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Cultural Lower North Island

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The Journey

Venture from the capital City around the lower North Island, passing through towns that offer a historical Maori perspective. With some incredible sights along the way, there will be several stops that entice you to explore further.

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

Travel

5 DAYS


Route

Wellington to Wellington

km


Best Time of the Year

Anytime of the year

Highlights

  • Te Papa National Museum
  • Kapiti Coast
  • The Whanganui River
  • Mt Taranaki and New Plymouth
  • Oakura, Opunake and Patea

The Journey

Days

1 2 3 4 5

Day 1
Wellington

Collect your maui motorhome and enjoy some of the local sites of New Zealand’s capital city Wellington, or Te Upoko o te Ika (the Head of the Fish of Maui) to Maori. Wellington is New Zealand’s capital city and home to our National Museum – Te Papa Tongarewa, that gives a bi-cultural perspective on our country. The Kura Gallery in Allen St, near Courtney Place offers a great selections of arts and crafts from some of our best Maori artists. In the afternoon, take a visit to Maori Treasures in nearby Lower Hutt and learn how to craft and weave the Maori way.

Day 2
Wellington to Kapiti Island

X-Rides are located a short distance from the city of Porirua, just north of Wellington and offer an interesting historical Maori perspective on this part of the country from the back of a motorised scooters. Take a break at the Tihei Café, at Lindale en route to the Kapiti Coast. Kapiti Island is a short boat ride from Paraparaumu Beach and well worth the trip. Stay at the Kapiti Island Lodge and enjoy a tour of this very special bird sanctuary.

Day 3
Kapiti Island to Whanganui

Distance 156km - Driving Time 2.25 hours

Drive through to Whanganui this morning. Whanganui’s focal point is its river, the longest navigatable river in New Zealand – the Whanganui River, stretching 291 kms from Mount Tongariro in the Central Plateau to Taranaki. You need to visit here to understand this amazing story. There’s no better way than to hook up with the Whanganui River Jet Boat Tours for an adventure up the river that you won’t ever forget! This river is majestic, eerie and has an amazing history - just waiting to be explored by you.

Day 4
Whanganui to Taranaki

Distance 132km - Driving Time 2 hours

A short two hour drive from Wanganui, the region of Taranaki with its impressive mountain welcomes you. Mt Taranaki and its surrounds was the site of many of the early land based fracas between Maori and the European settlers and is one of those deeply mysterious places that entices you to explore further. Taranaki Tours can give you those special insights that only locals know, and you’ll be amazed what you learn. The Puke Ariki (place of chiefs) Museum is located in the heart of New Plymouth and is well worth a visit while you’re there.

Day 5
Taranaki to Wellington

Distance 326km - Driving Time 4.5 hours

Head back to Wellington via the Surf Highway through the surfing towns of Oakura, Opunake and through the town of Patea. Patea is located southeast of Hawera is the military settlement of Patea established in the 1860s, which played an important part in the land wars. It is now a dairy and sheep-farming region. There is a 17m long concrete model of the Aotea tribal canoe, made in 1933 to commemorate the ancestors of the Maori tribe who once lived in this area.

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