North Island Activity Highlights
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
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.
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!
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�a 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
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 Accommodation
- North Island Tours
- North Island Attractions and Activities
- North Island Transport
- North Island Shopping
- North Island Visitor Information
North Island Wide Information
Key information and facts about the north-island region.
Major activities and attractions in the north-island region.