8 days in North Island Itinerary

8 days in North Island Itinerary

Created using Inspirock North Island trip itinerary maker
Make it your trip
— 1 day
New Plymouth
— 1 night
Waitomo Caves
— 1 night
— 3 nights
— 2 nights


Wellington — 1 day

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 19th (Fri): get to know the resident critters at Wellington Zoo, enjoy the sand and surf at Oriental Bay, and then get engrossed in the history at Wellington Museum.

For maps, ratings, and more tourist information, go to the Wellington trip itinerary planner.

Use the Route module to find travel options from your starting location to Wellington. Expect a daytime high around 20°C in April, and nighttime lows around 14°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 19th (Fri) to allow time to fly to New Plymouth.
Parks · Outdoors · Nature · Beaches
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New Plymouth — 1 night

Where other cities run, New Plymouth prefers to stroll.
On the 20th (Sat), take in the pleasant sights at New Plymouth Coastal Walkway, then kick back and relax at Oakura Beach, then hike along Ratapihipihi Scenic Reserve Walk, and finally learn about wildlife with up-close encounters at Pukekura Park.

To see traveler tips, where to stay, more things to do, and tourist information, read New Plymouth trip planner.

Getting from Wellington to New Plymouth by flight takes about 2.5 hours. Other options: drive; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 20th (Sat) to allow enough time to drive to Waitomo Caves.
Parks · Outdoors · Beaches · Zoos & Aquariums
Side Trip
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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.
Start off your visit on the 21st (Sun): hike along Ruakuri Walk, Head underground at Caveworld, explore the fascinating underground world of Ruakuri Cave, then snap pictures at Mangapohue Natural Bridge Walk, and finally admire the sheer force of Marakopa Falls.

Before you visit Waitomo Caves, use our trip planner to discover what you can do and see there.

Drive from New Plymouth to Waitomo Caves in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or do a combination of flight and bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 21st (Sun) early enough to go by car to Rotorua.
Parks · Nature · Trails · Outdoors
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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.
Explore hidden gems such as Happy Ewe Cycle Tours and Lake Rotorua. You'll visit kid-friendly attractions like Waikite Valley Thermal Pools and Redwoods Treewalk. Next up on the itinerary: witness a stunning natural landmark at Kuirau Park, relax in the rural setting at Agrodome, look for all kinds of wild species at Paradise Valley Springs Wildlife Park, and contemplate the geological forces at Waimangu Volcanic Valley.

To see reviews, other places to visit, photos, and tourist information, go to the Rotorua holiday builder website.

Traveling by car from Waitomo Caves to Rotorua takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In April, daily temperatures in Rotorua can reach 24°C, while at night they dip to 15°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 24th (Wed) so you can catch the flight to Paihia.
Parks · Nature · Wildlife · Tours
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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.
Kick off your visit on the 25th (Thu): see majestic marine mammals with a dolphin and whale watching tour, then hike along Kororipo Pa Historic Walk, and then surround yourself with nature on a nature and wildlife tour. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports, then identify plant and animal life at Paihia Harbour, and then take a tour by water with Boat Tours & Water Sports.

To see maps, photos, ratings, and other tourist information, read our Paihia trip builder website.

Traveling by flight from Rotorua to Paihia takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 26th (Fri) so you can catch the flight back home.
Wildlife · Outdoors · Tours · Parks
Side Trips
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North Island travel guide

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.