Whether you're a nature lover or an adventure seeker, here’s our suggested itinerary to help plan your journey from Wellington to Auckland.
Day 1: Wellington to Tongariro National Park
Day one of the Wellington to Auckland road trip covers a lot of ground as you travel from Wellington to Tongariro National Park - New Zealand’s oldest national park. With a 4.5-hour drive, there are a few great pit stops along the way, including Foxton Beach and Palmerston North for lunch. Once you arrive at Tongariro National Park, stretch your legs exploring the natural landscapes and hiking Ohakune Old Coach Road. If timing and weather permit, a hike of the Tongariro Alpine Crossing allows incredible views of the surrounding mountains, lakes, and valleys. Once you’ve finished exploring the park, call it a night at Ohakune TOP 10 Holiday Park.
Day 2: Tongariro National Park to Lake Taupo
On day two of the Wellington to Auckland road trip, you'll drive 1.5 hours from Tongariro National Park to Lake Taupo. Once you reach your destination, get some sightseeing under your belt with Huka Falls, Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, and the Māori rock carvings at Mine Bay. Then, check into Taupo TOP 10 Holiday Park - the closest New Zealand camping to Taupo Town Centre. Once settled, relax and enjoy swimming, fishing, or boating on Lake Taupo.
Day 3: Lake Taupo to Rotorua
Day three of the Wellington to Auckland road trip involves a short 1-hour drive to the city of Rotorua. Known for its geothermal activity, you’ll have a blast exploring Rotorua’s geothermal wonders at Waimangu Volcanic Valley with its bubbling mud pools, hot springs and geysers. Other nearby sights and attractions include the Redwoods Treewalk and Skyline Rotorua, a gondola ride up Mount Ngongotaha for panoramic views. If you’re looking to immerse yourself in the Māori culture, a visit to the Māori village of Ohinemutu is where you’ll experience a cultural performance and learn about the history and traditions of the local people. Home for the night is at nearby Blue Lake TOP 10 Holiday Park - close to the attractions of Rotorua yet removed from the busy city environment.
Day 4: Rotorua to Bay of Plenty
When day four of the Wellington to Auckland road trip arrives, buckle up for a 1-hour drive from Rotorua to the Bay of Plenty. When you reach your destination, waste no time checking out the beautiful beaches of Mount Maunganui, Ohope and Papamoa, all giving you a chance to swim, surf, or sunbathe. If spotting the local wildlife piques your interest, you can take a dolphin or whale-watching tour from Tauranga. Otherwise, visit New Zealand’s only active marine volcano, White Island. Then pitch your tent at Ohope Beach TOP 10 Holiday Park for sunset views over the beach and waves guiding you to sleep.
Day 5: Bay of Plenty to Coromandel Peninsula
On day five of the Wellington to Auckland road trip, you'll drive 3 hours from the Bay of Plenty to the Coromandel Peninsula. When you arrive, hit the hiking trail to Cathedral Cove, a natural archway on the coast, and dig your own hot pool in the sand at Hot Water Beach. If there’s still time left in your day, visit Coromandel's charming main street boutiques and restaurants or explore the historic gold-mining town of Thames. For New Zealand camping on the Coromandel Peninsula, book a spot at Hot Water Beach TOP 10 Holiday Park.
Day 6: Coromandel Peninsula to Auckland
As day six of the Wellington to Auckland road trip sets in, you’ll drive 2 hours from the Coromandel Peninsula to Auckland, your final destination. By now, you’ve experienced many New Zealand motels and their parks along the way, so check in one last time to Red Beach TOP 10 Holiday Park before exploring Auckland's natural landscapes and city sights.
Start with a guided tour of Auckland Harbour Bridge for unforgettable views of the city and Waitemata Harbour. Next, visit the Auckland Art Gallery, home to over 15,000 New Zealand and international works. After lunch, check out the bustling Viaduct Harbour and Marina and end the trip with a visit to the iconic Sky Tower, the tallest freestanding structure in the Southern Hemisphere. Then it’s a short 25-minute drive to your Red Beach holiday park for campfire chats to end the trip.