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Location: Auckland to Coromandel Peninsula

Day 1 - 1 Feb 2021

Auckland

Auckland to Coromandel Peninsula, Auckland
Auckland to Coromandel Peninsula, Auckland

Content: Departing from Auckland, the Coromandel peninsula is located at two hours and half drive time. This peninsula, of 85 km long but only 40 km wide, is well known for its crystal clear waters and white sandy beaches. But not only that! You can also discover superb waterfalls, unspoilt forests and mountains and small villages, each one more charming than the last.

Location: Hahei

Day 1 - 1 Feb 2021

Cathedral Cove

Hahei, Cathedral Cove
Hahei, Cathedral Cove

Content: First stop: One of the most photographed beaches in New Zealand! Discover the magnificent beach of Cathedral Cove, the most famous beach of the Coromandel Peninsula and a must-do on the north island of New Zealand. A short 30-minute walk along the shoreline will take you to this idyllic cove. It really looks like a movie set: white sands and turquoise water guaranteed. It is here that a scene from Narnia was filmed. I advise you to go there for the sunrise, it is splendid! Access and tips: during the summer, the car park of Cathedral Cove is closed, you will have to depart from the small town of Hahei. Count on extra 15 minutes then. Don’t forget to stop in this charming little town and enjoy its large white sandy beach

Location: Hot Water Beach

Day 1 - 1 Feb 2021

Hot Water Beach

Hot Water Beach, Hot Water Beach
Hot Water Beach, Hot Water Beach
Hot Water Beach, Hot Water Beach

Content: 2nd stop: Located less than 10 minutes from Hahei (and thus Cathedral Cove), the beach named Hot Water Beach is a somewhat special beach. Indeed, you can enjoy hot springs by digging your own natural spa in the sand of this beach. Incredible, isn’t it? Access and tips: the exact spot on the beach where the hot springs are located is only accessible during a 4-hour window (2 hours before and after low tide) so check the tide times upstream. Also, as this spot is very well-known by tourists and locals alike, expect to see many people. And above all, don’t forget your shovel!

Location: Whitianga

Day 1 - 1 Feb 2021

The Lost Spring

Whitianga, The Lost Spring
Whitianga, The Lost Spring

Content: Leaving the small town of Hahei to discover another one: Whitianga. This small seaside town, located in Mercury Bay, is known for its proximity to the most popular beaches I had mentioned before: Cathedral Cove and Hot Water beach But this town is also the perfect place to relax. And for good reason, it is here that New Zealand’s first geothermal spa resort is located: The Lost Spring. I recommend spending a relaxing time in this little paradise when you’re there. For a moment, you will feel transported to the Fiji Islands with their music and cocktails that you can enjoy right from the pools. There are different pools available, from the coldest to the hottest, which can reach up to 40ºc. The setting is truly heavenly! Relaxation guaranteed.

Location: Otapaurau

Day 1 - 1 Feb 2021

Coromandel Luxury Escapes

Otapaurau, Coromandel Luxury Escapes
Otapaurau, Coromandel Luxury Escapes
Otapaurau, Coromandel Luxury Escapes
Otapaurau, Coromandel Luxury Escapes
Otapaurau, Coromandel Luxury Escapes

Content: And if like me, you like atypical and original accommodation and you want to treat yourself for a night, I advise you to have a look at ‘Coromandel Luxury Escape’ located in Matarangi Bay. A beautiful safari tent awaits you with a bathroom with a view. A great place if you want to celebrate a special occasion!

Location: Waihi Beach

Day 2 - 2 Feb 2021

The Secret Garden

Waihi Beach, The Secret Garden
Waihi Beach, The Secret Garden
Waihi Beach, The Secret Garden

Content: Day 2 of the trip. Let’s go down the est coast of the Coromandel peninsula. Waihi is popular with surfers and travellers. Indeed, the town is campervan friendly and many free camps are available along its beaches. The atmosphere is warm and family friendly. Make a wee stop to grab a coffee or brekkie at the Secret Garden. The Balinese atmospheres bliss.

Location: Karangahake

Day 2 - 2 Feb 2021

Karangahake gorge

Karangahake, Karangahake gorge
Karangahake, Karangahake gorge
Karangahake, Karangahake gorge
Karangahake, Karangahake gorge
Karangahake, Karangahake gorge
Karangahake, Karangahake gorge
Karangahake, Karangahake gorge

Content: The Karangahake Gorge is located about 20-minutes from Waihi Beach and I can assure you that you don’t want to miss this incredible place during your trip. The road to the gorge follows the Ohinemuri River and gets narrower and more winding as you approach the heart of the gorge. Here you can see steep cliffs accompanied by lush vegetation. Stop at the official car park (opposite the Talisman Café) and explore this historic site, once one of the country’s main gold mining sites. There are many walks where you can see old machinery and walk through the tunnels used to transport the gold. Don’t forget to bring a torch or your phone as there will be many tunnels to walk through. Also check out the beautiful waterfall, Owharoa Falls. – Karangahake Windows Walk Loop: 1h return (2.5 km) This short 1-hour return walk is one of the most famous in the area. It takes you through the old gold mining tunnels where some of the ‘windows’ offer impressive views of the Waitewheta River and gorge. On the way, you can see the ruins and the old rails. You can have fun wandering around in the dark and get lost in the different tunnels (most of them are dead ends so you can’t really get lost I assure you 😉 )

Location: Mount Maunganui

Day 2 - 2 Feb 2021

Mount Maunganui

Mount Maunganui, Mount Maunganui

Content: Mount Maunganui, located near the town of Tauranga, is a small seaside resort where life is good. It has a warm atmosphere, beautiful beaches, a small town centre and an esplanade with small cafes and restaurants facing the ocean. The bay of plenty is very touristy and enjoys a pleasant climate with often hot and dry summers.

Mauao / Mount Maunganui summit

Mount Maunganui, Mauao / Mount Maunganui summit

Content: After enjoying a nice lunch in a local bar/cafe along the esplanade, we climbed the Mauao, Mount Maunganui to watch the view from up there. It takes around 30-40 min

Location: Tauranga

Day 2 - 2 Feb 2021

Papamoa Beach

Tauranga, Papamoa Beach

Content: Enjoy a relaxing afternoon at the beach. Stunning beach where you can surf, walk or swim safely. The sunset is also gorgeous from there.

Trinity Wharf Tauranga

Tauranga, Trinity Wharf Tauranga

Content: The hotel Trinity Wharf is near located and the view on the water is amazing. Trinity Wharf Tauranga is owned by a local family. The room are spacious with starting price from $250 a night. For a cheaper option, there is some amazing hostel right in front of the beach in Mount Maunganui.

Location: Rotorua

Day 3 - 3 Feb 2021

Hell’s Gate Geothermal Reserve and Mud Spa

Rotorua, Hell’s Gate Geothermal Reserve and Mud Spa
Rotorua, Hell’s Gate Geothermal Reserve and Mud Spa
Rotorua, Hell’s Gate Geothermal Reserve and Mud Spa
Rotorua, Hell’s Gate Geothermal Reserve and Mud Spa
Rotorua, Hell’s Gate Geothermal Reserve and Mud Spa
Rotorua, Hell’s Gate Geothermal Reserve and Mud Spa

Content: Early morning wake up! Drive one hour from Tauranga to reach Rotorua. This town seems to come from another world! It is one of the most spectacular geothermal wonders in the world. And also one of the most active in the world. I can tell you that it’s really worth spending a day or two there! First stop to discover is the most active geothermal reserve which is also famous for its rejuvenating mud and water rich in nutrient and therapeutic qualities. Hell’s Gate Geothermal Reserve & Spa is the best place to soak in a mud pool and deeply exfoliate your skin. Different experiences are available for your visit but I highly recommend choosing the Full Hell’s Gate Experience. This allows you to, first, walk around the geothermal reserve (you can choose between a 1-1h30 guided or self-guided tour) before enjoying a relaxing time in the mud pool and the sulphur spa.

Kuirau Park

Rotorua, Kuirau Park
Rotorua, Kuirau Park

Content: As you drive and walk around the city, you probably won’t miss the fumarole and steams coming from this park. Take time to stroll around to spot natural bubbling pools, hot springs, crater lakes and mud pools. You can even enjoy a free thermal foot bath in this geothermal wonderland. And the good news is : it’s FREE! Oh

Lake Tikitapu Scenic Reserve

Rotorua, Lake Tikitapu Scenic Reserve
Rotorua, Lake Tikitapu Scenic Reserve

Content: Rotorua is well known for its 18 lakes and three major rivers. You can enjoy swimming, fishing, kayaking/paddleboarding or just picnicking in front of these many lakes. The three most famous lakes, and the ones that I visited, are: - Lake Rotorua, which is the 2nd largest lake on the North Island of New Zealand. This is also this lake that gave its name to the city. In the middle of this lake, Mokoia Island is a wildlife sanctuary for native birds. If you are looking for adrenaline activity, you can do a 1h jet boat tour on this lake. - Lake Tarawera is one of the largest lakes in New Zealand and is known as the birthplace of New Zealand tourism due to its closed location with the Pink and White Terraces before the eruption of Mt Tarawera. You can learn about this event at the archaeological site Buried Village of Te Wairoa. There is also plenty of walking tracks to discover the area. - Lake Tikitapu, also called Blue Lake, is popular for swimming, fishing or water sports and include great facilities such as a playground, barbecues, picnic tables and toilets. There is a beautiful lookout point right between Lake Tikitapu and Lake Rotokakahi (called Green Lake) where you can see the contrasting colours of the two lakes.

Redwoods Treewalk

Rotorua, Redwoods Treewalk
Rotorua, Redwoods Treewalk
Rotorua, Redwoods Treewalk
Rotorua, Redwoods Treewalk

Content: Continue your Rotorua discovery at the Whakarewarewa Forest, one of the oldest exotic forests in New Zealand! It is composed of giant 118-years-old redwood trees. There are plenty of local forest walks and tracks to wander around. However, if you are looking for a unique walk experience to remember, check Redwoods Treewalk and its world’s longest-living tree walk experience they created. Suspended high above the floor, you’ll meet the tall redwoods as you cross 28 eco-suspended bridges and 27 platforms on 700 metres walk. You can reach up to 20m high. A unique experience to discover the forest from a bird’s eye perspective. And at night, the Redwoods Forest comes to life with 30 lanterns designed by the renowned designer, David Trubridge. These nightlights are turned on each night at dusk. An enchanting moment to experience in nature. These two walks take around 40 minutes to complete are suitable for all ages.

Atticus Finch

Rotorua, Atticus Finch

Content: Have dinner at Atticus Finch after this long full day of sightseeing around Rotorua. Make sure to make a booking as this restaurant is really popular and often fully booked.

Secret Spot Hot Tubs Rotorua

Rotorua, Secret Spot Hot Tubs Rotorua
Rotorua, Secret Spot Hot Tubs Rotorua
Rotorua, Secret Spot Hot Tubs Rotorua
Rotorua, Secret Spot Hot Tubs Rotorua

Content: And what the best way to end this day by ebjoying a drink in a hot tub! The best spot for that: Secret Spot Secret Spot Hot Tubs is located in the heart of the forest, close to the “Waipa” Mountain Bike Car park. You can book an 45-minutes of secluded hot tub soak with a view of the tree ferns and forest. And do you want to know the best feature of the hot tub? There is a button you can press to order your drink. No need to get up, bar service from the hot tub! How cool is that?

Location: Rotorua

Day 4 - 4 Feb 2021

Waimangu Volcanic Valley

Rotorua, Waimangu Volcanic Valley
Rotorua, Waimangu Volcanic Valley
Rotorua, Waimangu Volcanic Valley
Rotorua, Waimangu Volcanic Valley

Content: Waimangu Volcanic Valley is one of my favourite geothermal parks in the Rotorua region, located near Wai-O-Tapu. It is the world’s youngest geothermal valley. By visiting this place, you go back in time to learn the stories of the Mt Tarawera volcanic eruption and the resulting unique geothermal landscape that been created. A self-guided eco-tour allows you to discover some world geothermal features including the famous Frying Pan Lake, Inferno Lake and many others. The distance of this walk goes from 1.5km to 4km for the full walk. This walk would take around 1h30. Complimentary shuttles are also available between stops. Waimangu Volcanic Valley is also home to the world-famous Pink and White Terraces. When Mt Tarawera erupted in 1886, these terraces, considered the 8th Wonder of the World, were buried. When you visit Waimangu, you can hop on a boat cruise on the Lake Rotomahana, otherwise known as the final resting place of the Pink and White Terraces. This boat cruise is included in the Full Waimangu Experience

Location: Taupō

Day 4 - 4 Feb 2021

Huka Falls

Taupō, Huka Falls

Content: One hour from Rotorua is the town of Taupo and its emblematic lake. The great peculiarity of this region is that Lake Taupo is the largest lake in New Zealand and the Pacific. If you are an adventure lover, you will not be outdone in this town. Skydive or jet boat tour in the impressive Huka Falls are a must-do. You have to stop and admire the power of the Huka Falls. Nearly a quarter of a million litres of water per second are poured down the Huka Falls. It’s impressive!

Lake Taupo Maori Rock Carving Cruise

Taupō, Lake Taupo Maori Rock Carving Cruise
Taupō, Lake Taupo Maori Rock Carving Cruise
Taupō, Lake Taupo Maori Rock Carving Cruise
Taupō, Lake Taupo Maori Rock Carving Cruise

Content: After a nice lunch, you can walk around Lake Taupo and enjoy the view with the mountains in the background. For a full experience, take a boat trip around Lake Taupo and discover the magnificent 14-metre Maori sculpture: Maori Rock Carvings.

Location: Tongariro National Park

Day 5 - 5 Feb 2021

Tongariro Alpine Crossing

Tongariro National Park , Tongariro Alpine Crossing
Tongariro National Park , Tongariro Alpine Crossing
Tongariro National Park , Tongariro Alpine Crossing
Tongariro National Park , Tongariro Alpine Crossing

Content: The Tongariro Park is one of the most beautiful parks in the country and also the most visited! It is made up of three impressive volcanoes: Mount Tongariro, Mount Ruapehu and Mount Ngauruhoe. It was also the setting for the trilogy of the Lord of the Rings (the famous Mout Doom being Mount Ngauruhoe). Several hikes are available in this beautiful park. The best known is the famous Tongariro Alpine Crossing. This 19.4 km long hike takes one day to complete (around 7-8 hours in summer) and crosses magnificent landscapes. From snow-covered peaks to waterfalls and turquoise lakes, you will be amazed by the view. As this hike is not a loop, it is important to book your shuttle bus. Usually, people park their car at the arrival and the shuttle will take them to the starting point. It is also very important to check the weather conditions before starting. The weather can be extremely changeable in this area and at this altitude. Do not hesitate to contact the DOC for the latest information.

Location: Taupō

Day 5 - 5 Feb 2021

The Steak House Taupo

Taupō, The Steak House Taupo

Content: After an active day in Tongariro National Park, back to Taupo to enjoy a fabulous meal in the best steakhouse ever !

Location: Putorino

Day 6 - 6 Feb 2021

Shine Falls

Putorino, Shine Falls
Putorino, Shine Falls
Putorino, Shine Falls

Content: From Taupo, drive down to the Hawkes bay region to discover one of the best wine region in New Zealand. On the way, stop to walk up to Shine Falls. A 1hr return walk will lead you to them. It is so gorgeous. I recommend you to go there early the morning to avoid the crowd.

Location: Napier

Day 6 - 6 Feb 2021

Mister D

Napier, Mister D

Content: Once arrive in Napier, head to the so famous Tennyson St for a lunch in the iconic Mister D. One of the best restaurant in town.

Bluff Hill Lookout

Napier, Bluff Hill Lookout

Content: Then go to check out the amazing view from Bluff Hill Lookout. This spot is also amazing to watch the sunset

Art Deco walk

Napier, Art Deco walk
Napier, Art Deco walk
Napier, Art Deco walk
Napier, Art Deco walk
Napier, Art Deco walk

Content: Stroll through the amazing town of Napier, rebuilt in the 1930s after an earthquake in the period style of Art-Deco.

Swiss-Belboutique Napier

Napier, Swiss-Belboutique Napier

Content: For the night, indulge yourself in the nice Swiss Belboutique Napier. The room got everything you need and the bed is so comfortable

Location: Hastings

Day 7 - 7 Feb 2021

Winery Tours Hawke's Bay

Hastings, Winery Tours Hawke's Bay
Hastings, Winery Tours Hawke's Bay
Hastings, Winery Tours Hawke's Bay

Content: Book a wine tasting day tour and explore the local vineyards. Hawkes Bay is New Zealand’s second-largest wine region. My favourite wine tour provider is ‘Prinsy’s Tour’

Location: Tuki Tuki

Day 7 - 7 Feb 2021

Te Mata Peak

Tuki Tuki, Te Mata Peak
Tuki Tuki, Te Mata Peak

Content: End this beautiful day by watching the sunset from the top of Te Mata Peak. Many walking tracks are also accessible from Te Mata Peak.

Location: Napier

Day 7 - 7 Feb 2021

Swiss-Belboutique Napier

Napier, Swiss-Belboutique Napier

Content: Another night in this fabulous hotel before we move down to Wellington region. The location is amazing as you can reach the centre of Napier by foot.

Location: Pōrangahau

Day 8 - 8 Feb 2021

Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateapokaiwhenuakitanatahu

Pōrangahau, Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateapokaiwhenuakitanatahu

Content: Time to leave Napier and start heading south to Wellington. But before visiting the Capital of New Zealand, there are a few spots to check out. If you want to take the road less travelled instead of the main road, you can discover a funny place. Such as the place having the longest place name in the world: Taumata­whakatangihanga­koauau­o­tamatea­turi­pukaka­piki­maunga­horo­nuku­pokai­whenua­ki­tana­tahu.

Location: Mount Bruce

Day 8 - 8 Feb 2021

Pūkaha National Wildlife Centre

Mount Bruce, Pūkaha National Wildlife Centre

Content: This Wildlife Center is an essential stop on your way to Wairarapa region. See wild birds such as the titipounamu (rifleman), kārearea (New Zealand falcon) and the kererū (wood pigeon).

Location: Carterton

Day 8 - 8 Feb 2021

Stonehenge Aotearoa

Carterton, Stonehenge Aotearoa

Content: The towns of Wairarapa Region have their own individual character and charm. Carterton is full of character and home to a large artistic community. Its unique attractions include Stonehenge Aotearoa, a modern, working replica of England famous Stonehenge.

Location: Martinborough

Day 8 - 8 Feb 2021

Martinborough

Martinborough, Martinborough
Martinborough, Martinborough
Martinborough, Martinborough

Content: At the heart of the Classic New Zealand Wine Trail, the wine village of Martinborough features over 20 wineries, most within cycling and walking distance of the village square. Some of New Zealand’s best pinot noir comes from the town’s boutique vineyards, so it’s not surprising that Wairarapa is a popular destination for wine lovers. Guided wine tours are available as are self-guided cycling tours. There are bike hire companies in the village and you can pick up a map from the local visitors centre.

Location: Cape Palliser

Day 8 - 8 Feb 2021

Cape Palliser

Cape Palliser, Cape Palliser
Cape Palliser, Cape Palliser
Cape Palliser, Cape Palliser

Content: Head out to Cape Palliser on the coast, Cape Palliser, the southernmost point of the North Island. You’ll pass through the tiny and quirky fishing village of Ngawi before driving on to the lighthouse. You can also spot a fur seal colony at the cape which is the North Island's larges colony.

Location: Wairarapa

Day 8 - 8 Feb 2021

Putangirua Pinnacles

Wairarapa, Putangirua Pinnacles

Content: Finish your day at Putangirua Pinnacles, probably the most amazing rock formations you will ever see. These are famous for their appearance in The Lord of the Ring as the 'Paths of the Dead'. You can chose to walk an easily-graded bushwalk to a lookout above the Pinnacles, or walk up the gently-sloping streambed to the base of the Pinnacles where you will be amazed by these majestic natural wonder.

Location: Wellington

Day 9 - 9 Feb 2021

Wellington

Wellington, Wellington
Wellington, Wellington

Content: Today is your final drive to the Capital of New Zealand: Wellington. Charming and cultural town, she is located at the southern end of the north island and it’s the place where you can catch the ferry to reach the South Island. Named "the coolest little capital in the world" by Lonely Planet, Wellington is renowned for its vibrant creative culture. I’m

Cuba Street

Wellington, Cuba Street
Wellington, Cuba Street

Content: Cubs st is one of Wellington's best-loved and best-known streets, where everyone is welcome and feels at home. Wander down this colourful street to spot the Bucket Fountain, street art and art galleries. You can also discover quirky cafe, vintage clothing and record store.

Beehive

Wellington, Beehive
Wellington, Beehive
Wellington, Beehive

Content: After exploring Cuba street, keep on your city sightseeing tour to the Parliament Building and admire this Beehive-shaped architecture.

Wellington Cable Car

Wellington, Wellington Cable Car

Content: Classic activity to do in Wellington: Enjoy a ride up into the historic red cable car to the lookout for panoramic views of the city. You’ll also find up there the Cable Car Museum, Space Place at Carter Observatory and the Botanic Garden.

Mount Victoria

Wellington, Mount Victoria

Content: Then enjoy a 360° view from the top of Mount Victoria for sunset. Rising 196m above the city, the Mount Victoria Lookout has stunning panoramic views of Wellington city, and surroundings. You can drive to the top of Mt Vic or walk there via one of the many trails.

Charley Noble

Wellington, Charley Noble
Wellington, Charley Noble

Content: Book a table in this award winning restaurant showcasing wood-fired cooking, local ingredients, organic wine and craft beer. Charley Noble is the perfect place to experience Wellington on a plate.

The Library

Wellington, The Library

Content: And after a tasty dinner, enjoy a night out in the city. Make sure to try one of the cocktail at “The Library”. My favourite being the ‘Lower Hutt Lemon Meringue’ and the ‘Apple Pie Daiquiri’

Location: Wellington

Day 10 - 10 Feb 2021

Coene's Bar & Eatery

Wellington, Coene's Bar & Eatery
Wellington, Coene's Bar & Eatery

Content: Last morning in Wellington! Wander in the waterfront along Oriental Bay. You can visit the Harbourside Market and then stop for a brunch at the lovely Coenes’s Bar and Eatery.

Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

Wellington, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

Content: In the afternoon, learn more about the history and nature of New Zealand at Te Papa, New Zealand’s national Museum. Situated on the waterfront, Te Papa means ‘our place’ and is one of the best interactive museums in the world.