5 Days Top Of The North
This trip is an ideal relaxing beach lovers trip, and a great way to start or finish your holiday, a short five day trip that takes in dozens of stunning location, amazing beaches, winery vineyards and more.
This short five day trip starts from Auckland and we travel up the east coast of the North Island all the way to the Bay of Islands and then back down the west coast for our return to Auckland.
Arrive at Auckland Airport, pick up your rental car or campervan and make your way in to the CBD (Central Business District). After arranging your accommodation requirements it's probably time for a spot of lunch or dinner. There are several great bars and restaurants on the waters edge at the Viaduct Harbour overlooking the clear blue waters of the Hauraki Gulf, moored sailing boats & yachts bob silently in the Harbour. Alternatively you could have a bite to eat at Orbit, Sky Towers Revolving Restaurant, with stunning food and views to match the restaurant sits 190 Meters above ground level and gives wonderful panoramic views of Auckland and the Hauraki Gulf.
If you arrived in Auckland early in the day you may have time spare for some activities, Auckland has lots to see and do including:
Kelly Tarltons : One of New Zealands largest aquatic centers, Kelly Tarltons allows you to get up close and personal with dozens of species of sea life including Penguins, Sharks, Stingrays and much more. Based only a 5 minute drive from the Auckland CBD this is a must for animal lovers.
Dolphin Explorer : Situated in Auckland Viaduct Harbour the Dolphin explorer takes two trips a day out in to the stunning waters of the Hauraki Gulf in search of Dolphins and Whales. With a 90% chance of seeing the majestic Dolphins in their natural enviroment and a 75% chance of seeing some of New Zealand native Whales this is sure to be a once in a lifetime experience.
Auckland Museum : Based right in the city centre the Auckland Museum boasts the largest collection of Maori taonga (treasure) on the planet. With daily Maori cultural shows you will get a real feeling New Zealands heritage.
After an early breakfast it's time to start heading North to the Bay of Islands up the East coast of New Zealand North Island. As a straight run this will take approximately 4 hours travel time using the new toll road 35 Kilometers North of Auckland on state highway 1. If time is not an issue and you would like to see a bit more of what the North Island has to offer we highly recommend taking the scenic twin coast discovery route. This route exits at junction 398 of state highway one just before the toll tunnel and will take you through some amazing coastal towns Including the Whangaparaoa Peninsula, Orewa, Waiwera, Matakana and many more. If taking the twin coasts route there are several activities you may want to experience, these include:
Snow Planet : Located 35 Kilometers North of Auckland CBD of junction 398 of State highway 1 snow planet is New Zealands only all-year indoor snow resort. With soft powder white snow all year round and slops for all ages and experience levels this is a great stop off for everybody.
Hauraki Adventures : Located on the stunning Whangaparaoa Peninsula Hauraki Adventures offers self drive jet ski hire from 1 hour to a full day and guided jet ski safaris of the Hauraki Gulf and its stunning Islands.
Orewa : This is a small beach resort town right on the waters edge, with lots of bars, shops and restaurants it makes for an ideal stopping point.
Waiwera Hot Pools : Auckland most visited natural thermal water pools, with a variety of in door and out door pools all at different temperatures and day spa facilities this is a truly relaxing experience.
Goat Island : The area of water surrounding Goat Island was New Zealands first marine reserve created in 1977 and covers just over 5oo hectares. This is a must destination for anybody that enjoys snorkeling or scuba diving. The water is easily accessible and Goat Island is within easy reach for any confident swimmer.
After a relaxing nights sleep in the Bay of Islands it's time to get out there and explore the region. With several beautiful destination all within easy reach of the Bay of Islands you'll be spoilt for choice, these include:
Scenic Flights : There are several operators offering spectacular scenic flights around the Bay of Islands, cape Reinga and other regions of Northland.
Ninety Mile Beach : You can take a coach trip up Ninety mile beach or drive yourself, this long stretch of beach is classed as a highway and the same rules apply when driving in the beach. If travelling in a rental car check your policy before taking the vehicle on the beach. The beach will take you all the way up to Cape Reinga, New Zealand most Northerly point.
Discover Cruise : Take a leisurely cruise to the famous Cape Brett Lighthouse and through the "Hole in the Rock" and see Dolphins and Whales in their natural enviroment. Some operators also offer the chance to swim with Dolphins.
After a days adventure have dinner at one of the many restaurants in the Bay of Islands, they offer some of the freshest, tastiest sea food in the world.
After another relaxing nights sleep it's time to have some breakfast, grab a couple of souvenirs and start the trip back to Auckland. This time you travel South down the west coast of the North Island stopping at several destinations along the way, these include:
Piha Beach : A world famous surf beach that now has a TV show that follows the Life Guards as they keep the beach safe. The Hillary Trail also passes through Piha.
Gannet Colony : Between the months of August and March the Gannet colony in Muriwai is alive with the action of thousands of Gannets. There are two short walking tracks from the car park that lead to elevated viewing platforms above the Gannet breading grounds.
Once you arrive back in Auckland you may be tired and just want a relaxing evening or alternatively look at the activities listed at the beginning of the itinerary for some thing to see and do in Auckland before you leave.
The day of departure from Auckland, have a relaxing breakfast grab a couple more souvenirs, return the rental car and head home.