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North Island Itinerary, are we trying to do too much?

Sydney, Australia
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North Island Itinerary, are we trying to do too much?
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Good Afternoon, my husband and I are coming from Australia to visit the North Island. We are 68 and 70. Unfortunately we only have 12 days and two are travel days. We have been working on our itinerary and have come up with the following. Just after some tips on whether this is doable or any other suggestions would be appreciated.

Arrive 16th May at 3.05pm, pick up Ezi car and drive to Drury for the night. Drive to Taupo and stay 3 nights. Day trips to Rotorua etc. Travel to Whitianga and stay 2 nights. We are then heading north to Paihia but will need to stopover somewhere for 1 night, any recommendations? 2 nights in Paihia. Back to Auckland drop off car in the city and then stay somewhere for 2 nights. Any suggestions. Prefer to stay somewhere flat and if possible near a Skydrive bus stop. Depart Auckland 9am Monday 27th. Thank you in advance

5 replies to this topic
Auckland, New...
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1. Re: North Island Itinerary, are we trying to do too much?
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I assume you chose Drury to break up the trip to Taupo. I would chose Hamilton (it has famous gardens) or Cambridge, not too far to drive on your first day.

A day trip to Rotorua from Taupo is wasted driving. Stay at least one night in Rotorua and you could head up to the Coromandel from there.

Personally I would choose between Coromandel or Bay of Islands, as both are out of the way. If you want to go to Taupo and Rotorua, the Coromandel makes more sense.

Christchurch, New...
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2. Re: North Island Itinerary, are we trying to do too much?
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Why Drury for the first night? (friends or relatives there?). Have you considered spending the first TWO nights in Auckland and the last night at AKL?

I'm also puzzled by 3N in Taupo with a day trip to Rotorua - most people would do it the other way round.

A good place to stay between Coromandel & BoI could be Orewa or Snells Beach.

Sydney, Australia
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3. Re: North Island Itinerary, are we trying to do too much?
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Hi Thank you for your suggestions, we chose Drury as it looked like a good place to stay as it is only 30 mins from airport. Will have a look at the other options you suggested. We honestly never thought of staying at the airport on the last night but it makes sense as we have an early flight. Will also look at staying in Rotorua for a night, we were concerned about the smell. Thanks again

Edited: 26 February 2024, 19:31
Rarotonga, Cook...
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for Rarotonga, Waiheke Island, Southern Cook Islands, Auckland Central, New Zealand, North Island, Cook Islands
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4. Re: North Island Itinerary, are we trying to do too much?
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Kia Ora Cazz, welcome to the North Island forum.

I also recommend the first 2 nights staying in Auckland CBD. Mid May sees darkness fall early evening - heading into the June shortest daylight.

Arrive Auckland, then take the Sky Drive express coach to a Hobson Street ridge hotel or apartment hotel. Note that only downtown Auckland is flat because it is reclaimed harbour. The CBD is actually hilly with a huge gully flowing underneatgh Queen Street into Waitemata harbour.

No need for a rental car until you are ready to drive to Taupo. Hertz is just off the Hobson St ridge. Avis/Apex are on the flat next to Victoria St Market. Others are dotted along Beach Road - The Strand area past Britomart. Link bus from Victoria St West to Beach Road/Parnell Road. Or taxi.

I prefer Taupo to Rotorua. Just personal preference and having lived and worked in the thermal region. Taupo has been voted best small town NZ, and it is a most attractive location. No sulphur smell like Rotorua experiences. I can't see a problem with driving north from Taupo to Rotorua to look around, and to visit one of the thermal parks located between Taupo and Rotorua.

Regarding the BOI or Coromandel Peninsula. The Coromandel is closer to Auckland and the central North Island. The BOI is better geared towards tourism and thus has more activities close to hand. Besides the BOI is the birthplace of the nation, so there is much national pride attached to this small Far North area.

I would probably opt for the Coromandel Peninsula to save spending a night in between Auckland and Paihia.

Around Auckland airport there are numerous good hotel and motel accommodation. There are now 3 airport concourse hotels a short walk or distance from the international terminal. My tried and true recommendations for a near airport stay are Holiday Inn; Naumi, Jetpark and Heartland hotel - in that order. All have guests onsite parking. Jetpark and Heartland have their own free shuttle buses to/from the terminals.

Sydney, Australia
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5. Re: North Island Itinerary, are we trying to do too much?
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Good Afternoon Frangipani, thank you for the information. We will definitely take on board some of your suggestions and change our plans. Once again thank you.

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