51 days in North Island Itinerary

51 days in North Island Itinerary

Created using Inspirock North Island trip planner

Make it your trip
1
Auckland
— 5 nights
Drive
2
Whangarei
— 3 nights
Drive
3
Paihia
— 7 nights
Fly
4
New Plymouth
— 1 night
Fly
5
Wellington
— 4 nights
Fly
6
Napier
— 2 nights
Drive
7
Taupo
— 6 nights
Drive
8
Rotorua
— 6 nights
Drive
9
Tongariro National Park
— 5 nights
Drive
10
Waitomo Caves
— 4 nights
Drive
11
Hamilton
— 2 nights
Drive
12
Whitianga
— 3 nights
Drive to Coromandel, Ferry to Orapiu
13
Waiheke Island
— 2 nights
Ferry

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Auckland

— 5 nights

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.
Change things up with a short trip to Muriwai Gannet Colony in Muriwai Beach (about 48 minutes away). There's lots more to do: enjoy breathtaking views from SkyTower, enjoy a live performance at SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton's Aquarium, learn about wildlife with up-close encounters at Auckland Zoo, and get impressive views of Mount Eden.

To find photos, ratings, reviews, and more tourist information, use the Auckland trip planner.

Use the Route module to find travel options from your starting location to Auckland. Expect a daytime high around 22°C in January, and nighttime lows around 22°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 6th (Wed) to allow time to drive to Whangarei.

Things to do in Auckland

Parks · Nature · Tours · Wildlife

Side Trips

Find places to stay Jan 1 — 6:

Whangarei

— 3 nights
Whangarei is the northernmost city in New Zealand and the regional capital of Northland Region. Venture out of the city with trips to Waipu Cave (in Waipu), Ocean Beach (in Whangarei Heads) and Yukon Dive (in Tutukaka). There's lots more to do: hike along Bream Head Coast Walks, stop by Town Basin, take in nature's colorful creations at Whangarei Quarry Gardens, and see the vivid underwater world at Poor Knights Island Marine Reserve.

To find ratings, other places to visit, more things to do, and tourist information, refer to the Whangarei online day trip planner.

Traveling by car from Auckland to Whangarei takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 9th (Sat) to allow time to drive to Paihia.

Things to do in Whangarei

Outdoors · Parks · Tours · Wildlife

Side Trips

Find places to stay Jan 6 — 9:

Paihia

— 7 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.
Venture out of the city with trips to Russell (The Strand Beach, Pompallier Mission and Printery, &more). Spend a day of island exploring on the 13th (Wed) at Urupukapuka Island. Next up on the itinerary: steep yourself in history at Waitangi Treaty Grounds, tee off at Waitangi Golf Club, look for all kinds of wild species at Akeake Historic Reserve Track, and take in the architecture and atmosphere at St James Anglican Church.

For other places to visit, reviews, more things to do, and other tourist information, refer to the Paihia trip tool.

You can drive from Whangarei to Paihia in 1.5 hours. Another option is to take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 16th (Sat) early enough to travel to New Plymouth.

Things to do in Paihia

Parks · Outdoors · Tours · Wildlife

Side Trips

Find places to stay Jan 9 — 16:

New Plymouth

— 1 night
Where other cities run, New Plymouth prefers to stroll.
Start off your visit on the 17th (Sun): learn about wildlife with up-close encounters at Pukekura Park, then look for gifts at Giles Chocolatier, then explore the engaging exhibits at Puke Ariki, and finally take in the pleasant sights at New Plymouth Coastal Walkway.

To find reviews, where to stay, maps, and tourist information, read our New Plymouth day trip website.

Traveling by flight from Paihia to New Plymouth takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 17th (Sun) early enough to travel to Wellington.

Things to do in New Plymouth

Childrens Museums · Parks · Museums · Zoos & Aquariums
Find places to stay Jan 16 — 17:

Wellington

— 4 nights

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.
You'll find plenty of places to visit near Wellington: Paraparaumu (Maclean Park Playground & Kapiti Island Eco Experience). There's still lots to do: see the interesting displays at Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, get engrossed in the history at Wellington Museum, admire the natural beauty at Wellington Botanic Garden, and learn about wildlife with up-close encounters at Wellington Zoo.

Plan trip to Wellington with our itinerary maker to find out where to go and what to do.

You can fly from New Plymouth to Wellington in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In January in Wellington, expect temperatures between 24°C during the day and 17°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 21st (Thu) to allow enough time to travel to Napier.

Things to do in Wellington

Parks · Wildlife · Museums · Tours

Side Trips

Find places to stay Jan 17 — 21:

Napier

— 2 nights
Enjoy the atmosphere and architecture of 1930s design in Napier, one of the best-preserved Art Deco cities in the world.
Start off your visit on the 22nd (Fri): take a memorable tour with Gannet Beach Adventures, learn about winemaking at Trinity Hill Winery, and then tee off at Cape Kidnappers Golf Course. Here are some ideas for day two: cool off at Splash Planet, then learn about winemaking at Craggy Range, then take some stellar pictures from Te Mata Peak, and finally steep yourself in history at Otatara Pa Historic Reserve Walk.

Discover how to plan a Napier trip in just a few steps with Inspirock's itinerary builder.

You can fly from Wellington to Napier in 4 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Sat) so you can drive to Taupo.

Things to do in Napier

Outdoors · Tours · Wildlife · Parks

Side Trips

Find places to stay Jan 21 — 23:

Taupo

— 6 nights

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.
Taupo is known for nature, adventure, and theme parks. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: hike along Huka Falls Walkway, look for all kinds of wild species at Orakei Korako Geothermal Park & Cave, take a memorable tour with Tours, and find something for the whole family at Huka Prawn Park.

Start your trip to Taupo by creating a personalized itinerary on Inspirock.

Traveling by car from Napier to Taupo takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 29th (Fri) so you can drive to Rotorua.

Things to do in Taupo

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Tours

Side Trip

Find places to stay Jan 23 — 29:

Rotorua

— 6 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.
You'll find plenty of places to visit near Rotorua: Tauranga (Aerius Helicopters & McLaren Falls Park). And it doesn't end there: whizz through the canopy at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, test the waters at a local thermal spa, take a peaceful walk through Redwoods, Whakarewarewa Forest, and identify plant and animal life at Rainbow Springs Nature Park.

To see more things to do, reviews, maps, and other tourist information, read our Rotorua trip itinerary maker.

Traveling by car from Taupo to Rotorua takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In January, plan for daily highs up to 27°C, and evening lows to 19°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 4th (Thu) to allow time to drive to Tongariro National Park.

Things to do in Rotorua

Parks · Nature · Wildlife · Outdoors

Side Trips

Find places to stay Jan 29 — Feb 4:

Tongariro National Park

— 5 nights
Tongariro National Park has a long history of preserving New Zealand's pristine alpine landscape.
On the 5th (Fri), hike the day away at Tongariro Alpine Crossing. On the 7th (Sun), hike the day away at Horsemtrails. Next up on the itinerary: see the top attractions with Mountain Air Scenic Flights Day Tour, trek along Ridge Track, stroll through Silica Rapids Track, and explore the activities along Tama Lakes.

To find more things to do, maps, ratings, and tourist information, use the Tongariro National Park tour planner.

Drive from Rotorua to Tongariro National Park in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and taxi; or do a combination of bus and shuttle. Cap off your sightseeing on the 9th (Tue) early enough to go by car to Waitomo Caves.

Things to do in Tongariro National Park

Parks · Outdoors · Trails · Nature
Find places to stay Feb 4 — 9:

Waitomo Caves

— 4 nights
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.
Spend the 13th (Sat) exploring nature at Altura Gardens and Wildlife Park. There's still lots to do: explore the fascinating underground world of Waitomo Glowworm Caves, get interesting insight from Tours, head outdoors with Waitomo Clay Birds, and hike along Ruakuri Walk.

Start your trip to Waitomo Caves by creating a personalized itinerary on Inspirock.

Drive from Tongariro National Park to Waitomo Caves in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or do a combination of train and taxi. Cap off your sightseeing on the 13th (Sat) early enough to go by car to Hamilton.

Things to do in Waitomo Caves

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Tours

Side Trip

Find places to stay Feb 9 — 13:

Hamilton

— 2 nights

Tron

On the banks of the Waikato River lies Hamilton, a pretty, active city on North Island.
On the 14th (Sun), stroll around Hamilton Gardens, don't miss a visit to Hobbiton Movie Set, and then glide peacefully along the water with The Boatshed Kayaks. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 15th (Mon): see the interesting displays at Waikato Museum, then get outside with Raglan Rock, and then take in the exciting artwork at Jet Collective.

To see reviews, maps, photos, and tourist information, you can read our Hamilton online tour planner.

Traveling by car from Waitomo Caves to Hamilton takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 15th (Mon) so you can go by car to Whitianga.

Things to do in Hamilton

Outdoors · Parks · Museums · Tours

Side Trips

Find places to stay Feb 13 — 15:

Whitianga

— 3 nights
Whitianga is a town on the Coromandel Peninsula, in the Waikato Region of New Zealand's North Island. Explore Whitianga's surroundings by going to Thames (Thames School of Mines and Mineralogical Museum & RAPAURA Watergardens), Driving Creek Railway and Potteries (in Coromandel) and Hahei (Hahei Beach Walk & Cathedral Cove Walk). There's lots more to do: take a tour by water with Boat Tours & Water Sports, stroll through Hot Water Beach, and test the waters at The Lost Spring.

To see maps and more tourist information, read our Whitianga online trip itinerary planner.

Drive from Hamilton to Whitianga in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train and car; or do a combination of bus and shuttle. In February, daily temperatures in Whitianga can reach 28°C, while at night they dip to 19°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 18th (Thu) early enough to travel to Waiheke Island.

Things to do in Whitianga

Parks · Outdoors · Nature · Tours

Side Trips

Find places to stay Feb 15 — 18:

Waiheke Island

— 2 nights

Island of Wine

Head to Waiheke Island, a place of white sandy beaches, palm trees, great wine, and relaxation, just 35 minutes off the coast of Auckland.
Kick off your visit on the 19th (Fri): whizz through the canopy at EcoZip Adventures, do a tasting at Stonyridge Vineyard, and then explore the world behind art at Connells Bay Sculpture Park. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: learn about winemaking at Mudbrick Vineyard and then indulge your senses at some of the top wineries in the area.

To find reviews, maps, ratings, and tourist information, use the Waiheke Island road trip planning website.

Do a combination of car and ferry from Whitianga to Waiheke Island in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of shuttle and ferry; or do a combination of bus and ferry. February in Waiheke Island sees daily highs of 28°C and lows of 19°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 20th (Sat) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Waiheke Island

Wineries · Tours · Adventure · Wildlife
Find places to stay Feb 18 — 20:

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.