The North Island of New Zealand is the most densely populated of two main islands. The city of Auckland in the north is by far the largest city in New Zealand and our capital Wellington sits on the south coast.
People are quick to classify the North Island as less visually stunning to the South, but this is a large generalisation that does not always hold true. Discover black, white and golden sand beaches in the subtropical the Far North, climb volcanoes with breath-taking views and geothermal landscapes in the central regions and enjoy the vineyards of Hawkes Bay and Martinborough further South.
Must do's include: Tongariro Crossing one day trek, early New Zealand history at Waitangi, a visit to “the coolest little capital in the world” Wellington, and an escape to Kapiti Island to view native birdlife.
Read our travel articles below to learn more about our first-hand experiences travelling in the North Island and plan your itinerary.
Located between Wellington and the Wairapa valley, the Rimutaka Trail crosses a region that is well-known by the locals but not by tourists. Cycling on this trail is an immersive, off the beaten track experience but also one that is borrowed from the history of the first settlers.Find out more
The Te Papa Tongarewa museum, broadly translated as “the place of treasures of this land”, is a veritable cultural attraction in New Zealand. While some would be happy admiring the collections that are accessible to the public, others look for a unique and private cultural and artistic immersion.Find out more
The "Twin Coast Cycle Trail" is 87km long and crosses Northland from Opua to Hokianga Harbour. It can be divided in 4 sections and ridden in both directions. Due to its sub-tropical climate, it is available all year round and suitable for most riders as it is mostly flat with gentle climbs.Find out more
New Zealand isn't particularly well known overseas for its wildlife but there are a wide variety of animals to see. The animal life that you can find in the North and South islands is quite different so if you're a big nature lover we recommend exploring them both.Find out more
Nestled within the deep hidden valleys of New Zealand's Forgotten World Highway is the ultimate way to explore rural New Zealand. Travel along decommissioned railway lines, through tunnels, over bridges and rivers and to townships that time forgot.Find out more
Even though I call Auckland home this scenic flight truly blew me away. It's the perfect option for anyone who is a little short on time and it allows you to see Auckland and the Hauraki Gulf in a way that no one else is able to, from both the harbour and the air.Find out more
At Once Upon A Trip we know you want authenticity when you travel - so we were thrilled to come across a small family-run business, Cave World, that are able to give you a much more intimate, personalised visit to Waitomo's infamous glowworm caves.Find out more
Just an hour north of Auckland is a special opportunity to spot kiwis in their natural environment. Pam and Tristan from Habitat Tours got in contact with our team in October 2014, to explain their idea of proposing kiwi spotting tours and we jumped on this incredible experience.Find out more
This 9 day kiwi adventure is great for families especially with children from 8 years and up as this means everyone can take part in the activities we have chosen.Discover More
This itinerary combines New Zealand and Fiji with an epicurean twist, without missing out on the highlights with the geothermal, mountains, fjords and glaciers in NZ.Discover More
Short on time for your vacation but want the best of New Zealand's North Island and soak in the tropical sun and beauty of Fiji? This mini escape trip in both countries provides diverse landscapes, fun and will probably leaving wanting to visit both countries again!Discover More
Carolyn, I thought we should tell you how much we enjoyed the trip. NZ was great - the people, the food, the scenery. We liked all the places you booked for us. Thanks so much f... - Glynis Williams, USARead all reviews