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North Island
Travel Guide

Mount Manaia featuring mountains, a bay or harbour and a coastal town

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.

ibis budget Auckland Airport
ibis budget Auckland Airport
3 out of 5
2 Leonard Isitt Drive, Mangere
The price is NZ$105 per night from 28 Jun. to 28 Jun.
Situated near the airport, this eco-friendly hotel is 0.5 mi (0.8 km) from Butterfly Creek, and within 9 mi (15 km) of Rainbow's End and Dressmart Outlet Shopping ...
4/5Very Good! (1,853 reviews)
"Perfect for what I needed."

Reviewed on 22 Jun. 2021

ibis budget Auckland Airport
SkyCity Hotel
SkyCity Hotel
4.5 out of 5
Corner Victoria and Federal Streets, Auckland
The price is NZ$246 per night from 19 Jul. to 19 Jul.
Located in Auckland Central Business District, this luxury hotel is steps away from SkyCity Casino and Sky Tower. Viaduct Harbour and University of Auckland ...
4.4/5Excellent! (1,461 reviews)
"Liked the big California king bed"

Reviewed on 20 Jun. 2021

SkyCity Hotel
Rydges Wellington
Rydges Wellington
4.5 out of 5
75 Featherston St, Wellington
The price is NZ$179 per night from 4 Jul. to 4 Jul.
Located in the heart of Wellington, this luxury hotel is steps away from Old Government Buildings, Wellington Central Business District and Wellington Waterfront. ...
4.2/5Very Good! (1,075 reviews)
"good size bed and good breakfasg"

Reviewed on 20 Jun. 2021

Rydges Wellington
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
Woodlyn Park
Woodlyn Park
3.5 out of 5
1177 Waitomo Valley Road, Waitomo Caves, Waikato
The price is NZ$168 per night from 24 Jun. to 24 Jun.
Situated in Waitomo Caves, this aparthotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Woodlyn Park and Waitomo Glowworm Caves. Caveworld and Aranui Cave are also within 3 miles ...
4/5Very Good! (154 reviews)
"Excellent for kids to stay"

Reviewed on 6 Jun. 2021

Woodlyn Park
Aotea Motor Lodge
Aotea Motor Lodge
4.5 out of 5
390 Victoria Avenue, Whanganui
The price is NZ$179 per night from 4 Jul. to 4 Jul.
Located in the heart of Whanganui, this luxury aparthotel is within 1 mile (2 km) of Watt Fountain, Sarjeant Gallery and Queens Park. Whanganui Museum and Durie ...
4.5/5Wonderful! (297 reviews)
"I would most definitely come back my stay was amazing snd the reception lady was so lovely.room was amazing!!"

Reviewed on 13 May 2021

Aotea Motor Lodge
Portside Hotel, Gisborne - Heritage Collection
Portside Hotel, Gisborne - Heritage Collection
4 out of 5
2 Reads Quay, Gisborne
The price is NZ$293 per night from 25 Jun. to 25 Jun.
Located in the heart of Gisborne, this aparthotel is within a 15-minute walk of Gisborne Harbour, Gisborne Wine Centre and Tairawhiti Museum. Toihoukura School ...
4.4/5Wonderful! (287 reviews)
"We enjoyed the view over the port, the location was great - an easy walk to the beach, town and cafes and restaurants. The kitchen facilities are excellent. The furnishings are comfortable, but looking a little dated and tired. Overall a great place to stay, and wouldn't hesitate to recommend."

Reviewed on 14 Apr. 2021

Portside Hotel, Gisborne - Heritage Collection
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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