10 Days 1415 km


  • Bay of Islands beaches
  • Giant kauri trees
  • Swimming with dolphins



The North Island of New Zealand is a paradise for beaches, boating and every kind of adventure in between. You'll start with the black sand of Auckland's west coast before taking a circuit through Northland that includes the gorgeous beaches of Bay of Islands, right up to Cape Reinga at the tip of the country, where two oceans meet.

Sandboarding the dunes on 90 Mile Beach, kayaking on the Coromandel, and surfing in Raglan are some of the highlights of this 10-day itinerary.

Day 1 - 2: Auckland Adventures

Piha, Auckland


Vibrant city style and spectacular landscapes



Explore a combination of metropolitan delights and natural landscapes.

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Set between two harbours, Auckland is a city of beaches. Enjoy fish and chips on Mission Bay Beach, a popular spot for Auckland locals, or cross the Harbour Bridge to Takapuna Beach where native Pohutukawa trees grow to the sand’s edge. A visit to Auckland’s West Coast beaches is a must-do. These wild beaches are quite a contrast to beaches on the east coast, with their black sand and pumping surf. Climb Lion Rock at Piha and watch the surfers riding the waves below.

For a good day trip or overnight excursion take the ferry out to Waiheke Island and chill out at Onetangi Beach or enjoy yourself at one of Waiheke’s many vineyards.

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Day 3 - 4: Northland and Bay of Islands

Northland & Bay of Islands
Hole in the Rock, Northland & Bay of Islands


A place of history, long beaches and giant trees



Discover a subtropical wonderland of islands, marine life, kauri forests and Maori myth.

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Northland is a relaxing place, full of friendly people and stunning beaches. Head up the east coast where you can visit Tutukaka to dive the sub-tropical Poor Knights Islands or revel in the white sand of Matapouri Bay.

Paihia is a good spot to spend the night, as it’s the gateway to the Russell area and close to all the top attractions. A popular choice is a boat trip out to the famous Hole in the Rock. Alternatively, hire a kayak and explore the islands for yourself. In Paihia, thrillseekers can skydive(opens in new window) and land right on the beach.

Day 5 - 6: Cape Reinga & 90 Mile Beach

Northland & Bay of Islands
Ninety Mile Beach, Northland & Bay of Islands


  • Cape Reinga
  • 90 Mile Beach
  • Sandboard giant sand dunes


  • by car:

    3 h | to Cape Reinga (one way) via SH10

  • by bus:

    Visit the local iSITE for day trips & tours


Discover the place of leaping, where Maori spirits begin their final journey.

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Continue north from Paihia past more glorious beach spots and along a narrowing splinter of land to Cape Reinga, where the Tasman Sea meets the Pacific Ocean at the very top of New Zealand. From here, it isn't far to Ninety Mile Beach where you can sandboard down the giant Te Paki sand dunes or ride quad bikes and blokarts along the beach. Ahipara makes a good base for the night.

On your way back to Auckland, you’ll pass through Waipoua Forest, home to the largest kauri trees in the world. Spend a night in Opononi if you need a break from the road, and for one final bit of fun north of Auckland, try snorkelling at Goat Island Marine Reserve.

Day 7 - 8: Coromandel Peninsula

Coromandel Fishing Charters, Coromandel


Pristine beaches and dramatic coastlines



Discover laid-back locals, golden coastline and a mountainous interior.

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It’s off to the Coromandel Peninsula for the next couple of days, a popular holiday spot stacked with beautiful beaches. Coromandel Town is a great place to take a fishing charter out on the bay or scoot around the coast to the beachside town of Whitianga, known for its famous annual Scallop Festival.

The next day, get your swimsuits on and dig your own personal hot pool in the sand at Hot Water Beach, or get out on the water in the stunningly clear waters of Cathedral Cove with a guided kayak tour. If you have the time, you can also swing past Whangamata and try stand-up paddleboarding.

Day 9 - 10: Raglan

Raglan beach, Waikato


Limestone caves & black sand beaches


  • by car:

    3 h | 218 km via SH25 & SH23

  • by bus:

    No direct bus service - see car-free options


Explore a land of lush green pastures, home to Hobbiton Movie Set and Waitomo Caves.

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Spending a couple of days in the chilled surf town of Raglan is the perfect way to wrap up your beach holiday. This place buzzes with creativity and a laidback vibe. Spend your time exploring the beautiful coastal scenery, or hire a surfboard and hit the waves. Manu Bay is said to have the longest left-hand break in the world, and it’s a great place to learn.

Ocean Beach, with its black sand, is a relaxing spot for lunch and a swim, or walk to the Bridal Veil Falls, off the Pakoka River. From Raglan, you’ll make your way back to Auckland and the end of your journey.

Car-free option

Spend in a night in Hamilton before heading on to Raglan.

View the route below

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