On a good day the afternoons will be busy, but morning surfs are less crowded and you’ll have a stunning sunrise to go with it. Phenomenal views across the island and sea, waves of green hills, and over 20 vineyards to choose from, Waiheke island is one of the most picturesque places to visit in New Zealand. Learn all about the area’s Maori heritage and the formation of New Zealand at the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, one of the country’s most important historical sites. Our absolute favourite Rotorua activity was visiting the Tamaki Maori Village, where we got to experience authentic Maori culture through poi ball dancing, games, food, and seeing a renowned Haka warrior dance. Visit Middle‑earth™ for the day when you stop by Hobbiton.
A visit to the shire is a must for any fan of The Lord of the Rings Trilogy and The Hobbit Trilogy. As their tagline states, Brick Bay is ‘Art and Wine, Entwined’. There's lots to see and do in New Zealand's biggest and most culturally diverse city. Such an amazing sight, and what an amazing list.
Champagne pool, with its bright orange ledge against a deep green pool, is the largest at 65m in diameter.
I still squeal with excitement when I see sheep-sprinkled green hills and it baffles me that the nature is so green even in the winter.
Famously the first place in the world to welcome the New Year, the Chatham Islands comprise 10 islands within a 60km (37mi) radius. On a clear day you can see three mountains peaks which are snow-capped during winter and spring. With silver rocks, huge collapsed craters and lime-green pools, the park is other-worldly. I just moved to Auckland earlier this year and so far of this list I only have been to Piha Beach.
So, which destinations will you add to your North Island New Zealand road trip? I come from a land-locked country and I love the sea, so you can imagine how happy living on an island makes me. Sat right on the sea in Paihia, the Pioneer Waterfront Apartments are amongst the best in the Bay of Islands. The best fresh, local produce is available from artisan producers with tastings on offer. Rotorua for Maori cultural experiences, Redwoods & geothermal wonders, Taupo for impressive waterfalls and Maori stone carvings, Must-See & Otherworldly Places to Visit in North Island New Zealand, Incredible UNESCO Sites in Australia & NZ to Add to Your Bucket List.
The price wasn’t cheap but if you enjoy natural wonders, it was well worth it. For you surfers out there: This is one of the sweetest small left handers in the country. There are a ton of different Waitomo caving options out there, but we decided to go with the 7-hour epic caving tour with Waitomo adventures called the Lost World Epic.
Nestled below bushy cliffs where the Whakatane River meets the Pacific Ocean, this snug township is full of seaside accommodation and tantalizing fare.
So useful and detailed thank you! The Great Coast Road between Greymouth and Westport on the West Coast of the South Island was recently named one of the world's greatest drives by Lonely Planet.
I could have driven from Auckland to Wellington within a day, but that would have meant missing Hamilton. SkyJump is New Zealand’s highest jump and only Base Jump by wire. The Govett Brewster Gallery is to New Plymouth what the Guggenheim is to Bilbao, a visual feast both inside and out.
The more I see and hear about NZ, the more I’m desperate to go! The Kapiti Coast has a small town flavour yet is close enough to the capital that businesses are creative and innovative, especially when it comes to food. You’ll taste some of the best wines you can imagine during a tour of Waiheke Island. Dramatic geothermal beauty aside, the island’s surrounding waters are another notable asset. This guide to a North Island New Zealand contains some affiliate links, at no extra cost to you.
And when night falls, be dazzled by the endless stars in the sky.
It's also home to Peter Jackson's film empire (look for the 'Wellywood' sign as you fly in or drive across the Miramar Peninsula) and the extremely kid-friendly Te Papa Tongarewa Museum of New Zealand, the country's national museum.
Here, just 5km from the CBD, you will enjoy panoramic views from the city's highest volcanic cone while sheep graze peacefully nearby. Want to experience this adventure?
Beautiful photos and write-up guys wonderful country huh? Thanks again to my fellow travel bloggers for their great suggestions! Wellington is ridiculously pretty.
The wild and rugged East Cape's main town, Gisborne is a wonderful spot to get away from it all. Glad you enjoyed this, Jen! TIP: Due to the nature of the sea here, high waves and dangerous rip currents, swimming is only allowed if there are lifeguards present—and naturally, there aren’t any in the winter. Here, divers can marvel at the underwater steam vents and resident marine critters, while avid fishers will have plenty of opportunities to cast a line during specialised chartered boat tours.
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