15 days in North Island Itinerary

15 days in North Island Itinerary

Created using Inspirock North Island visit planner

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

S M T W T F S
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Paihia

— 1 night
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.
Start off your visit on the 4th (Sun): trek along Kororipo Pa Historic Walk, stop by Scopes New Zealand, then contemplate the long history of Waitangi Treaty Grounds, and finally find something for the whole family at Action World. On the 5th (Mon), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: glide through the air with a parasailing or paragliding tour, admire the landmark architecture of The Stone Store & Kemp House - Kerikeri Mission Station, then admire the landmark architecture of St Paul's Anglican Church, and finally relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas.

To find other places to visit, ratings, reviews, and other tourist information, refer to the Paihia trip planner.

Auckland to Paihia is an approximately 2.5-hour flight. You can also drive; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 5th (Mon) so you can fly to Wellington.

Things to do in Paihia

Historic Sites · Parks · Theme Parks · Spas

Side Trip

Wellington

— 2 nights

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 6th (Tue): get to know the resident critters at Wellington Zoo, then get engrossed in the history at The Great War Exhibition, and then see the interesting displays at Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. On your second day here, examine the collection at Southward Car Museum, then take an in-depth tour of Wellington Museum, and then catch a ride on Wellington Cable Car.

To see other places to visit, traveler tips, where to stay, and tourist information, refer to the Wellington trip planning tool.

Traveling by flight from Paihia to Wellington takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In July, plan for daily highs up to 14°C, and evening lows to 8°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 7th (Wed) to allow time to fly to Tongariro National Park.

Things to do in Wellington

Museums · Parks · Zoos & Aquariums · Historic Sites

Side Trip

Tongariro National Park

— 2 nights
Tongariro National Park has a long history of preserving New Zealand's pristine alpine landscape.
Kick off your visit on the 8th (Thu): fly down the slopes at Turoa Ski Area. On the 9th (Fri), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: contemplate the geological forces at Mount Ruapehu, go for a walk through Mead's Wall, then take in the dramatic scenery at Tawhai Falls, and finally trek along Ridge Track.

To find traveler tips, photos, reviews, and more tourist information, refer to the Tongariro National Park online travel route builder.

You can fly from Wellington to Tongariro National Park in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of train and taxi. Finish your sightseeing early on the 9th (Fri) to allow enough time to take a shuttle to Taupo.

Things to do in Tongariro National Park

Parks · Outdoors · Winter Sports · Nature

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.
You'll visit kid-friendly attractions like Huka Falls Walkway and Adrenaline & Extreme Tours. Next up on the itinerary: get in on the family fun at Huka Prawn Park, take in the natural beauty of Wairakei Natural Thermal Valley, make a splash at Taupo DeBretts Spa Resort, and take in the dramatic natural features at Craters of the Moon.

Make your Taupo itinerary with Inspirock to find out what to see and where to go.

You can take a shuttle from Tongariro National Park to Taupo in 1.5 hours. Other options are to drive; or do a combination of taxi and bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Mon) to allow enough time to drive to Rotorua.

Things to do in Taupo

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Theme Parks

Rotorua

— 4 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.
You'll visit kid-friendly attractions like Zipline and Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland. There's still lots to do: trot along with a tour on horseback, witness a stunning natural landmark at Waikite Valley Thermal Pools, experience rural life at Agrodome, and boost your wellbeing at a local thermal spa.

To find photos, reviews, where to stay, and tourist information, go to the Rotorua trip itinerary planning tool.

Getting from Taupo to Rotorua by car takes about 1.5 hours. Other options: take a bus. In July, daily temperatures in Rotorua can reach 17°C, while at night they dip to 7°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 16th (Fri) to allow time to drive to Waitomo Caves.

Things to do in Rotorua

Parks · Nature · Wildlife · Tours

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 17th (Sat): explore the fascinating underground world of Waitomo Glowworm Caves, then trek along Ruakuri Walk, then surround yourself with nature on Spellbound Glowworm & Cave Tours, and finally get outside with Waitomo Clay Birds.

For maps, more things to do, traveler tips, and tourist information, you can read our Waitomo Caves trip app.

Drive from Rotorua to Waitomo Caves in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 17th (Sat) to allow time to drive to Auckland.

Things to do in Waitomo Caves

Outdoors · Wildlife · Tours · Parks

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.
Kick off your visit on the 18th (Sun): get up close and personal with brilliant marine life at SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton's Aquarium, brush up on your military savvy at Auckland Museum, then look for gifts at Pauanesia, and finally enjoy breathtaking views from SkyTower.

To see where to stay, other places to visit, ratings, and tourist information, use the Auckland day trip planner.

Getting from Waitomo Caves to Auckland by car takes about 3 hours. Other options: take a bus; or do a combination of bus and train. July in Auckland sees daily highs of 13°C and lows of 13°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 18th (Sun) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Auckland

Museums · Parks · Zoos & Aquariums · Nightlife

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.