18 days in North Island Itinerary

18 days in North Island Itinerary

Created using Inspirock North Island trip itinerary planner

This plan was created by another user. Make it your plan

Route & dates

Start: Vancouver
Fly:  16 h 30 min
1
Auckland
— 3 nights
Drive:  3 h
2
Paihia
— 3 nights
+2
Taxi + Fly + Taxi:  3 h
3
Waitomo Caves
— 2 nights
Drive:  2 h
4
Rotorua
— 3 nights
Drive:  2 h 30 min
5
Tongariro National Park
— 2 nights
Taxi + Fly:  4 h
6
Wellington
— 3 nights
Fly:  3 h 30 min
End: Auckland

3
nights
Auckland

Auckland ©
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.
Your day-by-day itinerary now includes Hot Water Beach. Step out of the city life by going to Piha Beach and Tiritiri Matangi Visitor Centre. Get some cultural insight at Auckland Museum and Foxes Island. Explore Auckland's surroundings by going to Orewa Beach (in Orewa) and Arataki Visitor Centre (in Piha). It doesn't end there: enjoy breathtaking views from SkyTower and get up close to creatures of the deep with a dolphin and whale watching tour.

For maps, ratings, other places to visit, and more tourist information, refer to the Auckland trip planner.

Vancouver, Canada to Auckland is an approximately 16.5- hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight, shuttle, and bus; or do a combination of flight and bus. The time zone difference when traveling from Vancouver to Auckland is 20 hours. While traveling from Vancouver, expect somewhat warmer days and much warmer nights in Auckland, ranging from highs of 22°C to lows of 22°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 12th (Thu) to allow time to drive to Paihia.

Things to do in Auckland

Outdoors Parks Wildlife

Side Trips

Piha, Orewa Beach, Hot Water Beach
Highlights from your plan
Piha Beach ©
Piha Beach
Orewa Beach ©
Orewa Beach
Arataki Visitor Centre ©
Arataki Visitor Centre

3
nights
Paihia

Paihia ©
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.
Get outdoors at Nature & Wildlife Tours and Oneroa Bay. Step off the beaten path and head to Scuba & Snorkeling and Kiwi North - Kiwi House, Museum & Heritage Park. Get out of town with these interesting Paihia side-trips: Whangarei (Whangarei Falls & Town Basin). There's still lots to do: admire the natural beauty at Waitangi Treaty Grounds, look for all kinds of wild species at Paihia Harbour, and stop by Paihia Bookshop.

To see maps, traveler tips, other places to visit, and more tourist information, go to the Paihia journey planner.

Getting from Auckland to Paihia by car takes about 3 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus and flight; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 15th (Sun) to allow time to travel to Waitomo Caves.

Things to do in Paihia

Parks Outdoors Wildlife

Side Trips

Whangarei, Oneroa Bay
Highlights from your plan
Waitangi Treaty Grounds ©
Waitangi Treaty Grounds
Scuba & Snorkeling
Paihia Harbour ©
Paihia Harbour

2
nights
Waitomo Caves

Waitomo Caves ©
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 16th (Mon): appreciate the history behind Sir Colin Meads Statue, then examine the collection at The Gallagher Meads Brothers Exhibition, then let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour, and finally explore the fascinating underground world of Ruakuri Cave. Here are some ideas for day two: trek along Piripiri Cave Walk, admire the sheer force of Marakopa Falls, explore the fascinating underground world of Caveworld, then Head underground at Footwhistle Glowworm Cave, then explore the fascinating underground world of Waitomo Glowworm Caves, and finally hike along Ruakuri Walk.

To find other places to visit, maps, photos, and more tourist information, read Waitomo Caves online trip itinerary builder.

You can do a combination of taxi and flight from Paihia to Waitomo Caves in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of flight and bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 17th (Tue) to allow enough time to drive to Rotorua.

Things to do in Waitomo Caves

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trip

Te Kuiti
Highlights from your plan
Ruakuri Walk ©
Ruakuri Walk
Ruakuri Cave
Ruakuri Cave
Caveworld ©
Caveworld

3
nights
Rotorua

Rotorua ©
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.
Relax by the water at Mt Maunganui Main Beach and Papamoa Beach. Get a sense of the local culture at Government Gardens and Rotorua Museum. Change things up with a short trip to Spas in Tauranga (about 58 minutes away). The adventure continues: get impressive views of Waimangu Volcanic Valley, experience rural life at aMAZEme, identify plant and animal life at Paradise Valley Springs Wildlife Park, and witness a stunning natural landmark at Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland.

For traveler tips, ratings, maps, and more tourist information, go to the Rotorua trip planner.

You can drive from Waitomo Caves to Rotorua in 2 hours. Another option is to take a bus. In March in Rotorua, expect temperatures between 26°C during the day and 18°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 20th (Fri) so you can drive to Tongariro National Park.

Things to do in Rotorua

Parks Wildlife Nature

Side Trips

Tauranga, Papamoa Beach, Waiotapu Boardwalk/ Mud Pool
Highlights from your plan
Papamoa Beach ©
Papamoa Beach
Mt Maunganui Main Beach ©
Mt Maunganui Main Beach
Waimangu Volcanic Valley ©
Waimangu Volcanic Valley

2
nights
Tongariro National Park

Tongariro National Park ©
Tongariro National Park has a long history of preserving New Zealand's pristine alpine landscape.
Start off your visit on the 21st (Sat): admire the sheer force of Taranaki Falls, explore the striking landscape of Tongariro Crossing Shuttles, admire the sheer force of Tawhai Falls, then hike along Whakapapa Nature Walk, and finally tour the pleasant surroundings at Silica Rapids Track. Keep things going the next day: stroll through Mounds Walk, explore the wealth of natural beauty at Te Porere Redoubt, then look for all kinds of wild species at Tongariro National Trout Centre, and finally do a tasting at River Vineyard.

Plan my trip to Tongariro National Park with suggested itineraries provided by Inspirock.

Drive from Rotorua to Tongariro National Park in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and taxi; or do a combination of bus and shuttle. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 22nd (Sun) to allow time to travel to Wellington.

Things to do in Tongariro National Park

Parks Trails Outdoors

Side Trip

Turangi
Highlights from your plan
Taranaki Falls ©
Taranaki Falls
Te Porere Redoubt ©
Te Porere Redoubt
Tongariro Crossing Shuttles ©
Tongariro Crossing Shuttles

3
nights
Wellington

Wellington ©
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.
On the 23rd (Mon), take a peaceful walk through Otari-Wilton's Bush Native Botanic Garden, see Off-Road Tours, and then examine the collection at Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. On your second day here, take an in-depth tour of Wellington Museum, then browse the exhibits of National War Memorial, then take an in-depth tour of The Great War Exhibition, and finally get engrossed in the history at Dominion Museum.

For maps, other places to visit, reviews, and more tourist information, you can read our Wellington attractions planning app.

Traveling by combination of taxi and flight from Tongariro National Park to Wellington takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a train. In March in Wellington, expect temperatures between 22°C during the day and 16°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 25th (Wed) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Wellington

Museums Wildlife Tours
Highlights from your plan
Wellington Museum ©
Wellington Museum
Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
National War Memorial ©
National War Memorial

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