15 days in North Island Itinerary

15 days in North Island Itinerary

Created using Inspirock North Island journey planner

Make it your trip
1
Auckland
— 3 nights
Drive
2
Paihia
— 2 nights
Drive
3
Rotorua
— 3 nights
Drive
4
New Plymouth
— 2 nights
Drive
5
Napier
— 2 nights
Drive
6
Wellington
— 2 nights

S M T W T F S
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Auckland

— 3 nights

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.
Escape the urban bustle at Mount Eden and Pakuranga Rotary Walkway. Appreciate the collections at Auckland Museum and Connells Bay Sculpture Park. Explore Auckland's surroundings by going to Bohemian Museum (in Puhoi), Orewa Beach (in Orewa) and Sculptureum (in Matakana). And it doesn't end there: enjoy breathtaking views from SkyTower, awaken your taste buds at some of the top wineries in the area, get to know the resident critters at Auckland Zoo, and head off the coast to Waiheke Island.

For where to stay, traveler tips, photos, and tourist information, read our Auckland visit planning website.

If you are flying in from Australia, the closest major aiports are Auckland International Airport and Hamilton International Airport. May in Auckland sees daily highs of 18°C and lows of 18°C at night. You will have some time to spend on the 18th (Tue) before leaving for Paihia.

Things to do in Auckland

Parks · Nature · Museums · Shopping

Side Trips

Find places to stay May 15 — 18:

Paihia

— 2 nights
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 18th (Tue), admire the sheer force of Haruru Falls, steep yourself in history at Waitangi Treaty Grounds, then admire the striking features of St Paul's Anglican Church, then view the masterpieces at Just Imagine Gallery, and finally learn about winemaking at Omata Estate. Keep things going the next day: fulfill a lifelong dream with a swim-with-the-dolphins experience, look for all kinds of wild species at Wildlife Areas, look for gifts at Paihia Bookshop, then examine the collection at Russell Museum, then hike along Nancy Fladgate Track, and finally browse the exhibits of Country Corner.

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

You can fly from Auckland to Paihia in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 20th (Thu) early enough to catch the flight to Rotorua.

Things to do in Paihia

Wildlife · Parks · Outdoors · Tours

Side Trips

Find places to stay May 18 — 20:

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.
Te Puia and Rotorua Museum are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Escape the urban bustle at Huka Falls Walkway and Boat Tours & Water Sports. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Rotorua: Taupo (Lava Glass, Helicopter Tours, &more), Mount Maunganui (Mount Maunganui Base Track & Mount Maunganui Summit Track) and the Zeus Gallery (in Tauranga). There's lots more to do: witness a stunning natural landmark at Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, steep yourself in history at Buried Village of Te Wairoa, view the masterpieces at New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute, and take in the architecture and atmosphere at St. Faith's Anglican Church.

To see where to stay, reviews, ratings, and other tourist information, read our Rotorua trip tool.

Getting from Paihia to Rotorua by flight takes about 4.5 hours. Other options: drive; or take a bus. In May in Rotorua, expect temperatures between 20°C during the day and 11°C at night. You'll have a few hours on the 23rd (Sun) to wrap things up before traveling to New Plymouth.

Things to do in Rotorua

Parks · Museums · Outdoors · Nature

Side Trips

Find places to stay May 20 — 23:

New Plymouth

— 2 nights
Where other cities run, New Plymouth prefers to stroll.
On the 23rd (Sun), explore the engaging exhibits at Puke Ariki, view the masterpieces at Govett-Brewster Art Gallery / Len Lye Centre, don't miss a visit to Clock Tower, then tour the pleasant surroundings at Huatoki Walkway, then go for a walk through New Plymouth Coastal Walkway, and finally head off the coast to Paritutu Rock. On the next day, stroll through Te Henui Walkway, kick back and relax at Oakura Beach, engage your brain at Taranaki Aviation Transport and Technology Museum, take in the awesome beauty at Mount Taranaki, then tour the pleasant surroundings at Wilkies Pools Loop Track, and finally view the masterpieces at Fenton Street Art Collective.

For other places to visit, ratings, photos, and tourist information, read New Plymouth driving holiday planner.

Traveling by car from Rotorua to New Plymouth takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 25th (Tue) early enough to fly to Napier.

Things to do in New Plymouth

Parks · Outdoors · Museums · Trails

Side Trips

Find places to stay May 23 — 25:

Napier

— 2 nights
Enjoy the atmosphere and architecture of 1930s design in Napier, one of the best-preserved Art Deco cities in the world.
Start off your visit on the 25th (Tue): view the masterpieces at VIVA Gallery, examine the collection at Gypsy Rose Tea Museum, explore and take pictures at Otatara Pa Historic Reserve Walk, view the masterpieces at Birdwoods Gallery, then do a tasting at Askerne Vineyards, and finally take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Te Mata Peak. On the next day, hike along Ahuriri Estuary Walk, indulge your senses at some of the top wineries in the area, explore the engaging exhibits at Faraday Centre museum, then look for gifts at The Department of Curiosities and Fine Things, then explore the world behind art at MTG Hawke's Bay, and finally make a trip to Marine Parade.

To see traveler tips, maps, reviews, and tourist information, refer to the Napier itinerary maker tool.

Traveling by flight from New Plymouth to Napier takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. You'll set off for Wellington on the 27th (Thu).

Things to do in Napier

Parks · Museums · Wildlife · Shopping

Side Trips

Find places to stay May 25 — 27:

Wellington

— 2 nights

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.
Start off your visit on the 27th (Thu): identify plant and animal life at ZEALANDIA Ecosanctuary, learn about all things military at National War Memorial, then examine the collection at Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, then take an in-depth tour of The Great War Exhibition, and finally get great views at Mount Victoria. Keep things going the next day: get around town with Wellington Cable Car, take in nature's colorful creations at Wellington Botanic Garden, ponder the world of politics at New Zealand Parliament, take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Mount Kaukau, then get a dose of the wild on Kapiti Island Nature Tours, and finally see the sky in a new way at Space Place at Carter Observatory.

For where to stay, photos, maps, and more tourist information, read our Wellington online trip builder.

Getting from Napier to Wellington by flight takes about 2.5 hours. Other options: drive; or take a bus. In May in Wellington, expect temperatures between 18°C during the day and 12°C at night.

Things to do in Wellington

Wildlife · Parks · Museums · Tours

Side Trips

Find places to stay May 27 — 29:

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.