Recommended Length: 5 Days
Distance: 880 km (550 miles)
You’ll enjoy a cross-section of attractions with this lower North Island route. Depart Wellington and drive over the Rimutaka Ranges to Martinborough, where wine and food is the local focus. Napier offers more vineyard experiences, but you can also discover Art Deco architecture and a fabulous beach front. The drive to Taupo is scenic, and once there you’ll find geothermal parks, excellent trout fishing and lots of hot pools. The Desert Road takes you past three volcanoes on the way to Palmerston North. Look for bird sanctuaries and interesting museums as you drive down the Kapiti Coast to Wellington.