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Getting gas in New Zealand will cost you over twice what it costs in the United States. The price of a gallon of gasoline in New Zealand is around 8. The rates displayed include all taxes and fees for car rentals for the class listed and were found by KAYAK users in the last 24 hours. Offers are subject to change and may not be available on all car rentals listed or dates of travel.

Some car rental providers charge additional fees for other services GPS, infant car seats, etc. Please check the car rental providers' sites. New Zealand car rentals. Oct 20 — Oct Same drop-off. View Deal. Top tips for renting a car in New Zealand Renting a car in New Zealand gives you several advantages over relying on public transportation.

Most of New Zealand is connected by roads that are paved and well-maintained; however, there are several gravel roads and off-road paths that travelers tend to take when exploring the outdoors. According to the child restraint laws in New Zealand, your child must be secured in a car seat up until the age of seven. On board Air New Zealand enroute to Auckland we came across a feature in "Pacific Wave," the in-flight magazine, entitled "Breakaway" about Inverness , a colonial-style retreat in the heart of the Clevedon Hills, 45 minutes southwest of the country's largest city. We had serendipitously made reservations there for our first two nights.

The portrait of the owners, John and Yolanda Robinson, and the hostelry in the article augured well for our visit to this two-island sovereign state. New Zealand is both civilized and wild, familiar and unknown. Rudyard Kipling called it "the eighth wonder of the world. Our introduction to this remarkable destination had come through perusing brochures listing accommodations - country houses, auberges, inns, B and B's and small estates - that are collectively known as lodges. Narrowing the choices to a few was an almost impossible task. There were simply too many appealing ones to choose from, all so perfectly described in pictures and in words.

We wanted to explore the North and South Islands from jumping-off points that are centers of the country's variegated landscape. We knew we would discover beauty and more activity to fill our days than could possibly be squeezed into them. But we did not know that we would also find incomparable hospitality.

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It should have been expected. When so many people open their homes to strangers, they must be eager to welcome them with unusual warmth. Knowing how superior the farmland is, we might also have anticipated that the food would not pale when compared to the world's best tables. We singled out Inverness because, although we wanted to sightsee in Auckland, the hub of life in the North Island, we wished to sleep and eat in the country, in this case horse country, surrounded by hills, pastures, farms and vineyards. We came as guests of the Robinsons, on whose 90 acres is a stable and riding ring, and left as friends.

The big comfortable house was meant for cocktails in front of the living room fireplace, dinner in the inviting dining room and breakfast in the farmstead-like kitchen. Vivacious and energetic Yolanda, a talented cook who puts up jams from the fruits that grow in her orchard, said that she would have served the same dishes they were wonderful whether or not we had been present. Instead of waiting on us, she and John shared the meals, a gesture that was much appreciated.

John, who plays trumpet in the jazz festival the Robinsons organize every year for neighbors and friends, planted 4, vines whose grapes were harvested for the first time in Visitors drink mostly New Zealand wines from the 1,bottle cellar. But who knows, they may soon be imbibing vintages that say, "Bottled by Inverness Estate. Auckland, set on the shores of two stunning harbours, Waitemata and Manukau, is a place of low hills, wharves and a bay greenly occluded like old jade.

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Aucklanders' affinity for all that takes place on water - there are more boats per capita than any municipality in the world - explains the appellation, City of Sails. You can take a catamaran, sailboat or ferry to suburbs like Devenport and to many of the 40 islands in the Hauraki Gulf. One of the most popular jaunts is Fullers Ferry to Rangitoto Island.

You then get on the Explorer, a road train, for a guided volcanic safari to the peak to take in panoramic views of the entire gulf. The New Zealand National Maritime Museum , housed inside old buildings surrounded by a small marina, is an evocative celebration of the maritime heritage and the seagoing traditions in this part of the Pacific. The history of boat building, immigration, shipping and racing is skillfully woven together using traditional displays and interactive ones.

In addition to an extensive collection of watercraft, there is a steerage cabin that sways and creaks convincingly and a computer database of , early settlers and the names of the ships and the dates on which they arrived. The main community for exploring Maori culture is in Rotorua. Since we had not planned to visit there, we were instead introduced to the original population of the island at the Auckland Museum where a wing serves as a repository for Maori treasures and the Pounamu Group puts on a show of songs, dances and games.

Kelly Tarton's Antarctic Encounter and Underwater World offers a unique chance to explore ocean life from a diver's perspective. The journey starts with a walk through the faithfully recreated and gloomy hut used by Sir Robert Scott on his ill-fated Antarctic expedition in and is followed by a ride in a Snow Cat across the frozen terrain to see a penguin colony.

A moving walkway carries you alongside a circular underground tunnel where sharks, sea horses, stingrays and 35 to 40 other species of fish swim. Parnell , a trendy gentrified neighborhood, has restaurants, cafes and taverns as well as galleries, boutiques and craft shops. Schedule a midday break here for lunch and shopping. Departs at and a. Tel Open summer, 9 a. Auckland Museum, The Domain. Open 10 a. Maori shows at 11 a. Kelly Tarton's, 23 Tamaki Drive. Where To Stay.

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Open for lunch and dinner all week from 11 a. Brunch served on weekends. Woolly For You features attractive New Zealand-made sweaters in wool, mohair and angora. At Elephant House over craftspeople exhibit their handmade wares in a range of materials: wool, pottery, glass, bone, leather, wood and seashell.

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Woolly for You, Parnell Road. Open weekdays, 9 a. Elephant House, Parnell Road.

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Open weekdays, a. Those who don't mind driving on the left will find motoring in New Zealand surprisingly easy since drivers are very courteous and the road conditions are excellent. The trip from Auckland to Lake Taupo is a leisurely four hours by car and an almost effortless way to take in the exquisite scenery. The route to the central part of the North Island crosses quaint towns like Hamilton and Cambridge, mountains, forests and patchworks of green spanning hues that range from the lightest tints to ones so deep they are almost black.

The resort town of Taupo is splendidly positioned on the northern shore of the lake, facing Tongariro National Park with the distant peaks of the park visible across the sweeping breadth of the water. Lake Taupo is renowned as the trout fishing capital of the world. On a half-day excursion with Chris Jolly Boats , between lunch and sitting on deck in the sun, we and the other anglers reeled in brown and rainbow trout.

The attractions in the area are diverse and seem endless. You can spend some time at the Wairakei International Golf Course hitting a few balls on the driving range, taking a spin in a cart around the spectacular grounds set in the shadow of the Tongairo Mountains or playing a full round of the game. You can also participate in some action-packed adventures. At DeBretts Aviation don a bomber jacket, leather cap and goggles for a breathtaking ride in a bright yellow s-style open cockpit GA biplane.

The captain of the two-passenger aircraft carries out a few daring maneuvers as he soars and dips while circling the sky. The boat races past sheer cliffs with just centimeters to spare and clouds of rising steam where a hot tributary joins the river, and it does jet turns, degree spins in its own length at a rapid speed. See the Huka Falls from the top by walking across the bridge and along the road to the scenic viewpoints. An almost circular path goes through this geothermal phenomenon of steaming craters and boiling mud pools.

Enjoy the thermal waters by visiting Taupo Hot Springs to soak in the outdoor communal pools or smaller private baths, whose temperatures range from "not so hot" to "hottest". Other possible entertainments include a tour of Prawn Park where geothermally heated water is used to farm prawns and a Waikato River cruise aboard the African Queen. Huka Jet, Wairakei Tourist Park. Reservations essential. Open a. Hourly tours, summer, 10 a. The African Queen, Wairakei Park. Departs a. Seasonal evening cruises. The six-sided structure's sweeping windows offer views of the water and the property's meticulously landscaped gardens.

Although there are never more than eight guests in four spacious and beautiful suites, a crackerjack chef prepares extraordinary four-course meals. Proprietors Gary and Shirley Akers are happy to help with arrangements for sightseeing. Because the bedrooms are heated from the ceilings, they may be a bit cool for Americans, so if you're visiting in winter, bring your woollies.

Lake Taupo Lodge, 41 Mapara Road, tel. The poshest retreat three suites, 17 rooms in New Zealand is the world famous Huka Lodge. You need not be an in-house guest to enjoy the rare wines from their handsome cellar - ask for a tour - and the five-course feast beginning at 8 p. Dinner is served family-style.

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  6. We found it a delightful way to meet other travelers from all over the world. Huka Lodge, Huka Falls Road, tel. Very expensive. Seasonal hours. Moderately expensive. The North and South Islands are divided by windy Cook Strait and most visitors cross it on the ferry that shuttles between Wellington and Picton.