15 days in North Island Itinerary

15 days in North Island Itinerary

Created using Inspirock North Island visit planner

Make it your trip
Drive
1
Palmerston North
— 1 night
Drive
2
Rotorua
— 3 nights
Fly
3
Auckland
— 3 nights
Drive
4
Whangarei
— 2 nights
Drive
5
Cape Reinga
— 2 nights
Drive
6
Whangarei
— 1 night
Drive
7
Auckland
— 2 nights
Fly

S M T W T F S
26
27
28
29
30
31
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15

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 27th (Mon), see the interesting displays at New Zealand Rugby Museum, then see the interesting displays at Te Manawa Museum of Art, Science & Heritage, and then admire the striking features of Palmerston North Clock Tower.

For traveler tips, reviews, other places to visit, and more tourist information, read our Palmerston North trip planner.

Wellington to Palmerston North is an approximately 2-hour car ride. You can also take a bus; or take a train. When traveling from Wellington in December, plan for a bit cooler days in Palmerston North, with highs around 19°C, while nights are about the same with lows around 19°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 27th (Mon) early enough to travel to Rotorua.

Things to do in Palmerston North

Museums
Find places to stay Dec 26 — 27:

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.
Explore Rotorua's surroundings by going to Taupo (Adrenaline & Extreme Tours & Huka Falls Walkway) and Mount Maunganui Summit Track (in Mount Maunganui). The adventure continues: kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, witness a stunning natural landmark at Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, steep yourself in history at Te Puia, and take a peaceful walk through Redwoods, Whakarewarewa Forest.

To see ratings, traveler tips, maps, and other tourist information, go to the Rotorua trip tool.

You can drive from Palmerston North to Rotorua in 4.5 hours. Expect somewhat warmer weather when traveling from Palmerston North in December: highs in Rotorua hover around 25°C, while lows dip to 17°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 30th (Thu) to allow time to fly to Auckland.

Things to do in Rotorua

Outdoors · Parks · Nature · Tours

Side Trips

Find places to stay Dec 27 — 30:

Auckland

— 3 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.
On the 31st (Fri), get impressive views of Mount Eden, then get to know the resident critters at Auckland Zoo, and then make a trip to SkyTower. On the 1st (Sat), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: take an in-depth tour of Auckland Museum, enjoy the thrill of live dance at SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton's Aquarium, and then get impressive views of Rangitoto Island.

For where to stay, ratings, maps, and other tourist information, go to the Auckland trip planning app.

Traveling by flight from Rotorua to Auckland takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Traveling from Rotorua in December, expect nights in Auckland to be about the same, around 20°C, while days are slightly colder, around 20°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 2nd (Sun) early enough to go by car to Whangarei.

Things to do in Auckland

Parks · Nature · Zoos & Aquariums · Museums
Find places to stay Dec 30 — Jan 2:

Whangarei

— 2 nights
Whangarei is the northernmost city in New Zealand and the regional capital of Northland Region. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Whangarei: Paihia (Scuba & Snorkeling & Paihia Harbour). There's much more to do: take a stroll through Town Basin, get advice or help at Whangarei Quarry Gardens, admire the sheer force of Whangarei Falls, and take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Mount Manaia Track.

To find maps, more things to do, where to stay, and tourist information, read our Whangarei tour builder tool.

You can drive from Auckland to Whangarei in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 4th (Tue) to allow enough time to travel to Cape Reinga.

Things to do in Whangarei

Parks · Wildlife · Nature · Outdoors

Side Trip

Find places to stay Jan 2 — 4:

Cape Reinga

— 2 nights
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. On the 5th (Wed), enjoy the sand and surf at Tapotupotu Beach, take some stellar pictures from Cape Reinga Lighthouse, and then hike along Te Paki Coastal Track. On the next day, take in the dramatic natural features at Te Paki Sand Dunes.

Make your Cape Reinga itinerary with Inspirock to find out what to see and where to go.

You can drive from Whangarei to Cape Reinga in 4 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 6th (Thu) so you can travel to Whangarei.

Things to do in Cape Reinga

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Beaches

Side Trips

Find places to stay Jan 4 — 6:

Whangarei

— 1 night
On the 7th (Fri), see the vivid underwater world at Poor Knights Island Marine Reserve and then trek along Bream Head Coast Walks.

To see reviews, photos, and more tourist information, use the Whangarei trip maker.

Traveling by car from Cape Reinga to Whangarei takes 4 hours. Cap off your sightseeing on the 7th (Fri) early enough to go by car to Auckland.

Things to do in Whangarei

Parks · Outdoors · Wildlife · Trails
Find places to stay Jan 6 — 7:

Auckland

— 2 nights

City of Sails

On the 8th (Sat), explore the world behind art at Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki and then see majestic marine mammals with a dolphin and whale watching tour. Here are some ideas for day two: head off the coast to Tiritiri Matangi Visitor Centre and then head off the coast to Waiheke Island.

To see ratings, where to stay, other places to visit, and more tourist information, read Auckland tour itinerary builder.

Getting from Whangarei to Auckland by car takes about 2 hours. Other options: fly; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 9th (Sun) to allow enough time to fly back home.

Things to do in Auckland

Wildlife · Nature · Parks · Outdoors
Find places to stay Jan 7 — 9:

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.