15 days in North Island Itinerary

15 days in North Island Itinerary

Created using Inspirock North Island trip itinerary planner

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Paihia
— 1 night
Drive
2
Whangarei
— 1 night
Drive
3
Auckland
— 1 night
Drive
4
Waitomo Caves
— 1 night
Drive
5
Rotorua
— 3 nights
Drive
6
Taupo
— 2 nights
Shuttle
7
Tongariro National Park
— 4 nights
Fly
8
Wellington
— 1 night

S M T W T F S
21
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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.
On the 26th (Fri), get a new perspective on things with Phantom Sailing and then tee off at Waitangi Golf Club. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: stroll through Paihia Harbour, steep yourself in history at Waitangi Treaty Grounds, and then get outside with Outdoor Activities.

To see reviews, photos, and other tourist information, use the Paihia tour builder tool.

Wellington to Paihia is an approximately 4.5-hour flight. You can also drive; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 27th (Sat) to allow time to drive to Whangarei.

Things to do in Paihia

Outdoors · Wildlife · Tours · Parks

Side Trip

Find places to stay Nov 26 — 27:

Whangarei

— 1 night
Whangarei is the northernmost city in New Zealand and the regional capital of Northland Region. Kick off your visit on the 28th (Sun): stroll through Poor Knights Island Marine Reserve and then hike along Bream Head Coast Walks.

To see where to stay, traveler tips, and tourist information, use the Whangarei trip maker.

You can drive from Paihia to Whangarei in 1.5 hours. Another option is to take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 28th (Sun) to allow enough time to drive to Auckland.

Things to do in Whangarei

Parks · Trails · Outdoors · Wildlife
Find places to stay Nov 27 — 28:

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 29th (Mon): indulge your senses at some of the top wineries in the area, then see the interesting displays at Auckland Museum, and then enjoy breathtaking views from SkyTower.

For reviews, traveler tips, ratings, and other tourist information, you can read our Auckland trip planning app.

Traveling by car from Whangarei to Auckland takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or take a bus. In November, plan for daily highs up to 20°C, and evening lows to 20°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 29th (Mon) early enough to go by car to Waitomo Caves.

Things to do in Auckland

Wineries · Museums · Tours
Find places to stay Nov 28 — 29:

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.
On the 30th (Tue), explore the fascinating underground world of Waitomo Glowworm Caves, skim along the rocks with a canyoning and rapelling tour, and then let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour.

For maps, traveler tips, photos, and other tourist information, read our Waitomo Caves trip planner.

Traveling by car from Auckland to Waitomo Caves takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 30th (Tue) early enough to drive to Rotorua.

Things to do in Waitomo Caves

Outdoors · Tours · Wildlife · Adventure
Find places to stay Nov 29 — 30:

Rotorua

— 3 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.
Change things up with a short trip to Hobbiton Movie Set in Hinuera (about 1h 20 min away). Next up on the itinerary: kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, trek along Lake Okareka Walkway, do a tasting at Volcanic Hills Winery, and make a trip to Te Puia.

To find more things to do, where to stay, other places to visit, and more tourist information, refer to the Rotorua day trip planning app.

Getting from Waitomo Caves to Rotorua by car takes about 2 hours. Other options: take a bus. November in Rotorua sees daily highs of 23°C and lows of 15°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 3rd (Fri) early enough to go by car to Taupo.

Things to do in Rotorua

Outdoors · Parks · Tours · Nature

Side Trip

Find places to stay Nov 30 — Dec 3:

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.
On the 4th (Sat), stroll through Huka Falls Walkway, take in nature's colorful creations at Waipahihi Botanical Gardens, and then push the limits with an extreme tour. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: explore the striking landscape at Spa Thermal Park and Riverbank Recreational and Scenic Reserve, take a tour by water with Boat Tours & Water Sports, and then don't miss a visit to Maori Rock Carvings.

For traveler tips, maps, where to stay, and tourist information, you can read our Taupo trip itinerary maker app.

You can drive from Rotorua to Taupo in 1.5 hours. Another option is to take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 5th (Sun) to allow time to take a shuttle to Tongariro National Park.

Things to do in Taupo

Outdoors · Parks · Tours · Nature
Find places to stay Dec 3 — 5:

Tongariro National Park

— 4 nights
Tongariro National Park has a long history of preserving New Zealand's pristine alpine landscape.
On the 6th (Mon), hike the day away at Tongariro Alpine Crossing. On the 9th (Thu), hike the day away at Horsemtrails. There's much more to do: explore the striking landscape of Active Outdoor Adventures, hike along Taranaki Falls, explore the activities along Tama Lakes, and take in the dramatic scenery at Tawhai Falls.

For more things to do, traveler tips, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read our Tongariro National Park trip itinerary maker website.

Traveling by shuttle from Taupo to Tongariro National Park takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of bus and taxi. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 9th (Thu) so you can catch the flight to Wellington.

Things to do in Tongariro National Park

Parks · Trails · Outdoors · Nature
Find places to stay Dec 5 — 9:

Wellington

— 1 night

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 10th (Fri): admire the natural beauty at Wellington Botanic Garden, then catch a ride on Wellington Cable Car, then see the world from above with a helicopter tour, and finally examine the collection at Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.

For maps, ratings, where to stay, and other tourist information, you can read our Wellington itinerary maker site.

Fly from Tongariro National Park to Wellington in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of taxi and train. In December, daily temperatures in Wellington can reach 22°C, while at night they dip to 15°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 10th (Fri) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Wellington

Parks · Museums · Tours · Transportation

Side Trip

Find places to stay Dec 9 — 10:

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.