Photo: Bay of Plenty Tourism


The North Island

The North Island is a mystical place of rolling hills, lakes and legends, steaming thermal pools, intriguing cultural experiences and sophisticated cities.

The North Island combines natural beauty with city style in a mild climate; perfect whether you’re seeking a beach holiday, an authentic cultural experience or retail therapy. Many New Zealand journeys begin in cosmopolitan Auckland, the City of Sails, but you should definitely the time to explore a surprisingly wide range of destinations outside the big city. At the island’s northern tip, swirling seas form an eerie backdrop to Māori legend, while in the south, the culture capital of Wellington’s buzzes with restaurants, theatre, and creativity. The central North Island features astounding thermal activity, from geysers to mud pools and hot springs, as well as adventures around a trio of mighty volcanoes – ski on Ruapehu or make the world-famous Tongariro Alpine Crossing. Taranaki and Manawatu/Whanganui offer rural relaxation, spectacular natural features, and some significant cultural highlights, while in in Waikato’s Waitomo district, spectacular cave networks provide opportunities for adventure. Delve further into legend with an exploration of the country’s unique Māori culture – it is easily accessible to any visitor, with Rotorua a particular highlight for those interested in learning about the Māori people.

Get ready to explore, because from one end to the other, the North Island embraces a diversity of natural and cultural features that visitors find simply astonishing.

Photo: Tourism Auckland


Auckland is widely known as the ‘City of Sails’. It’s been said that the city has the highest number of boats per capita in the world, which is no wonder considering the beautiful waterways surrounding it. No visit to Auckland would be complete without experiencing the water up close. From a thrilling high-speed ride on a racing yacht to a laidback cruise across the harbour, there’s an experience to suit every visitor.

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Photo: Positively Wellington Tourism


Wellington is home to many national performing arts organisations, and visitors can spend a fantastic evening sampling the cultural delights of the city. Tasked with telling the nation’s stories, Wellington delivers great cultural attractions including Te Papa, a ground-breaking museum telling the story of New Zealand and her people through innovative and interactive exhibitions in a stunning waterfront setting. No visit is complete without seeing the Beehive and Parliament Buildings and a ride in the Wellington Cable Car to the Botanic Gardens.

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Photo: Bay of Plenty Tourism

Bay of Plenty

Visitors to this culturally rich region will discover endless adventure, a laidback lifestyle and miles of sparkling beaches to explore in one of the sunniest parts of New Zealand. Bay of Plenty is also a great base for exploring the Central North Island, with easy access to the Coromandel Peninsula, Rotorua and the Taupo region.

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Photo: Destination Northland


Hugely important in New Zealand’s history, Northland is where the Treaty of Waitangi was signed in 1840. Māori tradition and culture is very much alive here, in vibrant contrast to the colonial way of life that can be seen in the region’s many buildings and museums.

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Photo: Andy Belcher | Destination Coromandel

The Coromandel

A truly special region boasting 400 km of unspoilt coastline, volcanic hills cloaked in rainforest, unique thermal attractions and fascinating Polynesian and gold-mining history. Combining coastal scenery, forest and gold rush history, The Coromandel is a uniquely inspiring destination.

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Photo: Tim Gander | Tourism Eastland

Gisborne & Eastland

In the far east of the North Island, Eastland is a secluded and picturesque natural haven of beaches, forests and farmland. Offering unique experiences for those seeking an authentic New Zealand experience, visitors can walk in forested valleys or climb a sacred mountain and be the first in the world to see the dawn of a new day.

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Photo: Hawke's Bay Tourism

Hawke’s Bay

Hawke’s Bay wine country offers great scenery and stylish culture. Abundant sunshine makes this an ideal region for relaxing and indulging in wine tasting, al fresco lunches and long walks. The main centre, Napier, is a charming town featuring stunning Art Deco architecture dating from the early 20th century.

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Photo: Hamilton & Waikato Tourism

Waikato & Waitomo

Hamilton, gateway to the Waikato, is known for its riverside setting, the city is home to one of New Zealand’s most highly regarded botanical gardens. Hamilton Gardens is a unique garden experience with an international flavour.

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Photo: Destination Rotorua


One of New Zealand’s most popular visitor destinations, Rotorua offers a fascinating blend of Māori and European cultures in a playground of lakes and geothermal areas. Nestled in the centre of the North Island and renowned worldwide for its geothermal activity, Rotorua is a city with spirit. Whether you’re interested in outdoor activities, geothermal attractions or Māori culture, Rotorua has it all, year round.

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Photo: Destination Great Lake Taupo

Taupo & Ruapehu

New Zealand’s largest lake is the epicentre of a region bursting with adventure activities and natural attractions in the central North Island’s high-altitude plateau. Situated right in the heart of the North Island, Lake Taupo is home to New Zealand’s largest freshwater lake, volcanic wonderlands, a world heritage park and the famous Huka Falls, Lake Taupo is truly blessed with world-class natural assets.

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Photo: Rob Tucker | Venture Taranaki


Spectacularly beautiful, Taranaki is a region of lush rural landscapes, amazing surf beaches and the perfect cone-shaped mountain, Mount Taranaki. This region is perfect for an inspiring road trip. The Forgotten World Highway from Stratford to Taumarunui is one of New Zealand’s most secluded trails and an exciting opportunity for adventure, while Surf Highway 45 is the country’s only dedicated surf route.

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Photo: Destination Manawatu

Whanganui & Manawatu

Whanganui and Manawatu are intriguing visitor destinations offering a glimpse of authentic New Zealand city and country life. Whanganui, on the west coast, is the perfect place for a tranquil escape, whether visitors immerse themselves in art, culture, history or the spirit of the Whanganui River. There is a strong artistic community and many galleries and studios are filled with local artwork.

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