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Help! What to do with 7 nights. Starting in Aukland.

UK
posts: 31
Help! What to do with 7 nights. Starting in Aukland.

Hi,

My husband and I arrive in Aukland on 17th August at 4pm. We leave on the 23rd Aug at 6pm, so we have 7 nights/6 days in total. I have been researching our options, but there seems be so much to see and do that I'm feeling confused about what would be best!

We would like to hire a car and enjoy driving along scenic coastal roads. Other than this, we're quite open to ideas. Is is best to book the hotels before we leave?

Sorry to be so vague, but any help would be much appreciated.

Many thanks.

Jan

Whangarei, Northland
Destination Expert
for Auckland, Whangarei
posts: 2,647
reviews: 35
1. Re: Help! What to do with 7 nights. Starting in Aukland.

There is not necessarily any need to book hotels in advance at that time of year, but due to your tight timescale, if you can decide on a route, then booking would mean that you could make better use of your time and not have to 'stop' at 4pm to start looking for places to stay.

My suggestion would be to stick to 1 area, and as you mention scenic coastal roads, I would suggest a tour of Northland.

So maybe 1 night in Auckland, then hire car, 2 nights in Whangarei area to explore the Tutukaka Coast & Whangarei Heads, 2 nights in Bay of Islands or Doubtless Bay, then 2 nights on the West Coast, maybe in Opononi or possibly Kai-iwi Lakes.

It would then be an easy 3 hour drive back to Auckland Airport (from kai-iwi) on your last day.

I can give you more specifics about accommodation options and things to see and do if you would like.

New Zealand
posts: 8,365
reviews: 8
2. Re: Help! What to do with 7 nights. Starting in Aukland.

And I would suggest touring the Coromandel, Bay of Plenty & Waikato area which is south of Auckland-

Coromandel- Hahei area, 2 nights- coastal roads, native bush, beaches

Mt Maunganui- 1 night, coastal, beaches

Rotorua-1 night, Maori culture, geothermal parks,13 lakes, extreme activities

Taupo-1 night, lake, mountain, trout fishing

Waitomo- 1 night, glow worm caves, black water rafting(it will be cold though, even with a wetsuit)

Of course you could combine the two- Northland & Coromandel/Bay of Plenty.

CA
posts: 57
3. Re: Help! What to do with 7 nights. Starting in Aukland.

I think the go North upto bay of plenty would be great and the scenic roads as suggested above. Good luck. I think you could easily skip the Waitomo caves and some of the other stuff south of Auckland.

UK
posts: 31
4. Re: Help! What to do with 7 nights. Starting in Aukland.

Hi. Thanks for all of your ideas. You've all been a great help. What do you think about the following schedule:

17th July: Arrive 4.15pm in Aukland. Pick up rental car and drive straight to Whangarei and stay for 1 night (Is this realistic? What time does it get dark and how long would it take to drive to Whangarei?).

18th July: Drive to Bay of Islands. Stay 1 night

19th July: Drive along west coast and stay for 1 night in Opononi (although I can't see this on my map!?) or Kai-iwi Lakes or somewhere.

20th July: Drove to Rotorua (Is this realistic - how long would it take from Kai-iwi lakes to Rotoura?). Stay in Rotorua for 1 night.

21st July: Late afternoon - leave Rotorua and drive back to Aukland. Stay in Aukland for 2 nights.

23rd July: Leave Aukland. Flight at 6pm.

What do you think!? Any ideas or criticisms would be welcome. From the research I have done I would really like to go to Bay of Islands. But Rotoura sounds good too. What would be the best way of combining them both?

Many thanks.

Jan

UK
posts: 31
5. Re: Help! What to do with 7 nights. Starting in Aukland.

Sorry all of the above dates are correct but I meant August not July!We're going from 17th August to 23rd August!

New Zealand
posts: 8,365
reviews: 8
6. Re: Help! What to do with 7 nights. Starting in Aukland.

Why on earth are you having the last two nights in Auckland?? It's just a big city there's far more to see elsewhere!

It will be 2-3hrs drive to Whangarei depending on the traffic, especially north of the harbour bridge where you'll most likely hit rush hour. And at this time of the year it will likely be dark around 6-6:30pm. You may be better to head for Nth Auckland/Orewa area (1hr) for the first night then onto BOI the next morning.

I would use 1 of those nights in the BOI and the other one in Rotoua otherwise all you'll be doing is just driving and have no time to do any activities or enjoy the surroundings. The drive to Rotorua from up north will be 5-6 hours depending on where you end up staying, you could make a whole day of this trip, taking in some of the scenic routes on your way (another reason to have an extra night in Rotorua)

Whangarei, Northland
Destination Expert
for Auckland, Whangarei
posts: 2,647
reviews: 35
7. Re: Help! What to do with 7 nights. Starting in Aukland.

Just to confirm, Whangarei is 3 hours from Auckland Airport.

You wouldn't be leaving Auckland til around 5.30pm, and would then hit rush hour, so it might be 3.5 hours to Whangarei.

You might feel this is slightly too far to go on your 1st day, so as Zappers says, Orewa (1 hour from Auckland Airport), Warkworth or Matakana could be other options.

Opononi must I am sure be on your map, it is directly west of Paihia, and is the last place you come to heading west, before the road starts to head south. You may also see Omapere on your map.

Opononi & Omapere almost merge into one really, and this area at the end of the Hokianga harbour is a gorgeous area to stay.

It is very simple in terms of accommodation, restaurants etc, and a bit of true NZ.

New Zealand
posts: 8,365
reviews: 8
8. Re: Help! What to do with 7 nights. Starting in Aukland.

Thanks Andy for the correction, I did mean "3-4 hours depending on the traffic!"

Surrey England
posts: 2,052
reviews: 61
9. Re: Help! What to do with 7 nights. Starting in Aukland.

I can definitely recommend a night or two around Opononi.We drove back from the BOI through there and the Waipoua forest and found it to be a beautiful unspoilt region.We were sorry we did not stay there but plan to do so on our next visit to NZ.

UK
posts: 31
10. Re: Help! What to do with 7 nights. Starting in Aukland.

Hi.

I know it's been a while since I first posted this thread, but I just wanted to say thanks very much for all of your ideas. We are hoping to go to BOI, Opononi and Rotorua. I now just have to research hotels and car rental options.

Thanks!

Jan