North Island Highlights Trip

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Featuring shooting geysers and hot pools to idyllic islands, local Maori culture and urban adventures, this trip features the best of North Island.

Something new around every corner

Auckland
Auckland skyline, Auckland

By @__lisa_w__

The Coromandel
Soaking at Hot Water Beach, The Coromandel

By @brennanlytle

Hamilton - Waikato
Twinkling glowworm caves, Hamilton - Waikato

By Corin Walker Bain

Hamilton - Waikato
On the Hobbiton Movie Set, Hamilton - Waikato

By @atomodor

Rotorua
The Pohutu Geyser at Te Puia, Rotorua

By @te_puia

Lake Taupo
Māori Rock Carvings, Mine Bay, Lake Taupo

By @Anouska1

Lake Taupo
Walk the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, Lake Taupo

By @semiamateurphotography

Wellington
Weta Workshop trolls, Wellington

By @danniduric

Auckland

Auckland

Enjoy an urban paradise with buzzing nightlife & islands.

Highlights

  • Multi-cultural city & buzzing nightlife
  • Epic surf, waterfalls on west coast
  • Volcanoes, idyllic islands

Must-do Experiences in Auckland

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The Coromandel

The Coromandel

A popular spot for its pristine beaches & laid-back vibe.

Highlights

  • Hot Water Beach
  • Kayak at Cathedral Cove
  • Canyoning & hiking The Pinnacles

Top Attractions in The Coromandel

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Hamilton - Waikato

Hamilton - Waikato

Vast cave systems & adventures await in the Waitomo Caves.

Highlights

  • Blackwater rafting
  • Caving and abseiling
  • Glowworms

Discover the Waitomo Caves

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Hamilton - Waikato

Hamilton - Waikato

A dream destination for movie buffs & Hobbit lovers.

Highlights

  • Hobbiton Movie Set
  • Scenic countryside

Visit the Home of Middle‑earth

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Rotorua

Rotorua

Home of adrenalin-pumping activities & geothermal wonders.

Highlights

  • Hot pools and spa
  • Maori culture & geothermal activity
  • White water rafting

Discover Rotorua's Top Attractions

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Lake Taupo

Lake Taupo

Discover culture & natural wonders in this beautiful region.

Highlights

  • Mine Bay Maori Rock Carvings
  • Geothermal attractions, hot pools
  • Bungy, Sky dive & more adventure

Things to see & do in Lake Taupo

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Ruapehu

Ruapehu

Hiking the Tongariro Alpine Crossing is a must-do experience

Highlights

  • Panoramic views
  • Emerald lakes
  • Volcanic craters and lava flows

Tongariro Alpine Crossing

Wellington

Wellington

Arts, culture & native beauty make Wellington a cool spot.

Highlights

  • Weta Cave for film buffs
  • Arts, culture & museums
  • Craft beer and buzzing city centre

Enjoy Wellington's culture & city vibes

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Plan this trip

Explore the best of North Island on this trip, a favourite route with backpackers. Your journey begins in Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city. Here natural delights extend beyond the city’s buzzing city centre to idyllic islands, rainforests, surf beaches, sprawling reserves and volcanic cones.

Next on the journey is The Coromandel region, the epitome of a relaxed lifestyle by the beach. Hit Hot Water Beach to dig your own hot spa while gazing at the Pacific Ocean. Kayak to Cathedral Cove, a stunning limestone formation before chilling out on one of the region’s many white sandy beaches. Thrill seekers will enjoy canyoning in The Coromandel’s misty forests or hiking The Pinnacles.

Next, visit the subterranean labyrinth of Waitomo Caves, home to twinkling glowworms and numerous underground adventures. The rolling hills of this region are also the home to The Shire from The Hobbit Trilogy. The Hobbiton Movie Set in Matamata is must-visit for Hobbit fans.

From Waitomo, continue your journey into the heart of North Island to Rotorua and Lake Taupo, where evidence of volcanic and geothermal activity can be seen everywhere you look. Visit Te Puia in Rotorua to see the famous Pohutu Geyser, which shoots up to 30m in the air. Enjoy the boiling mud pools and authentic Maori cultural performance while you're here. If adventure pushes your buttons, Rotorua doesn’t disappoint – the white water rafting here is exceptional.

Continue your adventures in the resort town of Taupo, sitting on the edge of New Zealand’s largest lake. A visit to the impressive Mine Bay Maori Rock Carvings, accessible only by boat or kayak, is a must. Another regional highlight is the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, one of the best day walks in the world.

This epic trip ends in New Zealand’s capital Wellington. Featuring an intimate and creative vibe, Wellington’s compact central city is simply bursting with amazing cafés, unique bars, museums and a thriving arts scene.

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