Australia & Pacific Travel News

Road trip through New Zealand

Outdoor enthusiasts and wine aficionados alike can rub elbows on the rugged and unpredictable New Zealand's North Island - a land of glaciers, vineyards, beaches and volcanoes. A road tour of New Zealand is perhaps the best way to first get acquainted with the area, though travelers will only get a taste of what this fascinating land has to offer. 

The road trip from Auckland to Wellington has been highlighted as one of National Geographic's "Drives of a Lifetime," and deservedly so. The trip offers a wide variety of prime New Zealand sights and activities, starting in New Zealand's largest city.

Get cultured
In Auckland, travelers will find the hustle and bustle of any major metropolitan area, as well as the Auckland Museum, an acclaimed primer on the history of the land and its people. From there, travelers can drive up to Huapai, and indulge in wine-tastings, jazz concerts and a myriad of art exhibitions. 

Culture, however, is only one small part of what makes New Zealand captivating. Heading south toward Waikato uncovers hiking under the massive Kauri trees found in the Hakarimata Scenic Reserve. Those looking for a something a little bit more awe-inspiring can climb an ancient volcano up the Karioi Summit Track. 

The Waikato region is also a prime destination for movie buffs. It is in this area that fans of the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy can look upon the location of the Hobbit village in the films, as well as a few other famous grassy locales caught on tape. 

Take a bath
The drive becomes more rugged as travelers head south. Rotorua is a popular destination pocked by geysers, boiling mud and active volcanoes. The Pacific Ring of Fire is to thank for all the steaming activity. Travelers are encouraged to visit Hell's Gate, a self-proclaimed geothermal park that offers guided tours of the area, bush walks, trips to steaming cliffs, mud baths and sulfur spas. 

Waterside Wellington provides a breath of fresh air from Rotorua. Just off its coast is a pristine nature reserve, rigorously preserved as a home for both land and marine wildlife. Bird lovers can spot the stitchbird?, the kokako, the takahe and even the famed kiwi, which is extinct on the mainland. Anyone looking to make a journey to the beautiful island, however, must plan ahead. The island is only a 15-minute boat trip, but only 50 people are allowed to visit per day. 

Recommended Tours

New Zealand Highlights

12 days from $4,596 pp*
Custom Private Tour
New Zealand's stunning landscapes and friendly locals are closer than you think. Wake up in a place where something new awaits you every day.
More Info

Australia Family Adventure

12 days from $4,776 pp*
Custom Private Tour
Designed for families or larger groups; including family oriented accommodations. This tour visits Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef, Ayers Rock, Melbourne and Sydney.
More Info

New Zealand & Australia Grand Explorer

19 days from $7,182 pp*
Custom Private Tour
From hiking through the misty alpine forests of Queenstown, to making footprints in the rich red earth around the base of Uluru in the scorched Australian outback, you’ll experience all the extreme contrasts of the lands down under.
More Info
Kensington Advantage
Personalized itinerary with private guide & driver. Award winning value.
  • Personalized itinerary that fits like a glove
  • Full attention of your own private guide & driver
  • In-country offices for 24/7 peace of mind
  • Multi-award winning
  • 30,000 delighted clients

With the inside track on the new, the old, the off-the-beaten track and the out-of-this-world, you won't find a more knowledgeable team of destination specialists.

Meet Our Experts
Curators of extraordinary experiences, you won't find a more skillful team.
30,000 Delighted Customers
"Kensington, you've done it again...perfection!"

Don't take our word for it.
Here's what our clients say.

"Fabulous trip. Every aspect from the planning to execution was excellent."

Newsletter Subscription
Have our hand picked trips, news & specials delivered to you.
Thank you for signing up!

Your details have been received and processed successfully.
Travel + Leisure : World's Best Award 2014 Family National Geographic Traveler : 50 Tours of a Lifetime Travel Leisure Award 2015