Tongariro Crossing

Adventures on the North Island in 8 Days.

The island's excellent road network makes it possible to visit the most important places in record time.

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Kiwipal Guide.

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Your Trip Day by Day.

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Here are the steps of the journey with available activities.

For each day, you can book the hotel and the activities of your choice. You book online and save 30% of the travel price.

How to book online?
With nearly a third of the country's population gathered in the same location, Auckland is the largest city in New Zealand. It is also, according to the Mercer Index, the second most enjoyable city in the world.

Free day




Hotel or bed & breakfast.

An entire day in the biggest city of the country to recover from jet lag. Climb to the top of the Sky Tower, enjoy the beaches and museums. There are even shuttles to the volcanic island of Rangitoto.

Book hotel for this nightGuide Auckland
The huge limestone arch carved into the rock has made Cathedral Cove famous. The beach also serves as a natural setting in the second part of the World of Narnia Trilogy.

End of the morning


Cathedral Cove

Auckland Cathedral Cove

175 km (2h10)

The Coromandel Peninsula has one of the most beautiful beaches on the North Island. With its spectacular limestone arch, Cathedral Cove served as a filming location for the adaptation of the world of Narnia at the cinema.

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The hot spring that flows underneath the beach only needs to gush to the surface. Just give it a little boost to enjoy.

Late afternoon


Hot Water Beach

Cathedral Cove Hot Water Beach

9 km (10 min)

Hotel or bed & breakfast.

Second stage of the day, this beach conceals a secret that deserves a visit. You just have to dig in the sand to get hot water. Enjoy a natural spa to regain strength.

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Bag End is the home of Bilbo. It is located at the top of the hill, under an oak replanted by the technical team to respect the indications of Tolkien.




Hot Water Beach Hobbiton

170 km (2h15)

Discovery of Hobbiton, the scenery of the Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit in Peter Jackson's movies. The visit of the village ends with a refreshment at the Green Dragon Inn.

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The unique feature of Waitomo caves is the presence of millions of glowworms.



Waitomo Caves

Hobbiton Waitomo

90 km (1h10)

Hotel or bed & breakfast.

Descend the underground river aboard a boat and gaze at the vault studded with glowworms. The rest of the afternoon is devoted to the discovery of the stalactite caves of the region.

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Rotorua was originally a spa town and the famous Rotorua Museum was a health center. This activity has not disappeared and the region has many specialized institutes.

Free day



Waitomo Rotorua

145 km (1h50)

Hotel or bed & breakfast.

Arrival in Rotorua in the middle of the morning. Discover the geothermal activity of the region and learn about Maori culture in the Rotorua Museum. Rainbow Springs Park and kiwis await you in the early evening.

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It is estimated that the Huka Falls could fill two Olympic swimming pools per second!

Early morning


Huka Falls

Rotorua Huka Falls

75 km (1h)

Walk up the Waikato River to a fall that can fill an Olympic swimming pool per second. Taste giant prawns and visit the craters of the moon!

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One tends to forget that the Tongariro is located in a national park. I hope you will have the chance to admire the sunset over the valley!

Late afternoon


Tongariro Crossing

Huka Falls Ohakune

145 km (1h45)

Hotel or bed & breakfast.

Cross the fascinating desert of the Tongariro National Park to reach the town of Ohakune. Rest before tomorrow's great walk.

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It's vety difficult to determine New Zealand's most beautiful hike. But if only one-day walks are taken into account, then the Tongariro Crossing deserves the palm.

Full day excursion


Tongariro Crossing

Hotel or bed & breakfast.

New Zealand's most famous trek crosses a desert, climbs to the summit of a volcano, descend to turquoise lakes and ends in a refreshing rainforest.

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Wellington became the capital of New Zealand when rumors of secession from the South Island began to circulate. People opted for Wellington for its central location and its closest proximity to the South Island.




Tongariro Wellington

285 km (3h30)

Hotel or bed & breakfast.

Discover the capital of New Zealand. Visit Peter Jackson's studios, stroll through Cuba Street and do not miss the great Te Papa museum and its Maori art collections.

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Oriental Bay has one of the most beautiful beaches in Wellington. Beach Volleyball competitions take place regularly there. The hillside has superb Victorian houses.

Free time before departure




Enjoy the last free hours before the plane to visit the capital. If you have enough time, enjoy the beach at Oriental Bay.

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Book your plane tickets.

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Compare the best, without advertising or hidden fees.

Our service is based on Google Flights to bring you the best comparator tool, removing the bad airlines.

With Kiwipal, there is no travel agency fees, no advertising and no hidden costs.

Book your plane tickets

Book your car.

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Compare and rent a car at the lowest price.

With Kiwipal, you book directly from an New Zealand rental company and do not pay travel agency fees.

The vehicle insurance is included with free cancellation until a short interval before departure.

Rent a car with Kiwipal

Your car to explore the country.

Do not let go of your attention even if the road is deserted. And always hold your left and not your right as in Europe!

The New Zealand road network is in excellent condition!

You may have to adapt to driving on the left on the roads of New Zealand. This is another reason for not choosing a vehicle lightly.

The choice of the vehicle is an essential step for an autotour. It is an important expense in the travel budget.

The New Zealand market is saturated by the old Japanese models. A good deal at discount prices often turns out to be a disaster in terms of safety standards.

Of course, the choice of the model depends on the number of passengers.

Automatic or manual gearbox?

Contrary to popular belief, the cheapest rental is not often a good deal. The lower the price, the lower the comfort and safety. Not to mention gasoline consumption that is not to your advantage in a mountainous country. It is better to avoid floor prices and opt for a reasonable rate at around $ 35 per rental day.

Rental cars are mostly automatic.

With the majority of the fleet in automatic, finding a car with a manual gearbox is often more difficult.

In addition to facilitating driving on the left (you can concentrate 100% on the road), automatic models are more suitable for long journeys.

You will travel several thousand kilometers and for driving to remain a pleasure, an automatic gearbox is highly recommended.

Cars with automatic gearbox are more suited to New Zealand.

Should we redeem the deductible?

The road network matches the quality of the landscapes. In addition to the secured paved roads, there are thousands of kilometers of gravel roads where it is necessary to drive carefully.

Paying the deductible allows traveling with a zen mind.

The deductible part corresponds to the amount that remains your responsibility in the event of an accident.

The redemption of the franchise costs only a few euros per day. In case of accident, you will not pay anything if you have subscribed to this option.

Kiwipal recommends you do not skimp on this extra little expense that can save your holidays! Ben the Kiwi will answer your practical questions, but if you want to know more about driving in New Zealand, I invite you to read our driving guide.

Questions & Answers.

Have you ever drive on the left side of the road? Rest assured, the priority remains on the right and you'll quickly get used to this. If you have questions on the subject, I am here to help you.

Ask a question to Ben

  • What kind of driver's license do you need?

    If you don't come from an English-speaking country, your driving license must be completed with an international permit written in English. Do not wait until the last minute to get this document usually delivered free of charge.

  • What is the minimal age to drive in New Zealand?

    For most car rental agencies, the driver must be at least 18 years old.

  • What are speed limits?

    There are no highways, strictly speaking. Outside the cities, speed is limited to 100 km / h, and in agglomeration the limit is 50 km / h. Take time to familiarize yourself with the vehicle controls before departure. Do not hesitate to go around the neighborhood several times before starting your trip. The priority remains to the right, and after an initial hour, one generally get used to it very fast. As the roads are relatively deserted outside the cities, you will have time to get used to the driving on the left.

  • Is driving on the left difficult?

    Take time to familiarize yourself with the vehicle controls before departure. Do not hesitate to go around the neighborhood several times before starting your trip. The priority remains to the right, and after an initial hour, one generally adapts very quickly. As the roads are relatively deserted outside the cities, you will have time to get used to the driving on the left.

  • How many kilometers to drive every day?

    Kiwipal itineraries are calculated to limit distances. On average, you will drive two hours a day. The beauty of the landscapes traversed is such that one could easily drive more, but it is necessary to keep time for the activities.

  • How to get the vehicle at the rental company?

    After the formalities (presentation of identity documents, driver's license), the rental agent will present the vehicle in detail. Be vigilant and make sure everything works, including the car radio.

  • How to return the vehicle?

    It will be necessary to reach the car park of the rental agency. Be careful to refuel before returning the keys. The tank must be full otherwise you will have to return to the gas station. You will then have to check the condition of the vehicle.

  • Is it easy to park in the city?

    Finding a parking lot downtown in Auckland or Wellington is not easy, especially when you're not used to driving on the left. One should find parking in advance or try to get away from the city center.

  • What is the quality of the road network?

    With roads so little frequented, roads could be expected to be in poor condition. However, the road network is modern and in excellent condition. Apart from the main roads, there are many gravel roads, but they are generally well maintained (moderate, however, your speed on this type of road).

  • How is the crossing from one island to another?

    It is more advantageous to change cars than to embark it on the ferry but this adds many formalities and you lose precious time on the holidays.

  • Is driving in the mountains dangerous?

    Some roads can be problematic in winter when it is necessary to equip the vehicle with chains. The rest of the year, driving is not a problem in the mountains, especially if you stay on the main roads.

  • Can I get fines?

    Parking or speeding fines will follow you to France. The rental agency will communicate your address to the administration.

  • How many drivers do you recommend?

    For a stay of two weeks or more, it is recommended to have two drivers.

Book your hotel rooms.

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Online booking with free cancellation.

You book online and pay only at the hotel in New Zealand. You can change your mind and replace each hotel by another whenever you want.

If the weather is bad, you can also change your route, because the cancellation is free until 24 hours before arrival at the hotel.

Book hotels rooms

Your accommodation during the stay.

At Kiwipal, we recommend Beds and Breakfasts because they allow to meet authentic inhabitants of the country.

A selection of the best budget Hotels.

The quality of the accommodation is excellent in New Zealand. The latest survey conducted by the Ministry of Tourism reveals that travelers rate the hotel sector an average score of 8/10.

The purchasing power in rich Europeans countries is often 10 to 15% higher than in New Zealand. This gap allows you to enjoy a better average quality of accommodation than usual.

As for the service, there is no worry to have, the kindness of the Kiwis is proverbial. The quality of welcome is cited as the second best advantage of the country after its landscapes (which says everything...).

In addition to receiving you in perfect conditions, the hotel staff can advises you on the best itineraries and activities often unknown to the general public.

Cheap accommodation.

The legendary hospitality of the New Zealanders owes much to the owners of Beds and Breakfasts who take care of travelers.

The Bed & Breakfasts are very comfortable.

The Bed & Breakfasts (nicknamed B & B) are booming all over the country. But contrary to what one might think, they often cost more than a hotel stay. However, this type of accommodation offers many advantages.

In some cases, it is more interesting to book a lodge or a motel. This is particularly the case in national parks, where the motel facilitate the organization of the stay (it's sometimes nice to make your own cuisine rather than having diner at restaurants).

The goal is not to find the cheapest room systematically, but to favor an excellent value for money.

Whoever says B & B of course implies that breakfast is included! And considering your busy days with so many discoveries and activities, it would be a shame to skip this important meal, especially when you know the quality of service in New Zealand!

Mid-range accommodation.

If there are of course exceptions, the level of the New Zealand hotel industry is very good.

The lodges are beautiful colonial-style mansions.

If you are willing to spend about 10% more, you can significantly improve your stay.

The quality of the staff will remain about the same (the New Zealanders are very welcoming anyway). The main difference lies in the location and beauty of the hotel location (you will often be closer to the main attractions). This formula should be of interest to couples traveling on honeymoon. Note that this is not a luxury trip, prices remain within a reasonable range.

The price difference (sometimes minimal) makes it possible to switch to a higher category. The rooms are bigger, better oriented, etc.

High-end accommodation.

Large hotel chains have settled in New Zealand in large cities. The rating system Qualmark allows you to know the level of service to be expected.

The upscale hotels are perfect for a honeymoon.

This offer no longer offers B & B but only lodges and luxury hotels. It takes about 30% more budget to afford this kind of stay.

But it's not a luxury trip for millionaires!

The target clientele is the one who wish to enjoy a beautiful honeymoon or a second one.      In these conditions, you will enjoy many nice attentions and an unforgettable quality of service.

In general, the selected establishments have a restaurant, a very appreciable service if you travel with your family.

The high-end offer is made up of hotels and lodges reputed throughout the country.

If you have a hard time choosing, I recommend you read our record on accommodations in New Zealand.      I will explain with more detail the differences between Bed & Breakfasts, Lodges and Hotels.

You can also continue to scroll down this page to discover the advice of Ben the Kiwi.      Our friend gives practical advice and answers questions from future travelers.

Questions & Answers.

Ask me your questions about the accommodation! I test the quality of B & B's, lodges and hotels al the time. If you need advice I'm here to help you.

Ask a question to Ben

  • What is the difference between a B & B and a lodge?

    A New Zealand lodge is often a beautiful colonial-style mansion with character. Often, the level of service is higher than the one offered at a B & B but this is not always a rule. There are even luxury lodges (the Huka Lodge for example) frequented by the crowned heads.

  • What is the purpose of the Qualmark?

    It is a quality label awarded by a government company responsible for evaluating services in the field of tourism. B & Bs and hotels are not obliged to do so even if many do to attract customers.Qualmark

  • What is the arrival time for a B & B?

    One usually check-in at the end of the afternoon. If you are planning a delay on the road, it is recommended contacting your host by phone so that he does not worry. A B & B is not a hotel, so do not arrive late in the evening.

  • At what time should I leave the B & B?

    It is customary to leave before 10 am to allow the owner to prepare the room for the next guests. You can always ask the question to your host when you arrive.

  • What type of breakfast will be served?

    You will be left with the choice between an English or continental breakfast. Most hosts are proud to treat guests the best they can as this is part of the B & B philosophy.

  • Would I have an individual bathroom?

    Yes, we only recommend B & Bs with private bathrooms.

  • Who usually run the Beds & Breakfasts?

    They are usually young retirees or parents whose children have left the country for study or work. Holding a B & B has more to do with the desire to meet travelers than the hope of making a fortune.

  • How are B & Bs selected?

    The quality of the accommodations is tested, and an establishment that would no longer be satisfactory would be immediately replaced by another.

  • What does a B & B room looks like?

    I reassure you, it won't be an old teenage room with posters, but a tastefully decorated room, often more comfortable than an impersonal hotel room.

  • Can I choose between B & B and lodges?

    For Kiwipal itineraries, we suggest alternating between B & B and lodges along the route. For stays in national parks (e.g. Abel Tasman), we prefer to suggest comfortable motels to facilitate the organization of hikes.

  • Can I ask advice from the B & B manager?

    Your host is usually a goldmine in terms of tip and advice. I always prefer to listen to a local than my GPS.

  • Will the B & B owner join us during breakfast?

    This happens if you give the impression that you want it or if you ask for it.

  • Do we share the B & B with other travelers?

    Some B & Bs have several rooms and you will sometimes meet other travelers for breakfast.This is sometimes the opportunity to spend pleasant moments or exchange tips on the itinerary.

  • Which hotel chains are present in NZ?

    In large cities, you'll find most of the major international hotel chains.

Free quote of your budget.

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Complete the form to get a price estimation.

Our price estimation will give you a better idea of the requested holiday budget. You can request several estimations if you want.

This detailed estimation is not a quote and does not commit you to anything. Kiwipal is not a travel agency but a guide to help travelers to book their trip themselves.

When do you plan your travel?

What would be the departure date?

Choose departure date ...

Do you need airline tickets as well?

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From which city do you want to start?

  • Auckland at the beggining and Wellington to finish
  • Wellington at the beggining and Auckland to finish

What comfort do you want?

What type of accommodation?

  • Budget accommodation
  • Mid-range accommodation
  • Premium accommodation

Which model of car?

  • Road car or sedan (large trunk)
  • Economic car (small trunk)
  • Four-wheel drive (4x4)

What are the optional activities?

Use the arrows to scroll through the activities

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    Who is traveling?

    How many participants?

    • One traveler
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    First traveler Information

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    • Adult
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