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North Island

Sun-drenched beaches, volcanic activity and rich Māori culture make New Zealand’s northern island one of the most visited destinations in the Pacific.

The more densely populated of the country’s two main islands, the North Island of New Zealand is home to some 3.5 million residents spread out across 12 major metropolitan regions. While the guidebooks may be dominated with images of the South Island’s towering mountains and fjords, it’s on the North Island that you’ll find New Zealand’s often-overlooked beaches, bubbling geothermic activity and rich Māori culture. Rent a car to explore the coastal towns and rural villages of the island or base yourself in one of the North Island’s major cities for a cosmopolitan experience.

Visit Auckland, the bustling capital of New Zealand, to discover Kiwi culture. Sample local produce and some of the country’s famous wines at a restaurant. Visit one of the many museums and galleries found throughout the city. New Zealand’s unique position in the Pacific means the Auckland’s top restaurants have access to an outstanding standard of seafood.

In the south of the island you’ll find New Zealand’s “cultural capital”, Wellington. Visit a fashionable café to see why New Zealand baristas have a global reputation for making some of the best coffee in the world.

In both cities you’ll find rich enclaves of Māori culture but the most populated region for New Zealand’s indigenous people is in the northeast. Visit the East Cape to try local food and to take part in traditional dances.

Bubbling beneath the surface of the North Island is something very exciting. The geothermic activity of the island is responsible for a series of hot springs and an active volcano that attract visitors from around the world. Venture deep into the forest of Great Barrier Island to discover a naturally heated pool and indulge at Te Aroha in a resort-style hot spring. You don’t have to get wet to experience the Earth’s activity. Fly above the bulbous summit of Mount Tarawera and look down into its crater. In winter, ski down the slopes of Mount Ruapehu, an active volcano in the south of the island.

New Zealand’s pristine beaches are remarkably free of people, even in summer. Enjoy stretches of idyllic sand and shallow water as far as the eye can see in Northland, or bring your surfboard to tackle the wild swells of the west coast.

Fly to the North Island via Auckland or Wellington, both of which have major international airports. Once on the island, navigate the cities using public transport or explore farther afield with a rental car. A network of trains and buses also service the island.


Guide to Exploring North Island


Top North Island Hotel & Accommodation Deals

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Naumi Auckland Airport NZ$149
Reviewed on 19 Sep. 2019
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Naumi Auckland Airport

Naumi Auckland Airport

153 Kirkbride Road, Mangere, Auckland
     
    4.3 of 5
    4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

    Friendly staff. Funky art work. Great breakfast. Quiet room.

    Jet Park Hotel Auckland Airport NZ$165
    Reviewed on 19 Sep. 2019
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    Jet Park Hotel Auckland Airport

    Jet Park Hotel Auckland Airport

    63 Westney Road, Mangere
       
      4.4 of 5
      4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

      Service and accommodations were great. Shuttle service from the airpprr to the hotel took a bit longer than it should be.

      Cordis, Auckland by Langham Hospitality Group NZ$212
      Reviewed on 19 Sep. 2019
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      Cordis, Auckland by Langham Hospitality Group

      Cordis, Auckland by Langham Hospitality Group

      83 Symonds Street, Box 2771, Auckland
         
        4.6 of 5
        5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Great location, excellent food and friendly kind staff.

        Grand Millennium Auckland NZ$208
        Reviewed on 20 Sep. 2019
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        Grand Millennium Auckland

        Grand Millennium Auckland

        71 Mayoral Drive, Auckland
           
          4.4 of 5
          4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

          Fridge was noisy in my room with vibrations that could not be stopped. Coffee stops being served at 10pm though the bar remains open much later. Minor quibbles in what was otherwise a first rate hotel. I would stay here again.

          Stamford Plaza Auckland NZ$197
          Reviewed on 19 Sep. 2019
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          Stamford Plaza Auckland

          Stamford Plaza Auckland

          22 - 26 Albert Street, Auckland
             
            4.3 of 5
            5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Great service was upgraded due to it being our wedding night

            Rydges Wellington Airport NZ$144
            Reviewed on 20 Sep. 2019
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            Rydges Wellington Airport

            Rydges Wellington Airport

            28 Stewart Duff Drive, Rongotai, Wellington
               
              4.5 of 5
              4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              This hotel is actually IN the airport, not just nearby.Great for late arrivals and the night before early departures. Great sound-proofing - no airport nose at all

              SkyCity Hotel NZ$195
              Reviewed on 18 Sep. 2019
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              SkyCity Hotel

              SkyCity Hotel

              Corner Victoria and Federal Streets, Auckland
                 
                4.4 of 5
                4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                The hotel in itself was very spacious and lots of areas to sit and relax. The bed was large and comfortable, bathroom lovely and clean, and my room had a nice couch to sit and relax.

                Novotel Auckland Airport NZ$284
                Reviewed on 4 Sep. 2019
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                Novotel Auckland Airport

                Novotel Auckland Airport

                Ray Emery Drive, Mangere
                   
                  4.6 of 5
                  4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Perfect location after a late arriving flight - easy check in and great room

                  Top North Island Package Deals (Flight + Hotel)

                  North Island Flight Deals

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