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

North Island, New ZealandNorth Island Regional Information

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



The North Island of New Zealand has a hugely diverse landscape, from the rolling farmland of the Waikato, to the rugged ranges of the Coromandel. View North Island scenic video.

North Island Overview

North Island, New Zealand
North Island, New Zealand

The North Island is the smallest of the two main islands of New Zealand, and as its name indicates, is the northern-most of the two islands. Its northern location means it enjoys a warmer, more temperate climate than much of the South Island, and is much more vastly populated.

The northern areas of the North Island enjoy a sub-tropical climate. The centre of the island is primarily a volcanic landscape with vast forests, volcanic peaks, and picturesque lakes. The eastern side of the island is covered with vineyards.

The North Island is home to the largest city in New Zealand—Auckland, also known as the 'City of Sails', and the Capital City of New Zealand—Wellington.

As of the 2006 census, the North Island held a resident population of approximately 3,059,420, or approximately three quarters of the entire population of New Zealand.

Highlights

Image Source: Tourism New Zealand. Mount Mauao, Bay of Plenty, New Zealand
Mount Mauao
Photographer: Ben Crawford
(www.bencrawford.co.nz)

Situated in the Hauraki Gulf, Great Barrier Island has unspoiled beaches, native bushland and is home to several unique plant and bird species. The kind of rugged untouched beauty that you'll see here is getting harder and harder to find on this planet. The native bush is laced with walking tracks, which lead to secluded natural hot springs and historic Kauri dams.

White Island, a still active volcano, is one of the most amazing natural experiences in New Zealand. The vent is below sea level but shielded from the sea by high crater walls. Although surrounded by sea water, the vent is chemically sealed from it. This sealed zone traps an acid hot water system, which is derived from rainwater. As the island is also very accessible, it is internationally important for scientists and vulcanologists.

Rotorua is a place that provides an entirely different experience. Sneaky threads of steam issue from parks, pathways and streets and the occasional scent of sulphur wafts through the air—a hint of the geothermal activity found just minutes from the city centre.

Geysers of steaming water roar from the ground. Pools of bubbling mud gurgle and belch. In geothermal fields around Rotorua, steam rises from placid lakes and flowing streams. Dazzling silica terraces display a kaleidoscope of colour. Towering volcanoes, now sleeping giants, are unmistakable reminders of the landscape's turbulent past. Extinct volcanic craters provide the vessels for Rotorua's crystal lakes.

Main Regions in the North Island

  • Northland - a gold, green and blue world of beaches, bays and subtropical pleasures
  • Bay of Islands - an aquatic playground with 144 islands
  • Auckland - largest city in New Zealand
  • Coromandel - one of New Zealand's best-loved holiday destinations
  • Bay of Plenty - a land of beautiful harbours and long white surf beaches
  • Waikato - massive subterranean caverns found underground
  • Rotorua - a region of fascinating geothermal activity
  • Eastland - the first mainland place in the world to see the sun each day
  • Taupo - boasts Lake Taupo New Zealand's largest lake
  • Ruapehu - huge volcanoes and majestic National Parks
  • Taranaki - boasts Mount Taranaki a huge, dramatic volcanic cone with a snowy top.
  • Hawke's Bay - loved for its sunny climate, fabulous beaches, sheltered coastal plains and long-established vineyards
  • Wanganui - known for maori culture, heritage, the Whanganui National Park and the Whanganui River
  • Manawatu - green beauty of heartland New Zealand
  • Wairarapa - embrace the pleasures of fine wine and good food
  • Wellington - capital city of New Zealand
Image Source: Tourism New Zealand. Captain Cook Statue, Gisborne, Eastland, New Zealand.
Captain Cook Statue, Gisborne
Eastland
Photographer: Ian Trafford
(www.iantraffordphotos.com)

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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Featured

 
ASB Foreign Exchange

ASB Bank

Check out what your money is worth.

New Zealand Coach Tours

Find the Tour For You

Expert advice & best price on 200+ tours.

Luxury self drive tours

Fine Tours NZ

Finest custom-made travel experiences.

New Zealand self-drive tours

NZ Self Drive Tours

Self drive tours provide freedom at your pace

Bluebridge Ferry

Bluebridge Ferry

Cross Cook Strait and enjoy Kiwi hospitality.