16 days in North Island Itinerary

16 days in North Island Itinerary

Created using Inspirock North Island route planner

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Paihia
— 1 night
Fly
2
Auckland
— 1 night
Drive
3
Waitomo Caves
— 2 nights
Drive
4
Rotorua
— 4 nights
Drive
5
Taupo
— 3 nights
Shuttle
6
Tongariro National Park
— 3 nights
Fly
7
Wellington
— 1 night
Fly

S M T W T F S
26
27
28
29
30
31
1
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3
4
5
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7
8
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10
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12
13
14
15

Paihia

— 1 night
The main tourist town in the Bay of Islands area, Paihia gives visitors a good range of accommodations, a convenient town center, long sandy beaches, and interesting architecture.
On the 28th (Tue), take a tour by water with Phantom Sailing and then admire the landmark architecture of St Paul's Anglican Church. On the 29th (Wed), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: tour the pleasant surroundings at Paihia Harbour, admire the natural beauty at Waitangi Treaty Grounds, and then head outdoors with Outdoor Activities.

For where to stay, other places to visit, reviews, and other tourist information, use the Paihia trip planner.

Queenstown to Paihia is an approximately 5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of car and ferry. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 29th (Wed) to allow time to fly to Auckland.

Things to do in Paihia

Wildlife · Outdoors · Tours · Parks

Side Trip

Find places to stay Dec 28 — 29:

Auckland

— 1 night

City of Sails

The largest and most populous city in New Zealand, Auckland combines a rich history and thriving contemporary culture in an abundance of museums, art galleries, and performance venues.
Start off your visit on the 30th (Thu): contemplate the geological forces at Rangitoto Island, then brush up on your military savvy at Auckland Museum, and then take in panoramic vistas at SkyTower.

For reviews, ratings, photos, and tourist information, go to the Auckland vacation maker app.

Getting from Paihia to Auckland by flight takes about 2.5 hours. Other options: drive; or take a bus. In December, daytime highs in Auckland are 20°C, while nighttime lows are 20°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 30th (Thu) so you can drive to Waitomo Caves.

Things to do in Auckland

Parks · Nature · Museums
Find places to stay Dec 29 — 30:

Waitomo Caves

— 2 nights
Head deep beneath the surface of the earth at Waitomo Caves, a village and cave system that draws both extreme sports enthusiasts and those wanting something a little more relaxed.
Kick off your visit on the 31st (Fri): head outdoors with Waitomo Clay Birds and then scramble along the landscape with a canyoning and rapelling tour. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour, explore the fascinating underground world of Caveworld, and then Head underground at Waitomo Glowworm Caves.

To find photos, ratings, and tourist information, go to the Waitomo Caves trip app.

Getting from Auckland to Waitomo Caves by car takes about 2.5 hours. Other options: take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 1st (Sat) early enough to drive to Rotorua.

Things to do in Waitomo Caves

Outdoors · Tours · Wildlife · Parks
Find places to stay Dec 30 — Jan 1:

Rotorua

— 4 nights

Sulphur City

Surrounded by lakes and featuring impressive areas of geothermal landscape, the city of Rotorua offers an otherwordly landscape and a welcoming, peaceful environment, with the culture of the native Maori people very much in the foreground.
Go for a jaunt from Rotorua to Hinuera to see Hobbiton Movie Set about 1h 20 min away. There's lots more to do: whizz through the canopy at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, delve into the lush surroundings at Redwoods, Whakarewarewa Forest, take in the natural beauty of Te Puia, and take an in-depth tour of Rotorua Museum.

To find ratings, traveler tips, and tourist information, refer to the Rotorua online holiday planner.

Traveling by car from Waitomo Caves to Rotorua takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In January, daily temperatures in Rotorua can reach 27°C, while at night they dip to 19°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 5th (Wed) so you can go by car to Taupo.

Things to do in Rotorua

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Tours

Side Trip

Find places to stay Jan 1 — 5:

Taupo

— 3 nights

Great Cloak of Tia

The resort town of Taupo lies on the banks of Lake Taupo, the largest body of water in the whole of Australasia.
Taupo is known for nature, adventure, and theme parks. Your trip includes some of its best attractions: stroll through Huka Falls Walkway, explore the striking landscape at Craters of the Moon, take an unforgettable tour with a helicopter tour, and laugh and play at Huka Prawn Park.

To see traveler tips, other places to visit, photos, and more tourist information, go to the Taupo visit planner.

You can drive from Rotorua to Taupo in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 8th (Sat) to allow enough time to take a shuttle to Tongariro National Park.

Things to do in Taupo

Parks · Outdoors · Tours · Nature
Find places to stay Jan 5 — 8:

Tongariro National Park

— 3 nights
Tongariro National Park has a long history of preserving New Zealand's pristine alpine landscape.
On the 11th (Tue), hike the day away at Tongariro Alpine Crossing. Spend the 10th (Mon) exploring nature at Active Outdoor Adventures. There's still lots to do: admire the sheer force of Taranaki Falls, hike along Tongariro Northern Circuit, and explore the activities along Tama Lakes.

For traveler tips, reviews, ratings, and more tourist information, read our Tongariro National Park trip maker website.

Traveling by shuttle from Taupo to Tongariro National Park takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of bus and taxi. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 11th (Tue) early enough to fly to Wellington.

Things to do in Tongariro National Park

Parks · Outdoors · Trails · Nature
Find places to stay Jan 8 — 11:

Wellington

— 1 night

Harbour Capital

Wellington, the world's southernmost capital city and New Zealand's second most populous urban area, combines the nation's rugged history and nature with its modern and cosmopolitan present.
Start off your visit on the 12th (Wed): take in nature's colorful creations at Wellington Botanic Garden, catch a ride on Wellington Cable Car, then take an unforgettable tour with a helicopter tour, and finally examine the collection at Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.

For traveler tips, other places to visit, and tourist information, read our Wellington online day trip planner.

Fly from Tongariro National Park to Wellington in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of taxi and train. In January, daily temperatures in Wellington can reach 24°C, while at night they dip to 17°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 12th (Wed) early enough to fly back home.

Things to do in Wellington

Parks · Museums · Tours · Transportation

Side Trip

Find places to stay Jan 11 — 12:

North Island travel guide

4.5
Hot Springs · Specialty Museums · Landmarks
The Fish of Māui
Home to both New Zealand's capital city and its most populous one, North Island remains the more urbane and modern of the country's two main islands. With a wealth of museums and places of historical importance, the island tells the story of New Zealand's inhabitants, from the native Maoris and European settlers to the cosmopolitan and inclusive population of the modern era. Away from the industrial and cultural centers, a tour of North Island can take you through the impressive and world-renowned landscape of deep gorges, rolling rivers, enormous lakes, and areas of volcanic activity--home to an amazing biodiversity of terrestrial and marine animal and plant life. Active vacationers on North Island may appreciate the extreme sports, and don't miss a chance to relax in its hot water springs.