9 days in North Island Itinerary

9 days in North Island Itinerary

Created using Inspirock North Island route planner

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Hamilton
— 1 day
Drive
2
Waitomo Caves
— 1 night
Drive
3
Tauranga
— 1 night
Drive
4
Rotorua
— 1 night
Drive
5
Taupo
— 1 night
Drive
6
Napier
— 1 night
Drive
7
Gisborne
— 1 night
Fly
8
Auckland
— 1 night
Drive
9
Paihia
— 1 night
Fly

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Hamilton

— 1 day

Tron

On the banks of the Waikato River lies Hamilton, a pretty, active city on North Island.
Kick off your visit on the 2nd (Fri): see the interesting displays at Waikato Museum, admire the natural beauty at Hamilton Gardens, and then walk around Memorial Park.

For photos, reviews, ratings, and more tourist information, use the Hamilton attractions planning site.

Christchurch to Hamilton is an approximately 4-hour flight. You can also do a combination of car and ferry; or do a combination of train and ferry. Cap off your sightseeing on the 2nd (Fri) early enough to go by car to Waitomo Caves.

Things to do in Hamilton

Parks · Museums · Fun & Games
Find places to stay Apr 2 — 3:

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.
On the 3rd (Sat), Head underground at Waitomo Glowworm Caves, tour the pleasant surroundings at Ruakuri Walk, then surround yourself with nature on Spellbound Glowworm & Cave Tours, and finally get outside with Waitomo Clay Birds.

For maps, ratings, photos, and other tourist information, read Waitomo Caves journey site.

Traveling by car from Hamilton to Waitomo Caves takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 3rd (Sat) to allow time to drive to Tauranga.

Things to do in Waitomo Caves

Outdoors · Tours · Wildlife · Parks
Find places to stay Apr 2 — 3:

Tauranga

— 1 night
The largest city in the Bay of Plenty, Tauranga features extensive sandy beaches, well-maintained hiking paths, and a good range of accommodations.
Kick off your visit on the 4th (Sun): stroll through Mount Maunganui Summit Track, then hike along Mount Maunganui Base Track, then get your game on at The Aviator Experience, and finally admire the sheer force of McLaren Falls Park.

For traveler tips, where to stay, other places to visit, and more tourist information, read Tauranga online route maker.

Traveling by car from Waitomo Caves to Tauranga takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or do a combination of bus and flight. In April, daily temperatures in Tauranga can reach 24°C, while at night they dip to 15°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 4th (Sun) to allow enough time to drive to Rotorua.

Things to do in Tauranga

Parks · Trails · Outdoors · Nature
Find places to stay Apr 3 — 4:

Rotorua

— 1 night

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.
Kick off your visit on the 5th (Mon): witness a stunning natural landmark at Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, trot along with a tour on horseback, and then whizz through the canopy at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks.

To find ratings, maps, where to stay, and tourist information, go to the Rotorua trip maker.

Traveling by car from Tauranga to Rotorua takes an hour. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In April, plan for daily highs up to 24°C, and evening lows to 15°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 5th (Mon) to allow time to drive to Taupo.

Things to do in Rotorua

Find places to stay Apr 4 — 5:

Taupo

— 1 night

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.
Kick off your visit on the 6th (Tue): get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports, then admire the sheer force of Huka Falls Walkway, and then push the limits with an extreme tour.

To find ratings, photos, maps, and tourist information, read our Taupo holiday planner.

Drive from Rotorua to Taupo in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 6th (Tue) to allow time to drive to Napier.

Things to do in Taupo

Outdoors · Tours · Nature · Trails
Find places to stay Apr 5 — 6:

Napier

— 1 night
Enjoy the atmosphere and architecture of 1930s design in Napier, one of the best-preserved Art Deco cities in the world.
Kick off your visit on the 7th (Wed): admire nature's wide array of creatures at National Aquarium of New Zealand, don't miss a visit to Marine Parade, then do a tasting at Trinity Hill Winery, and finally indulge your senses at some of the top wineries in the area.

To find traveler tips, ratings, reviews, and other tourist information, read Napier trip planner.

You can drive from Taupo to Napier in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 7th (Wed) to allow time to travel to Gisborne.

Things to do in Napier

Wineries · Tours · Zoos & Aquariums · Parks

Side Trip

Find places to stay Apr 6 — 7:

Gisborne

— 1 night

City of Rivers

A holiday in Gisborne incorporates both leisure and culture.
Kick off your visit on the 8th (Thu): explore the world behind art at Tairawhiti Museum, then learn about winemaking at Millton Vineyards & Winery, then delve into the lush surroundings at Eastwoodhill Arboretum, and finally indulge your thirst for a good beer at Sunshine Brewery & Taproom.

To see where to stay, ratings, more things to do, and more tourist information, read Gisborne trip builder website.

You can drive from Napier to Gisborne in 3 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 8th (Thu) early enough to travel to Auckland.

Things to do in Gisborne

Wineries · Nature · Breweries & Distilleries · Museums

Side Trips

Find places to stay Apr 7 — 8:

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 9th (Fri): enjoy a live performance at SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton's Aquarium, then learn about all things military at Auckland Museum, then stop by Pauanesia, and finally take in panoramic vistas at SkyTower.

To see maps, traveler tips, where to stay, and tourist information, read Auckland day trip tool.

Explore your travel options from Gisborne to Auckland with the Route module. In April, daytime highs in Auckland are 22°C, while nighttime lows are 22°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 9th (Fri) so you can drive to Paihia.

Things to do in Auckland

Museums · Nightlife · Zoos & Aquariums · Parks
Find places to stay Apr 8 — 9:

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.
Start off your visit on the 10th (Sat): take a tour by water with Boat Tours & Water Sports, then admire all the interesting features of Waitangi Treaty Grounds, and then surround yourself with nature on a nature and wildlife tour.

To find traveler tips, photos, and more tourist information, refer to the Paihia trip planner.

Drive from Auckland to Paihia in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 10th (Sat) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Paihia

Tours · Outdoors · Historic Sites · Wildlife
Find places to stay Apr 9 — 10:

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.