Explore the North Island

Geothermal wonders, beautiful coastline and rolling green hills...

North Island

New Zealand’s North Island is a stunning patchwork of rolling farmland and forest clad hills, all fringed by a beautiful coastline. It is here that the Maoris and Europeans first settled, and the cultural legacy is still evident.

Auckland – New Zealand’s largest city and its main gateway boasts a lively waterfront and spectacular views from the Sky Tower.

Wellington – a historical harbourside city on the southern tip of the North Island with fine museums and galleries.

Around North Island – explore further and see the beautiful Bay of Islands, Coromandel Peninsula, steaming geysers of Rotorua and magical caves of Waitomo and Lake Taupo.

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Discover the North Island

New Zealand’s North Island is full of incredible attractions that are not to be missed.

They combine wonderfully with any of our self drive holidays or are already included in our tours.

Things to do in the North Island

  • Hike the Tongariro Crossing if you’re feeling adventurous
  • See the twinkling light display at the Waitomo Glowworm Caves
  • Visit Lord of the Rings scenes throughout the Waikato countryside
  • Kayak to the fascinating arch at Cathedral Cove in Coromandel
  • See panoramic views of Auckland from the Sky Tower
  • Relax in the Taupo hot pools
  • Learn about Maori history during authentic cultural performances
  • See the vivid the colours of Rotorua’s bubbling geysers and geothermal pools
  • Sample fine wine in Hawke’s Bay
  • Spot dolphins on a cruise around the Bay of Islands

Getting There

North Island is the smaller of New Zealand’s two main islands.

By Boat – An Interislander ferry is available for travel between the North and South Islands. From Picton to Wellington, the journey takes around three hours.

By Air – Most major UK airports fly into Auckland and Wellington. There are many airports throughout the North Island that offer flights within North Island and also connect to the South Island.

North Island Hotels & Experiences

Places to stay and things to do in New Zealand's North Island.

How Will You Discover New Zealand?

Choose from exciting road trips, insightful guided tours and iconic rail journeys - or talk to an expert to combine them all.

About the North Island

Although Wellington is the capital, Auckland is New Zealand’s largest city and its main gateway. Known as the ‘City of Sails’, its lively waterfront area and huge choice of cafés, bars and restaurants are popular with locals and visitors alike.  Towering above the shops and eateries stands the Sky Tower, the tallest structure in the Southern Hemisphere.

By contrast, three hours north, is the stunningly beautiful Bay of Islands, an area seeped in Maori culture. To the south are the rainforests, deserted beaches and small country towns of the Coromandel Peninsula leading around to the fruit orchards and holiday resorts of New Zealand’s Bay of Plenty.

In the scenic central region, the caves of Waitomo, the steaming geysers and the bubbling mud pools around Rotorua are natural phenomena not to be missed. Nearby is magical Lake Taupo and Tongariro National Park, a walker’s paradise and home to North Island’s highest mountain.

On the east coast is Hawkes Bay and the delightful art deco town of Napier. The slopes around here are scattered with vineyards, producing some of the country’s finest wine.

The historical harbourside city of Wellington on the island’s southern tip has some fine museums and galleries and is the seat of national government. Take the cable car to the botanical gardens to watch the ferries head out across the Cook Straight to South Island.

North Island

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