14 days in North Island Itinerary

14 days in North Island Itinerary

Created using Inspirock North Island itinerary planner

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Paihia
— 1 night
Fly
2
Auckland
— 1 night
Drive
3
Waitomo Caves
— 1 night
Drive
4
Rotorua
— 3 nights
Drive
5
Taupo
— 3 nights
Shuttle
6
Tongariro National Park
— 3 nights
Fly
7
Wellington
— 1 night
Fly

S M T W T F S
26
27
28
29
30
31
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15

Paihia

— 1 night
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 27th (Mon): pause for some serene contemplation at St Paul's Anglican Church and then discover the deep blue sea with a scuba or snorkeling tour. Here are some ideas for day two: tour the pleasant surroundings at Paihia Harbour, then admire all the interesting features of Waitangi Treaty Grounds, and then surround yourself with nature on a nature and wildlife tour.

For where to stay and more tourist information, you can read our Paihia trip itinerary builder.

Christchurch to Paihia is an approximately 5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of car and ferry; or do a combination of bus and ferry. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 28th (Tue) so you can catch the flight to Auckland.

Things to do in Paihia

Wildlife · Parks · Tours · Outdoors
Find places to stay Dec 27 — 28:

Auckland

— 1 night

City of Sails

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 29th (Wed): learn about all things military at Auckland Museum, get to know the resident critters at Auckland Zoo, and then make a trip to SkyTower.

You can plan Auckland trip in no time by asking Inspirock to help create your itinerary.

Fly from Paihia to Auckland in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In December in Auckland, expect temperatures between 20°C during the day and 20°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 29th (Wed) so you can go by car to Waitomo Caves.

Things to do in Auckland

Parks · Zoos & Aquariums · Museums
Find places to stay Dec 28 — 29:

Waitomo Caves

— 1 night
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.
Kick off your visit on the 30th (Thu): explore the fascinating underground world of Waitomo Glowworm Caves, catch all the local highlights with Sightseeing Tours, and then let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour.

For photos, other places to visit, and more tourist information, refer to the Waitomo Caves online tour planner.

Getting from Auckland to Waitomo Caves by car takes about 2.5 hours. Other options: take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 30th (Thu) early enough to drive to Rotorua.

Things to do in Waitomo Caves

Tours · Outdoors · Wildlife · Adventure
Find places to stay Dec 29 — 30:

Rotorua

— 3 nights

Sulphur City

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 a short trip to Hobbiton Movie Set in Hinuera (about 1h 20 min away). There's still lots to do: kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, take a peaceful walk through Redwoods, Whakarewarewa Forest, take in the natural beauty of Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, and take an in-depth tour of Rotorua Museum.

For other places to visit, maps, reviews, and tourist information, refer to the Rotorua road trip website.

You can drive from Waitomo Caves to Rotorua in 2 hours. Another option is to take a bus. In December, daytime highs in Rotorua are 25°C, while nighttime lows are 17°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Sun) to allow enough time to drive to Taupo.

Things to do in Rotorua

Parks · Nature · Adventure · Tours

Side Trip

Find places to stay Dec 30 — Jan 2:

Taupo

— 3 nights

Great Cloak of Tia

The resort town of Taupo lies on the banks of Lake Taupo, the largest body of water in the whole of Australasia.
Taupo is known for nature, adventure, and theme parks. Your trip includes some of its best attractions: hike along Huka Falls Walkway, take in the dramatic natural features at Craters of the Moon, make a trip to Maori Rock Carvings, and witness a stunning natural landmark at Wairakei Natural Thermal Valley.

To see photos, more things to do, where to stay, and more tourist information, read Taupo day trip site.

Drive from Rotorua to Taupo in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 5th (Wed) early enough to take a shuttle to Tongariro National Park.

Things to do in Taupo

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Tours
Find places to stay Jan 2 — 5:

Tongariro National Park

— 3 nights
Tongariro National Park has a long history of preserving New Zealand's pristine alpine landscape.
On the 8th (Sat), hike the day away at Tongariro Alpine Crossing. There's lots more to do: stroll through Taranaki Falls, admire the sheer force of Tawhai Falls, contemplate the waterfront views at Tama Lakes, and hike along Ridge Track.

To find traveler tips, where to stay, and other tourist information, go to the Tongariro National Park trip itinerary planning app.

Getting from Taupo to Tongariro National Park by shuttle takes about 1.5 hours. Other options: drive; or do a combination of bus and taxi. Finish your sightseeing early on the 8th (Sat) so you can fly to Wellington.

Things to do in Tongariro National Park

Parks · Outdoors · Trails · Nature
Find places to stay Jan 5 — 8:

Wellington

— 1 night

Harbour Capital

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.
Kick off your visit on the 9th (Sun): admire the natural beauty at Wellington Botanic Garden, then steep yourself in history at Wellington Cable Car, then take an unforgettable tour with a helicopter tour, and finally see the interesting displays at Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.

To see other places to visit, traveler tips, maps, and other tourist information, read Wellington online trip builder.

You can fly from Tongariro National Park to Wellington in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of taxi and train. In January, plan for daily highs up to 24°C, and evening lows to 17°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 9th (Sun) to allow time to fly back home.

Things to do in Wellington

Parks · Museums · Tours · Historic Sites

Side Trip

Find places to stay Jan 8 — 9:

North Island travel guide

4.5
Hot Springs · Specialty Museums · Landmarks
The Fish of Māui
Home to both New Zealand's capital city and its most populous one, North Island remains the more urbane and modern of the country's two main islands. With a wealth of museums and places of historical importance, the island tells the story of New Zealand's inhabitants, from the native Maoris and European settlers to the cosmopolitan and inclusive population of the modern era. Away from the industrial and cultural centers, a tour of North Island can take you through the impressive and world-renowned landscape of deep gorges, rolling rivers, enormous lakes, and areas of volcanic activity--home to an amazing biodiversity of terrestrial and marine animal and plant life. Active vacationers on North Island may appreciate the extreme sports, and don't miss a chance to relax in its hot water springs.