23 days in North Island Itinerary

23 days in North Island Itinerary

Created using Inspirock North Island route builder

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Whangarei
— 1 night
Drive
2
Russell
— 2 nights
Drive
3
Cape Reinga
— 1 night
Drive
4
Kerikeri
— 3 nights
Drive
5
New Plymouth
— 2 nights
Drive
6
Rotorua
— 4 nights
Drive
7
Opotiki
— 1 night
Drive
8
Whitianga
— 1 night
Drive to Coromandel, Ferry to Waiheke Island
9
Waiheke Island
— 2 nights
Ferry
10
Auckland
— 2 nights
Fly
11
Tauranga
— 3 nights
Fly

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Whangarei

— 1 night
Whangarei is the northernmost city in New Zealand and the regional capital of Northland Region. On the 27th (Sat), take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Mount Manaia Track, stroll through Bream Head Coast Walks, and then make a trip to Mount Parihaka War Memorial. Here are some ideas for day two: take in nature's colorful creations at Whangarei Quarry Gardens, take in the dramatic scenery at Whangarei Falls, and then wander the streets of Town Basin.

To plan Whangarei vacation without wasting time, ask Inspirock to design an itinerary.

Napier to Whangarei is an approximately 4.5-hour flight. You can also drive; or take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 28th (Sun) so you can go by car to Russell.

Things to do in Whangarei

Parks · Nature · Neighborhoods · Trails

Side Trip

Russell

— 2 nights
Russell, formerly known as Kororāreka, was the first permanent European settlement and sea port in New Zealand. Start off your visit on the 29th (Mon): hike along Nancy Fladgate Track, play a few rounds at Waitangi Golf Club, and then pause for some serene contemplation at St Paul's Anglican Church. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: get great views at Opua Forest Lookout Track, look for gifts at The Cabbage Tree Shop, then contemplate the long history of Pompallier Mission and Printery, and finally do a tasting at Omata Estate.

To find other places to visit, more things to do, photos, and more tourist information, use the Russell journey website.

Drive from Whangarei to Russell in 1.5 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 30th (Tue) to allow time to travel to Cape Reinga.

Things to do in Russell

Outdoors · Golf · Historic Sites · Parks

Side Trip

Cape Reinga

— 1 night
Cape Reinga or Te Rerenga Wairua is the northwesternmost tip of the Aupouri Peninsula, at the northern end of the North Island of New Zealand. Kick off your visit on the 1st (Wed): enjoy the sand and surf at Tapotupotu Beach and then take in the dramatic natural features at Te Paki Sand Dunes.

To find traveler tips, photos, other places to visit, and more tourist information, use the Cape Reinga online journey maker.

Drive from Russell to Cape Reinga in 4 hours. Cap off your sightseeing on the 1st (Wed) early enough to go by car to Kerikeri.

Things to do in Cape Reinga

Parks · Nature · Beaches · Outdoors

Side Trip

Highlights from your trip

Kerikeri

— 3 nights
Kerikeri, the largest town in Northland New Zealand, is a popular tourist destination about three hours drive north of Auckland, and 80 km north of the northern region's largest city, Whangarei. Kerikeri is known for nature, shopping, and wildlife. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: steep yourself in history at Waitangi Treaty Grounds, look for all kinds of wild species at The Parrot Place, tour the pleasant surroundings at Kororipo Pa Historic Walk, and look for gifts at Paihia Bookshop.

For ratings, reviews, maps, and more tourist information, use the Kerikeri travel itinerary planner.

Getting from Cape Reinga to Kerikeri by car takes about 3 hours. Other options: do a combination of car and bus; or do a combination of taxi and bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 4th (Sat) early enough to catch the flight to New Plymouth.

Things to do in Kerikeri

Parks · Historic Sites · Wildlife · Outdoors

Side Trips

New Plymouth

— 2 nights
Where other cities run, New Plymouth prefers to stroll.
Start off your visit on the 5th (Sun): make a trip to Clock Tower, take in the exciting artwork at Govett-Brewster Art Gallery / Len Lye Centre, stop by Giles Chocolatier, then explore the engaging exhibits at Puke Ariki, and finally go for a walk through New Plymouth Coastal Walkway. On the 6th (Mon), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: take in the awesome beauty at Mount Taranaki, take a stroll through West End Precinct, and then take in the architecture and atmosphere at Taranaki Cathedral, Church of St Mary.

To find ratings, photos, where to stay, and other tourist information, use the New Plymouth online travel planner.

Traveling by car from Kerikeri to New Plymouth takes 7.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or drive; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 6th (Mon) so you can drive to Rotorua.

Things to do in New Plymouth

Neighborhoods · Museums · Nature · Parks

Side Trip

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.
Take a break from Rotorua with a short trip to Adrenaline & Extreme Tours in Taupo, about 1h 5 min away. There's lots more to do: kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, take a memorable tour with Tours, take in the natural beauty of Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, and look for all kinds of wild species at Paradise Valley Springs Wildlife Park.

Inspirock's itinerary builder makes planning a Rotorua trip simple and quick.

Getting from New Plymouth to Rotorua by car takes about 4 hours. Other options: fly; or take a bus. In July, daytime highs in Rotorua are 17°C, while nighttime lows are 7°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 10th (Fri) to allow time to drive to Opotiki.

Things to do in Rotorua

Parks · Nature · Tours · Outdoors

Side Trip

Opotiki

— 1 night
Opotiki is a small town in the eastern Bay of Plenty in the North Island of New Zealand. On the 11th (Sat), examine the collection at Opotiki District Museum, kick back and relax at Waiotahe Beach, and then explore the landscape on two wheels at Motu Trails.

To see photos, where to stay, and more tourist information, you can read our Opotiki trip itinerary builder site.

Getting from Rotorua to Opotiki by car takes about 2 hours. Cap off your sightseeing on the 11th (Sat) early enough to travel to Whitianga.

Things to do in Opotiki

Outdoors · Parks · Beaches · Trails

Whitianga

— 1 night
Whitianga is a town on the Coromandel Peninsula, in the Waikato Region of New Zealand's North Island. On the 12th (Sun), get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports and then relax and rejuvenate at The Lost Spring.

To find where to stay, traveler tips, ratings, and more tourist information, refer to the Whitianga itinerary planner.

Traveling by car from Opotiki to Whitianga takes 4.5 hours. July in Whitianga sees daily highs of 17°C and lows of 9°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Sun) to allow enough time to travel to Waiheke Island.

Things to do in Whitianga

Nature · Spas · Parks · Tours

Waiheke Island

— 2 nights

Island of Wine

Head to Waiheke Island, a place of white sandy beaches, palm trees, great wine, and relaxation, just 35 minutes off the coast of Auckland.
On the 13th (Mon), learn about winemaking at Te Whau Vineyard and then savor the flavors at Food & Drink. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: trot along with a tour on horseback, then stop by Rangihoua Estate, then learn about winemaking at Tantalus Estate Vineyard & Winery, and finally admire the masterpieces at Connells Bay Sculpture Park.

To find other places to visit, traveler tips, more things to do, and other tourist information, refer to the Waiheke Island trip builder website.

Traveling by combination of car and ferry from Whitianga to Waiheke Island takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of shuttle and ferry; or do a combination of bus and ferry. In July in Waiheke Island, expect temperatures between 17°C during the day and 9°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 14th (Tue) to allow time to ride a ferry to Auckland.

Things to do in Waiheke Island

Wineries · Tours · Museums · Outdoors

Auckland

— 2 nights

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.
Start off your visit on the 15th (Wed): meet the residents at Auckland Zoo, then brush up on your military savvy at Auckland Museum, and then stroll through Cheltenham Beach. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 16th (Thu): indulge your senses at some of the top wineries in the area, admire the masterpieces at Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki, then stop by Pauanesia, and finally take in panoramic vistas at SkyTower.

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

Getting from Waiheke Island to Auckland by ferry takes about 1.5 hours. When traveling from Waiheke Island in July, plan for a bit cooler days and somewhat warmer nights in Auckland: temperatures range from 13°C by day to 13°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 16th (Thu) so you can catch the flight to Tauranga.

Things to do in Auckland

Parks · Zoos & Aquariums · Museums · Tours

Side Trip

Tauranga

— 3 nights
The largest city in the Bay of Plenty, Tauranga features extensive sandy beaches, well-maintained hiking paths, and a good range of accommodations.
Start off your visit on the 17th (Fri): hike along Mount Maunganui Summit Track, then stroll through Mount Maunganui Base Track, then stroll through Pilot Bay, and finally relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas. Here are some ideas for day two: meet the residents at Hamilton Zoo, then walk around Hamilton Lake Domain, and then appreciate the history behind Sapper Horace Moore-Jones commemorative statue.

For traveler tips, reviews, where to stay, and more tourist information, read Tauranga trip planning site.

You can fly from Auckland to Tauranga in 2.5 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a bus. Traveling from Auckland in July, expect little chillier with lows of 7°C in Tauranga. On the 19th (Sun), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can fly back home.

Things to do in Tauranga

Parks · Outdoors · Beaches · Zoos & Aquariums

Side Trips

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.

Bay of Islands travel guide

4.4
Historic Sites · Swim with Dolphins · Scuba & Snorkeling
World-renowned place for big-game fishing, the subtropical microregion of Bay of Islands has enjoyed fame ever since the adventure novelist Zane Grey released "Tales of the Angler's El Dorado, New Zealand" in the 1930s. Your own Bay of Islands trip can be as adventurous as you like, with great opportunities for spotting whales, dolphins, marlins, and penguins, as well as popular dive spots. Don't forget to turn your gaze upward from the abundant sea: the sky here is the second-bluest in the word, according to a scientific study conducted early in the 21st century. The bay's many islands have great hiking trails, and long sandy beaches stretch along the coves and inlets on the mainland.

Bay of Plenty Region travel guide

4.4
Hot Springs · Zipline · Nightlife
Named by Captain Cook when he saw the abundance of food and supplies enjoyed by the native Maori population of the area, Bay of Plenty Region has a rich agricultural heritage, fertile farmland, and a climate that make this the home of the kiwifruit--a berry synonymous with New Zealand. Development has long supported the productivity of the area, with fishing villages and towns built around the farmland. Nowadays, these areas give visitors a direct route into the landscape and provide numerous Bay of Plenty vacation ideas: boat tours out into the bay, horticultural centers inland, and lots of hiking opportunities through the mountain ranges along traditional trade routes. Renowned for its lakes and areas of geothermal activity, Bay of Plenty Region offers great views of volcanoes and an abundance of geothermal pools in which to relax and heal.

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.