North Island Luxury Self Drive Tour Itinerary


Welcome to Auckland!

‘Haere Mai’ … Welcome to New Zealand. Now you can relax - you are officially on holiday. Everything has been taken care of, we will meet you at the airport and transfer you to your accommodation.

Enjoy a relaxing day exploring Auckland, also known as the ‘City of Sails’. 

Take time to stroll around the Viaduct Harbour, sit in a cafe and enjoy your surroundings - this is a friendly easygoing city. 

Some Activities and sightseeing options if you have time:

Explore Waiheke Island     Island Kayaking Adventure     America’s Cup Sailing
Auckland's Sky Tower Relax on the Beach Rangitoto Island Cruise & Walk
West Coast Wine Tour Whale and Dolphin Safari Muriwai Surf Beach

Accommodation Auckland - 2 nights

Hotel de Brett is situated in downtown Auckland and is considered a very unique luxury boutique hotel. Set in Auckland’s hip High Street, the fashion district, the iconic building has been reinterpreted into a 25 room luxury boutique hotel with each room designed with eclectic furniture, New Zealand Art and photography. The décor is a celebration of contemporary New Zealand art and design, with hints of the hotel’s art deco past.
Hotel De Bretts Auckland City


Wonderful Waiheke Island

Waiheke Island is to Auckland as the Hamptons are to New York – the former being on a much smaller scale. Home to beautiful beaches and holiday homes, Waiheke Island produces some outstanding wines. Just 35 minutes by ferry from Auckland, across the beautiful Hauraki Gulf is this tranquil little paradise. Since the late 1970's Waiheke Island's benign climate has seen the growth of a flourishing wine industry. A "small is beautiful" philosophy yields low quantities of extremely high-quality fruit, which is made into internationally award-winning wines. 

Join one of the local wine aficionado’s for an exclusive behind the scenes wine producers tour. You can choose from premium vineyards like Mudbrick, Obsidian, Te Whau, Jurassic , Destiny Bay...and potentially Man o War. At each vineyard taste a selection of wines and enjoy an in-depth discussion with the winemaker. Barrel tastings at one vineyard can also be arranged depending on seasonal availability.

If you fancy something a little tactile, it is also possible to visit a bronze crafting studio, a cobbler who makes individual pairs of shoes from scratch, a ceramic artist or a visit to the spectacular sculpture park. For those who wish to break up the day may enjoy a brisk walk on one of the many beautiful beaches Waiheke is famous for. (varying degrees of difficulty).


To the realm of Hobbits - Steaming Rotorua

An exciting day awaits this morning. Collect your rental car and journey to the emerald pastures and rolling hills of The Shire, where Hobbiton was brought to life on a private farm in Matamata. This idyllic village blurs the line between fantasy and reality. Set to the scale of a 3ft Hobbit you’ll feel like you’ve walked into a magical world of smoking chimneys, bluebells, and the Green Dragon Inn. Visit Bag End as well as the other 43 Hobbit Holes on this fully guided 2.5hr Hobbiton tour. Learn about the production of the movies – how did they make Gandalf appear so tall? Why was this exact site chosen to build Hobbiton? The passion and knowledge gleaned from your guide bring this authentic Middle-earth experience to life.

Continue your journey on to the geothermal city of Rotorua.

Approximate Distance: 252 kms | 157 miles  Total Driving Time: 3 hours 15 mins

Accommodation: Rotorua - 2 nights

Solitaire Lodge is a luxurious 5-star property 20 minutes' drive from Rotorua, set on a private peninsula on the shores of Lake Tarawera. Spacious suites feature modern interiors and stylish furnishings. with views of the lake, the lagoon, or the volcanic summit of Mount Tarawera.
Solitaire Lodge


Exclusive Cruise Lake Rotoiti & Te Wairoa Buried Village

At Okawa Bay on the shores of beautiful Lake Rotoiti , board "Tiua", a 53ft catamaran for a relaxing sail to secluded coves and natural hot pools reached only by boat - a memorable journey.

This afternoon, travel past the Blue & Green Lakes to the famous buried village of Te Wairoa. This is New Zealand's most visited Archaeological Site, where stories of the 1886 Mt Tarawera Eruption come to life. Te Wairoa was established by the Christian missionary in 1848 as a model village, however, Te Wairoa survived for fewer than 40 years before it, and the nearby Pink and White Terraces were obliterated by the eruption of Mt Tarawera.

This evening, enjoy a traditional Maori hangi (feast) and cultural performance.


Geothermal Fury & Art Deco Napier

View the mighty Huka Falls and the Wairakei Geothermal project before stopping at Lake Taupo, the largest in New Zealand. Continue across the Central Plateau to the Hawkes Bay region and Napier, often regarded as the world's Art Deco Capital. On arrival, enjoy a locally guided walking tour of the city.

Nowhere else can you see such a variety of buildings in the styles of the 1930s - Stripped Classical, Spanish Mission, and above all Art Deco- the style of the 20th Century - in such a concentrated area.  Napier is the world’s finest example of the Art Deco age and your guide will bring Napier's fascinating architecture to life for you as you take an easy stroll through the compact Art Deco Quarter in the vibrant city centre.

Approximate Distance: 240 kms | 149 miles  Total Driving Time: 3 hours 10 mins

Accommodation: Napier - 2 nights

Nestled amongst 6,000 acres (2,500 Hectares) the Farm At Cape Kidnappers is a luxury retreat with a spectacular 180 degree view of the Pacific Ocean. The common areas of the lodge connect you to this amazing landscape offer numerous spaces in which to relax; including the intimately snug, stylish lounges complete with roaring open fires and outdoor conservatory areas. 

The Farm at Cape Kidnappers


At leisure in the Hawke’s Bay

Situated as the capital of the Hawkes Bay region, Napier is renowned for beautiful coastline, stately Norfolk pines, a multitude of nearby wineries, and 1930's art deco architecture. Since the mid-nineteenth century, Hawkes Bay has been recognised as a premium wine-growing centre. Today eighteen wine producers produce one-third of the national grape harvest and many are open for wine tastings and lunch. Venture out to Te Mata Peak and take in the fantastic views of the area, walk through an olive grove, and the opportunity to taste local olives and oils. Dine at Clearview Estate and have the opportunity of tasting their range of handcrafted single-vineyard wines. Visit the largest mainland Gannet colony at Cape Kidnappers.

Some activities and sightseeing options available:

Vineyard Tasting Tour    Golf at Cape Kidnappers   Farmers Markets  
Art Deco Walking Tour   Visit the Gannet Colony Cycling Winery Tour


Wairarapa / Wellington

Leaving the Hawkes Bay’s vineyards and orchards you are soon travelling through rolling farmland as you drive into the rural heartland of the Wairarapa region.

Stop at historic Greytown to view excellent examples of Victoria colonial architecture. The village has a mix of art galleries, boutique shops, cafes and restaurants making it one of New Zealand’s premier shopping destinations.  Time for a shop before travelling over the Rimutaka Ranges and down to our capital city Wellington

Check out the city's sights and head up Mt Victoria for stunning views over the harbour before heading down to see the Houses of Parliament and the distinctive 'Beehive', and Wellingtons Cathedral. You are staying right in the heart of Wellington's vibrant hub of museums, theatres, galleries, boutiques and cafes.

Approximate Distance: 326 kms | 203 miles  Total Driving Time: 4 hours 25 mins

Accommodation: Wellington - 2 nights


The Sofitel Wellington is a Luxury 5 Star Hotel on the Terrace with Views of the Botanic Gardens. This hotel features 129 guest rooms, each with vintage-inspired gold and bronze colored decor and a luxurious rain shower. They offer an LCD TV and a BOSE sound system, Free Wifi and downstairs the Jardin Grill Restaurant. Guests can visit a variety of local restaurants and cafes, within 15 minutes' walk.

Sofitel Wellington


A day of Leisure - in the Capital of Cool...

Named the ‘coolest little capital in the world’ by Lonely Planet, enjoy a relaxing day exploring Wellington. Located in at the southernmost end of New Zealand's North Island, Wellington is the nation’s capital city. A magnificent landscape of steep-sided hills sits beside a beautiful harbour, and the city itself bustles with a vibrant creative culture. Renowned for its eclectic, arty atmosphere, Wellington is a real kiwi cultural treat and numerous galleries and character-filled shops line its colourful streets. 

 Here are some suggested excursions in and around Wellington

National Museum - Te Papa

    Visit Cuba Street

   Weta Workshop Tour
Zealandia Wildlife Reserve     

    Wellington Cable Car    

   Carter Observatory 


Bon Voyage!

"Haere rā" Goodbye! and Bon Voyage!

We take care of your transfer to Wellington Airport where you will board your onward flight, taking with you the magical memories of a truly exceptional New Zealand holiday.

Profile picture for user Emma
What Emma says about this tour: I highly recommend this trip because of the relaxed pace of travel, with four 2 night stays you won't feel rushed. This trip is all about taking the time to smell the roses - well actually the wine literally on Waiheke Island and in Hawkes Bay wine country. The exclusive Lake Rotoiti cruise is bound to be a highlight and the tour ending in the best little capital in the world in Wellington, is full of art and creativity.
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