36 days in North Island Itinerary

36 days in North Island Itinerary

Created using Inspirock North Island trip planner

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Route & dates

36 days in North Island Itinerary

Start: Glasgow
bus + Fly:  29​h
1
Auckland
— 4 nights
Drive:  3​h
2
Paihia
— 5 nights
Drive:  1​h 15​min
3
Whangarei
— 3 nights
Fly:  2​h
4
Tauranga
— 4 nights
Drive:  2​h
5
Waitomo Caves
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
6
Whakapapa
— 5 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
7
Taupo
— 5 nights
Fly:  2​h 45​min
8
Wellington
— 3 nights
Fly:  31​h
End: Glasgow

4
nights
Auckland

Auckland ©
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.
Get outdoors at Tawharanui Regional Park and Tiritiri Matangi Visitor Centre. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Auckland: Waiheke Island (Connells Bay Sculpture Park & Fishing Charters & Tours) and Muriwai Gannet Colony (in Muriwai Beach). There's still lots to do: make a trip to Sky Tower, stop by Pauanesia, identify plant and animal life at Smiths Bush Reserve, and take in the waterfront at Westhaven Promenade.

For traveler tips, maps, more things to do, and tourist information, read Auckland itinerary planner .

Glasgow, UK to Auckland is an approximately 29-hour combination of bus and flight. You can also fly; or do a combination of train and flight. You'll lose 12 hours traveling from Glasgow to Auckland due to the time zone difference. Traveling from Glasgow in March, you will find days in Auckland are somewhat warmer (22°C), and nights are much warmer (22°C). Finish up your sightseeing early on the 7th (Sat) so you can go by car to Paihia.

Things to do in Auckland

Wildlife Parks Nature

Side Trips

Waiheke Island, Northcote, Muriwai Gannet Colony, Tawharanui Regional Park
Find places to stay Mar 2 — 7:
Highlights from your plan
SkyTower ©
SkyTower
Tawharanui Regional Park ©
Tawharanui Regional Park
Tiritiri Matangi Visitor Centre ©
Tiritiri Matangi Visitor Centre

5
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.
Step out of the city life by going to Nature & Wildlife Tours and Dolphin & Whale Watching. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Paihia: Kerikeri (Puketi Nature Trail & Aroha Island Ecological Centre) and Tane Mahuta Walk (in Opononi). The adventure continues: discover the deep blue sea with a scuba or snorkeling tour, steep yourself in history at Akeake Historic Reserve Track, stroll around Rangihoua Heritage Park, and look for all kinds of wild species at Paihia Harbour.

To find other places to visit, photos, where to stay, and more tourist information, read Paihia trip planner .

Getting from Auckland to Paihia by car takes about 3 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus and flight; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Thu) to allow enough time to drive to Whangarei.

Things to do in Paihia

Wildlife Parks Outdoors

Side Trips

Kerikeri, Dolphin & Whale Watching, Tane Mahuta Walk
Find places to stay Mar 7 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Nature & Wildlife Tours
Paihia Harbour ©
Paihia Harbour

3
nights
Whangarei

Whangarei ©
Whangarei is the northernmost city in New Zealand and the regional capital of Northland Region. Get outdoors at Poor Knights Island Marine Reserve and Tutukaka Headland. Venture out of the city with trips to Fishing Charters & Tours (in Mangawhai) and Ocean Beach (in Whangarei Heads). There's much more to do: stroll through Bream Head Coast Walks, appreciate the extensive heritage of Waro Limestone Scenic Reserve Walk, take a memorable tour with Tours, and take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Mount Manaia Track.

For traveler tips, ratings, reviews, and other tourist information, refer to the Whangarei trip itinerary maker .

You can drive from Paihia to Whangarei in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 15th (Sun) to allow enough time to travel to Tauranga.

Things to do in Whangarei

Parks Outdoors Wildlife

Side Trips

Ocean Beach, Fishing Charters & Tours, Tutukaka Headland, Waro Limestone Scenic Reserve Walk
Find places to stay Mar 12 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
Bream Head Coast Walks ©
Bream Head Coast Walks
Poor Knights Island Marine Reserve ©
Ocean Beach ©
Ocean Beach

4
nights
Tauranga

Tauranga ©
The largest city in the Bay of Plenty, Tauranga features extensive sandy beaches, well-maintained hiking paths, and a good range of accommodations.
Take a break from the city and head to Rainbow Springs Nature Park and Paradise Valley Springs Wildlife Park. Change things up with these side-trips from Tauranga: Okere Falls Track (in Okere Falls), ZORB Rotorua (in Ngongotaha) and Rotorua (Zipline, Te Puia, & more).

For where to stay and more tourist information, use the Tauranga online itinerary builder .

Getting from Whangarei to Tauranga by flight takes about 2 hours. Other options: drive; or take a bus. In March, daily temperatures in Tauranga can reach 26°C, while at night they dip to 18°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 19th (Thu) so you can go by car to Waitomo Caves.

Things to do in Tauranga

Wildlife Parks Outdoors

Side Trips

Rotorua, Okere Falls Track
Find places to stay Mar 15 — 19:
Highlights from your plan
Rainbow Springs Nature Park ©
Rainbow Springs Nature Park
Zipline
Te Puia ©
Te Puia

3
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.
Take a break from the city and head to Waitomo Glowworm Caves and River Rafting & Tubing. When in Waitomo Caves, make a side trip to see Wainui Reserve in Raglan, approximately 1h 15 min away. There's lots more to do: hike along Ruakuri Walk, relax in the rural setting at Waitomo Big Bird & Miniature Animal Petting Farm, take in the dramatic natural features at Mangapohue Natural Bridge Walk, and explore the fascinating underground world of Piripiri Cave Walk.

To find reviews, other places to visit, ratings, and more tourist information, read our Waitomo Caves online holiday planner .

You can drive from Tauranga to Waitomo Caves in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Sun) to allow enough time to travel to Whakapapa.

Things to do in Waitomo Caves

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

Otorohanga, Wainui Reserve
Find places to stay Mar 19 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
Waitomo Glowworm Caves ©
Waitomo Glowworm Caves
River Rafting & Tubing
Ruakuri Walk ©
Ruakuri Walk

5
nights
Whakapapa

Whakapapa ©
Get outdoors at Tongariro Alpine Crossing and Ohakune Old Coach Road. Step out of Whakapapa with an excursion to River Rafting & Tubing in Turangi--about 34 minutes away.

To see photos and more tourist information, read our Whakapapa visit planning site .

Traveling by car from Waitomo Caves to Whakapapa takes 2.5 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 27th (Fri) early enough to drive to Taupo.

Things to do in Whakapapa

Outdoors Parks Trails

Side Trips

Tongariro National Park, River Rafting & Tubing
Find places to stay Mar 22 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
Tongariro Alpine Crossing ©
Tongariro Alpine Crossing
Horsemtrails ©
Horsemtrails
Ohakune Old Coach Road ©
Ohakune Old Coach Road

5
nights
Taupo

Taupo ©
The resort town of Taupo lies on the banks of Lake Taupo, the largest body of water in the whole of Australasia.
Escape the urban bustle at Huka Falls Walkway and Waimangu Volcanic Valley. Step out of Taupo with an excursion to Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland in Rotorua--about 38 minutes away. And it doesn't end there: get interesting insight from Tours, take in the natural beauty of Wairakei Natural Thermal Valley, identify plant and animal life at Orakei Korako Geothermal Park & Cave, and add some adventure to your tour with a kayaking and canoeing tour.

For other places to visit, maps, more things to do, and tourist information, read Taupo trip planner .

Traveling by car from Whakapapa to Taupo takes 1.5 hours. Cap off your sightseeing on the 1st (Wed) early enough to travel to Wellington.

Things to do in Taupo

Outdoors Parks Nature

Side Trips

Orakei Korako Geothermal Park & Cave, Waimangu Volcanic Valley, Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland
Find places to stay Mar 27 — Apr 1:
Highlights from your plan
Huka Falls Walkway ©
Huka Falls Walkway
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland ©
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland
Adrenaline & Extreme Tours

3
nights
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.
Get outdoors at ZEALANDIA Sanctuary and Pinnacles Track. Change things up with a short trip to Waikanae Estuary Bird Tours in Waikanae (about 1h 05 min away). And it doesn't end there: see the interesting displays at Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, take an in-depth tour of The Great War Exhibition, go from sight to sight with Wellington Cable Car, and admire the natural beauty at Wellington Botanic Garden.

For reviews, where to stay, other places to visit, and tourist information, read our Wellington trip itinerary website .

You can fly from Taupo to Wellington in 3 hours. Other options are to drive; or do a combination of bus and flight. In April, daily temperatures in Wellington can reach 20°C, while at night they dip to 14°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 4th (Sat) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Wellington

Parks Wildlife Museums

Side Trips

Waikanae Estuary Bird Tours, Wellington Botanic Garden
Find places to stay Apr 1 — 4:
Highlights from your plan
ZEALANDIA Sanctuary ©
ZEALANDIA Sanctuary
Wellington Cable Car ©
Wellington Cable Car

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