16 days in North Island Itinerary

16 days in North Island Itinerary

Created using Inspirock North Island vacation planner

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Route & dates

16 days in North Island Itinerary

Start: Sydney
Fly:  6​h 15​min
1
Wellington
— 1 night
Fly:  3​h 30​min
2
Napier
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h 45​min
3
Rotorua
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h
4
Waitomo Caves
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h 30​min
5
Matarangi
— 2 nights
Drive:  4​h 45​min
6
Paihia
— 4 nights
Fly:  7​h 45​min
End: Sydney

1
night
Wellington

Wellington ©
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.
Plan a trip to Wellington easily and quickly by telling Inspirock to suggest an itinerary.

Sydney, Australia to Wellington is an approximately 6.5-hour flight. The time zone difference when traveling from Sydney to Wellington is 2 hours. Traveling from Sydney in January, things will get slightly colder in Wellington: highs are around 24°C and lows about 17°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 16th (Wed) to allow enough time to travel to Napier.

Things to do in Wellington

Museums Beaches Outdoors
Find places to stay Jan 15 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
Oriental Bay ©
Oriental Bay
Old St Paul's ©
Old St Paul's

3
nights
Napier

Enjoy the atmosphere and architecture of 1930s design in Napier, one of the best-preserved Art Deco cities in the world.
Take a break from the city and head to Cape Kidnappers and Gannet Colony. Your cultural itinerary includes sights like Mission Estate Winery and Elephant Hill Estate Winery. There's much more to do: indulge your taste buds at Food & Drink, do a tasting at Vidal Estate Cellar Door, make a trip to Marine Parade, and view the masterpieces at Birdwoods Gallery.

To see reviews, more things to do, where to stay, and tourist information, you can read our Napier tour itinerary planner .

You can fly from Wellington to Napier in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 19th (Sat) early enough to go by car to Rotorua.

Things to do in Napier

Parks Wildlife Wineries

Side Trips

Vidal Estate Cellar Door, Gannet Colony, Cape Kidnappers, Birdwoods Gallery, Elephant Hill
Find places to stay Jan 16 — 19:
Highlights from your plan
Wine Tours & Tastings
Cape Kidnappers ©
Cape Kidnappers
Mission Estate Winery ©
Mission Estate Winery

3
nights
Rotorua

Rotorua ©
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 River Rafting & Tubing and Orakei Korako Cave & Thermal Park. Visiting Paradise Valley Springs Wildlife Park and Waimangu Volcanic Valley will get you outdoors. Step out of Rotorua to go to Taupo and see Huka Falls tracks, which is approximately 1h 20 min away. And it doesn't end there: witness a stunning natural landmark at Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, look for all kinds of wild species at Redwoods Treewalk, don't miss a visit to Te Puia, and get your game on at Zorb Rotorua.

To see maps, other places to visit, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read our Rotorua tour itinerary website .

Getting from Napier to Rotorua by car takes about 3 hours. Other options: take a bus. In January, daytime highs in Rotorua are 27°C, while nighttime lows are 19°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Tue) so you can go by car to Waitomo Caves.

Things to do in Rotorua

Parks Nature Wildlife

Side Trips

Orakei Korako Geothermal Park & Cave, Huka Falls Walkway
Find places to stay Jan 19 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
Orakei Korako Geothermal Park & Cave ©
Waimangu Volcanic Valley ©
Waimangu Volcanic Valley
Redwoods Treewalk ©
Redwoods Treewalk

2
nights
Waitomo Caves

Waitomo Caves
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 23rd (Wed): Head underground at Waitomo Glowworm Caves, relax in the rural setting at Waitomo Big Bird & Miniature Animal Petting Farm, then explore the fascinating underground world of Ruakuri Cave, and finally skim along the rocks with a canyoning and rapelling tour. On the 24th (Thu), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: Head underground at Footwhistle Glowworm Cave, explore the fascinating underground world of Caveworld, stroll through Ruakuri Walk, take in the dramatic natural features at Mangapohue Natural Bridge Walk, then admire the sheer force of Marokopa Falls Walk, and finally Head underground at Piripiri Cave Walk.

For ratings, photos, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read our Waitomo Caves journey maker website .

Traveling by car from Rotorua to Waitomo Caves takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 24th (Thu) early enough to travel to Matarangi.

Things to do in Waitomo Caves

Parks Nature Trails

Side Trip

Waitomo Big Bird & Miniature Animal Petting Farm
Find places to stay Jan 22 — 24:
Highlights from your plan
Ruakuri Cave
Ruakuri Cave
Ruakuri Walk ©
Ruakuri Walk
Caveworld ©
Caveworld

2
nights
Matarangi

Matarangi ©
Matarangi is a small modern tourist town on the Coromandel Peninsula of New Zealand, with around 300 permanent residents increasing to over 7000 holiday residents during the summer period of late December to February. Kick off your visit on the 25th (Fri): enjoy the sand and surf at Opito Bay Beach, kick back and relax at Otama Beach, and then stroll through Hahei Beach Walk. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: kick back and relax at Whangapoua Beach, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Mahamudra Centre for Universal Unity, and then stroll through Matarangi Beach.

To find more things to do, photos, other places to visit, and more tourist information, you can read our Matarangi trip itinerary website .

You can drive from Waitomo Caves to Matarangi in 4 hours. In January, daily temperatures in Matarangi can reach 26°C, while at night they dip to 19°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 26th (Sat) early enough to travel to Paihia.

Things to do in Matarangi

Beaches Outdoors Parks

Side Trips

Kuaotunu, Whangapoua Beach, Mahamudra Centre for Universal Unity, Hahei Beach Walk
Find places to stay Jan 24 — 26:
Highlights from your plan
Hahei Beach Walk ©
Hahei Beach Walk
Matarangi Beach ©
Matarangi Beach
Whangapoua Beach ©
Whangapoua Beach

4
nights
Paihia

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.
Do some cultural sightseeing at Pompallier Mission and Printery and Flagstaff Hill Historic Reserve. Discover out-of-the-way places like Nature & Wildlife Tours and Swim with Dolphins. And it doesn't end there: identify plant and animal life at Paihia Harbour, get interesting insight from Tours, trek along Tapeka Point Track, and admire the sheer force of Rainbow Falls.

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

You can drive from Matarangi to Paihia in 6 hours. You'll have a few hours on the 30th (Wed) to wrap things up before traveling home.

Things to do in Paihia

Wildlife Outdoors Tours

Side Trips

Russell, Rainbow Falls, Blue River Orchard
Find places to stay Jan 26 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Nature & Wildlife Tours
Paihia Harbour ©
Paihia Harbour
Scuba & Snorkeling

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