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Northland, New Zealand
Queen Charlotte Sound
Routeburn Track
Boating in Taupo
Tongariro, New Zealand
Wellington, New Zealand

North Island, New ZealandNorth Island Activity Highlights

North Island | Regional Information | Activity Highlights | Scenic Highlights | History

Whether you are looking for adrenaline activities, adventure activities, or relaxing activities, there is something for everyone in the North Island of New Zealand.

North Island Activity Highlights Overview

There is so much to do throughout the North Island of New Zealand that the list is endless. As most regions are bound on at least one side by ocean, there are endless ocean activities including fishing, swimming, diving and surfing. Dramatic lakes and rivers run through the centre of the island. Volcanic peaks jut skyward, and vast forests run across the ranges.

No matter whether you are looking for adrenaline-pumping excitement, or gentle relaxing activities, you will find no end of things to do throughout the entire North Island.

The Beautiful Bay of Islands

Image Source: Tourism New Zealand. Historic Keri Keri, Bay of Islands, Northland, New Zealand.
Historic Kerikeri
Bay of Islands
Photographer: Destination Northland
(info@northlandnz.com)

The Bay of Islands is an aquatic playground lavishly furnished with 144 islands and a myriad of secluded beaches.

Go diving, fishing, swimming, kayaking, jet boating, water skiing, sailing, swim with the dolphins, take a scenic cruise and so much more!

If you prefer land, walk to the spectacular Haruru Falls just three kilometres from Paihia. The water falls in a stunningly rare horse shoe shape.

Visit the historical townships, alive with memories of the area's colourful history. Explore the well-preserved relics of the past, both Maori and European, in romantic Russell, Paihia, Waitangi or Kerikeri.

Bustling Auckland City

Visit Auckland City, regularly voted one of the best lifestyle cities in the world, and also the largest city in New Zealand.

Image Source: Tourism New Zealand. Auckland City at night
Auckland City
Photographer: Julian Apse
(www.julianapse.co.nz)

Take a trip to the world renown Sky Tower. At 328 metres the Sky Tower is the tallest tower in the Southern Hemisphere (taller than the Eiffel Tower in Paris or Sydney's AMP Tower). The Sky Tower is about as tall as 37 buses end on end!

Offering breath-taking views for more than 80 kilometres in every direction, it's an unmissable attraction in Auckland. On a clear day you can see approximately 82 kilometres (51 miles) from Sky Tower.

If you are feeling brave, take a jump off the Sky Tower with Sky Jump and fall 192 metres to the pavement below!

Eastern Eastland

Image Source: Tourism New Zealand. Tolaga Bay Wharf, Eastland, New Zealand.
Tolaga Bay Wharf, Eastland
Photographer: Ian Trafford
(www.iantraffordphotos.com)

Eastland is a place of the first and the biggest. Cruise across to the Eastland region, and climb Mount Hikurangi—the first mainland place in the world to see the sunrise (prior consent required by Ngati Porou).

Visit Tolaga Bay and stroll down the longest pier in New Zealand. Built between 1926 and 1929, the pier is 660 metres in length. Or walk out to the East Cape Lighthouse, the most easterly point of mainland New Zealand.

The Dramatic Whanganui River

The Whanganui River is New Zealand's longest navigable river. It is a stunningly beautiful river, and provides endless opportunities and activities. Explore the river by jet boat, or canoe or kayak downstream over gentle rapids. Other activities include:

  • Take a gentle trip on the restored Whanganui River Paddle Steamer, the PS Waimarie
  • Find the Bridge to Nowhere. A jet boat trip is followed by a guided walk to the bridge
  • Catch the Whanganui River Mail Run´┐Ża mini-coach trip travelling from Wanganui to Pipiriki and returning through the heart of the Whanganui National Park
  • Visit Pipiriki village, on the banks of the Whanganui River

Ski Mount Ruapehu - an Active Volcano

Image Source: Tourism New Zealand. Snowboarding at Whakapapa skifield on Mount Ruapehu, Ruapehu, New Zealand
Snowboarding Whakapapa Skifield
Mount Ruapehu, Ruapehu
Photographer: Chris McLennan
(www.cmphoto.co.nz)

Two of New Zealand's most developed ski areas can be found on Mount Ruapehu—just four hours drive from Auckland or Wellington.

Whakapapa is New Zealand's biggest and busiest ski area. It has a total of 24 lifts and 43 runs, ranging from beginner to off piste expert. Turoa is called "The Giant". It offers 400 hectares of skiing and 11 lifts.

Waikato - The Underground Landscape of Waitomo

Excitement above and below the ground, be as daring as you want to be.

  • See the glowworm grottoes and the underground caverns of Waitomo
  • Try Black Water Rafting—float on an inflated inner tube past incredible limestone formations and under glowworms
  • Abseil into the Lost World Cave
  • Haggis Honking Holes is a challenging four hour cave trip
  • Woodlyn Park provides an insight into New Zealand's pioneer farming heritage
  • Catch a Wave at Raglan
  • In the surfing world, Raglan is famous for its left-hand break.
  • Enjoy the excellent surfing and swimming beaches
  • Browse the heritage buildings, arts and crafts shops and cafes

Useful North Island Links

To help plan your North Island holiday choose from the main categories below:

North Island Wide Information

North Island Wide Tourism Operators

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ASB Foreign Exchange

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New Zealand Coach Tours

New Zealand Coach Tours

The largest range of escorted & small group tours

Boutique touring itineraries designed for you

Specialist NZ Tours

Boutique touring itineraries - designed for you

New Zealand self-drive tours

NZ Self-Drive Tours

Explore NZ on a custom self-drive package holiday

Bluebridge Ferry

Bluebridge Ferry

Cross Cook Strait and enjoy Kiwi hospitality.

World Nomads Travel Insurance

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Travel insurance for independent travellers.

Featured

 
ASB Foreign Exchange

ASB Bank

Check out what your money is worth.

New Zealand Coach Tours

New Zealand Coach Tours

The largest range of escorted & small group tours

Boutique touring itineraries designed for you

Specialist NZ Tours

Boutique touring itineraries - designed for you

New Zealand self-drive tours

NZ Self-Drive Tours

Explore NZ on a custom self-drive package holiday

Bluebridge Ferry

Bluebridge Ferry

Cross Cook Strait and enjoy Kiwi hospitality.

World Nomads Travel Insurance

Get Travel Insurance

Travel insurance for independent travellers.