Discover the best of the North Island
Welcome to the North island of New Zealand, for the vast majority of you, the initial entry point and the island that gives you your first taster of our favourite (of course) country in the world.
Auckland awaits, a very cosmopolitan city with a fabulous harbourside with its various bars and restaurants and a good place to catch up after your long flight. 1-2 nights is ample in our honest opinion as there is so much more to see in New Zealand.
Very often, the temptation is to head south but you are missing out on a treat in the far north, the myriad of beautiful bays and inlets that make up the Bay of Islands. Also home to massive Kauri Trees this part of the North Island is definitely worth a 3-4 night stay. If you have the time, we recommend an overnight cruise of the Bay of Islands.
Heading east of Auckland is the most underrated, overlooked area. The Coramandel Penisula has a bohemian feel with quaint villages that dot this stunning coastline and so peaceful and pretty, ideal for a slow paced, relaxed exploration.
The thermal springs in Rotorua are a global attraction and there are some madcap activities, like zorbing down a mountain available too. The Canopy walk in the Redwood Forest is a great family adventure. But rather than stay in Rotorua, stay just outside in the wonderful Lakes area, treat yourself and make camp at Solitaire Lodge, with extraordinary lake views and their own secret thermal hotpools nearby. Seeing the Glow worms at Waitomo Caves is a good side stop en route to Rotorua.
New Zealand’s largest lake, Taupo is often bypassed but we love it, for relaxing, boating and for catching trout galore. Definitely worth consideration.
If you like your wines and vineyards, head to the art deco town of Napier and the surrounding countryside. This is also fruit farming nirvana.
Chris and Amanda at New Zealand Sky love to explore on foot. If like them, you enjoy walking then the first of the great hikes beckons with the Tongariro Crossing in Tongariro National Park.
At the southern end of North Island and the exit point for many of you who will be picking up the ferry to get to the South Island is Wellington, the windy city and New Zealand’s capital. We really like Wellington with its small boutique hotels, restaurants and bars. It is a great last stop on your North Island tour.
Yes, there are plenty of stunning sights to come in the South Island but travel freely in the North island and you will see some of the very best that New Zealand has to offer.
Talk to our New Zealand experts:
There are so many wonderful places to see in the North Island and we hope this whets your appetitie. Perhaps consider a visit to the South Island as well, give our experts a call to today to start planning your trip of a lifetime to New Zealand.
North Island Travel Guides
- Discover the best of the North Island
- A beginner’s guide to self-drive holidays in New Zealand
- Exploring North Island's breathtaking Coromandel Peninsula
- Head out on one of these day trips from Auckland
- Planning for an incredible New Zealand adventure
- Road tripping New Zealand's North Island
- Top 10 things to do in Rotorua
- Exploring Rotorua, Tauranga and Bay of Plenty
- Head out on one of these day trips from Wellington
- Tailor-make the ultimate New Zealand holiday experience
- New Zealand holiday options: From self-drive, motorhome camping to escorted tours
- Exploring New Zealand's North Island regions
- Exploring New Zealand's Maori culture
- From north to south - an unexpected journey in New Zealand