15 days in North Island Itinerary

15 days in North Island Itinerary

Created using Inspirock North Island itinerary maker

Make it your trip
1
Auckland
— 1 day
Drive
2
Whangarei
— 1 night
Drive
3
Paihia
— 1 night
Fly
4
Wellington
— 2 nights
Drive
5
Palmerston North
— 1 night
Drive
6
Napier
— 1 night
Drive
7
Tongariro National Park
— 1 night
Drive
8
Taupo
— 2 nights
Drive
9
Rotorua
— 2 nights
Drive
10
Waitomo Caves
— 2 nights
Drive
11
Whangamata
— 1 night
Drive

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Auckland

— 1 day

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 2nd (Sat): stop by Pauanesia, then enjoy breathtaking views from SkyTower, then head off the coast to Hauraki Gulf, and finally pause for some serene contemplation at St. Patrick's Cathedral.

To see more things to do, maps, and tourist information, use the Auckland trip itinerary planning tool.

The Route module can give you travel options from your home to Auckland. In January, daytime highs in Auckland are 22°C, while nighttime lows are 22°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 2nd (Sat) early enough to drive to Whangarei.

Things to do in Auckland

Parks · Historic Sites · Nature · Shopping

Whangarei

— 1 night
Whangarei is the northernmost city in New Zealand and the regional capital of Northland Region. Kick off your visit on the 3rd (Sun): glide peacefully along the water with some of the best stand-up paddleboarding in the area, take in the dramatic scenery at Whangarei Falls, and then stop by Town Basin.

For other places to visit, more things to do, reviews, and other tourist information, go to the Whangarei trip builder.

Getting from Auckland to Whangarei by car takes about 2 hours. Other options: fly; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Sun) so you can drive to Paihia.

Things to do in Whangarei

Outdoors · Adventure · Tours · Neighborhoods

Side Trip

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.
On the 4th (Mon), hike along Kerikeri River Track, then identify plant and animal life at The Parrot Place, then take in the dramatic scenery at Rainbow Falls, and finally see some colorful creatures with a scuba or snorkeling tour.

For more things to do, reviews, other places to visit, and more tourist information, refer to the Paihia trip tool.

You can drive from Whangarei to Paihia in 1.5 hours. Another option is to take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 4th (Mon) so you can travel to Wellington.

Things to do in Paihia

Parks · Outdoors · Wildlife · Tours

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 5th (Tue): get engrossed in the history at Wellington Museum, pause for some photo ops at Paddy the Wanderer Monument, pause for some serene contemplation at Old St Paul's, then contemplate the waterfront views at Oriental Bay, and finally examine the collection at Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. On your second day here, examine the collection at Cable Car Museum, look for all kinds of wild species at Otari-Wilton's Bush Native Botanic Garden, then surround yourself with nature on a nature and wildlife tour, and finally take in the awesome beauty at Mount Kaukau.

For more things to do, reviews, where to stay, and tourist information, use the Wellington planner.

You can fly from Paihia to Wellington in 5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In January, plan for daily highs up to 24°C, and evening lows to 17°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 6th (Wed) so you can travel to Palmerston North.

Things to do in Wellington

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Museums

Palmerston North

— 1 night
Palmerston North is a city in the North Island of New Zealand and the seat of the Manawatu-Wanganui region. On the 7th (Thu), see the interesting displays at Te Manawa Museum of Art, Science & Heritage, see the interesting displays at New Zealand Rugby Museum, then admire the natural beauty at Victoria Esplanade Gardens, and finally identify plant and animal life at Tweeters and Friends Petshop and Parrot Park.

To find other places to visit, where to stay, more things to do, and more tourist information, go to the Palmerston North journey planner.

You can drive from Wellington to Palmerston North in 2 hours. Traveling from Wellington in January, expect a bit warmer with lows of 22°C in Palmerston North. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 7th (Thu) early enough to travel to Napier.

Things to do in Palmerston North

Museums · Parks · Wildlife

Napier

— 1 night
Enjoy the atmosphere and architecture of 1930s design in Napier, one of the best-preserved Art Deco cities in the world.
On the 8th (Fri), surround yourself with nature on Gannet Beach Adventures, view the masterpieces at Birdwoods Gallery, then trek along Ahuriri Estuary Walk, and finally don't miss a visit to Marine Parade.

Use Inspirock's suggestions to plan your Napier trip and find the best activities and attractions for your vacation.

Drive from Palmerston North to Napier in 2.5 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 8th (Fri) to allow enough time to drive to Tongariro National Park.

Things to do in Napier

Outdoors · Tours · Wildlife · Shopping

Side Trips

Tongariro National Park

— 1 night
Tongariro National Park has a long history of preserving New Zealand's pristine alpine landscape.
On the 9th (Sat), admire the sheer force of Tawhai Falls, take in the dramatic scenery at Taranaki Falls, then tour the pleasant surroundings at Ridge Track, then trek along Whakapapa Nature Walk, and finally stroll through Silica Rapids Track.

To see ratings, photos, traveler tips, and more tourist information, go to the Tongariro National Park day trip planning tool.

You can drive from Napier to Tongariro National Park in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and shuttle; or do a combination of bus and taxi. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 9th (Sat) so you can go by car to Taupo.

Things to do in Tongariro National Park

Parks · Trails · Outdoors · Nature

Taupo

— 2 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.
Kick off your visit on the 10th (Sun): see the world from above with a helicopter tour, then add some adventure to your tour with a kayaking and canoeing tour, and then admire the sheer force of Huka Falls Walkway. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: explore the striking landscape at Craters of the Moon, see the interesting displays at Taupo Museum, and then contemplate the waterfront views at Lake Taupo.

To find ratings, other places to visit, where to stay, and more tourist information, refer to the Taupo travel planner.

Traveling by car from Tongariro National Park to Taupo takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or do a combination of taxi and bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 11th (Mon) so you can go by car to Rotorua.

Things to do in Taupo

Outdoors · Parks · 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 12th (Tue), get interesting insight from Tours, then kick your exploration up a notch at Redwoods Treewalk, then admire all the interesting features of Government Gardens, and finally explore the activities along Lake Rotorua. Keep things going the next day: push the limits with an extreme tour, then contemplate the long history of Ohinemutu, then experience the excitement of 3D Trick Art Gallery, and finally witness a stunning natural landmark at Kuirau Park.

To see maps, where to stay, more things to do, and more tourist information, refer to the Rotorua itinerary tool.

Traveling by car from Taupo to Rotorua takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. January in Rotorua sees daily highs of 27°C and lows of 19°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 13th (Wed) to allow enough time to drive to Waitomo Caves.

Things to do in Rotorua

Parks · Historic Sites · Nature · Outdoors

Waitomo Caves

— 2 nights
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 14th (Thu): take a memorable tour with Spellbound Glowworm & Cave Tours, then Head underground at Caveworld, and then explore the fascinating underground world of Waitomo Glowworm Caves. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 15th (Fri): hike along Ruakuri Walk, Head underground at Ruakuri Cave, Head underground at Footwhistle Glowworm Cave, admire all the interesting features of Mangapohue Natural Bridge Walk, then admire the sheer force of Marakopa Falls, and finally tour the pleasant surroundings at Piripiri Cave Walk.

To find traveler tips, other places to visit, and other tourist information, go to the Waitomo Caves online trip maker.

Getting from Rotorua to Waitomo Caves by car takes about 2 hours. Other options: take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 15th (Fri) so you can travel to Whangamata.

Things to do in Waitomo Caves

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Tours

Whangamata

— 1 night
The town of Whangamatā is sited on the southeast coast of the Coromandel Peninsula in the North Island of New Zealand. On the 16th (Sat), admire the verdant scenery at Wentworth Valley, then kick back and relax at Whangamata Beach, then take in the exciting artwork at The Little Gallery Whangamata, and finally kick back and relax at Opoutere Surf Beach.

To find more things to do, maps, and other tourist information, use the Whangamata trip maker app.

Traveling by car from Waitomo Caves to Whangamata takes 3 hours. In January, daytime highs in Whangamata are 27°C, while nighttime lows are 19°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 16th (Sat) early enough to go by car back home.

Things to do in Whangamata

Parks · Outdoors · Beaches · Nature

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.

Coromandel Peninsula travel guide

4.3
Hiking Trails · Thermal Spas · Hot Springs
Jutting out into the ocean just north of Auckland, Coromandel Peninsula remains a largely uninhabited land of native rainforest and unspoiled sandy beaches. Thanks to the area's preserved wilderness and natural abundance, ecotourism in Coromandel Peninsula has gained in popularity, attracting adventurous vacationers and outdoors enthusiasts. The coastline offers many coves, diving sites, and expeditions out into the ocean for the chance to spot whales and dolphins. Hike, cycle, or kayak inland for scenic landscape largely untouched by human development and industry.