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North IslandNew Zealand

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.

Top hotels in North Island

Rydges Wellington
Rydges Wellington
4.5 out of 5
75 Featherston St, Wellington
The price is AU$164 per night from 22 Jan. to 23 Jan.

Located in the heart of Wellington, this luxury hotel is steps away from Old Government Buildings, Wellington Central Business District and Wellington Waterfront. ...

4.2/5Excellent! (1,227 reviews)

"Comfortable and no fuss stay in central Welly. Close to the ferry terminal and city. Their paid parking was full but was able to find on street parking easily."…"

Reviewed on 11 Jan. 2021

Rydges Wellington
Hotel Grand Windsor MGallery by Sofitel
Hotel Grand Windsor MGallery by Sofitel
5 out of 5
58-60 Queen Street, Auckland
The price is AU$166 per night from 17 Jan. to 18 Jan.

Located in Auckland Central Business District, this luxury hotel is steps away from La Cigale Market at Britomart, Queen Street Shopping District and Britomart ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (559 reviews)

"Stylish, well presented, clean room Check-in process was far too long and complicated"…"

Reviewed on 15 Jan. 2021

Hotel Grand Windsor MGallery by Sofitel
SkyCity Hotel
SkyCity Hotel
4.5 out of 5
Corner Victoria and Federal Streets, Auckland
The price is AU$196 per night from 24 Jan. to 25 Jan.

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! (1,449 reviews)

"Excellent service rooms good however went to get burger at and drink but placed was closed and then they closed other bar I thought this place was 24 / 7 this is Andy’s burger place all bars don’t serve the same beer so was very disappointed and whent to bed early and hungry we had a meal earlier ..."…"

Reviewed on 10 Jan. 2021

SkyCity Hotel
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.

Holiday Rentals in North Island

Auckland Harbour Suites
Auckland Harbour Suites
3.5 out of 5
16 Gore Street, Auckland
The price is AU$110 per night from 17 Jan. to 18 Jan.

Located in Auckland Central Business District, this apartment building is within a 5-minute walk of La Cigale Market at Britomart and Queen Street Shopping District. ...

3.7/5Good! (2,470 reviews)

"Great location and excellent staff service. Clean and freash, fantastic views. Getting to the carpark is stressful and difficult for first time people unfamiliar with Auckland parking. If you dont have a car or come from a big city it wont bother you because everything else is great."…"

Reviewed on 18 Oct. 2020

Auckland Harbour Suites
Avani Auckland Metropolis Residences
Avani Auckland Metropolis Residences
4.5 out of 5
40 Kitchener Street, Auckland
The price is AU$157 per night from 17 Jan. to 18 Jan.

Located in Auckland Central Business District, this luxury apartment building is steps away from High Street and Queen Street Shopping District. University of ...

4.4/5Excellent! (1,008 reviews)

"Love how the apartment had a bath and shower and everything else we needed! Will deffs be booking in with Avani again! 😁👌"…"

Reviewed on 25 Dec. 2020

Avani Auckland Metropolis Residences
Quest Wellington
Quest Wellington
4 out of 5
Quest Wellington 33 Hunter St, Wellington
The price is AU$101 per night from 17 Jan. to 18 Jan.

Located in the heart of Wellington, this eco-friendly aparthotel is steps away from Lambton Quay, Wellington Central Business District and TSB Bank Arena. Te ...

4.2/5Very Good! (854 reviews)

"Very central location. Serviced apartment that was a good size. Full size fridge freezer and washing machine and dryer in apartment"…"

Reviewed on 4 Jan. 2021

Quest Wellington
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.

Popular places to visit in North Island

Top activities in North Island