I will be traveling from Auckland to Cape Reinga with a bunch of friends and would like to know the good places to see on my way and budget stay.
I wrote a detailed itinerary that answers this question earlier in the year at my blog, complete with maps, photos, options and my recommendations, just after we finished the trip for the third time with visitors. Not sure if Trippy will allow the link but it's at Albom Adventures entitled: Itinerary Options: Driving to the Top of New Zealand. http://www.albomadventures.com/top-of-new-zealand-itinerary/
There is lots to do in Auckland, make sure you allow enough time in Auckland. Nowhere is far in NZ but the road north is poor by world standards, single lane each way, narrow, hilly and slow. Visit the Bay Of Islands, numerous Kauri Place, Kai Iwi Lakes Road, Ninety Mile Beach (stay in Ahipara), Cape Reinga, try some camping at Matai Roador Matauri Bay, and fresh fish and chips in Mangonui. Best visit in Feb/Mar after the holiday crowds and when the weather is more consistent.
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