6 Trips You Must Do in The North Island, New Zealand

Trips in the North Island

The North Island of New Zealand serves as an excellent escape for individuals yearning for a break from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Contrasting with its southern counterpart, it provides a tranquil setting for those seeking a brief, budget-friendly retreat.

Here are six recommended activities and trips in the North Island to make the most of your visit!

1. Visit the Waitomo Caves

Waitomo Caves is a village with a cave system and is one of the main tourist attractions on North Island.

The caves are located under the green hills of the Waitomo village, which also consist of underwater rivers.

Waitomo is in the Maori language, which translates to the water hole. For example, Wai is for water, and β€˜tomo’ means hole.

It isΒ approximately a 3-hour drive from Auckland, a 1-hour drive from Hamilton, and a 2-hour drive from Rotorua.

The main attractions of this location, apart from the beautiful rocky caves, are the glow-worms, which you will be able to see during your Black Water Rafting trip on the underground rivers of the caves.

The fact thatΒ the film Hobbit was filmed at this location makes it even more attractive to tourists.Β You can also zip line in the dark or float through the dark caves on a rubber tube.

It is best if you go along with boating or walking trips. Otherwise, you would be too creeped out by the dark to enjoy the wonderful nature.

Waitomo Caves

πŸ“Œ Insights about the Waitomo Caves

  • πŸ¦— Natural Wonder: Home to a unique and mesmerizing glow-worm species called Arachnocampa luminosa, creating a stunning bioluminescent display.
  • πŸš£β€β™‚οΈ Adventure: Visitors can explore the caves through guided boat tours, drifting silently along underground rivers surrounded by illuminated glow-worms.
  • 🌌 Illuminated Caverns: The caves feature a labyrinth of limestone formations, stalactites, and stalagmites, creating a surreal underground landscape.
  • πŸŒ… Ruakuri Cave:Β One of the most famous caves, offering diverse geological formations and a spiral entrance.
  • 🏞️ Aranui Cave: Known for its large stalactites and stalagmites, as well as the “Cave Curtain” formed by delicate formations.
  • 🏰 Historical Significance: The caves have a rich Maori history, with legends and stories associated with the formation of these natural wonders.
  • πŸ•³οΈ Black Water Rafting: For the more adventurous, there are black water rafting tours, where visitors can float on inner tubes through the dark caves.
  • πŸ§—β€β™‚οΈ Adventure Caving: Thrill-seekers can try adventure caving, exploring deeper into the caves with activities like abseiling and climbing.
  • 🌿 Surrounding Nature: The Waitomo region is surrounded by lush green landscapes, adding to the overall natural beauty of the area.
  • πŸ“… Waitomo Glow-worm Caves: The Waitomo Glow-worm Caves, the most famous of the caves, are known for their enchanting glow-worm displays.
  • πŸŽ‰ Tourism Hub:Β Waitomo has become a significant tourist attraction, drawing nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers worldwide.
  • πŸŒ„ Waitomo Sunset: Experience a unique perspective by visiting during sunset, when the surrounding landscapes take on a magical glow.
  • 🍽️ Local Cuisine: Enjoy local cuisine in the nearby town, offering a chance to savor traditional New Zealand flavors after a day of exploration.
  • πŸ“Έ Photography Paradise: The caves provide breathtaking photo opportunities, capturing the otherworldly beauty of the illuminated caverns.

πŸ‘¨β€πŸ’» Booking experience

Please refer to the operator’s website for more information about this tour.

2. Visit the Hobbiton Movie Set

The famous movie Hobbit was shot in various locations on North Island. The location is known as the Hobbiton Movie Set, which covers 12 acres of land. It is more or less like an amusement park with guided tours.

It is aΒ 2-hour excursion filled with beautiful locations, tasty foods, and fun rides.

Furthermore, booking your tour in advance is recommended because it is a trendy location, especially during the tourist season.

At the Hobbiton Movie Set,Β you can see 44 of the Hobbit holes, but you cannot enter and explore all of them.Β 

You can also visit the Party Tree, Bagshot Row, and Bilbo’s Bag End Home. Throughout the tour, you will be offered refreshments, breakfast, and a second breakfast at β€œThe Shires Rest Café”.

πŸ”— More information about trips you can do related to Hobbiton can be found in the following article:Β The Ultimate Lord of the Rings Trip: Exploring Middle-Earth in New Zealand

Hobbiton Movie Set

πŸ“Œ Insights about the Hobbiton Movie Set

  • πŸŽ₯ Film Location: Hobbiton Movie Set is located in Matamata, New Zealand, and served as the primary filming location for the Shire scenes in “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit” film trilogies.
  •  🏑 Authentic Hobbit Holes: The set features meticulously crafted Hobbit holes, complete with charming gardens and intricate details, providing an authentic experience for visitors
  • 🌳 Stunning Landscapes: Surrounded by lush, rolling hills and picturesque landscapes, Hobbiton captures the enchanting beauty of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth.
  •  🍻 The Green Dragon Inn: Visitors can enjoy a drink at the famous Green Dragon Inn, a fully functional pub on the set, offering a range of beverages inspired by the films.
  • πŸ§™β€β™‚οΈ Guided Tours: Explore the Hobbiton Movie Set through guided tours that take you through the iconic locations and provide fascinating behind-the-scenes insights.
  • πŸ“Έ Photo Opportunities: The set offers numerous photo opportunities, allowing fans to capture the magic of Hobbiton, from the Party Tree to Bilbo’s Bag End.
  • Β Film Set Preservation: Hobbiton is meticulously maintained, showcasing the commitment to preserving the film set and allowing visitors to step into the cinematic world.
  • 🌼 Seasonal Changes: Experience the changing seasons in Hobbiton, with flowers in bloom during spring and the set transformed into a cozy winter wonderland during colder months.
  • 🌲 Movie Magic: Gain insights into the movie-making process and learn interesting facts about how the filmmakers brought Tolkien’s vision to life on the big screen.
  • Evening Tours: Special evening tours offer a unique perspective as the sun sets, with Hobbit holes illuminated, creating a magical atmosphere.
  • 🎁 Souvenirs and Merchandise: The Shire’s Rest, the visitor center, provides an opportunity to purchase souvenirs and movie-themed merchandise to commemorate your visit.
  • 🀝 Cultural Experience: Immerse yourself in the culture of the Hobbits and gain a deeper understanding of the craftsmanship that went into creating this iconic film location.

πŸ‘¨β€πŸ’» Booking experiences

Please refer to the operator’s website for more information about these activities.

3. Experience rebirth at the Rotorua healing waters

The Healing Waters of Rotorua consist ofΒ geothermal activity and are the main attraction for tourists.

In an alien-like scenery, you will find a boiling and steamy pool of water screaming to be submerged in. These pools are of green and red colors, which are fizzy like champagne.

This hot healing water naturally springs from the ground, keeping the surrounding houses warm. The residents of that area also use it for cooking and cleaning purposes.

The Rachel Spring and the Priest Spring are the most popular locationsΒ of these healing waters, where you can experience hot mineral bathing.

Many of these locationsΒ haveΒ spas and relaxation salonsΒ built on them, where everyone likes to go and wind down from the stresses of the past and coming weeks.

Since this water is slightly acidic and contains a high dose of minerals,Β it can effectively treat joint and muscle pains.

πŸ‘¨β€πŸ’» Find more about activities and tours in Rotorua: 30 Best Things to Do in Rotorua

Trip and activities in Rotorua

πŸ“Œ Insights about the Rotorua and its Healing Waters

  • Geothermal Springs: Rotorua is renowned for its geothermal springs, featuring healing waters enriched with minerals believed to have therapeutic properties.
  • πŸŒ‹ Mud Pools: Indulge in the unique experience of Rotorua’s mud pools, known for their natural exfoliating qualities and soothing effects on the skin.
  • 🏞️ Rotorua Spa Retreats: Enjoy world-class spa retreats nestled in the heart of Rotorua, offering luxurious treatments utilizing the healing powers of the region’s geothermal waters.
  • 🌿 Maori Wellness Traditions: Immerse yourself in Maori wellness traditions, where local therapies and rituals are integrated with the healing benefits of Rotorua’s thermal waters.
  • 🌺 Natural Hot Springs: Unwind in Rotorua’s natural hot springs, scattered across the region, providing a serene and therapeutic escape amid stunning landscapes.
  • πŸŒ‹ Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland: Explore the vibrant and colorful geothermal landscapes of Wai-O-Tapu, where healing waters and volcanic activity create a truly mesmerizing environment.
  • πŸ› Polynesian Spa: Visit the iconic Polynesian Spa, known for its mineral-rich pools and rejuvenating spa treatments, offering a blissful retreat for body and mind.
  • 🌸 Lake Rotorua Views: Many wellness spots in Rotorua offer breathtaking views of Lake Rotorua, enhancing the overall experience of relaxation and healing.
  • πŸƒ Rotorua Mud Baths: Experience the therapeutic benefits of Rotorua’s mud baths, believed to promote skin health and detoxification.
  • πŸŒ… Sunset Soaks: Enjoy the healing waters during sunset, creating a tranquil and atmospheric setting that enhances the overall therapeutic experience.
  • 🌿 Te Whakarewarewa Valley: Discover Te Whakarewarewa, a living Maori village where traditional healing practices are intertwined with the geothermal wonders of the region.
  • 🌌 Stargazing Hot Pools: Some hot pools in Rotorua offer a unique stargazing experience, combining the healing waters with the beauty of the night sky.
  • 🍡 Geothermal Tea: Try geothermal-infused teas, a unique and soothing beverage that complements the overall wellness experience in Rotorua.
  • 🌺 Floral Baths: Certain spas in Rotorua incorporate local flora into their baths, providing a fragrant and therapeutic immersion in the healing waters.
  • 🌎 Sustainable Wellness: Rotorua emphasizes sustainable wellness practices, promoting a harmonious connection between nature, culture, and personal well-being.

πŸ‘¨β€πŸ’» Booking experience

Please refer to the operator’s website for more information about this activity.

4. Choose your source of adrenaline at Taupo

Taupō, known as ‘Take to the skies’Β is theΒ best place for tourists who loveΒ adrenaline sports. At this location, you can have an adrenaline rush at every possible location, such as on the land, under the water, or high in the sky.

Tourists who do not enjoy activities like bungee jumping or anything involving flying in the sky canΒ enjoy water sports or fun activities on the land.

You can also enjoy the breathtaking views of Taupo by taking a helicopter ride or by plane. Apart from this, you can also add in a good enough workout session by hiking on the trails.

Trip to Taupo

πŸ“Œ Insights about Taupo

  • 🌊 Great Lake Taupo: Explore the expansive Great Lake Taupo, New Zealand’s largest lake, offering water activities, stunning vistas, and lakeside relaxation.
  • πŸŒ‹ Craters of the Moon: Witness geothermal wonders at Craters of the Moon, featuring boiling mud pools, steam vents, and lunar-like landscapes.
  • πŸš£β€β™‚οΈ Water Adventures: Taupo is a water sports paradise with opportunities for kayaking, jet boating, and sailing on the crystal-clear waters of the lake.
  • 🏞️ Huka Falls: Marvel at the powerful Huka Falls, where the Waikato River narrows and rushes through a dramatic gorge with incredible force.
  • 🌲 Tongariro National Park: Taupo serves as a gateway to Tongariro National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site known for its volcanic landscapes and the iconic Tongariro Alpine Crossing.
  • 🎣 Trout Fishing: Experience world-class trout fishing in Lake Taupo, known for its abundance of rainbow and brown trout.
  • 🏞️ Aratiatia Rapids: Visit the Aratiatia Rapids to witness the impressive water release, creating a spectacle as the Waikato River surges through the narrow gorge.
  • 🏞️ Mine Bay Maori Rock Carvings:Β Take a boat cruise to see the striking Mine Bay Maori Rock Carvings, a cultural and artistic treasure on Lake Taupo’s cliffs.
  • πŸš΅β€β™€οΈ Mountain Biking Trails: Taupo offers an extensive network of mountain biking trails, catering to both beginners and experienced riders, with scenic routes and thrilling descents.
  • πŸŒ… Sunset Views: Enjoy breathtaking sunset views over Lake Taupo, creating a magical atmosphere over the tranquil waters.
  • πŸ‡ Wine Tasting: Discover local vineyards and indulge in wine tasting in the nearby wine regions, complemented by picturesque landscapes.
  • πŸŒ„ Scenic Lookouts: Visit scenic lookouts like the viewpoint at Spa Thermal Park for panoramic views of the lake and surrounding mountains.
  • 🌺 Botanical Gardens: Relax in the Taupo Botanical Gardens, featuring beautiful blooms, walking trails, and a serene environment.
  • 🌴 Spa and Wellness:Β Unwind at Taupo’s spas and wellness retreats, offering relaxation against natural beauty.
  • 🏞️ Waipahihi Botanical Reserve: Immerse yourself in nature at Waipahihi Botanical Reserve, a tranquil haven with walking paths and diverse plant life.

πŸ‘¨β€πŸ’» Booking experience

Please refer to the operator’s website for more information about these activities.

5. Experience elegance beauty at Whakaari / White Islands

The Whakaari or White Islands isΒ an active volcano siteΒ that is so elegant and beautiful that you will forget the hot, boiling danger that it unfolds.

The full name of this island is Te Puia o Whakaari in the Maori language.

It translates to β€˜The Dramatic Island’ in the English language. This area isΒ privately owned, but tourists can visit itΒ to experience its scenic beauty.

White Islands

πŸ“Œ Insights about the White Islands

  • Active Volcano:Β White Island is an active stratovolcano in the Bay of Plenty, New Zealand, known for its continuously vigorous volcanic activity.
  • 🏝️ Unique Landscape: The island’s landscape is characterized by stark white and yellow hues, resulting from volcanic sulfur deposits, creating a surreal and otherworldly atmosphere.
  • ⛴️ Access by Boat or Helicopter: Visitors can reach White Island by boat or helicopter, providing unique perspectives of the volcanic terrain and its surroundings.
  • 🌊 Bay of Plenty Setting: Situated in the scenic Bay of Plenty, White Island offers breathtaking coastline views and surrounding waters.
  • πŸ‘£ Guided Tours: Guided tours allow visitors to explore the island safely, providing insights into its geology, history, and the unique flora and fauna that thrive in this extreme environment.
  • 🚁 Aerial Views: Helicopter tours offer stunning aerial views of White Island, showcasing the volcanic craters, fumaroles, and the ever-changing landscape.
  • πŸŒ‹ Active Sulphur Vents: Witness the spectacle of active sulphur vents and fumaroles, emitting steam and gases, creating a visually striking and dynamic volcanic environment.
  • 🌺 Unique Flora and Fauna: Despite the harsh conditions, White Island is home to unique plant and bird species adapted to survive in the volcanic environment.
  • πŸ“œ Historical Significance: White Island has historical significance, with a history of sulfur mining and a tragic volcanic eruption in 1914 that resulted in loss of life.
  • πŸ“Έ Photography Opportunities: The island provides photographers with unparalleled opportunities to capture an active volcanic landscape’s rugged beauty and natural drama.
  • 🌞 Day Tours: Day tours to White Island offer an immersive experience, allowing visitors to explore the volcanic features and learn about the island’s geological processes.
  • πŸŒ… Sunset Visits: Some tours offer the unique experience of visiting White Island during sunset, providing a different perspective on the volcanic landscape.
  • πŸŒ‹ Monitoring and Safety: The volcanic activity on White Island is closely monitored, and safety precautions are in place to ensure visitors’ well-being.
  • 🌊 Marine Life: The waters around White Island are rich in marine life, offering opportunities for marine enthusiasts to observe seals, dolphins, and seabirds.
  • 🌐 Scientific Interest: White Island is of significant scientific interest, providing researchers with insights into volcanic processes and life adaptation in extreme environments.

πŸ‘¨β€πŸ’» Booking experience

Please refer to the operator’s website for more information about this tour.

6. Visit the Cathedral Cove

Visiting Cathedral Cove isΒ a must-do in North Island, New Zealand. It is a 10-minute drive from Hot Water Beach, located in Hahei.

It’s the most common tourist attraction,Β accessible by boat, kayak, or foot. To reach Cathedral Cove on foot, you must start walking from the top of Grange Road.

However, make sure that you are wearing the right shoes. For a more secluded experience at Cathedral Cove, it is recommended that you visit during the wintertime or during spring.

Activities in Cathedral Cove

πŸ“Œ Insights about the Cathedral Cove

  • 🏝️ Coastal Gem: Cathedral Cove is a picturesque coastal gem located on the Coromandel Peninsula in New Zealand, known for its stunning natural beauty.
  • ⛰️ Natural Archway: The iconic feature of Cathedral Cove is a massive natural archway formed by sea erosion, creating a majestic entrance to a pristine beach.
  • πŸŒ… Sunrise Serenity: Experience the tranquility of Cathedral Cove during sunrise, when the soft morning light bathes the landscape in warm hues.
  • 🚀 Boat Access: Visitors can reach Cathedral Cove by boat, enjoying scenic cruises that showcase the rugged coastline and lead to the cove’s breathtaking shores.
  • πŸšΆβ€β™‚οΈ Walking Trails: Accessible by walking trails, the journey to Cathedral Cove offers panoramic views and a gradual descent to the cove, surrounded by native vegetation.
  • πŸ–οΈ Te Hoho Rock: Te Hoho Rock, a prominent sea stack, stands tall at Cathedral Cove, adding to the dramatic coastal scenery and serving as a distinctive landmark.
  • 🌺 Flora and Fauna: The area is rich in native flora and fauna, providing a habitat for diverse plant species and birdlife, enhancing the natural ambiance.
  • πŸ“· Photography Paradise:Β Cathedral Cove is a paradise for photographers, offering countless angles to capture the archway, pristine beach, and turquoise waters.
  • 🏞️ Marine Reserve: The waters around Cathedral Cove are part of a marine reserve, teeming with marine life, making it an ideal spot for snorkeling and diving.
  • 🚁 Aerial Perspectives: Helicopter tours provide breathtaking aerial perspectives of Cathedral Cove, revealing the intricate details of the coastline and archway.
  • πŸ–οΈ Stingray Bay:Β Stingray Bay, adjacent to Cathedral Cove, is known for occasional stingray visits, creating a unique and enchanting experience for beachgoers.
  • 🌿 Hahei Village Access: Hahei Village serves as the gateway to Cathedral Cove, providing amenities, accommodation options, and access to boat tours.
  • 🌊 Turquoise Waters: The waters surrounding Cathedral Cove boast a stunning turquoise hue, inviting visitors to swim, kayak, or enjoy the serene environment.
  • πŸŒ„ Sunset Serenade: Catch the beauty of Cathedral Cove at sunset, when the changing colors of the sky enhance the magic of this coastal haven.
  • 🚀 Kayaking Expeditions: Kayaking expeditions from Hahei Beach to Cathedral Cove offer a more intimate exploration of the coastline and its natural wonders.

πŸ‘¨β€πŸ’» Booking experience

Please refer to the operator’s website for more information about these activities.

You can make the best of these trips by planningΒ and booking your excursions in advanceΒ or visiting during the winter or spring.

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