New Zealand, from Auckland

Jess from How Dare She

Yes, New Zealand is tiny.

No, that doesn’t mean it’s barren with nothing to see.

There are several hop on/hop off bus options in NZ, but hiring a car is really affordable, making it a great way to get around (seriously, I’m talking $12 USD a day).

All I knew was I wanted to see the Champagne Pool, so I eloquently Googled “New Zealand North Island Road Trips” and found a Nat Geo article, but it was tailored to people who want to see everything Lord of the Rings and stop off at shops and wineries. I’m not particularly (at all) interested in the LOTR stuff, so I modified accordingly.

Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland

Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland // Source

Started from Auckland to Port Waikato and into Rotorua. From there hit Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland (A MUST), through Lake Taupo and the Tongarino National Forest to Wellington, and back up along the east coast through Napier, to Tauranga, back to Auckland.

Tips:

  • They drive on the left; so what, get over it and just do it
  • Save your Google Maps to offline/PDF after making them online
  • Take your time – I did it in 4.5 days, but would at least double that if I did it again
  • Pull over to take pics – everything is beautiful…and you just started driving on the left

>>Next: Johannesburg to Cape Town, South Africa