After Rotorua, we drove down to the Waitomo district to take a tour of the glow worm caves with Spellbound Tours. It was a great half day tour with a total of only 12 people which gave us more intimate access to the caves than the larger tour companies. At $75 NZD a person, the tour was on the expensive side but the experience was worth it. The small group ensured more interaction with our tour guide, Norm, who is from the area and built the walkways through the caves. The drive from “town” (town consists of: a cafe, a general store, and a hotel) out to the caves alone was worth the time, effort, and money to be there. If you are able, I highly recommend staying in the area at least day or two if not longer. There are hiking trails, caves to explore, and beautiful terrain to marvel at.
After we left the Waitomo district, we headed to Auckland to fly out early the next morning. We stayed in a Holiday Inn on rewards points in downtown Auckland. We were only there for a night so I don't think I got a good enough impression to give advice on the city.