North Island

Wine country, giant trees, active volcanoes, hobbits, world-class golf, natural hot springs, Maori culture, glow worms, sailing and fishing – welcome to New Zealand’s North Island!

You could take three days and choose one location to visit on the North Island, or with at least a week you could see many of the highlights of the whole island. Start in Auckland, the gateway for all flights from the US, and spend a few nights on the waterfront. Go sailing, explore the black sands and dunes of Muriwai Beach, or go to the top of the Sky Tower, then start off in your rental car or with your driver. To the north is the Bay of Islands, home of sleepy bays and calm water, dolphins, fishing and great local food and farmer’s markets. Visit the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, the place where the treaty was signed between the Maori and the British in 1848, then continue up to the tip of the North Island at Cape Reinga and see the Pacific Ocean meet the Tasman Sea – they are actually different colors!

From Cape Reinga, turn around and drive down the West Coast through the Waipoua and Trounson Forests, full of huge kauri trees similar in scale to the redwoods and sequoias of northern California. Spend a few hours visiting these giants, or better yet, do a twilight excursion into the forest with a local Maori guide. Continue south through sprawling farmland, horse country and rolling hills and make a stop in Waitomo to see the glow worms or Matamata to visit the Hobbit village. Spend a couple of nights in Rotorua, the center of Maori culture on the North Island, surrounded by geothermal wonders, and perhaps go fishing near Lake Taupo. The wine country of Hawke’s Bay is not to be missed, and then follow the food and wine south towards Wellington, New Zealand’s capital.

North Island

?Wine country, giant trees, active volcanoes, hobbits, world-class golf, natural hot springs, Maori culture, glow worms, sailing and fishing – welcome to New Zealand’s North Island

Call us and book your trip

Call Esplanade Travel and you’ll talk to one of our knowledgeable staff members who can help you book your perfect trip.

Get in Touch

Christine at Esplanade Travel planned our recent trip which found us traveling to four very different and fascinating regions in Chile. The trip was absolutely beautiful, memorable and so suited to our specific interests! We have had the pleasure of working multiple times with travel consultants at Esplanade Travel and they continue to amaze us with the itineraries they develop and their close working contacts in other countries that always result in worry-free travel for us. We tend to stay in multiple areas with multiple connections and with the expertise in planning at Esplanade all of our reservations, contacts, pick-ups and drop-offs occur seamlessly. Our travels started in Santiago before heading south to the Lakes District, further south to Torres del Paine in Patagonia, then west to Easter Island. All of the lodges we stayed in were so comfortable with gorgeous views, the guides were super knowledgeable about the cultural and natural history of every location we visited, and the food was fantastic! On Easter Island our native guide, Sabrina, was able to provide us with her intimate knowledge, passed down to her from her ancestors, of the history and culture of the Rapa Nui people. I highly recommend Esplanade Travel to everyone, and I guarantee we will be contacting them to assist us with our next great adventure!

See all of our testimonials

Travel Insurance

We offer comprehensive travel insurance at affordable rates that will give you peace of mind during your travels.

Find out more