What to See and Do on New Zealand’s North Island

A very different place to the South Island in many ways, New Zealand’s North Island is a beautiful place, one that’s more tropical than the South, and boasts countless islands, beaches and national parks of amazing natural beauty that offer excellent hiking and outdoor adventure experiences.

As with so many countries characterised by their striking landscapes, New Zealand’s North Island is best explored by car, so before you arrive in this beautiful land, arrange an affordable Auckland car rental through a leading rental agency. There are many car rental agencies operating here and you have the choice of hiring a car at the airport or in the CBD. As the city is very attractive and there are many things to see and do here, spending a few days in Auckland before hitting the open road is advisable.


  • Bay of Islands

In addition to numerous Maori sites of importance and Russell, a 19th Century whaling port, the Bay of Islands region is notable for the big-game fishing that it offers, which is so good it attracts anglers the world over. The Bay of Islands is not just an archipelago of a few islands as there are over 140 subtropical islands here. If you have a love of beaches and water sports, this is a great destination to include on your itinerary.

  • Waiotapu

A geothermal nature reserve that’s renowned for its amazing colours, Waiotapu is a popular natural attraction a short drive from the pretty city of Auckland. There’s a self-guided walking trail that takes in the very best that the area has to offer sightseers and takes about 2 ½ hours to 3 hours to complete comfortably. If you’re not staying in a hotel nearby, hiring a campervan and camping is very popular. There are some good campsites located a short distance away.

  • Tongariro National Park

Notable for many reasons, including the fact that it was the 4th designated national park in the world, Tongariro National Park is one of the most notable national parks on the North Island. Boasting one of the largest ski fields in the country in the winter and superb hiking in summer, it’s a top place to visit at any time of the year.

  • Tongariro Alpine Crossing

With its iconic volcanic peaks, great hiking and good accommodation options nearby, Tongariro Alpine Crossing is one of the most popular day hikes in the country. There’s a visitor centre and shuttle buses, but the best way to get here is still to drive, so be sure to book an Auckland car rental to make travelling here a breeze.

As there is so much to see and do here on New Zealand’s picturesque North Island, you’ll want to allow yourself as much time as possible to see the sights and experience its majestic natural beauty. However, if you’re stuck for time and you only have a few days, perhaps choose one of the places discussed above to explore and spend a day or two in Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city.

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