WAITOMO CAVES – AUCKLAND (via Hamilton)
Travel Distance is approximately 163kms (102 miles).
Allow at least 2 hours drive time (not including stops).
Spend your morning enjoying more of the awesome Waitomo activities and attractions that you didn’t have time to experience yesterday before driving north towards Hamilton on State Highway 3.
The road trip heading towards Hamilton offers your passengers a picturesque rural kaleidoscope of lush, prime farmland in the Waikato region, however we recommend a detour towards the West Coast which will lead you to Kawhia. At Kawhia you can witness the natural phenomenon of hot water bubbling up through sand. If you are travelling during the summer season a stop in Te Awamtu is a must to view the beautiful rose displays.
Rejoin State Highway 1 at Hamilton to arrive in Auckland late afternoon.
Some notable stops along the route to Auckland include:
KAWHIA OCEAN BEACH NATURAL HOTPOOLS
A detour to the West Coast to Te Puia hot pools is worth the time out in your travel schedule! How often do you get to witness hot water that bubbles up out of the sand onto the beach? Once one of Kawhia’s best-kept secrets, the secret is out with many more visitors discovering the rejuvenating ocean hot springs.
Enjoy lunch at one of the many trendy cafes now open in Hamilton before taking a relaxing stroll through the beautiful Hamilton Gardens.
With a warm, humid climate and a unique combination of ultra modern city life and exceptional outdoor lifestyle, Auckland is a vibrant and fun place to holiday. Famous for its stunning aqua surrounds and volcanic cones, one of the best ways to get out and about is to escape to one of the many islands of the Hauraki. Travelling no more than 40 minutes by ferry from downtown Auckland, visitors can escape to an island experience – Waiheke, Motuihe, Rangitoto – or journey a little further to Tiritiri Matangi, Kawau or Great Barrier.
Highly recommended Auckland tourist attractions include…
Devonport – Located across Auckland harbour, historic Devonport is a wonderful way to experience local charm and character. Pretty wooden colonial villas line the streets, mixing surprising well with the cafes and boutique shops selling crafts, antiques and collectibles.
Rainbow’s End – New Zealand’s premier theme park is popular with kids and adults alike and offers a great selection of adrenalin rides and other fun attractions. Be prepared to spend at least a 2-3 hours enjoying the park.
Sky Tower – Towering a whopping 328 metres over Auckland city, Sky Tower is the tallest tower in the Southern Hemisphere, offering breath-taking views for more than 80 kilometres in every direction. There’s always something happening at Sky Tower including a range of unique adventure activities such as Sky Jump.
Auckland Museum – Considered the cultural and spiritual touchstone for the many races that inhabit New Zealand, this is a ‘must do’ for anyone wishing to gain an insight into New Zealand and its remarkable people.
Auckland Zoo – Enjoy a day at the zoo with some awesome native and exotic animals. A range of experiences is available for you to get up close to the animals at Western Springs, Auckland.
Sail NZ – Your chance to experience America’s Cup yachting aboard NZL 40 and NZL 41 as you sail on the stunning Hauraki Gulf. Sailings available daily, departing from the Viaduct Basin.
Auckland has literally hundreds of accommodation options from luxury to budget, self-catering to first-class hotel service, and everything in-between. You can choose to stay and enjoy the excitement of the inner city, or choose a more relaxing location within a short drive of downtown! Auckland and suburbs boast some of the best cafes and restaurants in the country.
New Zealand Itineraries: North Island Suggested Itineraries
Our modern self-drive travel Itineraries have routes specifically for the North Island as well as the South Island, ranging from 5 to 11 days, plus there are some travel routes that take in both the North and South Island’s. Our range of travel itineraries include information regarding travel distances and time to ensure that you can make the best of your time in New Zealand, no longer how short your visit!
- 5 Day Itinerary: Auckland – Rotorua, Rotorua – Taupo, Taupo – Waitomo Caves and Waitomo Caves – Auckland
- 6 Day Itinerary: Auckland – Coromandel, Coromandel – Whitianga, Whitianga – Tauranga, Tauranga – Rotorua and Rotorua – Auckland
- 6 Day Itinerary (route 2): Auckland – Dargaville, Dargaville – Kaitaia, Kaitaia – Paihia, Paihia – Whangarei and Whangarei – Auckland
- 7 Day Itinerary: Auckland – Whitianga, Whitianga – Tauranga, Tauranga – Rotorua, Rotorua – Taupo, Taupo – Napier and Napier – Wellington
- 8 Day Itinerary: Wellington, Wellington – Masterton, Masterton – Wellington, Wellington – Nelson, Nelson – Blenheim and Blenheim – Christchurch
- 9 Day Itinerary: Auckland – Coromandel, Coromandel – Whitianga, Whitianga – Tauranga, Tauranga – Gisborne, Gisborne – Napier, Napier – Taupo, Taupo – Rotorua, Rotorua – Waitomo Caves and Waitomo Caves – Auckland
- 9 Day Itinerary (route 2): Auckland – Whangarei, Whangarei – Paihia, Paihia – Hokianga, Hokianga – Auckland, Auckland – Rotorua, Rotorua – Taupo, Taupo – Waitomo Caves and Waitomo Caves – Auckland
- 11 Day Itinerary: Auckland – Whitianga, Whitianga – Tauranga, Tauranga – Rotorua, Rotorua – Gisborne, Gisborne – Napier, Napier Taupo Napier, Napier – Wellington, Wellington – New Plymouth, New Plymouth – Waitomo and Waitomo Caves – Auckland