Car Hire in Auckland
This information is correct as of June 2015.
Auckland is New Zealand's largest city, and a very car-friendly one at that. It is also car-dependent, and tourists are advised to rent a car instead of trying to figure out the city's extensive public transport systems. Plenty of car rental companies offer a wide range of vehicles at competitive prices, giving you a chance to tour Auckland all on your own.
Where to hire a car in Auckland
Several qualified car rental agencies provide their services in Auckland City. Action Rent-A-Car offers late model cars at low prices, allowing you to choose between well-maintained small- to medium-sized cars and station wagons. They are based in Manuaku and at the Auckland International Airport. Pick up service is from anywhere in Auckland and Manukau. Affordable Rental Cars offers nine vehicle types: Economy, Touring, Premier, Station Wagon, 4x4, Family Vehicle, Minivan, Van, and Trucks. They are stationed at 48 Carr Road, Mt. Roskill. Ezi Car Rentals is located at 167 Beach Road, with a large fleet of almost 1,800 vehicles to suit all budget ranges.
What to expect when hiring a car from Auckland
Public transport is available in the form of buses, trains, taxis, shuttles, and even ferries, but Auckland is still car-dependent. The city is large and spread out, with comprehensive road networks. However, because many locals opt to use private cars, this results in severe congestion during rush hours.
Three main motorway systems run through Auckland: the Northern Motorwa, the Southern Motorway, and the Northwestern Motorway. The Northern Motorway stretches from Orewa to the Central Motorway Junction or CMJ, otherwise known as Spaghetti Junction. The Southern Motorway travels from the CMJ past Bombay Hills, and at this point merges to the Waikato Expressway. Finally, the Northwestern Motorway runs from Auckland Port through CMJ to Westgate. Avoid these roads as much as possible during the morning rush, as it clogs up in the central business district-bound direction, or during the evening rush in the opposite direction. Also note that the Harbour Bridge changes the lane system from 4-4 TO 5-3 at times, depending on which side has heavier traffic flow.
Getting to your destination
The town of Taupo is situated at the northern end of Lake Taupo. The town and its surrounding areas have a lot to offer. The main sights include Huka Falls, Lake Taupo Museum and Art Gallery, Lions Walk, Mount Tauhara, and Waipahihi Botanical Reserve. You can also do various outdoor activities like bungee jumping, jet boating, skydiving, cruising, fly fishing, tramping, swimming, and so much more! With the amount of attractions and activities in Taupo, it's likely that you'll want to spend more than a day here. The drive time from Auckland is approximately four hours, but give more time allowance during the Christmas/New Year period and on public holidays, as highway congestion is likely during these times.
Waitomo is a town on the North Island. It contains one of the prime tourist attractions in New Zealand, the Waitomo Glowworm Caves, along with other caves like the Ruakuri Cave and Aranui Cave. The adventurous ones might want to try cave tubing or black water rafting for an experience like no other.
The town is accessible via State Highway 39 and State Highway 1. It will take about almost three hours to get here.
Hamilton is an inland city in North Island's Waikato region. The main points of interest are the Hamilton Gardens, Hamilton Lake, Victoria Bridge & Memorial Park, and the Taitua Arboretum. If you get a chance, do also visit Hamilton Zoo to meet over 600 native New Zealand and exotic animals, or the Waikato Museum to see the art and culture displays.
To get here, you can drive south down State Highway 1, which cuts through Hamilton.