COVID-19: Stay up to date with our coverage on the coronavirus pandemic. Read more >



What to see in North Island

North Island Attractions

Other than the attractions of the two main cities, Auckland and Wellington, there is plenty to and see on New Zealand's North Island. As the heartland of the Maori people, the North Island is rich in history and culture, with sites such as Rotorua and Wai-O-Tapu especially significant in local history. A mixture of unique culture and strange natural phenomenon make these places extremely interesting. Rotorua, for example, has the most thermal activity in New Zealand, with hot springs and thermal baths. It draws crowds from all over the world to enjoy this natural spa treatment. Similarly, Wai-O-Tapu is a natural spectacle of thermal activity that boasts spectacular colour schemes in its pools of warm water, which have been active for over 100,000 years.

In the very northern tip of the island, known as Northland, towards the warm waters of Polynesia, lies the ancestral home of New Zealand's first inhabitants. Here visitors can enjoy the beautiful beaches along the coast and join in the locals love for watersports of all kinds including surfing, diving and skiing. For those who want to learn more about the native people of the North Island, why not visit Mitai Maori village, which offers a genuine introduction to an indigenous cultural experience in a sacred and spiritual place.

A popular way to see a large part of the island is to embark on a driving tour around the North Island. One common suggestion is to start the self-driving New Zealand tour in Auckland and complete a loop including many key areas like Rotorua, Napier, Wellington, Taupo, Whakatane, Waiheke, Kaitaia and Gisborne, so as to experience a good variety of what the island has to offer.


Situated on the Volcanic Plateau of Central North Island, the continuous volcanic activity has formed the landscape around Rotorua and the main attractions are based around its natural resources.…

read more


Located between Wellington and Auckland, Taranaki has for a long time been largely overlooked by tourists in New Zealand. It is only recently that visitors have discovered the charms of the westernmost…

read more

Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Reserve

Wai-O-Tapu, meaning 'Sacred Waters', is a diverse and colourful geothermal sightseeing experience. The area has been active for more than 100,000 years and features thick pools of boiling mud that…

read more


Become our North Island Travel Expert

We are looking for contributors for our North Island travel guide. If you are a local, a regular traveller to North Island or a travel professional with time to contribute and answer occasional forum questions, please contact us.