11 days in North Island Itinerary

11 days in North Island Itinerary

Created using Inspirock North Island trip planner

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Route & dates

11 days in North Island Itinerary

Start: Brisbane
Fly:  8​h 30​min
1
Paihia
— 2 nights
taxi + Fly:  4​h 15​min
2
Rotorua
— 3 nights
3
Auckland
— 2 nights
4
Auckland
— 3 nights
Fly:  6​h 45​min
End: Brisbane

2
nights
Paihia

Paihia ©
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 2nd (Thu), look for all kinds of wild species at Paihia Harbour, then steep yourself in history at Waitangi Treaty Grounds, and then surround yourself with nature on a nature and wildlife tour. On the next day, glide through the air with a parasailing or paragliding tour, stop by Paihia Bookshop, and then get up close to creatures of the deep with a dolphin and whale watching tour.

To see where to stay, ratings, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read our Paihia trip itinerary planner .

Brisbane, Australia to Paihia is an approximately 8.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of bus and flight; or do a combination of flight and bus. Traveling from Brisbane to Paihia, you'll lose 2 hours due to the time zone difference. Cap off your sightseeing on the 3rd (Fri) early enough to travel to Rotorua.

Things to do in Paihia

Wildlife Tours Outdoors
Find places to stay Jan 1 — 3:
Highlights from your plan
Waitangi Treaty Grounds ©
Waitangi Treaty Grounds
Nature & Wildlife Tours
Dolphin & Whale Watching

3
nights
Rotorua

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 these side-trips from Rotorua: Dog and Sheep Shaped Corrugated Metal Buildings (in Tirau), Hobbiton Movie Set (in Hinuera) and Taupo (Adrenaline & Extreme Tours, Huka Falls Walkway, & more). And it doesn't end there: take in the natural beauty of Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, trot along with a tour on horseback, delve into the lush surroundings at Redwoods, Whakarewarewa Forest, and learn about winemaking at Volcanic Hills Winery.

To see maps, where to stay, and more tourist information, refer to the Rotorua road trip planning site .

Getting from Paihia to Rotorua by combination of taxi and flight takes about 4.5 hours. Other options: fly; or drive. In January, daily temperatures in Rotorua can reach 27°C, while at night they dip to 19°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 6th (Mon) so you can drive to Auckland.

Things to do in Rotorua

Outdoors Tours Nature

Side Trips

Taupo, Dog and Sheep Shaped Corrugated Metal Buildings, Hobbiton Movie Set
Find places to stay Jan 3 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Adrenaline & Extreme Tours
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland ©
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland
Huka Falls Walkway ©
Huka Falls Walkway

2
nights
Auckland

Auckland ©
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 7th (Tue): get your game on at Sky Screamer Reverse Bungy, then have fun at Takapuna Beach Playground, then step off the mainland to explore Waiheke Island, and finally stop by Miller Road Fragrance Studio. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: look for all kinds of wild species at Tiritiri Matangi Visitor Centre, then enjoy the thrill of live dance at SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton's Aquarium, and then enjoy the sand and surf at Cheltenham Beach.

To see traveler tips, reviews, maps, and other tourist information, go to the Auckland online tour itinerary planner .

Drive from Rotorua to Auckland in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or fly. When traveling from Rotorua in January, plan for a bit cooler days in Auckland, with highs around 22°C, while nights are about the same with lows around 22°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 8th (Wed) so you can travel to Auckland.

Things to do in Auckland

Parks Nature Wildlife

Side Trips

Takapuna Beach Playground, Cheltenham Beach, Miller Road Fragrance Studio
Find places to stay Jan 6 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton's Aquarium ©
Tiritiri Matangi Visitor Centre ©
Tiritiri Matangi Visitor Centre
Cheltenham Beach ©
Cheltenham Beach

3
nights
Auckland

Auckland ©
On the 9th (Thu), get impressive views of Mount Eden, then brush up on your military savvy at Auckland War Memorial Museum, and then enjoy breathtaking views from Sky Tower. On the 10th (Fri), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: get to know the resident critters at Auckland Zoo, then contemplate the waterfront views at Devonport, and then do a tasting at Foxes Island.

For reviews, more things to do, where to stay, and tourist information, you can read our Auckland online travel planner .

On the 11th (Sat), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Auckland

Parks Zoos & Aquariums Nature
Find places to stay Jan 8 — 11:
Highlights from your plan
SkyTower ©
SkyTower
Auckland War Memorial Museum ©
Auckland War Memorial Museum
Auckland Zoo ©
Auckland Zoo

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