8 days in North Island Itinerary

8 days in North Island Itinerary

Created using Inspirock North Island trip itinerary planner

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Route & dates

8 days in North Island Itinerary

Start: Seattle
Fly:  21​h
1
Rotorua
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h
2
Waitomo Caves
— 1 night
+2
taxi + Fly + taxi:  3​h
3
Paihia
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h
4
Auckland
— 2 nights
Fly:  18​h 45​min
End: Seattle

2
nights
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.
Change things up with these side-trips from Rotorua: Hobbiton Movie Set (in Hinuera) and Taupo (Huka Falls Walkway & Adrenaline & Extreme Tours). And it doesn't end there: witness a stunning natural landmark at Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, take a peaceful walk through Redwoods, Whakarewarewa Forest, get interesting insight from Tours, and explore and take pictures at Te Puia.

For reviews, other places to visit, where to stay, and other tourist information, use the Rotorua trip planning app .

Seattle, USA to Rotorua is an approximately 21-hour flight. You can also do a combination of shuttle and flight; or do a combination of flight and bus. Traveling from Seattle to Rotorua, you'll lose 20 hours due to the time zone difference. Traveling from Seattle in January, expect Rotorua to be much hotter, temps between 74°F and 61°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 9th (Thu) to allow time to drive to Waitomo Caves.

Things to do in Rotorua

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

Taupo, Hobbiton Movie Set
Find places to stay Jan 6 — 9:
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Adrenaline & Extreme Tours
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland ©
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland
Huka Falls Walkway ©
Huka Falls Walkway

1
night
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.
Kick off your visit on the 10th (Fri): Head underground at Waitomo Glowworm Caves, surround yourself with nature on a nature and wildlife tour, then Head underground at Ruakuri Cave, and finally tour the pleasant surroundings at Ruakuri Walk.

For photos, more things to do, where to stay, and other tourist information, use the Waitomo Caves trip planner .

Traveling by car from Rotorua to Waitomo Caves takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 10th (Fri) early enough to travel to Paihia.

Things to do in Waitomo Caves

Outdoors Wildlife Tours
Find places to stay Jan 9 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Ruakuri Walk ©
Ruakuri Walk
Waitomo Glowworm Caves ©
Waitomo Glowworm Caves
Ruakuri Cave
Ruakuri Cave

1
night
Paihia

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.
Start off your visit on the 11th (Sat): surround yourself with nature on a nature and wildlife tour, steep yourself in history at Waitangi Treaty Grounds, and then look for all kinds of wild species at Wildlife Areas.

To see photos, where to stay, other places to visit, and other tourist information, go to the Paihia travel route tool .

Traveling by combination of taxi and flight from Waitomo Caves to Paihia takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of bus and flight. Finish your sightseeing early on the 11th (Sat) to allow enough time to drive to Auckland.

Things to do in Paihia

Wildlife Outdoors Tours
Find places to stay Jan 10 — 11:
Highlights from your plan
Waitangi Treaty Grounds ©
Waitangi Treaty Grounds
Scuba & Snorkeling
Nature & Wildlife Tours

2
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.
Start off your visit on the 12th (Sun): awaken your taste buds at some of the top wineries in the area, then take an in-depth tour of Auckland War Memorial Museum, and then enjoy breathtaking views from SkyTower.

To see traveler tips, photos, more things to do, and more tourist information, read Auckland trip planner .

You can drive from Paihia to Auckland in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and bus; or take a bus. In January in Auckland, expect temperatures between 66°F during the day and 66°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 13th (Mon) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Auckland

Tours Museums
Find places to stay Jan 11 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
SkyTower ©
SkyTower
Auckland War Memorial Museum ©
Auckland War Memorial Museum
Wine Tours & Tastings

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