renowned trout fishing mecca. The volcanic plateau gives way to farmland on the way to Palmerston North. The Kapiti coast provides entertainment on the last leg of your journey.