Discover the North Island of New Zealand

Relax in a warm bubbling pool at Hot Water Beach.

Travellers are drawn to the Island by cosmopolitan cities like Auckland and Wellington, and are wowed by landscapes of active volcanoes, lush farmlands, island sanctuaries, and vibrant culture. 

New Zealand's northernmost region, Northland is a spectacular starting point for a North Island adventure. Discover the country’s birthplace, the Waitangi Treaty Grounds. Unearth the golden beaches, secluded coves and tranquil harbours of the stunning The Bay of Islands. Visit the ‘most photogenic waterfall’ in New Zealand, Whangarei Falls.

Less than three hours’ drive south, Auckland encompasses a beautiful district of awe-inspiring cultural and earthy drawcards. Marvel at Auckland’s 48 volcanic cones, including Mount Eden, One Tree Hill and Rangitoto Island. Explore the spectacular blue waters and emerald atolls of the world-famous Hauraki Gulf. Indulge in the city’s pulsating dining and retails precinct. 

East of Auckland, the Coromandel Peninsula is one of New Zealand’s most popular holiday destinations. Climb through ruggedly beautiful mountain ranges on The Pinnacles Walk. Take a photograph in front of the stunning natural archway, Cathedral Cove.  Relax in a warm bubbling pool at Hot Water Beach. Visit the region’s acclaimed artists and craftspeople and pick up a unique piece of art or pottery.

Three hours to south of the Coromandel, The Bay of Plenty lives up to its name with a bounty of things to see and do. Experience an active volcano first-hand on White Island. Tour a working kiwifruit orchard. Scale Mount Maunganui. Learn about the region's prominent history at the Elms Mission House.

Just inland of The Bay of Plenty, Rotorua attracts travellers from all over the globe, with its world-famous geysers. Discover the region’s boiling mud pools and sparkling lakes. Soak in a natural bush-lined thermal stream. Relax and unwind with a geothermal treatment.  

Moving towards the west coast, New Zealand's caving capital, the Waitomo region is home to unforgettable sightseeing attractions. Visit the world-famous Waitomo Glowworm Caves. Abseil, rock climb, crawl and cruise through Haggas Honking Holes. Explore New Zealand’s 'best dressed' cave, St Benedict’s Caverns, on a spectacular underground flying fox ride. 

Centrally located in the middle of the North Island, Lake Taupo is bounded by an enchanting region of exceptional adventure and leisure pursuits. Access awe-inspiring sites like Mine Bay’s Maori rock carvings by kayak or sailboat. Tramp a myriad of local national parks. Witness evidence of the Lake's fiery birth at the Craters of the Moon Scenic Reserve. 

Bordering Lake Taupo to the south, World Heritage-listed Tongariro National Park presents a wilderness wonderland. Trek the world-famous Tongariro Alpine Crossing. Marvel at the ancient volcanoes of Mt Tongariro, Mt Ngauruhoe (Lord of the Rings’ Mt Doom) and Mt Ruapehu. Discover unique native flora and fauna on the mountains’ forest- blanketed lower slopes. Learn about the area’s deep spiritual significance and Maori folklore. 

Back on the east coast, Hawke’s Bay offers a great setting in which to unwind as one of New Zealand’s leading producers of wine. Take a bicycle tour of a popular vineyard. Visit New Zealand’s oldest winery, Mission Estate Winery. Sample the region’s finest drops with a gourmet lunch at a local cellar door. 

Located on the southern-most tip of the Island, New Zealand’s capital, Wellington, is a must-visit end-point to any North Island adventure. Explore the museums, art galleries and theatres which make up the city’s pulsing cultural scene. Experience the best of Wellington's waterfront on the City to Sea walk. Ride the cable car up the hill to Kelburn to enjoy amazing views over the city. Day-trip to prominent wine-growing regions like Marlborough and Wairarapa. 

Plan Your North Island Inquest 

  • Flights to the North Island: Virgin Australia operates flights to Auckland and Wellington from Australian capital cities.
  • North Island Holiday Packages: Experience the best of New Zealand with a Virgin Australia Holidays Auckland package, Rotorua package and Wellington package. Packages include flights, accommodation and a great variety of extras.
  • North Island Hotels: Establish a great base from which to experience all the action of the North Island. Select from a wide choice of hotels with Virgin Australia Holidays
  • North Island Car Hire: Uncover New Zealand’s beautiful North Island locales. Go off the beaten track with great deals on hire cars.
Words by Alice Nash - Published 24 February 2014
Quick Facts 
Population 1.415 million
Area 1,086 km2
Time Zone GMT +12
Languages English (official)
Currency New Zealand dollar (NZD)
Electricity 220 – 240v 50Hz
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