13 days in North Island Itinerary

13 days in North Island Itinerary

Created using Inspirock North Island trip itinerary planner

Plan created by another user. Make it yours
1
Auckland
— 1 day
2
Waitomo Caves
— 2 nights
3
Rotorua
— 3 nights
4
Taupo
— 2 nights
5
Tongariro National Park
— 2 nights
6
Wellington
— 1 night
7
Paihia
— 2 nights

1
day
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 19th (Sat): enjoy the thrill of live dance at SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton's Aquarium, then learn about all things military at Auckland Museum, then stop by Pauanesia, and finally don't miss a visit to SkyTower.

For other places to visit, where to stay, and more tourist information, go to the Auckland trip itinerary planning site.

The Route module shows you all the different ways you can get to Auckland. In December, daily temperatures in Auckland can reach 20°C, while at night they dip to 20°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 19th (Sat) so you can drive to Waitomo Caves.

Things to do in Auckland

Museums · Zoos & Aquariums · Nightlife
Find places to stay Dec 19 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
SkyTower ©
SkyTower
Auckland Museum ©
Auckland Museum
SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton's Aquarium ©
SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton's Aquarium

2
nights
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.
On the 20th (Sun), get outside with Waitomo Clay Birds, then scramble along the landscape with a canyoning and rapelling tour, then explore the fascinating underground world of Waitomo Glowworm Caves, and finally trek along Ruakuri Walk. Here are some ideas for day two: snap pictures at Mangapohue Natural Bridge Walk, then Head underground at Caveworld, then let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour, and finally explore the fascinating underground world of Footwhistle Glowworm Cave.

For photos, other places to visit, ratings, and other tourist information, you can read our Waitomo Caves driving holiday planner.

Drive from Auckland to Waitomo Caves in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or do a combination of train and bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 21st (Mon) early enough to go by car to Rotorua.

Things to do in Waitomo Caves

Outdoors · Tours · Parks
Find places to stay Dec 19 — 21:
Highlights from your plan
Canyoning & Rappelling Tours
Waitomo Glowworm Caves ©
Waitomo Glowworm Caves
River Rafting & Tubing

3
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.
Step out of Rotorua with an excursion to Hobbiton Movie Set in Hinuera--about 1h 20 min away. Next up on the itinerary: kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, look for all kinds of wild species at Rainbow Springs Nature Park, take a peaceful walk through Redwoods, Whakarewarewa Forest, and get the adrenaline pumping with an extreme tour.

To see maps, more things to do, where to stay, and other tourist information, use the Rotorua day trip planning site.

Traveling by car from Waitomo Caves to Rotorua takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In December in Rotorua, expect temperatures between 25°C during the day and 17°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 24th (Thu) early enough to drive to Taupo.

Things to do in Rotorua

Parks · Nature · Outdoors

Side Trips

Okere Falls, Hobbiton Movie Set
Find places to stay Dec 21 — 24:
Highlights from your plan
Hobbiton Movie Set ©
Hobbiton Movie Set
Zipline
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland ©
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland

2
nights
Taupo

The resort town of Taupo lies on the banks of Lake Taupo, the largest body of water in the whole of Australasia.
On the 25th (Fri), admire the sheer force of Huka Falls Walkway, then don't miss a visit to Maori Rock Carvings, and then take a memorable tour with Tours. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 26th (Sat): don't miss a visit to Aratiatia Rapids, look for gifts at Huka Honey Hive, and then paddle through the water with a kayaking and canoeing tour.

Quickly create a custom-made itinerary for Taupo using our trip planner.

You can drive from Rotorua to Taupo in 1.5 hours. Another option is to take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 26th (Sat) early enough to go by car to Tongariro National Park.

Things to do in Taupo

Outdoors · Tours · Adventure
Find places to stay Dec 24 — 26:
Highlights from your plan
Adrenaline & Extreme Tours
Huka Falls Walkway
Huka Falls Walkway
Kayaking & Canoeing

2
nights
Tongariro National Park

Tongariro National Park ©
Tongariro National Park has a long history of preserving New Zealand's pristine alpine landscape.
Start off your visit on the 27th (Sun): hike along Tongariro Alpine Crossing. Here are some ideas for day two: take in the dramatic scenery at Tawhai Falls, trek along Rotopounamu Track, then get a bird's-eye view with Mountain Air Scenic Flights Day Tour, then trek along Taranaki Falls, and finally trek along Whakapapa Nature Walk.

For where to stay, reviews, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read Tongariro National Park route planner.

You can drive from Taupo to Tongariro National Park in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and taxi; or take a shuttle. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 28th (Mon) to allow time to travel to Wellington.

Things to do in Tongariro National Park

Outdoors · Parks · Trails
Find places to stay Dec 26 — 28:
Highlights from your plan
Tongariro Alpine Crossing ©
Tongariro Alpine Crossing
Mountain Air Scenic Flights Day Tour ©
Mountain Air Scenic Flights Day Tour
Taranaki Falls ©
Taranaki Falls

1
night
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.
Start off your visit on the 29th (Tue): ponder the world of politics at New Zealand Parliament, then take in nature's colorful creations at Wellington Botanic Garden, then take a memorable ride with Wellington Cable Car, and finally examine the collection at Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.

To find ratings, where to stay, more things to do, and other tourist information, go to the Wellington trip planner.

Getting from Tongariro National Park to Wellington by flight takes about 4.5 hours. Other options: drive; or do a combination of taxi and train. In December in Wellington, expect temperatures between 22°C during the day and 15°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 29th (Tue) so you can travel to Paihia.

Things to do in Wellington

Parks · Museums · Transportation

Side Trip

Wellington Botanic Garden
Find places to stay Dec 28 — 29:
Highlights from your plan
Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
Wellington Botanic Garden ©
Wellington Botanic Garden
Wellington Cable Car ©
Wellington Cable Car

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.
Kick off your visit on the 30th (Wed): identify plant and animal life at Paihia Harbour, then take a memorable tour with Salt Air, and then surround yourself with nature on Bay of Islands Kayaking. Here are some ideas for day two: contemplate the long history of Waitangi Treaty Grounds, then take the plunge with Skydive Bay of Islands, and then pause for some serene contemplation at St James Anglican Church.

To see maps, more things to do, ratings, and other tourist information, use the Paihia trip planner.

Traveling by flight from Wellington to Paihia takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of train and bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 31st (Thu) to allow time to drive back home.

Things to do in Paihia

Tours · Outdoors · Adventure

Side Trip

St James Anglican Church
Find places to stay Dec 29 — 31:
Highlights from your plan
Skydive Bay of Islands ©
Skydive Bay of Islands
Waitangi Treaty Grounds ©
Waitangi Treaty Grounds
Bay of Islands Kayaking ©
Bay of Islands Kayaking

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