Discover Auckland: Top Road Trip Destinations in May

Welcome to Bargain Rental Cars' guide to the best road trip destinations around Auckland in May! As the crisp autumn weather settles in and the landscapes transform into stunning hues of gold and red, it's the perfect time to hit the road and explore the beauty that New Zealand's North Island has to offer. Whether you're a local looking for a quick getaway or a visitor eager to experience Auckland's surrounding wonders, we've curated a list of top road trip destinations just waiting to be discovered.

1. Coromandel Peninsula
Distance from Auckland: Approximately 2.5 hours



Escape the city and venture towards the Coromandel Peninsula, renowned for its pristine beaches, lush forests, and natural hot springs. Take a scenic drive along the Pacific Coast Highway, stopping at iconic spots like Cathedral Cove and Hot Water Beach, where you can dig your own hot pool in the sand. The Coromandel is ideal for hiking, beachcombing, and indulging in freshly caught seafood.

2. Rotorua
Distance from Auckland: Approximately 3 hours



Known for its geothermal wonders and rich Maori culture, Rotorua is a must-visit destination. Immerse yourself in the bubbling mud pools, vibrant geysers, and relaxing hot springs. Discover Maori traditions at Te Puia or experience the thrill of mountain biking in the Redwood Forest. Rotorua offers a unique blend of adventure and relaxation, making it perfect for a weekend getaway.

3. Matakana
Distance from Auckland: Approximately 1 hour



For a shorter road trip, head to Matakana, a charming village famous for its vineyards, farmers' markets, and beautiful coastline. Explore local wineries and sample award-winning wines or stroll through Matakana Village's boutiques and galleries. Don't miss the Matakana Country Park or a visit to Tawharanui Regional Park for stunning coastal views.

4. Waitomo Caves
Distance from Auckland: Approximately 2.5 hours



Embark on an underground adventure in Waitomo, home to mesmerizing glowworm caves. Take a guided tour through the limestone formations and marvel at the twinkling lights of thousands of glowworms. For the adventurous, try blackwater rafting or abseiling through the caverns. Waitomo promises a magical experience unlike any other.

5. Waiheke Island
Distance from Auckland: 35-minute ferry ride



For a unique day trip, hop on a ferry to Waiheke Island, a haven of vineyards, golden beaches, and artistic communities. Indulge in wine tastings at world-class wineries, enjoy a leisurely lunch overlooking the sea, or explore the island's art galleries and scenic walking trails. Waiheke's laid-back vibe is perfect for a relaxing escape.


6. Bay of Islands
Distance from Auckland: Approximately 3.5 hours



Journey north to the Bay of Islands, a paradise of turquoise waters and secluded coves dotted with 144 picturesque islands. Explore historic sites in Russell, go dolphin watching in Paihia, or cruise through the famous Hole in the Rock. The Bay of Islands offers a blend of relaxation and adventure amidst stunning coastal scenery.

7. Tauranga and Mount Maunganui
Distance from Auckland: Approximately 2.5 hours



Experience the vibrant city of Tauranga and the laid-back beach town of Mount Maunganui. Climb to the top of Mount Maunganui for panoramic views, relax on the pristine beaches, or indulge in fresh seafood at local eateries. Don't miss a visit to McLaren Falls Park for tranquil bush walks and picturesque waterfalls.

8. Raglan
Distance from Auckland: Approximately 2 hours



Surfers and nature enthusiasts will love Raglan, a bohemian coastal town known for its world-class surf breaks and stunning black sand beaches. Learn to surf, hike to Bridal Veil Falls, or simply unwind in Raglan's artsy cafes and boutique shops. The relaxed vibe and natural beauty make Raglan a perfect escape.

9. Hamilton Gardens and Waikato Region
Distance from Auckland: Approximately 1.5 hours



Explore the enchanting Hamilton Gardens, a collection of themed gardens showcasing horticultural artistry from around the world. Afterward, venture into the lush Waikato region, known for its rolling green hills and dairy farms. Visit Hobbiton Movie Set for a glimpse of Middle-earth or take a scenic walk along the Waikato River.

10. Hunua Ranges
Distance from Auckland: Approximately 1 hour



For a day trip close to Auckland, head to the Hunua Ranges Regional Park, offering rugged landscapes, native bush walks, and cascading waterfalls. Hike to Hunua Falls for breathtaking views or explore the forest trails teeming with birdlife. The Hunua Ranges provide a serene retreat from city life without venturing too far.

Whether you're craving outdoor adventures, cultural experiences, or simply a change of scenery, these road trip destinations from Auckland are guaranteed to make your May memorable.

Before you hit the road, don't forget to book a reliable rental car from Bargain Rental Cars to ensure a smooth and comfortable journey. Embrace the freedom of the open road and create unforgettable memories in New Zealand's enchanting landscapes this May!

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