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North Island

Travel Guide
Mount Manaia featuring mountains, a bay or harbour and a coastal town

Sun-drenched beaches, volcanic activity and rich Māori culture make New Zealand’s northern island one of the most visited destinations in the Pacific.

The more densely populated of the country’s two main islands, the North Island of New Zealand is home to some 3.5 million residents spread out across 12 major metropolitan regions. While the guidebooks may be dominated with images of the South Island’s towering mountains and fjords, it’s on the North Island that you’ll find New Zealand’s often-overlooked beaches, bubbling geothermic activity and rich Māori culture. Rent a car to explore the coastal towns and rural villages of the island or base yourself in one of the North Island’s major cities for a cosmopolitan experience.

Visit Auckland, the bustling capital of New Zealand, to discover Kiwi culture. Sample local produce and some of the country’s famous wines at a restaurant. Visit one of the many museums and galleries found throughout the city. New Zealand’s unique position in the Pacific means the Auckland’s top restaurants have access to an outstanding standard of seafood.

In the south of the island you’ll find New Zealand’s “cultural capital”, Wellington. Visit a fashionable café to see why New Zealand baristas have a global reputation for making some of the best coffee in the world.

In both cities you’ll find rich enclaves of Māori culture but the most populated region for New Zealand’s indigenous people is in the northeast. Visit the East Cape to try local food and to take part in traditional dances.

Bubbling beneath the surface of the North Island is something very exciting. The geothermic activity of the island is responsible for a series of hot springs and an active volcano that attract visitors from around the world. Venture deep into the forest of Great Barrier Island to discover a naturally heated pool and indulge at Te Aroha in a resort-style hot spring. You don’t have to get wet to experience the Earth’s activity. Fly above the bulbous summit of Mount Tarawera and look down into its crater. In winter, ski down the slopes of Mount Ruapehu, an active volcano in the south of the island.

New Zealand’s pristine beaches are remarkably free of people, even in summer. Enjoy stretches of idyllic sand and shallow water as far as the eye can see in Northland, or bring your surfboard to tackle the wild swells of the west coast.

Fly to the North Island via Auckland or Wellington, both of which have major international airports. Once on the island, navigate the cities using public transport or explore farther afield with a rental car. A network of trains and buses also service the island.

ibis budget Auckland Airport
ibis budget Auckland Airport
3 out of 5
2 Leonard Isitt Drive, Auckland
The price is AU$109 per night from 8 Aug. to 8 Aug.
Situated near the airport, this eco-friendly hotel is 0.5 mi (0.8 km) from Butterfly Creek, and within 9 mi (15 km) of Rainbow's End and Dressmart Outlet Shopping ...
4/5Very Good! (1,828 reviews)
"Excellent staff, very helpful and courteous"

Reviewed on 31 Jul. 2021

ibis budget Auckland Airport
SkyCity Hotel
SkyCity Hotel
4.5 out of 5
Corner Victoria and Federal Streets, Auckland
The price is AU$225 per night from 2 Aug. to 2 Aug.
Located in Auckland Central Business District, this luxury hotel is steps away from SkyCity Casino and Sky Tower. Viaduct Harbour and University of Auckland ...
4.4/5Excellent! (1,476 reviews)
"Great staff"

Reviewed on 30 Jul. 2021

SkyCity Hotel
James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor
James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor
4.5 out of 5
147 The Terrace, Wellington
Fully refundableReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is AU$141 per night from 22 Aug. to 22 Aug.
This family-friendly Wellington hotel is located near the airport, within a 15-minute walk of St Paul's Cathedral, Carter Observatory and Te Papa (Museum of ...
4.2/5Excellent! (1,115 reviews)
"New carpets and central location, near countdown"

Reviewed on 26 Jul. 2021

James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
Quest Wellington
Quest Wellington
4 out of 5
Quest Wellington 33 Hunter St, Wellington
The price is AU$122 per night from 8 Aug. to 8 Aug.
Located in Wellington CBD, this aparthotel is steps away from Lambton Quay, Wellington Central Business District and TSB Bank Arena. Te Papa (Museum of New Zealand) ...
4.2/5Very Good! (900 reviews)
"Excellent central location. Friendly, helpful staff"

Reviewed on 21 Jul. 2021

Quest Wellington
Boulcott Suites
Boulcott Suites
5 out of 5
5 O'Reily Ave, Wellington
The price is AU$183 per night from 8 Aug. to 8 Aug.
Located in the heart of Wellington, this luxury apartment building is within a 10-minute walk of Wellington Central Business District, Cuba Street Mall and Victoria ...
4.5/5Wonderful! (1,644 reviews)
"Awesome spot close to everything and plenty of space"

Reviewed on 11 Jul. 2021

Boulcott Suites
Oceanside Resort & Twin Towers
Oceanside Resort & Twin Towers
4 out of 5
1 Maunganui Road, Mount Maunganui
The price is AU$158 per night from 22 Aug. to 22 Aug.
Nestled on the beach, this Mount Maunganui aparthotel is within 2 mi (3 km) of Mount Hot Pools and Blake Park. ASB Baypark is 7.1 mi (11.4 km) away.
4.1/5Very Good! (716 reviews)
"Great Kitchen, easy walk to the shops, the staff were lovely."

Reviewed on 29 Jun. 2021

Oceanside Resort & Twin Towers
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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