In September, I road tripped with my husband through the North Island of New Zealand with just 5 days. It was amazing, but you do have to drive on the left side which was different. I am going to share the itinerary we chose and some photos of the trip. We choose to not drive to Wellington as we were flying back out of Auckland; But, you could drive there after Rotorua. While driving, you will see rolling green hills and sheep everywhere as well as spectacular rain forest roads. We stopped at one coffee shop on the way to Rotorua that had donkeys, goats, and wild pigs for you to feed. The people we met in NZ were some of the coolest humans alive. Everywhere we went people would go out of their way to help and share advice. The other thing I loved in NZ was the asian bakeries in Auckland. They had styled bubble tea and tasty treats like none I have ever had before.
Day 1: Arrive early and spend the day in Auckland. We stayed at Barclay Suites and ate dinner at a place on Viaduct Harbour.
Activity Suggestions: Salt Cave Therapy, Art Museum, Sky Tower (views and bungee jumping), Maritime Museum
Day 2: Wake up early and drive to Hobbiton to take a tour of “The Shire” from Lord of the Rings. After this, drive to Rotorua. Relax at the Polynesian Spa in town and have a calm night in at the Emerald Spa Motor Inn. We ate at an italian restaurant called Ciccio which is home to massive dessert milkshakes they call “freakshakes” .
Day 3: Tour Te Puia which is a geothermal wonderland! For a mid day activity, we drove to Green and Blue Lake then went to “The Buried Village” tour which takes through a town that went missing from a volcano eruption in the 1800s. The property has a gorgeous waterfall you can hike to also! We ended the night with a nighttime tree walk through the NZ Redwoods! It is not as scary because you can’t see how far up you are at night and they put up cool lights all around. Relax with your personal in-room Jacuzzi this night !
Day 4: Wake up early and drive to Waitimo Glow Worm Caves! This will blow your mind! All of the tours they have available are amazing and you will never be completely ready to see the cave top filled up with little glowing worms that look liek bright blue stars. After this drive back to beautiful Auckland.
Day 5: Auckland again!
Activity Suggestions: Walk Cornwall Park, Excursion to a nearby Island, skydive if you like to jump out of planes