Here’s the excellent six-day road trip itinerary through New Zealand’s North Island- including where to stay, what to see, and what to pack!
With stunning volcanoes, seas galore, ancient caves, and cute nonconformist cities, you won’t run out of things to do in New Zealand’s northward island.
New Zealand is made up of two large islands- the North Island and the South Island — and I recently had the opportunity to rent a campervan and road expedition through the north. I saw cataracts, proceeded hiking, and tightened in geothermal puddles. I swam in pristine oceans and boated through some of the most beautiful glowworm caves in the world.
Because we only had six daytimes in New Zealand, we focused on everything south of Auckland, but if “youve had” more age, then starting north of Auckland is definitely worth it too. We visited the Bay of Islands during our 17-Day South Pacific cruise, so we decided to head south for our short street trip.
Here’s the excellent six-day road trip itinerary through New Zealand’s North Island( including where to stay, what to see, and what to pack !)
North Island New Zealand Road Trip- 6 Day Itinerary
Day 1& 2: Auckland& Coromandel Peninsula
In my opinion, Auckland is the perfect city in which to start a North Island New Zealand road expedition. While I exclusively had the chance to pass through Auckland, there is so much to do in this city and if you have more go, it’s surely worth a visit.
Some of the top things to do in Auckland are getting some panoramic views from atop the Sky Tower, seeing the vineyards on Waiheke Island, and going on a foodie tour( Auckland has a world-class food scene ).
From Auckland, brain on over to the Coromandel Peninsula. There’s a boat that departs across the harbor twice a week, but driving this road will simply make you two and a half hours.
Since we bounced Auckland on our visit, we returned ourselves two days on the Coromandel Peninsula. There’s so much to see here that we could have easily invested 4 daytimes!
On the Coromandel Peninsula, Hot Water Beach and Cathedral Cove are must-do’s, but you’ll likewise find the Kauri Forest, Historic Coromandel Town, Geothermal Springs, Driving Creek Railway, and batch of hiking and biking trails.
Day 3: Hobbiton& Rotorua
Whether you’re a diehard supporter of Lord of the Rings or not, Hobbiton is an iconic stop for any North Island New Zealand road outing. Depending on where you start your era on the Coromandel Peninsula, driving to Hobbiton will make you anywhere from two to three hours.
For those of you not in the know, Hobbiton was used as a set in the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies and is present on a raise in New Zealand’s Waikato region. At Hobbiton, you’ll be exploring the unique facades etched into the hillsides, having beers at the Green Dragon pub, and taking too many cute photos to count.
However, to visit Hobbiton, you’ll have to book a guided tours. This is 100% for the most wonderful though, as you’ll get so much more out of the experience with a developed template telling you all the juicy behind-the-scenes details from the movies.
Once you’ve finished exploring Hobbiton, move back in the car and manager over to Rotorua!
Roughly an hour’s drive away from Hobbiton, Rotorua is one of the most renowned sort places in the area. Comprised of geysers, hot springs, lakes, bike courses, great camping spots, and tons of culture, the only downside to Rotorua is that you’ll eventually have to tear yourself away from it.
In particular, I had a blast zorbing( did you know that rolling around in a beings inflatable chunk was invented in NZ ?), camping lakeside, and punching up the thermal pools.
Also located in Rotorua is The Redwoods at Whakarewarewa Forest.
There’s so much record and culture circumventing this area, and there are tons of outdoorsy things to do. The forest itself covers nearly 14,000 acres and facets amazing hikes, lakes, thermal reserves, boardwalks, and extreme sports.
If you’re into ridge biking, then this is especially the place for you as The Redwoods is the hub of the athletic in Rotorua. In fact, it was awarded gold-level ride status by the IMBA- the International Mountain Biking Association.
Day 4: Kerosene Creek& Waikite Valley Thermal Pools
Put on your favorite bathing suit because Day 4 of your North Island New Zealand Road junket is all about thermal pools!
Technically still located in Rotorua, Kerosene Creek is 30km from The Redwoods and is the perfect place to go and have a geothermally-heated soak in a river. Hot water bubbles up from a natural spring in the earth and mingles with the cold water of Kerosene Creek, originating agreeably heated waters.
There’s no admittance expenditure at Kerosene Creek, but it can be a popular spot so be prepared to see quite a few other people( extremely if you visit on a weekend ).
From Kerosene Creek, drive only 10 km down the road to the Waikite Valley Thermal Pools — the most important source of 100% pure geothermal ocean in New Zealand. Here, you can soak in the spring, loosen in a tranquil plot, honcho over to one of the many private spas, or go on an eco-trail navigated walk.
We stayed the night at Waikite Valley Thermal Pools and ambled right over to the thermal ponds for an early-morning soak. The thermal funds include laundry, kitchen facilities, and a shower.
Day 5: Waitomo Glowworm Caves
Roughly a two-hour drive from the Thermal Pools, the Waitomo Glowworm Caves are one of New Zealand’s most famous attractions. Home to the Arachnocampa Luminosa, a kind of glowworm only is located within New Zealand, the Waitomo Glowworm Caves peculiarity millions of shine larvae.
In order to see the caves, you’ll have to book yourself a guided tour. These expeditions will tell you all about the history of the caves( they started forming 30 million years ago ), the swine that live there, and initiate you to the stalactites and stalagmites. These safaruss have been running for over 100 times, so going on one will be participating in a piece of history in and of itself!
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Day 6: Raglan
Located 100 km northwest of the Waitomo Glowworm Caves, Raglan is an inviting channel-surf municipality full of natural perfection and culture.
Here, learn to surf on one of the many seas( Ngarunui Beach is especially popular ), inspect the loom Bridal Veil Falls, hike Mt Karioi, check out one of the many art halls, and take a harbor cruise!
Additional Alternative for A Longer North Island Road Trip
Six eras on New Zealand’s North Island is really precisely a taster, and there is so much more to do if you plan to stay longer. For some added jaunt strategy insight, check out these options 😛 TAGEND
Roughly an hour’s drive from Auckland, Karekare Waterfall is a 30 -meter tall waterfall that is home to a little rest area and pool.
Once you get to the Karekare Waterfall trailhead, there will be a 0.5 mile out and back trail to get to the waterfall itself. This is a pretty easy trail to roam( although it’s not wheelchair friendly ), and it will extend you to a shallow pond at the basis of the falls.
If you’re up for a sea undertaking, then brain over to Lake Taupo in the Waikato Region.
A prime place for kayaking, voyaging, swimming, fishing, or other spray sports, Taupo was created roughly 200 years ago by a monstrous volcanic eruption. Because of this, you’ll be able to enjoy geothermal underwater currents at some of Taupo’s beaches.
Located just north of Taupo lies Huka autumns, one of New Zealand’s most visited attractiveness. More than 220,000 liters of irrigate fall off the cliff of Huka Falls every second, making this 11 -meter waterfall utterly thunderous.
Bay of Islands
If you’re up for an adventure north of Auckland, then check out the Bay of Islands. Comprised of 144 islands pinpointed between the Purerua Peninsula and Cape Brett, the Bay of Islands is where to go to see the Hole in the Rock on Piercy Island, beautiful coast courses, and lots of wildlife viewing.
For true-life island paradise vibes in New Zealand, art-filled Waiheke Island is the place to be. Getting to the island is as simple as taking a 40 -minute ferry ride from Auckland, and there’s tons to do here for all types.
On the island, check out one of small island developing countless cliff-top hiking roads, diary yourself on a vineyard tour, or simply lay back, fulfill some regionals, and relax on the beautiful beaches.
Just west of Auckland, Piha beach pieces beautiful blacknes beach, untouched forest, and some of the most wonderful surf in the country.
Piha beach is especially popular with locals in the summertime, but keep in mind that the currents tend to run strong here. There are usually lifeguards patrolling the domain, but be sure to keep to the clearly distinguished swimming areas.
If you wishes to a cave filled with glow lice but without the crowds, then check out Nikau Cave! Located just 90 times southwest of Auckland, the cave is home to all kinds of wildlife, thousands of glowworms, and ancient rock formations.
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Located in the middle of the Karangahake Gorge about two hours from Auckland, Owharoa Falls is an easily-accessible waterfall that is also a great swimming spot and picnic area.
If you want to do more in the area, then further exploring the Karangahake Gorge is recommended. There are plenty of old walkways, bike lines, and passages to explore, and there is rich gold mining history to uncover.
One of the more popular treks for neighbourhood Kiwi’s, elevation Steeples hike for one of the country’s best considers. The hike itself is 16.6 kilometers long and makes approximately 8 hours to loop — if you crave a more leisurely daytime then be prepared to pack overnight gear.
Keep in knowledge that there are a lot of stairs to get to the top of the pinnacle, and you’ll have to climb up some metal ladders. So, while the hike itself is fairly moderate, there are parts near the end that they are able to take an extra increase of energy.
That said, the thought from the top is amazing and the trek is definitely worth it.
Where to Stay in North Island New Zealand
While there are tons of adaptation alternatives all over the North Island of New Zealand, we wanted the freedom to tent off grid, if there is a need, so we hired a campervan and stayed at festivity parks and campsites — there are plenty of websites to choose from near all the smudges listed in this article.
To find the best campsites, I recommend downloading Rankers Camping NZ from the app collect. You’ll learn refreshes for each campsite and filters that include nearby hikes, natural lures and helpful campsite amenities.
On many of our superhighway junkets throughout the years, we often book at Airbnbs as I find it actually renders us new ideas of what it’s like to be a local in the places we inspect. So if tenting isn’t your thing, I highly recommend checking out the Airbnb options in these sites.
What to Pack for a North Island New Zealand Road Trip
Hiking Gear: If you plan on get hiking, then a duet of trusty hiking shoes are a must. I also recommend generating a daypack, bug spray, sunscreen, leggings, a moisture-wicking top, and a dawn rain jacket.
Warm Clothes: Bringing warm garment is a must for wintertime in New Zealand, but spring and twilight can be jolly chilly as well. Pack a warm sweater, some light gauntlets, a scarf, and fleece-lined leggings for just in case.
Plan Your Trip to New Zealand
After traveling generally for over 10 times, we’ve come to trust and rely on a few websites to help us find the best agreements on flights and accommodation.
Flights: Momondo is the first place we check when searching for cheap flights. It scours the thousands of locates for the best fare and includes both standard and budget airlines. The schedule facet shows the cheapest epoches to fly in your opted month of travel.
Accommodation: Booking.com offers savings on inns, accommodations, and villas in 80,000 ends worldwide. You can browse hotel reviews and find the guaranteed best price on inns for all budgets.
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