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Stopovers between Auckland and Taupo

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Washington, D. C.
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Stopovers between Auckland and Taupo

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?

Northland, New...
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1. Re: Stopovers between Auckland and Taupo

Hi

There are 2 or 3 places I would suggest to stop off, either on the way or on the way back.

1) RAGLAN - beautiful west coast town, nice & laid back with great coastline. This is a little bit off the main route, but worth the detour.

2) WAITOMO - stop here for a look at the glow worm caves

3) CAMBRIDGE - Lake Karapiro nearby, nice relaxing stop off.

If you want any more info about these places, or suggested accommodation let us know !!

New Zealand
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2. Re: Stopovers between Auckland and Taupo

For a luxury stop just south of Auckland try Hotel du vin. www.hotelduvin.co.nz

Cambridge is a good option and Raglan is one of my favourite places although a little off the beaten track. On your way back you could go via Mount Maunganui or Tauranga (2hrs from Taupo) and then take SH2 the "Scenic Coastal Route" back to Auckland passing through some lovely litlle towns, bush, gorges and farmland. Of course you could stop in Rotorua on your way through (visit one of the thermal areas- Wai-o-tapu or Waimungu on SH5).

The cruises leave from the Viaduct basin and I wouldn't think at this time of the year you would need to book although maybe a day or two notice would be a good idea in case they only depart on certain days. It will also be weather dependant. It is really good fun and you can participate as much or as little as you want. Here is the website

www.sailnz.co.nz/default.asp…

Washington, D. C.
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3. Re: Stopovers between Auckland and Taupo

thanks, very helpful; one more question; I have received differing opinions on the glowworm caves at Waitomo, ranging from not to be missed to very touristy and not worth the time. We don't enjoy big group commercial activities but would endure them if the natural sight is worthwhile; what's your opinion?

New Zealand
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4. Re: Stopovers between Auckland and Taupo

As you say "some enjoy, some don't" it is a personal thing. If you get there reasonably early (they open at 9am) you'll miss most of the tour buses. It really is a spectacular sight(I would visit again myself anytime we happen to be over that way- and I've seen it 3 times) Only once was it quite crowded and others have mentioned being moved onto quickly but I haven't experienced that. I think if you have the time then do it.

Washington, D. C.
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5. Re: Stopovers between Auckland and Taupo

we will put it on the list then; many thanks for your help.

Missoula, Montana
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6. Re: Stopovers between Auckland and Taupo

Not knowing your age and ability for the caves, if you can I would suggest you do one of the "caving" choices. We did the shorter 2-1/2 or so tubing trips because of time but if I had the time I would go again and do the abesailing. You can do the 300' down and walk out or go down a variety of distances and work your way out. I agree that they are not to be missed. We happened to go with Black Water Rafting Co. but there are other offering too.

Also, if you are the adventureous type, we did the 21' waterfall rafting at Rotorua, through a beautiful small tropical river area with very professional guides and had a blast. Check out River Rats Rafting and Adventure and there is another company also.

We drove from Auckland, pretty early to beat the traffic, yes there is traffic, and got to Waitomo to do a 1030am tour; finished and drove to Rotorua the same day. Did the rafting in the morning the next day and flew out to Wellington that afternoon.

ontario
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7. Re: Stopovers between Auckland and Taupo

Rotorua ,definetely