12 days in North Island Itinerary

12 days in North Island Itinerary

Created using Inspirock North Island trip planner

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Route & dates

12 days in North Island Itinerary

Start: Melbourne
Fly:  7 h 15 min
1
Wellington
— 2 nights
Fly:  3 h
2
Rotorua
— 4 nights
Drive:  2 h
3
Waitomo Caves
— 2 nights
+2
Taxi + Fly + Taxi:  3 h
4
Paihia
— 1 night
Drive:  3 h
5
Auckland
— 2 nights
Fly:  6 h 45 min
End: Melbourne

2
nights
Wellington

Wellington
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.
On the 23rd (Thu), get engrossed in the history at Wellington Museum, then contemplate the waterfront views at Oriental Bay, and then examine the collection at Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. On the 24th (Fri), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: admire the landmark architecture of Old St Paul's, pause for some photo ops at National War Memorial, then identify plant and animal life at Staglands Wildlife Reserve, and finally catch a ride on Wellington Cable Car.

To find other places to visit, reviews, traveler tips, and tourist information, refer to the Wellington route builder tool .

Melbourne, Australia to Wellington is an approximately 7.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight, taxi, and train. The time zone difference moving from Australian Eastern Standard Time (Victoria) (AEST) to New Zealand Standard Time (NZST) is 2 hours. In July, daytime highs in Wellington are 14°C, while nighttime lows are 8°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 24th (Fri) so you can travel to Rotorua.

Things to do in Wellington

Parks Museums Wildlife
Find places to stay Jul 22 — 24:
Highlights from your plan
Staglands Wildlife Reserve ©
Staglands Wildlife Reserve
Oriental Bay ©
Oriental Bay

4
nights
Rotorua

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.
Satisfy your inner culture vulture at Volcanic Hills Winery and St Michael's Catholic Church. Kids will appreciate attractions like Mt Maunganui Main Beach and Paradise Valley Springs Wildlife Park. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Rotorua: the Zeus Gallery (in Tauranga) and Huka Falls Walkway (in Taupo). And it doesn't end there: let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour, look for all kinds of wild species at Redwoods Treewalk, trek along Blue Lake Track, and get impressive views of Waimangu Volcanic Valley.

For reviews, ratings, more things to do, and other tourist information, use the Rotorua trip planner.

You can fly from Wellington to Rotorua in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and bus; or drive. Expect a daytime high around 17°C in July, and nighttime lows around 7°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 28th (Tue) early enough to drive to Waitomo Caves.

Things to do in Rotorua

Parks Outdoors Tours

Side Trips

Tauranga, Orakei Korako Geothermal Park & Cave, Huka Falls Walkway, River Rafting & Tubing
Find places to stay Jul 24 — 28:
Highlights from your plan
Mt Maunganui Main Beach ©
Mt Maunganui Main Beach
River Rafting & Tubing
Waimangu Volcanic Valley ©
Waimangu Volcanic Valley

2
nights
Waitomo Caves

Waitomo Caves
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.
Start off your visit on the 29th (Wed): Head underground at Ruakuri Cave, surround yourself with nature on a nature and wildlife tour, and then Head underground at Waitomo Glowworm Caves. On the next day, take in the views from Mangapohue Natural Bridge Walk, admire the sheer force of Marakopa Falls, Head underground at Piripiri Cave Walk, explore the fascinating underground world of Caveworld, then stroll through Ruakuri Walk, and finally relax in the rural setting at Roselands Farm Park.

To find ratings, photos, other places to visit, and other tourist information, go to the Waitomo Caves trip builder app .

You can drive from Rotorua to Waitomo Caves in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 30th (Thu) to allow enough time to travel to Paihia.

Things to do in Waitomo Caves

Parks Nature Outdoors
Find places to stay Jul 28 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Ruakuri Cave
Ruakuri Cave
Ruakuri Walk ©
Ruakuri Walk
Caveworld ©
Caveworld

1
night
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.
Kick off your visit on the 31st (Fri): identify plant and animal life at Paihia Harbour, then stop by Paihia Bookshop, then get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports, and finally don't miss a visit to KeriKeri New Zealand.

For ratings, more things to do, other places to visit, and tourist information, read our Paihia trip builder site .

Traveling by combination of taxi and flight from Waitomo Caves to Paihia takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of bus and flight. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 31st (Fri) to allow time to drive to Auckland.

Things to do in Paihia

Wildlife Outdoors Tours

Side Trip

KeriKeri New Zealand
Find places to stay Jul 30 — 31:
Highlights from your plan
Paihia Harbour ©
Paihia Harbour
Scuba & Snorkeling
Paihia Bookshop ©
Paihia Bookshop

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.
Start off your visit on the 1st (Sat): make a trip to SkyTower, take an in-depth tour of Auckland Museum, and then have some family-friendly fun at Virtual Reality Studio. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 2nd (Sun): kick back and relax at Cheltenham Beach, tour the pleasant surroundings at Piha Beach, and then take a memorable drive along Arataki Visitor Centre.

Inspirock's itinerary builder makes planning a Auckland trip simple and quick.

Traveling by car from Paihia to Auckland takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and bus; or take a bus. In July, daily temperatures in Auckland can reach 13°C, while at night they dip to 13°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Sun) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Auckland

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trips

Piha, Cheltenham Beach
Find places to stay Jul 31 — Aug 2:
Highlights from your plan
Arataki Visitor Centre ©
Arataki Visitor Centre
Piha Beach ©
Piha Beach
Auckland Museum ©
Auckland Museum

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