We have six days in NZ the first week of June and have decided to stay on the North Island; our last two days we plan to spend in Auckland before we leave. Our travel agent booked us into The Loft at Lake Taupo for two nights in the middle. My questions: where can we drive and stopover the first night on our way to Taupo (maybe no more than 1.5 hour drive?); where should we stopover on our departure from Taupo on our way to Auckland? Would like the trip to make a circuit and not backtrack if possible. And also does anyone have info on the America's cup yacht cruises that are available? Do we need to book ahead?