New Zealand - it's a mecca of stunning and awe-inspiring scenery. From the pristine locations to the endless places to feast your eyes on, it's the perfect place for a road trip. The only downside to this dreamy destination is the cost. If you are looking to go on a road trip, it's easy to feel put off after doing a bit of research into the price associated with travelling around New Zealand's North Island. Luckily, there is no need to fret. It's possible to travel around the North Island of New Zealand on a budget and VroomVroomVroom is going to show you how.
Nature = free: Think about it - more often than not, nature is free and luckily, New Zealand is full of it! Most travellers come to New Zealand for this very reason - to immerse themselves in the stunning scenery that New Zealand boasts. What this means it that it's a win-win! From Cathedral Cove to Tongariro Crossing, nature is abundant (and free) on the North Island.
Accommodation: The main thing that can blow the budget is accommodation. The easiest money saving solution to this problem is camping or travelling in a campervan. The first option is renting a car and camping and the second is campervanning around New Zealand. There is a reason that these options are extremely popular and that is because there are countless free campsites on the North Island ;that are simply stunning. Pick up your car hire in Auckland and start your road trip from there.
Food: Food is a big money waster and in New Zealand it can be expensive depending on where you go. If you are camping or campervanning, you can still cook your own food along the way at campsites, rest stops, parks, beaches etc. Once you have picked up your rental in Auckland, stop at New World or Countdown and stock up on essentials!
Rent an economy car: Make sure to rent an economy car that is fuel efficient and within your budget. To ensure this is the case, figure out your daily spend budget for a car and see how many days you can afford. Usually economy cars have better fuel efficiency than bigger cars which means you will not only save on the car but the fuel as well. The drive from Auckland to Tongariro Crossing is approximately 6 days. You can shorten the amount of places you visit or extend this time period depending on your budget.
Get insurance: Make sure to get insurance! Although this is an additional upfront cost, you will be saving a lot if you damage your car - it's better to be safe than sorry. Click here to learn more about insurance.
Be careful of kilometre limits: Don't rent a car or campervan with kilometre limits. If you go over kilometre limits, the cost can add up quickly so it's best to avoid this. The distance between the top of New Zealand in Cape Reinga to Wellington is approximately 1,064 km. Keep this in mind when travelling.
Recommended North Island Road Trip Itinerary
Day One: Immerse yourself in culture and food in Auckland
Coast to Coast walk
Museum & Art Gallery
Light Path Walk
One Tree Hill
Auckland Botanic Gardens
Piha black sand beach
Where to stay:
Free camping: Ray's Rest Camping Reserve
Cheap eats: Barilla Dumpling and Better Burger
Day Two: Experience Cathedral Cove and natural wonders in the Coromandel Peninsula
Map of Auckland to Tongariro Crossing National Park Road Trip
Do you know that you can download this map directly to your phone? Press the box symbol located on the top-right corner of this map to open in your Google Maps app. Now you can easily access this map on your next road trip adventure from Auckland to Tongariro Crossing.
Travel time and distance: 4 hours and 20minutes / 338 km