I never got around to visiting the Bay of Islands while I was travelling in the North Island!
From what I’ve heard and the pictures that I’ve seen, it’s an amazing place to visit! Like virtually everywhere in New Zealand, the scenery is incredible. You have picturesque bays and beautiful turquoise waters, what’s not to like!
There are plenty of things to do in the Bay of Islands as well. You can go and relax at the numerous beaches or do an activity such as this Dolphin Watching Tour. You’ll get to see the numerous islands and amazing wildlife!
The Coromandel Peninsula is without a doubt one of the most beautiful places to visit in New Zealand’s North Island!
The scenery here is fantastic, you can see amazing beaches, incredible mountains and cliffs. The Coromandel Peninsula was one of my favourite places that I visited.
Driving there through the winding mountains was incredible, and the places you can see on the Coromandel Peninsula aren’t bad either.
There’s Cathedral Cove, which is a beautiful beach, that has, surprise, a cove shaped like a Cathedral! There’s also Hot Water Beach nearby, Where you can create your own hot pool if you dig a hole in the beach! It’s incredible!
The Coromandel Peninsula is one of the best places to see on the North Island, so don’t miss out!
If you love the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, then you have to visit Hobbiton.
This is the set of The Shire in the films and it is amazing and beautiful! For $80 you get a tour of the Hobbiton movie set, detailed descriptions of what happened during the filming and a free cider at the end! What’s not to love!
Here’s the thing:
If you’re not a fan of the films, it may be hard to justify the $80 fee. Apart from the scenery, you might not understand what’s going on. That’s a lot of money to spend to look at a Hobbit village.
If this doesn’t apply to you, then a stop at Hobbiton is a must. The tour and views are spectacular! It’s undoubtedly one of the best things to do in New Zealand!
Huka Falls may not be one of the most famous places to visit on New Zealand’s North Island, but it’s certainly one of the best!
As New Zealand’s most visited natural attraction, I was quite surprised that I hadn’t heard about it before I visited!
The Huka Falls are only a few miles north of Taupo and a must-visit when you’re in the area! The 11-metre high waterfall sees over 220,000 litres flowing per second!
It truly is an amazing sight, as the water rushes past you at an exceptional speed. The only issue is that the Huka Falls is full of tourists and it can be hard to navigate your way around the sea of selfie sticks!
Otherwise, Huka Falls is a must-visit! As always, the nature in New Zealand is mesmerising!
Taupo was one of the places that I knew very little about when I visited the North Island.
Well, it’s safe to say I was pleasantly surprised when I got there. Taupo is based around the lake of the same name, and it makes for a spectacular setting!
The views across the lake are majestic and it’s a great place to relax in the New Zealand sun! There are quite a few other things to do in Taupo as well.
You can go skydiving, hiking among others. One activity that I enjoyed was visiting Action World.
It’s essentially a giant playground for children and adults and it was great fun doing all the activities for an hour or two!
There are plenty of day trips from Taupo you can do, which makes it a great place to base yourself while you’re in the North Island.
9. Te Papa museum
The Te Papa museum was one of the best places I visited while I was on the North Island.
It’s the national museum of New Zealand and documents the history of the country really well. It also has a lot of interesting natural history exhibits. While I was there they also had some cool sculptures from The Hobbit as well!
As a dinosaur lover, perhaps the best thing about Te Papa was that they had a great collection of Dinosaurs! just look at how happy I was to be standing next to Stan the T-Rex!
If you’re a history or nature buff, then a visit to Te Papa will be right up your street!
The hike’s a long one, but it’s worth it, as the views and the scenery are epic! I’m not sure if this was the location for Mordor in the Lord of the Rings, but it certainly felt like I was hiking there!
The landscape is barren in places and you could be forgiven for thinking you’d been transplanted to Mars! The looming mountains and hot volcanic landscape are incredible as you traverse the crossing!
Wellington is a beautiful and lively destination at the bottom of the North Island. Even though I visited on Christmas Day and it was really quiet, I still enjoyed my time there immensely!
The city is beautiful, even if the weather can get a little bit extreme at times! The waterfront is a beautiful spot as you look across the water. With the Te Papa museum here as well, it’s a must-visit in Wellington!
My visit only lasted for a day, so I couldn’t see everything, but there’s plenty of things to do in Wellington. You can visit the zoo, take a cable car ride and see amazing views from the top of Mount Victoria!
Wellington may only be a small city, but it’s somewhere you should visit while on the North Island! The culture and the scenery will leave you wanting to stay for longer! It’s also a great place to start one of the numerous New Zealand road trips!
Where to stay on the North Island
Some of the best hostels in New Zealand are located in the North Island. In the big cities Auckland and Wellington, you have no shortage of options, which can be a good and bad thing.
Elsewhere, there are plenty of cheap hostels in the North Island scattered about. Popular backpacker hotspots such as Rotorua and Taupo have plenty of accommodation. Areas around Tongariro and the Coromandel Peninsula aren’t short of places to stay either!
Below are a few hostels that I recommend staying at during a trip to the North Island!
Considering the best time to visit New Zealand is important when visiting the country. The climate does vary between the two main islands and it can be quite different on those islands on where you are.
Of the two islands, the North Island is hotter. Temperatures can easily reach the 30s during the summer, with that summer being stretched out into March as well. winter is colder and quite similar in climate to that of Victoria and South Australia in Australia.
You have temperatures around 10 degrees with days that can get considerably colder and a fair amount of rain. Unless you like rain it might be best to avoid visiting during the winter.
Arguably, the best months to visit the North Island are from October to March, when the temperatures are high and the weather is at its best. With that said, the climate can be volatile at times in New Zealand, so be prepared for any eventuality!
Visiting the North Island is something that you will more than likely do while travelling New Zealand. The great thing about the country is that no matter where you are, there’ loads of places to visit.
My list of places to visit on New Zealand’s North Island is only scratching the surface. There’s plenty to see on this diverse and beautiful island. Do you agree or disagree with my choices? Leave me a comment below to let me know what you think!
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