The Northern Lights - Auckland to Auckland

  • the northern lights - auckland to auckland

The Northern Lights - motorhome road trips New Zealand

Open your eyes to the unlimited magic of Northland New Zealand, on an 8 day trip that takes in many highlights of the upper North Island of New Zealand.

To follow this campervan driving itinerary, pick up and return your vehicle at our Auckland branch. Visit maui campervan hire Auckland for more details.

driving routeoverviewyour driving itinerary

Start: Auckland
Finish: Auckland
Duration: 8 days

  • The Bay of Islands
  • Diving at Poor Knights Marine Reserve
  • 90 Mile Beach
  • Historic Waitangi
  • The giant kauri trees of Waipoua Forest

Day one - Auckland to Whangarei - 2.5 hours

In the morning depart Auckland for Whangarei on the Twin Coast Discovery Highway via the beautiful beaches of Mangawhai, Langs Beach and Waipu.

Allow time for:

  • Swimming, surfing
  • Fishing, golf
  • Explore historic Waipu
  • Visit cafes and galleries in the area

Overnight Tutukaka

Day two - Tutukaka

  • For diving enthusiasts enjoy a day diving the world-renowned Poor Knights Marine Reserve or if you prefer, dive the twin wrecks of 'Tui’ and ‘Waikato’
  • Fishing enthusiasts can take a charter trip out for a day of big game or line fishing
  • Take a quick trip out to see the world’s largest sea cave – Rikoriko Cave at the Poor Knights Islands
  • Excellent kayaking and river cruises available
  • Native and subtropical nurseries
  • Action and adventure on a 4WD luge
  • If you wish to stay on terra firma, this area boasts some of Northland’s most beautiful beaches, and picturesque walking tracks

Day three - Tutukaka for the Bay of Islands - 1 hour 15 mins

In the morning depart Tutukaka for the Bay of Islands via Whakapara and the scenic drive past Oakura Bay.

Bay of Islands suggestions:

  • Take a cruise or a fast ride out on ‘The Bay’ to the ‘Hole in the Rock’
  • Pamper yourself at a day spa
  • Take some time to explore Romantic Russell, NZ’s original Capital
  • Spend a day visiting Kerikeri wineries, gourmet chocolate kitchen and art & craft galleries
  • Visit Waitangi Treaty Grounds where the Treaty of Waitangi was signed. Take a tour and view the magnificent Maori war canoe, Maori meeting house and the Treaty House
  • Take a dusk fishing trip, or play twilight golf
  • Go sailing, kayaking amongst the mangroves, diving, parasailing
  • Experience an evening cultural performance - Northland style
  • See the Bay of Islands and the Far North by air – simply stunning
  • Experience a land and sea tour on one vessel – NZ’s first amphibious craft Over night Russell

Day four - Bay of Islands

Activity suggestions:

  • Cape Brett ‘Hole in the Rock Cruise’
  • Aquatic encounter with dolphins
  • Cape Reinga coach tour
  • Bush walk, trek to Cape Brett
  • Fishing, sailing, kayaking, diving, golf, parasailing, horse riding or 4WD adventures
  • Drive to Puketi Forest to a stunning boardwalk to view the giant kauri trees

Overnight Bay of Islands

Day five - Bay of Islands to Doubtless Bay - 1.5 hours

In the morning depart the Bay of Islands for Mangonui via Matauri Bay, Tauranga Bay and Whangaroa. (optional stay overnight)

Activity suggestions:

  • Dive the wreck of the Rainbow Warrior
  • Spend a day at one of the beautiful beaches in Matauri Bay, Tauranga Bay, Taupo Bay, Coopers Beach, Cable Bay or on Karikari Peninsula
  • Fishing, sailing, kayaking, golf

Overnight Doubtless Bay

Day six - Doubtless Bay to Kaitaia - 30 minutes

In the morning depart Doubtless Bay for the Far North

Activity suggestions:

  • Guided tour to Cape Reinga along 90 Mile Beach
  • Explore the Far North – spend time at Houhora, Ahipara and 90 Mile Beach.
  • Fishing, surfing, walking, land yachting, golf, kayaking
  • Guided quad tours on 90 Mile Beach
  • Sample the wines of New Zealand’s most northern vineyards
  • Experience time in a Maori learning house and discover Maori Culture
  • Overnight Far North

To really experience the Far North, allow an extra night to stay at Houhora or further north.

Day seven - Kaitaia to Hokianga - 2 hours

In the morning depart the Far North for the Hokianga.

Activity suggestions:

  • Explore the townships of Kohukohu and Rawene connected by vehicle ferry across the upper Hokianga Harbour
  • Go tobogganing down the giant sand dunes
  • Visit Waipoua Forest and spend time exploring the various forest walks to view giant Kauri trees
  • Try your hand at Kauri Gum polishing
  • Fishing, cruising, horse riding, pig hunting
  • See a natural phenomenon – Wairere Boulders in Horeke

Overnight Hokianga

Day eight - Hokianga to Auckland - 4 hours

In the morning depart the Hokianga for Trounson Kauri Park, Kai Iwi Lakes or Baylys Beach. Stop at Waipoua Forest and the giant Kauri tree ‘Tane Mahuta’ on the way south, enjoying the various walks and forests.

Arrive at the beautiful Kai Iwi Lakes, a stunning recreational reserve that provides a playground for swimming, boating, windsurfing, water skiing and trout fishing.


Arrive at Baylys Beach. After a coffee at the Funky Fish café, explore the beach and view towering sand dunes by horseback or quad bike.

In the afternoon depart Kai Iwi Lakes or Baylys Beach for Dargaville. Enjoy lunch at one of Dargaville’s trendy cafes.

To experience a 4WD trip along Ripiro Beach, visit the Kaipara Lighthouse and the valley of the Shipwrecks - allow an extra night in Dargaville.

Depart Dargaville for Matakohe

Arrive at Matakohe and visit the Kauri Museum – you will discover the story of the magnificent kauri tree, its timber, gum, and the early pioneers to the district.

Depart Matakohe for Auckland