8 Day North Island Thermal Explorer inc. Car Hire, Rotorua, Hobbiton Movie Set, Glowworm Caves + more.

8 Day North Island Thermal Explorer inc. Car Hire, Rotorua, Hobbiton Movie Set, Glowworm Caves + more.

8 Days

Take a self-drive adventure through the rugged North Island of New Zealand, travelling along the stunning Thermal Highway. Experience the bubbling mud, geysers and myriad of colours at Rotorua and the hot springs, crystal clear water and thundering waterfalls in Taupo. And this is only the tip of the iceberg!

4 Experiences
1 Country
7 Inclusions
1 Room options

About This Trip

The North Island of New Zealand is a dynamic natural wonderland. So densely packed with wild spaces and contrasting landscapes, it is the ultimate location for a self-drive adventure. Even the name, the Thermal Highway, gets your mind whirring with the possibilities of what lies along this exciting stretch of road, so let’s dig in. 


You pick up your car after you touch down in Auckland and after a night of comfort in your 4-star boutique hotel here, its keys in the ignition and off on the road. You will stop off in Hobbiton for a tour around the incredible film set on your way to your first example of thermal magic, Rotorua. With two nights here you will be able to explore the bubbling mud pools and geysers before you take your included trip to Hell’s Gate, for your thermal walk and cleansing mud bath. 


From the otherworldly Rotorua, you drive to the truly stunning Taupo. You will spend two nights steeped in the everchanging vistas of this lakeside paradise, with hot springs, incredible Maori carvings and a trip out to the thundering Huka Falls on a custom Jet Boat. Then it’s off to the peak of Mt Ruapehu for arguably the greatest view in the North Island before heading to Hamilton, via the breathtaking Glowworm caves in Waitomo. 


All along the route, you will stay in hand-selected 4-star hotels, to guarantee you a relaxing night's sleep after a day of adventuring. This colourful patchwork of geothermal magic is waiting for you, so strap in and let’s go!

What's Included
7 nights accommodation in a range of 4-star hotels
Delicious breakfast included every morning
8 days car hire to explore the Thermal Highway
Hobbiton movie set tour Waitomo Glowworm Caves Experience
Huka Falls jet boat ride Entry to Hells Gate

Top Local Experiences

Included in your deal

Trip Itinerary

Where You'll Stay

Included in your deal

4 Star Accommodation

We have searched out the finest 4-star accommodation all along the Thermal Highway to provide you with the ultimate in comfort every night. We combine big names along with boutique hotels to showcase the finest accommodation on the North Island. While the names below are our first choice hotels, occasionally they may become unavailable at the time of booking. Should this happen, we will switch them for alternatives of a similar or higher level of comfort. 


Airedale Boutique Suites - Auckland

Holiday Inn - Rotorua

The Reef Resort - Taupo

The Park Hotel - Mt Ruapehu

Heartland Ambassador Hotel - Hamilton


  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Flat-screen TV
  • Coffee pod machine
  • Dressing gown & Slippers
  • Air conditioning
  • Soft or firm pillows
  • In-room safe
  • Iron & ironing board
  • Hair dryer
  • Mini fridge
Single supplementNo
Max occupancy2 Adults
ShareableNot available
Bedding arrangementDouble/Twin Room
Other Info

There is so much to do and see in the North Island of New Zealand, but we wanted to create a tour that was laser-focused on the beauty and wealth of highlights along the Thermal Highway. The tour is a celebration of New Zealand’s history, not just in the number of incredible Maori sites along the route, but in its deeper, geological history. 


There are very few places on earth that baffle the senses quite as much as Rotorua. The colours are radiant, the sounds of the bubbling pools and rushing water of the geysers and I suppose we have to mention the sulphurous smell, even though you quickly get used to it. Taupo is similar, but there is a major focus on the sights here. So many different landscapes packed into one tiny area, it is unspoiled wilderness at its finest. Hike, kayak, swim and then finish it all off with a soak in the hot springs. 



You kick off this trip by flying into Auckland and having a night here. You then drive to Rotorua for two nights, Taupo for two nights, over to Mt Ruapehu for a night and then Hamilton for your final night. You then drive back up to Auckland to drop off the car and meet your onward travel.  


We have chosen a delightful range of 4-star hotels for this trip, so you have an extremely comfortable place to lay your head at the end of a day’s adventuring. Each hotel has a wide range of amenities and provides a friendly, but discreet level of service that will make you feel that you are living in sheer luxury. 


  • Restaurant
  • Bar
  • Free Wi-Fi 
  • Spa facilities
  • Fitness centre
  • Sauna
  • Free parking
  • Pool


important info


  • Return flights
  • Visas
  • Optional activities/tours, personal expenses/transfers not mentioned
  • Travel insurance
  • Tips & gratuities

Age restrictions

  • This tour is restricted to guests aged 18 years or older


  • The minimum number for this trip to operate is two people
  • Double or twin share basis

Passport & visa requirements

  • All visitors require a passport with a minimum validity of 6 months beyond your return travel date is required for all passengers (including children and infants)
  • Visitors may require a visa to enter
  • It is the visitor’s responsibility to ensure they are holding the correct and current visa for the countries they are visiting
  • If the visitor is a non-Australian passport holder, a valid re-entry visa may be required.
  • Important: Please start arranging your visa at least 6-8 weeks prior to departure to account for any delays due to consulate operating hours and processing times

Travel insurance

  • We recommend you purchase travel insurance as soon as possible after purchasing this package

Health & vaccination

  • Travellers are advised to check with their local health professional at least 45 days prior to departure, as some vaccinations require 30 days or more to be effective
  • We do recommend wearing mosquito repellant and sunscreens
  • It is advised that you ensure you have adequate health insurance cover as part of your travel insurance


  • Porterage is not available on this trip


  • Tipping and gratuities are not included in the package and are at your own discretion

Fitness requirements

  • Travellers should have a good level of physical fitness and mobility. They must be able to negotiate uneven surfaces and in some cases climb stairs

Dietary requirements

  • Any dietary requirements must be received by DealsAway at least 30 days prior to your scheduled departure date. Failure to provide these details by this date may result in an inability to cater for your requirements
  • In most cases DealsAway can cater for special dietary requirements but please note that on occasion, this may not be possible due to location, lack of availability of ingredients, and other extenuating circumstances. It is always advised to carry supplies with you


  • As this is a self-drive trip, no transfers are provided.


  • Any applicable pre-trip or tour documentation will be emailed to you prior to travelling. Should you have any queries regarding this please feel free to contact us directly via email at support@dealsaway.com

DealsAway savings

  • The value and comparative savings have been determined based on published rack rates and the value of inclusions. Please be advised that rack rates may not be reflective of actual rates being charged, dependent on the timing and manner of your booking and therefore are only indicative of the level of saving

Itinerary amendments & changes

  • Occasionally our itineraries are updated prior to departure to incorporate improvements stemming from past travellers’ feedback as well as updates from our ground operators. Please note that while we operate successful tours in this region throughout the year, some changes may be necessary due to inclement weather, public holidays, common seasonal changes to timetables and transport routes, and unforeseen circumstances. This can happen with little notice so please be prepared for modifications to the route. The order and timing of included activities may also vary from time to time


  • All DealsAway trips are available on a request only basis and are subject to availability. Once booked you should receive a payment confirmation and receipt via email, followed by a booking confirmation normally within 72hrs of making a booking, sometimes this can take a little longer subject to supplier delay
  • If you have not received your confirmation within 5 business days of payment confirmation please contact us immediately by email at support@dealsaway.com 
  • In the event that your trip is unavailable for the dates you have chosen we will contact you by telephone to advise the next available dates


  • Any prices quoted exclude specific costs/measures which may be introduced at a later stage as a result of Government changes due to COVID-19 health and safety restrictions. DealsAway will inform its guests of these changes as soon as possible, these additional charges will be passed on by DealsAway to the guest


Name change or corrections

  • Name corrections may incur a fee
  • Name changes are not permitted

Date changes

  • Date changes are not permitted


  • Please refer to our Booking Conditions for all information on refunds.

Special requests

  • If you or any members of your travelling party have any special requests (for example a dietary requirement, specific room location etc), please let DealsAway know at the time of booking and we will endeavour to assist you with your request.



  • Please be aware that the booking conditions state that your holiday can be terminated, with no refund, if the behaviour of you or any members of your travelling party does not meet an acceptable standard. You will also often be required to pay for any damages you or members of your travelling party cause to accommodation, coach, train or cruise ship


Holiday extras

  • If you wish to purchase any extras or upgrades please contact us at support@dealsaway.com for information on our optional extras

DealsAway reserves the right to modify prices for marketing and commercial reasons. Please note that full terms and conditions apply. Refer to the website's terms and conditions.


  • Refer to hertz rate terms and conditions for more info
  • Each daily hire is based on a period of 24hrs rental, for example, a 2-day hire is the equivalent of 48hrs hire starting at the time the vehicle is picked up. If you require a longer rental time due to flight times or for any other reason then we advise you to purchase another day of rental hire. This can be added on request for an additional fee 
  • If you are late returning the vehicle this may result in a fee being charged to you from the car hire supplier directly
  • DealsAway takes no responsibility for any additional fees incurred to the customer by the car hire supplier

Minimum Driver Age

  • 21 years
  • YOUNG DRIVER FEE - Where a renter is aged between 21-24 a young driver fee will apply - $16.50 inclusive of GST (Capped at $115.50 in each 30-day period) on Standard Passenger Vehicles

Additional Drivers

  • Additional Drivers are permitted Free of Charge providing the minimum rental age and all other driver requirements are met
  • Additional authorised drivers must be registered on the authority to drive form which would accompany the Rental Agreement. There is no limit to additional drivers providing they all meet the above criteria

Car hire rates do not include

  • Out of hours pick up
  • Delivery & collection fees
  • Fuel purchase options
  • Additional equipment: child seats
  • Road tolls
  • Personal accident and effects cover
  • Premium roadside assist
  • Private parking charges

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