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Getting from Auckland to Rotorua (and return)

Auckland , the largest metropolitan area in New Zealand, is located in the northern half of the North Island . The city offers an interesting cultural mix and gorgeous landscapes to explore.

Rotorua is a thermal wonderland which has attracted tourists for years. It is located on the shores of Lake Rotorua. Aside from the hot springs and geysers, the area also offers the possibility to go fishing.

Quick summary

The distance between Auckland and Rotorua is quite short and it doesn’t really make sense to fly. Not to mention that flights aren’t cheap at all (from US$212 one way, per person). Buses are a good option (3h 30 min and NZ$ 32 per person). Or you can choose to drive from Auckland to Rotorua, passing Hobbiton.

Flights from Auckland (airport code: AKL) to Rotorua

Rotorua has a small airport, which receives both domestic and international flights. Air New Zealand runs flights between Auckland and Rotorua. The flight time is 40 min and the one way adult ticket starts at US$212. Return fare starts at US$370.

>>read more about Cheap flights to Auckland

Trains from Auckland to Rotorua

Unfortunately there is no direct train from Auckland to Rotorua.

>>read more about Train Travel in New Zealand

Buses from Auckland to Rotorua

There are two companies which offer connections between Auckland and Rotorua: InterCity Coachlines and Nakedbus .

InterCity Coachlines has 6 departures daily from Auckland to Rotorua, the first being at 7:30 a.m. The travel time is between 3h 30 min and 4 h 10 min, depending on the type of bus you choose. On the fast bus, the nonrefundable single adult fare is NZ$ 32.

Nakedbus has 3 departures daily from Auckland to Rotorua, the first being at 8 a.m. The travel time is 3 h 50 min. The single adult fare is NZ$ 25.97

>>read more about Bus Travel in New Zealand

Driving from Auckland to Rotorua

Should you decide to rent a car and drive from Auckland to Rotorua, you’ll get there in 3 hours (233 km). There are two main routes to choose from: through Hamilton or on State Highway 1. The Matamata route is more popular among travelers, as it passes by Hobbitton, which was built for the Lord of the Rings (and is now a tourist site).

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