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Cathedral Cove, Coromandel Peninsula

New Zealand's North Island

Golden bays, fine wines & geothermal wonders

New Zealand tailor-made holidays


With the modern cities of Auckland and Wellington, and scenery that ranges from rugged coastlines and ancient kauri forests to spurting geysers and bubbling hot springs, New Zealand's North Island is as exciting as it is varied. Discover ancient Maori culture, relax on golden beaches and explore some of the country's most spectacular hiking routes. And, It's all washed down with an abundance of world-class food and wine. Speak to our destination specialists, who'll use their expert knowledge of the country to plan your perfect New Zealand holiday.

Maori culture

Having first made land here, this volatile landscape is also the heartland of Maori culture. The stories and traditions of New Zealand’s indigenous people can be experienced throughout the island but they are most prevalent in Northland, East Cape and Rotorua, where a traditional hangi feast is a must for any visitor.

Rotorua's geothermal pools

A spectacular natural world

In the far north, the sun-filled Bay of Islands is one of New Zealand’s top tourist draws, an area of beautiful sandy beaches and calm waters ideal for sailing and swimming. And, the coastal delights continue in the Coromandel Peninsula, where bubbling volcanic beaches are framed by spectacular coves and caves. Meanwhile, in geothermal Rotorua, impressive geysers, natural hot springs and bubbling mud pools form an otherworldly landscape, one which continues as you head south through Taupo and to the magnificent Tongariro Crossing – one of New Zealand's most famous walks.

The Tongariro Crossing

Cities & towns full of charm

With a population just shy of 1.7 million, Auckland is by far New Zealand's largest city. But, despite its size, it's still packed full of charm, not least in neighbourhoods such as Ponsonby and Parnell, where hipster locals congregate in trendy cafes and uber-hip restaurants, and weekend markets sell artisan trinkets to backdrop of spectacular street art. And, you’re never far from the water. Indeed, this is a city that has more recreational boats per capita than any other in the world, earning it the title, ‘City of Sails’. Then, over on the east coast in picturesque region of Hawke's Bay, Art Deco Napier is home to a delightful collection of low-rise 1930s architecture as well as some of New Zealand’s oldest wineries that trace their roots back to the French missionaries. And let's not forget the ever-so-compact capital, Wellington, where some of the country's finest museums, galleries and theatres are centred on a gorgeous harbour.

Wellington, New Zealand

Stunning self-drive adventures

A self-drive tour is one of the best ways to get around the North Island and the relatively short distances between the main sites mean it’s possible to fit in much of the island, even if you only have a short amount of time. Starting in Auckland, head north to the Bay of Islands and the kauri forests of Waipoua and Whangarei, then hit the Thermal Explorer Highway to visit the geysers and mud pools of Rotorua en route to Napier. Pausing to sample the wines of Hawke’s Bay, head southwest to explore the compact, cosmopolitan capital Wellington. From there you can also take your hire car on the Interislander Ferry to the South Island to continue your New Zealand adventures and complete a circuit of the whole country.


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Top itineraries in New Zealand's North Island

Cathedral Cove, Coromandel, New Zealand.

Best of New Zealand's North Island

17-day tailor-made self-drive from £4,150 pp incl. flights

Between stunning volcanic landscapes, sub-tropical beaches and world-class wineries, this fly-drive holiday showcases the best of New Zealand's North Island.

Queenstown, New Zealand

Highlights of New Zealand

19-day tailor-made self-drive from £3,790 pp incl. flights

With boutique hotel stays and car hire included throughout, this curated road trip perfectly showcases the unique cultures and natural wonders of New Zealand's North and South islands.

Rotorua, New Zealand

Cultural Highlights of New Zealand

19-day tailor-made self-drive from £5,630 pp incl. flights

A tip-to-toe tour of New Zealand, taking in the best of its landscapes and culture, and calling into filming locations from The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.

Maui Ultima Elite

New Zealand by Motorhome

20-day motorhome self-drive from £4,685 pp incl. flights

With its spectacular driving routes linking gorgeous coastlines and vast national parks, and plenty of gorgeous locations to pull up and park, find out why New Zealand is tailor-made for a motorhome holiday.

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Top places to stay in New Zealand's North Island

Thermal bathing near Solitaire Lodge, Rotorua

Solitaire Lodge, Rotorua, New Zealand

Small & intimate lodge

Originally built in 1980 as a luxury fishing lodge, Solitaire Lodge enjoys commanding views over beautiful Lake Tarawera and offers guests a stylish and relaxing base from which to explore.

Waterfall in the forest near Treetops Lodge & Estate, Rotorua

Treetops Lodge and Estate, Rotorua, New Zealand

Small & intimate lodge

Set amidst a beautiful forest just outside the town of Rotorua, just two hours drive from Auckland on New Zealand's picturesque North Island, Treetops Lodge and Estate is a haven of peace and tranquility, surrounded by sparkling streams and 800 year old trees.

Jacuzzi at Delamore Lodge, Waiheke Island

Delamore Lodge, Waiheke Island

Small & intimate lodge

Just 35 minutes from Auckland in New Zealand's Hauraki Gulf, Delamore Lodge on beautiful Waiheke Island offers an idyllic escape from the hustle and bustle of city life in one of the North Island's most picturesque locations.

Coastal views at The Farm at Cape Kidnappers

The Farm at Cape Kidnappers, Hawke's Bay

Small & intimate lodge

The Farm at Cape Kidnappers is set amid 6,000 acres of rolling countryside in New Zealand's picturesque Hawke's Bay, one of the country's most important wine producing regions.

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Where to go in New Zealand's North Island

Coromandel Peninsula, New Zealand

Rotorua, Taupo & Coromandel

The North Island’s central region is shaped by millennia of volcanic activity. Summit volcanic peaks and dive down into tranquil troughs and sandy beaches as you take in a world of geothermal delights, from hot-spring beaches to hikes among still-smoking calderas.

Hawke's Bay vineyards, New Zealand

Napier & Hawke's Bay

Hawke's Bay is well-known for its rolling pastures and fertile vineyards, and you could easily spend your entire New Zealand holiday enjoying the attractions of this one region alone. Expect Art Deco treasures, historic wineries and plenty of sunshine.

Views across Waitemata harbour to Auckland, New Zealand


You're never far from the water in Auckland, a city that has more recreational boats per capita than any other city in the world, earning it the name the ‘City of Sails'. Head out from its bustling harbour to discover islands and wineries in the Hauraki Gulf.

Bay of Islands, New Zealand

Northland & Bay of Islands

Explore wild west coast of Northland and the beautiful Bay of Islands – a region of rich Maori culture, spectacular beaches, historic townships and unforgettable wildlife encounters.

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When to go to New Zealand's North Island

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The North Island can be visited year-round although most people arrive in the summer (December to March) when the weather is at its warmest. If you’re planning a Christmas break then book early as hotels in the most popular spots fill up fast. October, November and March are mild, while winter brings more rainfall to lower lying regions. Head for the hills, however, and there’s some decent skiing to be had at Mt. Ruapehu near Taupo.

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New Zealand's North Island articles

View of the road in the Southern Alps, New Zealand

New Zealand: North vs South

They’re so close they’re almost touching, but New Zealand’s North and South islands can feel worlds apart. From golden beaches to colossal glaciers, Wexas specialist Keely Roberts takes a look at their varying appeals.

Lake Wanaka and Mt. Aspiring, New Zealand

New Zealand’s Top 7 Wilderness Highlights

From the subtropical Bay of Islands to the glaciers and mountains of the south, here we look at New Zealand's most spellbinding landscapes and how to explore them.

Meet our New Zealand's North Island experts

Speak to a tailor-made specialist on 020 7590 0614

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Why book with Wexas Travel?

At Wexas, we specialise in bespoke travel experiences. Our itineraries are just samples of what we can arrange, and can be changed depending on your precise needs, finances and ideas by our experienced destination specialists.

Contact one of our consultants on 020 7590 0614 to discuss how we can tailor your holiday.

Learn why Wexas is the leader in creating luxury holidays. What is tailor-made travel?

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