WAITOMO – AUCKLAND (Via Hamilton)
Travel distance is approximately 198kms (124 miles).
Allow at least 2.5 hours drive time (not including stops).
Today is the final day of your 11 day self-drive tour around the North Island of New Zealand. No doubt you have enjoyed a pleasant time exploring Waitomo Caves and other local attractions before commencing the final leg of your journey back to Hamilton and then onto Auckland city.
Some notable stops along the route to Auckland include:
Welcome to the Kiwi Capital of New Zealand! Ffficially acknowledged as New Zealand’s “Kiwiana Town”, this is a great place to get a real feel for us Kiwi’s! Only 10 minutes north of Waitomo Caves, the main street of Otorohanga has over 24 permanent modular displays that feature New Zealand’s colourful history, events and heroes, and it’s free of charge!
KIWI HOUSE & NATIVE BIRD PARK
Located in Otorohanga and just a short drive from Waitomo, this is a ‘must do’ on your journey, and a fabulous opportunity to view New Zealand’s large aviary, rare native birds, live Tuataras and the awesome nocturnal kiwi displays.
TE AWAMUTU MUSEUM
Established in 1935, this is the oldest museum in the Waikato region and is located in Roche Street, Te Awamutu. A great place to stop and stretch your legs on your way to Hamilton, the museum boasts a great collection of materials that relates to the history, society, culture and development of Te Awamutu and the wider Waipa region, including photographs, maps, taonga Maori and archival material.
Covering an impressive 58 hectares at the southern end of Hamilton City, entry to the gardens is free and one of the top attractions in the area. Along with year round stunning garden displays and themes, guided tours can be arranged and there is also a cafe on-site.
Auckland enjoys a warm, humid climate and a unique combination of ultra modern city life and exceptional outdoor lifestyle. Famous for it’s stunning aqua surrounds and volcanic cones, one of the best ways to get out and about is to escape to one of the many islands of the Hauraki. Travelling no more than 40 minutes by ferry from downtown Auckland, visitors can escape to an island experience – Waiheke, Motuihe, Rangitoto – or journey a little further to Tiritiri Matangi, Kawau or Great Barrier.
Along with an impressive selection of award-winning restaurants and cafes scattered throughout the city and suburbs, Auckland and surrounding areas offer a huge variety of accommodation to suit your stay in the ‘City of Sails’. From cheap airport accommodation to luxurious beach front bed & breakfast lodges, it’s all here and waiting for you!
Highly recommended Auckland tourist attractions include…
Devonport – Located across Auckland harbour, historic Devonport is a wonderful way to experience local charm and character. Pretty wooden colonial villa’s line the streets, mixing surprising well with the cafes and boutique shops selling crafts, antiques and collectibles.
Rainbow’s End – New Zealand’s premier theme park is popular with kids and adults alike and offers a great selection of adrenalin rides and other fun attractions. Be prepared to spend at least a 2-3 hours enjoying the park.
Villa Maria Winery – Set in 40 hectares of landscaped grounds planted in Chardonnay, Gewurztraminer and Merlot grapes, Villa Maria offers an unique wine experience combining the traditional elements of European viticulture and winemaking within a fabulous New Zealand setting. The Winery & Vineyard Park is conveniently located only minutes from Auckland airport and the cellar is open daily for tasting award winning wines.
Auckland Museum – Considered the cultural and spiritual touchstone for the many races that inhabit New Zealand, this is a ‘must do’ for anyone wishing to gain an insight into New Zealand and its remarkable people.
Auckland Zoo – Enjoy a day at the zoo with some awesome native and exotic animals. A range of experiences is available for you to get up close to the animals at Western Springs, Auckland.
Sail NZ – Your chance to experience America’s Cup yachting aboard NZL 40 and NZL 41 as you sail on the stunning Hauraki Gulf. Sailings available daily, departing from the Viaduct Basin.
Sky Tower – Towering a whopping 328 metres over Auckland city, Sky Tower is the tallest tower in the Southern Hemisphere, offering breath-taking views for more than 80 kilometres in every direction. There’s always something happening at Sky Tower including a range of unique adventure activities such as Sky Jump.
New Zealand Itineraries: North Island Suggested Itineraries
Our modern self-drive travel Itineraries have routes specifically for the North Island as well as the South Island, ranging from 5 to 11 days, plus there are some travel routes that take in both the North and South Island’s. Our range of travel itineraries include information regarding travel distances and time to ensure that you can make the best of your time in New Zealand, no longer how short your visit!
- 5 Day Itinerary: Auckland – Rotorua, Rotorua – Taupo, Taupo – Waitomo Caves and Waitomo Caves – Auckland
- 6 Day Itinerary: Auckland – Coromandel, Coromandel – Whitianga, Whitianga – Tauranga, Tauranga – Rotorua and Rotorua – Auckland
- 6 Day Itinerary (route 2): Auckland – Dargaville, Dargaville – Kaitaia, Kaitaia – Paihia, Paihia – Whangarei and Whangarei – Auckland
- 7 Day Itinerary: Auckland – Whitianga, Whitianga – Tauranga, Tauranga – Rotorua, Rotorua – Taupo, Taupo – Napier and Napier – Wellington
- 8 Day Itinerary: Wellington, Wellington – Masterton, Masterton – Wellington, Wellington – Nelson, Nelson – Blenheim and Blenheim – Christchurch
- 9 Day Itinerary: Auckland – Coromandel, Coromandel – Whitianga, Whitianga – Tauranga, Tauranga – Gisborne, Gisborne – Napier, Napier – Taupo, Taupo – Rotorua, Rotorua – Waitomo Caves and Waitomo Caves – Auckland
- 9 Day Itinerary (route 2): Auckland – Whangarei, Whangarei – Paihia, Paihia – Hokianga, Hokianga – Auckland, Auckland – Rotorua, Rotorua – Taupo, Taupo – Waitomo Caves and Waitomo Caves – Auckland
- 11 Day Itinerary: Auckland – Whitianga, Whitianga – Tauranga, Tauranga – Rotorua, Rotorua – Gisborne, Gisborne – Napier, Napier Taupo Napier, Napier – Wellington, Wellington – New Plymouth, New Plymouth – Waitomo and Waitomo Caves – Auckland