On our second self drive holiday in New Zealand we chose to discover the North Island and we were in for a treat. From the moment we landed in Auckland we found a choice of destinations and activities that had something for all the family. The shopping and sightseeing in Auckland, the wineries of Hawkes Bay, the natural beauty of the New Zealand coastline including Cathedral Cove and natural sea caves to the fantastic and envigorating natural mineral pools dotted throughout the island. We were in for a treat.
Read all about our 14 day trip through this picturesque country.
New Zealand`s North Island seems so much bigger therefore the shorter self drive holidays are more challenging to fit in 1, 2 or 3 weeks.
Our suggested itineraries give you the must see and dos and we are always here to help you arrange a custom one too.
Here are a list of some of the Must See and Dos for New Zealand`s North Island
Auckland City – Visit the Sky Tower and the Auckalnd Viaduct for a number of activities and great places to have a meal or a drink overlooking the water http://www.viaduct.co.nz/ Take a ferry across the harbour to Devonport. Stay at http://www.top10.co.nz/parks/manukau-holiday-park.html Manukau, close to the airport. Visit Piha Beach and take a walk at low tide to the Blue Pools and see the key hole.
Miranda – stay at http://www.mirandaholidaypark.co.nz/ for a range of accommodation options and an awesome hot mineral pool on site.
Harhei – visit the winery at Cooks Beach http://www.cooksbeachvineyard.co.nz/ and stay at http://www.haheiholidays.co.nz/ Ring Dan at http://whitianga-adventures.co.nz/ and let him showcase Cathedral Cove and amazing volcanic landscape of this area. Walk through Cathedral Cove and back to Harhei.
Hot Water Beach – take your spade and dig your own hot water pool at low tide.
Mt Manganui – Stay at http://www.mountbeachside.co.nz/ and take a walk around `The Mount`. Saili and explore Mt Maunganui and Tauranga is a relaxing day out. Contact Phil at Adventure Sail http://www.adventuresail.co.nz/ for a morning, entire day or overnight sailing adventures.
Rotorua – stop by the roadside and fill up on fresh berries, stay at http://www.rotoruathermal.co.nz/. Visit the Redwood Forest http://www.redwoods.co.nz/, take the gondola up the mountain for a birds eye view of Rotorua http://www.skylineskyrides.co.nz/ and a must do is experience a traditional Maori hungi and dance http://www.mitai.co.nz.
No visit is complete without visiting http://www.geyserland.co.nz/ One of only 4 thermal landscapes in the world, truly amazing.
Napier – stay at Kennedy Park Top 10 http://www.jasons.com/New-Zealand/Napier/Kennedy-Park-TOP-10-Resort and enjoy the local wine and produce from the region http://www.tourism.net.nz/region/hawkes-bay/hawkes-bay—napier/attractions/wineries/other-links1.html
Cape Kidnappers – Explore the beach, surf a wave, visit the gannet colony and stay at http://cliftoncamphawkesbay.co.nz/
Wellington – This vibrant city has a lot to offer. Check out http://www.wellingtonnz.com/australia for a full range of activities and great places to stay. Stop at Paraparumu and explore the Kapiti Coastline.
Drive the Desert Road and view snow capped mountains – even in December. The landscape changes are just amazing. Explore Mt Ruapehu and if visiting in winter, spend a day skiing the fields http://www.mtruapehu.com/
Taupo – Stay at http://www.taupodebretts.com/ and take time to visit the mineral pools on site.
The most popular tour in the Waikato (2 hours south of Auckland) is the Waitomo Caves http://www.waitomo.com/ This is a sight to behold and the kids just love it. For the more adventurous try Black Water Rafting.
Heading north out of Auckland, stop at Matakana and explore this amazing township. Visit on the weekend and experience the farmers market, visit Morris and James pottery and tile works and have a glass of wine at http://www.ascensionwine.co.nz/home
This is a snapshot of the variety of things that New Zealand has to offer, there is something for everyone. We hope you enjoy New Zealand as much as we do.