Auckland to Cape Reinga Road Trip


7 days


Auckland to Auckland


Best Time of the Year



  • Auckland Botanic Gardens
  • Hundertwasser Art Centre
  • Waitangi Treaty Grounds
  • Cape Reinga Lighthouse
  • Waipu Caves

The Journey


1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Day 1

Day one of your New Zealand road trip starts with picking up your campervan hire from Mighty’s Auckland branch. You’ll be welcomed by our friendly team as you collect your pre-booked campervan. Our helpful staff will quickly get you set up and ready for the road with everything you need to know.

Today, spend the day exploring the vibrant city of Auckland before you hit the road. Whether you’re into shopping, enjoying great restaurants and cafes, or discovering the great outdoors, there’s plenty on offer in the City of Sails.

A great day out includes exploring the eclectic offerings in Ponsonby or the city’s downtown shopping precincts. From here, you can catch a ferry to the harbourside village of Devonport.

If you love gardens, plan a picnic at the Auckland Botanic Gardens. And to take in the best views of the city, head to Maungakiekie/ One Tree Hill.

Tonight, enjoy a beachfront stay at Takapuna Beach Holiday Park.

Northland Image Library

Day 2
Auckland to Whangārei

Distance 160km - Driving Time 2 hours 20 minutes

It’s time to leave Auckland and head north! Today’s section of your road trip itinerary takes you to another great New Zealand city, Whangārei.

Just a short two-hour drive from Auckland, beautiful Whangārei is surrounded by mountains and rivers making it an ideal spot for outdoor enthusiasts. Plan your trip to include a visit to the Whangārei Falls, a 26-metre-high waterfall that is simply beautiful. Afterwards, head to the Whangārei Quarry Gardens and enjoy lunch at the onsite café. And if you’re keen to see Whangārei from above, head up the Mount Manaia Track where you can take in spectacular views.

Whangārei also has a vibrant arts scene with 15 large-scale art murals, the Hundertwasser Art Centre, Wairua Māori Art Gallery, and Whangārei Art Museum.

Park up your campervan tonight at Whangārei TOP 10 Holiday Park.

Northland Image Library

Day 3
Whangārei to Paihia

Distance 70km - Driving Time 1 hour

Rich in Māori culture and heritage, the seaside village of Paihia is known as New Zealand’s gateway to the Bay of Islands. Learn about New Zealand’s fascinating history at the Waitangi Treaty Grounds. This special place is often called the ‘Birthplace of our Nation’. It is where much of New Zealand’s history was shaped through the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1835 and the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840.

One of the most popular experiences to enjoy in Paihia is the Hole in the Rock Dolphin Cruise. Head out into the beautiful harbour and enjoy the views as you watch for dolphins. The cruise will take you through the famous Hole in the Rock on Motukōkako Island.

For a longer tour of the Bay of Islands, head out on the water with Sea Shuttle Bay of Islands. Spend five hours exploring 144 islands, including two remote island stopovers.

Put your feet up with a relaxing stay at Paihia TOP 10 Holiday Park.

Northland Image Library / David Kirkland

Day 4
Paihia to Russell

Distance 16 km - Driving Time 47 minutes (by ferry)

Head across the water in your campervan today on the Bay of Islands Ferry to the village of Russell. Learn more about the rich cultural history of the area with a visit to Flagstaff Hill Historic Reserve. While you’re there, enjoy a walk at Tapeka Point Track. Next, head to Russell Museum before enjoying lunch at Omata Estate Vineyard & Kitchen. Their tasty menu includes mouth-watering wood-fired pizzas and delicious sharing platters. Top off your day with an afternoon swim at beautiful Oneroa Bay.

Park up your campervan tonight at Russell TOP 10 Holiday Park.

Northland Image Library

Day 5
Russell to Kerikeri

Distance 39km - Driving Time 1 hour 10 minutes

On day five of your awesome Northland road trip, you’ll be heading to the chilled-out township of Kerikeri. One of the must-dos, while you’re here, is a visit to Rainbow Falls. Enjoy a short walk through the forest trail before reaching the picturesque 27-metre waterfall. For a longer walk, head to the 3.5 km Kerikeri River Track.

Visit one of New Zealand’s oldest buildings. The Stone Store, built in 1832, is both a museum and shop stocking a range of unique New Zealand merchandise.

Plan your trip to include a visit to Kerikeri’s Old Packhouse – the perfect place to stock your campervan up with goodies for the rest of your road trip! Here, you’ll find a bakery, café, market deli, butchery and store. A market is held every Saturday and Sunday too! Another great market to visit while you’re here is the Bay of Islands Farmers Market, held every Sunday morning in the Post Office carpark on Hobson Ave.

Put your feet up tonight at the Kerikeri Holiday Park & Motels.

Northland Image Library

Day 6
Kerikeri to Cape Reinga

Distance 192km - Driving Time 2 hours 40 minutes

Today, you’re heading to the northernmost tip of New Zealand! Cape Reinga is a very spiritual and sacred place for Māori. According to Māori history, this is where the spirits of deceased Māori leap into the ocean to return to their ancestral homeland of Hawaiki. It’s also where you can witness the mesmerising power of two mighty oceans merging: the Tasman Sea and the Pacific Ocean.

The Cape Reinga Lighthouse is the best spot to take in the views, but take note that because of the sacredness of this site, eating is not permitted here. If you’re keen on enjoying a picnic nearby, head to nearby Tapotupotu Beach. This beach also has a non-powered campsite.

Cape Reinga is also where the Te Araroa Trail begins. This trail runs the length of New Zealand, a continuous 3000 km walking track. Te Paki Recreation Reserve is another natural wonder worth adding to your road trip planner. This area offers some great walking tracks and spots for fishing, swimming, diving, and surfing.

Before heading back to Auckland tomorrow, enjoy a picnic dinner of fish and chips on the beach as the sun goes down over Ninety Mile Beach.

Have a great night’s sleep at Kapowairua (Spirits Bay) Campsite (non-powered).

Northland Image Library

Day 7
Cape Reinga to Auckland

Distance 431km - Driving Time 6 hours

Be sure to wake up bright and early for the final day of your seven-day New Zealand road trip! Break up your trip with regular stops along the way – we recommend every two hours. You may have noted a few places to visit again on your way up!

We suggest planning a stop at Waipu Caves. This incredible spot is definitely a North Island must-do, and one of the best free things to do in New Zealand! Here, you’ll see fascinating limestone formations along with a dazzling display of glowworms! Bear in mind that you are likely to get wet inside the caves. You’ll also need a good torch and sturdy footwear (which will get wet).

The very last stop on your road trip is to head back to Mighty’s Auckland branch to return your campervan.

Ready to explore with Mighty?

What an action-packed seven days! From shopping and swimming to exploring underground caves, our Auckland to Cape Reinga road trip has it all!

Ready to explore all the best things to do in New Zealand? Book your Mighty camper today at your nearest branch or online.

To help plan your trip, be sure to download the thl Roadtrip app. This easy-to-use app is packed with helpful tips for preparing for your campervan trip. It also has lots of handy how-to video guides, travel tips, navigation tools, and 24/7 phone support.

Looking for more inspiration for your next New Zealand road trip? Check out these helpful blogs: