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New Zealand

North Island (NI)

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North Island Car Rental

Driving and exploring the North Island with Thrifty

Working your way down the North Island you'll be surprised at the diversity and uniqueness crammed within this relatively small island. There's something new around every bend in the road. Start at the top and work your way down.

Northland has huge appeal for visitors. With a rich local culture, a well-preserved sub-tropical environment and some wonderful beaches it's high up on the list of 'must-visit' destinations. Here you can sample delicious local produce from charming farmer's markets, try driving of a different kind at the excellent golf courses, visit the giant Kauri trees or take in 90 Mile Beach.

Auckland is New Zealand's biggest city. The City of Sails holds approximately one third of the country's population. A vibrant, thriving city, there are many things to do and see downtown and around the popular waterfront area. There's a fantastic restaurant and shopping scene and you'll find plenty to see and do. Travel further afield to check out the rugged beaches and other tucked-away treasures of the region.

Coromandel is another premium destination for travellers, and its difficult leaving here without wanting to come straight back again. Key attractions include Hot Water Beach, a large amount of stunning cafes and museums and the many beautiful pohutukawa-lined beaches in the region.

Across the island and the Bay of Plenty certainly lives up to its name. Get out of the car and try some fishing here perhaps – the local waters are renowned for providing succulent seafood for the dinner plate. Check out Tauranga and visit some of the many local orchards to sample first hand some of the incredible produce.

Further inland Hamilton and Rotorua offer equal amounts unique thrills and relaxing pastimes. Hamilton is a fast growing city, and the city's many hospitality attractions are growing with it. There's always something new to tempt the tastebuds here. In Rotorua you'll find many other fellow travellers too – the area is well known for its geothermal activity and is quite the tourist destination. With good reason too – the geysers and hot mud pools are well worth seeing.

The middle of the island is dominated by one large geographical feature. Home to Australasia's largest freshwater lake, Taupo is internationally renowned for everything from geothermal hot pools to gourmet cafes, trout fishing to bungy jumping, Lord of The Rings to the Huka Falls. That's a lot to get in.

From there visit Napier and Hastings – the twin cities are only a short drive 10km apart. There's plenty to get in to the diary here too. Napier delivers some wonderful art-deco architecture that is world-renowned. Be sure to check out the wineries in the surrounding area too. Hastings is known as 'the fruit bowl of New Zealand'. Try and taste and, for fruit of a different kind, sample some of the excellent local red wine.

Skip across the island to the Kapiti Coast, which offers some spectacular scenery, fantastic small towns and a great drive. Then it's down the road to Wellington, New Zealand's capital city. For art and culture the city is simply thriving. Visit Te Papa, the national museum on the waterfront and then spend a day (or three) amongst the cafes and bars downtown. Driving around the many beautiful bays is another pleasant way to spend an afternoon.

If there's one thing for sure, the North Island has more than one attraction on offer. We strongly suggest picking a 'top 20' of your own before starting off – you won't want to miss a single thing! Check out our deals here before you start planning your roadtrip.

Car Rental Bookings

If you are travelling around the North Island, be it business or pleasure and need a car, trust Thrifty to provide the best value, convenience and service through one of its 15 car rental locations. For all your car rental bookings get a quote and book online or call us on the telephone at 0800 73 70 70 to find out more about our rates, available vehicles and any current specials.

Convenient Locations

Below is a list of locations you can find Thrifty Car Rental in the North Island:


Auckland International Airport   Airport Terminal  09 275 3014 
Auckland Domestic Airport Airport Terminal 09 256 8455 
Auckland City 150 Khyber Pass Road  09 309 0111 
Gisborne Airport Airport Terminal 021923293
Hamilton Airport Airport Terminal  07 834 2190
Hamilton City Cnr Angelsea & Clarence Streets 07 839 3450
Napier Airport Airport Terminal          06 835 8820
New Plymouth Airport         Airport Terminal     06 755 4510
Palmerston North Airport     Airport Terminal  06 355 4365
Rotorua Airport Airport Terminal 07 345 7756
Taupo Airport Airport Terminal (meet & greet)      07 345 7756
Tauranga Airport     Airport Terminal 07 572 3836
Tauranga City         47 Maru Street 07 572 3836
Wellington Airport     Airport Terminal 04 388 9494
Wellington City 197 Wakefield Street     04 385 0012
Wellington Ferry      Interislander Terminal 04 385 0012