11 days in North Island Itinerary

11 days in North Island Itinerary

Created using Inspirock North Island route planner

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Wellington
— 1 day
Fly
2
Tongariro National Park
— 1 night
Shuttle
3
Taupo
— 3 nights
Drive
4
Rotorua
— 2 nights
Drive
5
Waitomo Caves
— 1 night
Drive
6
Auckland
— 1 night
Fly
7
Paihia
— 2 nights
Fly

S M T W T F S
30
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Wellington

— 1 day

Harbour Capital

Wellington, the world's southernmost capital city and New Zealand's second most populous urban area, combines the nation's rugged history and nature with its modern and cosmopolitan present.
Start off your visit on the 2nd (Wed): get a sense of history and politics at New Zealand Parliament, then catch a ride on Wellington Cable Car, and then examine the collection at Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.

Plan my trip to Wellington with suggested itineraries provided by Inspirock.

Sydney, Australia to Wellington is an approximately 6.5-hour flight. The time zone changes from Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST) to New Zealand Standard Time (NZST), which is usually a 2 hour difference. Expect a bit cooler temperatures when traveling from Sydney in February; daily highs in Wellington reach 24°C and lows reach 17°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Wed) to allow enough time to fly to Tongariro National Park.

Things to do in Wellington

Museums · Historic Sites · Transportation

Tongariro National Park

— 1 night
Tongariro National Park has a long history of preserving New Zealand's pristine alpine landscape.
On the 3rd (Thu), hike along Tongariro Alpine Crossing.

To see other places to visit, ratings, reviews, and more tourist information, refer to the Tongariro National Park trip maker app.

Traveling by flight from Wellington to Tongariro National Park takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of train and taxi. Cap off your sightseeing on the 3rd (Thu) early enough to catch the shuttle to Taupo.

Things to do in Tongariro National Park

Trails · Outdoors · Parks
Highlights from your trip

Taupo

— 3 nights

Great Cloak of Tia

The resort town of Taupo lies on the banks of Lake Taupo, the largest body of water in the whole of Australasia.
Taupo is known for nature, adventure, and theme parks. Your trip includes some of its best attractions: admire the sheer force of Huka Falls Walkway, take in the natural beauty of Wairakei Natural Thermal Valley, take in the dramatic natural features at Spa Thermal Park and Riverbank Recreational and Scenic Reserve, and take a tour by water with Boat Tours & Water Sports.

For traveler tips, ratings, and more tourist information, you can read our Taupo online trip builder.

Traveling by shuttle from Tongariro National Park to Taupo takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of taxi and bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 6th (Sun) early enough to go by car to Rotorua.

Things to do in Taupo

Parks · Outdoors · Nature · Tours

Rotorua

— 2 nights

Sulphur City

Surrounded by lakes and featuring impressive areas of geothermal landscape, the city of Rotorua offers an otherwordly landscape and a welcoming, peaceful environment, with the culture of the native Maori people very much in the foreground.
On the 7th (Mon), get impressive views of Waimangu Volcanic Valley, witness a stunning natural landmark at Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, and then kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks. On your second day here, don't miss a visit to Te Puia, then explore the world behind art at Rotorua Museum, and then take a peaceful walk through Redwoods, Whakarewarewa Forest.

To see ratings, maps, reviews, and other tourist information, read Rotorua trip planner.

Traveling by car from Taupo to Rotorua takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In February in Rotorua, expect temperatures between 28°C during the day and 19°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 8th (Tue) early enough to drive to Waitomo Caves.

Things to do in Rotorua

Nature · Parks · Adventure · Outdoors

Waitomo Caves

— 1 night
Head deep beneath the surface of the earth at Waitomo Caves, a village and cave system that draws both extreme sports enthusiasts and those wanting something a little more relaxed.
Start off your visit on the 9th (Wed): Head underground at Waitomo Glowworm Caves, push the limits with an extreme tour, and then head outdoors with Outdoor Activities.

To see reviews, other places to visit, photos, and tourist information, read Waitomo Caves trip planner.

Traveling by car from Rotorua to Waitomo Caves takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 9th (Wed) so you can drive to Auckland.

Things to do in Waitomo Caves

Outdoors · Tours · Wildlife · Adventure

Auckland

— 1 night

City of Sails

The largest and most populous city in New Zealand, Auckland combines a rich history and thriving contemporary culture in an abundance of museums, art galleries, and performance venues.
On the 10th (Thu), indulge your senses at some of the top wineries in the area, then learn about all things military at Auckland Museum, and then enjoy breathtaking views from SkyTower.

For more things to do, ratings, maps, and tourist information, read our Auckland vacation planning tool.

Traveling by car from Waitomo Caves to Auckland takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or do a combination of bus and train. In February, plan for daily highs up to 26°C, and evening lows to 26°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 10th (Thu) so you can fly to Paihia.

Things to do in Auckland

Museums · Wineries · Tours

Paihia

— 2 nights
The main tourist town in the Bay of Islands area, Paihia gives visitors a good range of accommodations, a convenient town center, long sandy beaches, and interesting architecture.
Kick off your visit on the 11th (Fri): stroll through Waitangi Mountain Bike Park, take in nature's colorful creations at Waitangi Treaty Grounds, and then get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour. On the next day, see some colorful creatures with a scuba or snorkeling tour and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Paihia Harbour.

To find traveler tips, reviews, photos, and tourist information, go to the Paihia online trip maker.

Fly from Auckland to Paihia in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Sat) to allow enough time to fly back home.

Things to do in Paihia

Wildlife · Outdoors · Parks · Tours

Side Trip

North Island travel guide

4.5
Hot Springs · Specialty Museums · Landmarks
The Fish of Māui
Home to both New Zealand's capital city and its most populous one, North Island remains the more urbane and modern of the country's two main islands. With a wealth of museums and places of historical importance, the island tells the story of New Zealand's inhabitants, from the native Maoris and European settlers to the cosmopolitan and inclusive population of the modern era. Away from the industrial and cultural centers, a tour of North Island can take you through the impressive and world-renowned landscape of deep gorges, rolling rivers, enormous lakes, and areas of volcanic activity--home to an amazing biodiversity of terrestrial and marine animal and plant life. Active vacationers on North Island may appreciate the extreme sports, and don't miss a chance to relax in its hot water springs.