Day 7: Taupō to Wellington
It’s a big drive from Taupō to Wellington, but there’s some unmissable scenery on offer.
On the way to Taupō we drive along the Desert Road that divides the Rangipo Desert (an area with poor vegetation because of bad soil conditions and drying winds). The climate is harsh and in winter it is not unusual to see snow. However, the biggest attractions on this road are that of Mount Ruapehu, Mount Tongariro and Mount Ngauruhoe, the volcano better known as Mount Doom in Lord of the Rings. On the other side of the road is the lesser noticed Kaimanawa Range, home to a breed of wild horses that can be spotted on rare occasions.
We pull into Wellington in the afternoon, with just enough time for film buffs make a trip to Weta Workshop, where the special effects of Lord of the Rings and Avatar were produced.
New Zealand’s capital is famous for its bars and eateries, and is a paradise for lovers of craft beer – you’ll be spoilt for choice tonight!
- Scenic drive through Tongariro National Park
- Mt Victoria Lookout
- Day 1: Auckland to Coromandel
- Day 2: Coromandel to Rotorua
- Day 3: Rotorua
- Day 4: Rotorua to Murupara
- Day 5: Murupara to Taupō
- Day 6: Taupō
- Day 7: Taupō to Wellington
- Day 8: Wellington to Kaikōura
- Day 9: Kaikōura to Christchurch
- Day 10: Christchurch to MacKenzie Country
- Day 11: MacKenzie Country to Queenstown
- Day 12: Queenstown
- Day 13: Queenstown to Wanaka
- Day 14: Wanaka to Franz Josef
- Day 15: Franz Josef
- Day 16: Franz Josef to Christchurch