5 Day Best of the North Island Self Drive Tour

An exciting 5 day North Island tour. Travel to the beautiful Bay of Islands enjoying the beauty of the bay and the beach. Head back down south taking in the Maori culture in Rotorua before going underground to the Glow Worm Caves in Waitomo.

5 Day Best of the North Island Self Drive Tour

Travel north to the beautiful Bay of Islands. Enjoy two nights in Paihia with a cruise to Cape Brett - Hole in the Rock. Then it's down to Rotorua - NZ's Maori cultural capital before exploring the beautiful glow worm caves at Waitomo before returning to Auckland.

Tour Type: Self Drive Tours
From: Auckland to Auckland
Departs: Daily
Duration: 5 days
Tour Code: 5BSD

Regions Visited

Click on the region name to view more information about the region

Auckland, Bay of Islands, Waitomo, Rotorua

Tour Inclusions

  • 5 days car hire
  • 4 nights accommodation
  • Superior accommodation includes breakfast
  • Visit Waitangi Treaty Grounds
  • Cape Brett - Hole in the Rock Cruise & picnic lunch
  • Rotorua sightseeing tour
  • Waitomo Glow Worm Caves

Day By Day Itinerary

DAY 1: AUCKLAND / BAY OF ISLANDS
Bay of Islands Day Tour

Collect your rental car on arrival in Auckland. Crossing the grand harbour bridge, leave Auckland behind.

It’s beaches galore as you travel north on to Paihia the main township in the beautiful Bay of Islands. On arrival in the Bay of Islands visit the historic Waitangi Grounds, included a tour of the historic treaty between Maori and European pioneers. Next join a dolphin watching cruise to Cape Brett. Travel through the famous “Hole in the Rock” (weather permitting).

Stay: Paihia

DAY 2: PAIHIA AT LEISURE
New Zealand Tours

Today you have a day at leisure in the beautiful Bay of Islands. You may wish to explore the far north on to Cape Reinga to see where the Pacific Ocean collides with the Tasman Sea and travel along Ninety Mile Beach or a short ferry ride to historic township of Russell. Or, simply relax and take in the scenery around Paihia.

Stay: Paihia

DAY 3: PAIHIA / ROTORUA
Rotorua Sights, Gondola and Lunch Tour

Forests, farmland and ocean vistas decorate the route south to Auckland, continue to travel south. Optional deviations to Hobbiton can be considered. The geothermal wonderland of Rotorua is today’s final destination. Renowned for its spectacular geothermal activity that includes geysers, boiling mud pools & springs, 18 lakes and a raft of attractions and experiences for everyone from adventure-seekers to those just looking to relax.

Stay: Rotorua

DAY 4: ROTORUA SIGHTSEEING
14 Day In-Depth New Zealand Tour

Today includes an insight into New Zealand’s Māori culture at Te Puia, then experience Rotorua’s famous geothermal activity with a tour of the neighbouring Whakarewarewa Thermal Valley – a place where mud pools bubble and boil and geysers shoot steam high into the air. Moving on see our agricultural industry in action at the Agrodome. You will also see New Zealand’s wildlife and natural scenery on display at Rainbow Springs Nature Park, where you can get up close to all kinds of native flora and fauna including the famous kiwi. This afternoon is at leisure for your own activities or additional sightseeing.

Stay: Rotorua

DAY 5: ROTORUA / WAITOMO CAVES / AUCKLAND
North Island Tours

Leaving the geothermal wonderland of Rotorua in the morning, travel through lush farmland into the King Country region.

After arriving in the small town of Waitomo, you’ll take a 45-minute guided tour through the world famous Glowworm Caves, Wander through subterranean caverns and learn how the stalagmites, stalactites and other spectacular limestone rock formations were formed over millions of years. You will travel through the Glowworm Grotto on a magical boat ride, surrounded by the twinkling lights of thousands of glowworms. A wonderful treat before heading back to Auckland. After returning your car, your tour concludes.

This tour is available as an Independent Tour

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Prices valid from 1st October 2020

Accommodation Double/Twin Single Triple
Standard $1,354 NZD $2,204 NZD $1,133 NZD Enquire / Book
Superior $1,398 NZD $2,126 NZD $1,140 NZD Enquire / Book
Premium $1,718 NZD $2,842 NZD $1,424 NZD Enquire / Book
Prices are per person and in New Zealand Dollars.

Tour Type: Self Drive Tour
A Self Drive tour allows you to travel at your own pace on one of our comprehensive itineraries. Our experienced New Zealand based travel consultants have planned each itinerary to ensure practical driving times while allowing you the freedom for photo opportunities as you travel. Your accommodation and car hire is pre-booked and we are happy to include optional activities to coincide with driving times.
 
Frequently Asked Questions – Self Drive Tours

What is a Self Drive tour?
A Self Drive tour allows you to travel at your own pace on one of our comprehensive itineraries. Our experienced New Zealand based travel consultants have planned each itinerary to ensure practical driving times while allowing you the freedom for photo opportunities as you travel. Your accommodation and car hire is pre-booked and we are happy to include optional activities to coincide with driving times.

What is required to hire a vehicle within New Zealand?
A valid driver’s licence in English is required to hire a rental vehicle within New Zealand.  Please note drivers must be over 21 years to hire a vehicle, between 21 – 25 years a young driver surcharge is applicable. We recommend all clients have a credit card for car rental, the card number is then held for a bond. All vehicles are automatic transmission, we do not offer manual transmissions.

What is driving in New Zealand like?
We drive on the right in New Zealand, all rental vehicles are set up for right hand drive. Within the cities, roads are busy, there are motorways and highways. Once out of town most of our roads two lanes, there are some divided carriage ways, however most driving will be on 2 lane paved/sealed roads. It will take you a lot longer than you think looking at the map to get from point A to point B.

What dates do your tours depart?
Our self drive tours depart daily, driving times do vary each day so please consider this when booking departure flights.

What is included in the tour cost?
All tours include accommodation and rental car. Some tours include activities listed in the itineraries. Car hire is quoted including basic insurance, with the option to upgrade to fully comprehensive insurance.  A detailed travel wallet with your travel vouchers will be sent to your arrival accommodation, a comprehensive itinerary will be sent to you prior to your departure. Your personal travel consultant will contact you on arrival, allowing ease of communication whilst you are traveling.

What is not included in the tour cost?
Expenses of a personal nature such as meals (except where stated in the itinerary), beverages, travel insurance, fuel, laundry and optional sightseeing (except where stated in the itinerary) are not included in the tour cost.

How many people can I include in a self-drive tour?
Our largest hire vehicle is 9 passengers and a driver. You can travel in a group, with a number of vehicles but each vehicle must have a licenced driver.

I am travelling with children, what price will I pay?
Please contact us for information on child fares, as these vary based on the specific product you require. Some sightseeing activities are unsuitable for children.

Are any meals included in the tour cost?
Our Superior and Premium tour rates include breakfast.  There are exceptions where some activities will include lunch or dinner. We are more than happy to make recommendations, please advise if there are any dietary requirements so we can recommend accordingly. .

Is Halal and other speciality food available in New Zealand? 
Along with a small population of Muslims, New Zealand has an increasing number of Muslim visitors. Halal food and restaurants are now found in many areas of the country, let us now if you require this and we will compile a list for you. We can also offer advice in regards to Vegan and other special requirements.

How will I navigate my way around New Zealand?
You will be supplied with a map in your travel wallet. If you require a GPS, this can be arranged with your car hire, if you are wishing to use your own navigational device, SIM cards can be purchased at the airport. Our comprehensive itinerary will guide you, especially with our personal touches just for you. We are only a phone call away. Most pre booked optional activities will have an informative guide giving you an insight into the activity you have chosen.

Can I add in additional days to a tour?
Yes you can. All tours are very flexible – we will gladly work with you to make our tours suit your requirements. Please ask one of our Travel Consultants for extra day rates.

What is the difference between the three tour types Quality, Superior and Premium Tours?
Standard:  Motor Lodge, apartment style accommodation, self-contained accommodation, ensuite bathrooms. Your rental car is a small compact car.
Superior: 4 star hotel accommodation, includes breakfast. Your rental car is a mid-size car.
Premium: 5 star hotel accommodation, including breakfast. Your rental car is an SUV.
Note all accommodation is reviewed regularly by staff, we have high standards and good relationships with all our providers.

What if I cannot find exactly what I am looking for on the website?
Let us know what is on your wish list to see and do and we will be delighted to plan a customised tour to suit your requirements, using our 30 years of experience. Our local knowledge will come up with many pleasant surprises for you. 

How much luggage can I take on my tour?
You can bring as much luggage as you require, we recommend 1 piece of luggage (max 25kg each), for ease of travel. We also advise you check the maximum baggage allowance with your chosen airline.

How do I make a payment for a tour?
For bookings made more than 45 days prior to travel, Pacific Travel require a deposit of NZ$50 per person. This deposit is non-refundable. Balance of payment is due 45 days prior to travel. For bookings made 45 days or less prior to travel, full payment is required at the time of booking. Visa & MasterCard are accepted forms of payment. A 2.5% Credit Card Fee applies to all payments by credit card. You may pay via direct bank transfer to avoid the credit card fee. Bank details will be on your booking advice. All prices advertised are in New Zealand dollars and are GST inclusive.

What is your cancellation policy?
If after your booking has been confirmed you wish to cancel, the following cancellation fees will apply:
Cancellations 31 or more days prior to travel: Your deposit plus a further 10% of the total package price.
Cancellations 15 – 30 days prior to travel: Deposit + a further 20% of the total package price.
Cancellations 0-14 days prior to travel: 100% of total fare (no refund).
Booking amendments made by you: an amendment fee of 10% of total package price will be charged to cover our administration and communication costs. We may also need to pass on any amendment/cancellation fees imposed by our suppliers.

Conditions of travel
Pacific Travel reserves the right to alter fares, amend itineraries, book alternative accommodation or to cancel tours. Pacific Travel Ltd shall not be held responsible for any loss or damage to luggage or personal effects and/or damage resulting in death or personal injury, which may arise whilst travelling with Pacific Travel Ltd or its nominated suppliers. All transportation, both land and sea, is subject to the terms and conditions of the company providing the transport, some of which limit or exclude liability. These are available from the carriers concerned on request.

Will I need travel insurance?
We strongly recommend you purchase travel insurance. Factors may arise that require you to cancel or amend your holiday. It is essential you are covered for any costs that may be incurred. We recommend purchasing your travel insurance locally at the same time as you book your tour and flights.

Do I need to tip in New Zealand?
If you wish to reward someone for a job well done it is always much appreciated, but not a requirement. It is certainly not expected, nobody will be offended should you wish to.

Do I need a visa to visit New Zealand?
Most visitors to New Zealand do not require a visa to enter for the purpose of a holiday or vacation under the visa waiver program. If you do need a visa to visit New Zealand then you should contact the New Zealand consulate in your home country well before your departure date. We recommend you also check with your local travel agent or airline for any visa requirements to New Zealand particularly if you are passing through Australia.

What currency is used in New Zealand?
The New Zealand dollar is the only legal tender in New Zealand. View a guide between your local currency and the New Zealand dollar. Please note: Your tour and all purchases using a credit card in New Zealand will be charged in New Zealand Dollars (NZD) at the current exchange rate at the time of purchase. The above currency conversion page is to be used as a guide only.

5 Day Best of the North Island Self Drive Tour

Tour Type: Self Drive Tours Tour Code: 5BSD From $1,133 Per Person Departs: Daily An exciting 5 day North Island tour. Travel to the beautiful Bay of Islands enjoying the beauty of the bay and the beach. Head back down south taking in the Maori culture in Rotorua before going underground to the Glow Worm Caves in Waitomo. Enquire about this tour

Where this tour will take you...