Exploring the North
From Maori culture and cosmopolitan cities to enticing beaches and harbours.
The North Island is the gateway to New Zealand for many international visitors. From the northern tip, where swirling seas form an eerie backdrop to Maori legend, to the culture capital of Wellington, this is an island where abundance knows no bounds.
Highlights range from amazing natural landscapes to high culture. The central North Island features astounding thermal activity, from geysers to mud pools and hot springs. In the Waitomo district, cave networks provide opportunities for adventure. Delve further into legend with an exploration of Maori culture – it is easily accessible to any visitor. Rotorua is a particular highlight for those interested in learning about the Maori people.
No visit to the North Island would be complete without setting foot in the native forests that drape the hills. Sample the bounty of rivers and lakes by fishing for trout. Offshore, swim with dolphins or explore underwater life on a diving expedition. The North Island is blessed with a huge variety of beaches, from golden bays to wild surfing breaks. Great places to enjoy New Zealand’s maritime treasures include the subtropical setting of the Bay of Islands and Auckland, the ‘City of Sails’.
To discover the latest in contemporary New Zealand culture, begin your adventure in Auckland or Wellington, the North Island’s largest cities. Auckland enjoys a unique setting on two harbours that are studded with islands, and features a large number of highly regarded restaurants, cafés and bars. Wellington has a style all its own. Set on a harbour and surrounded by hills, this is where New Zealand’s politicians get down to business. It’s also a place for unique fashion and art, and the country’s cutting-edge national museum.
Get ready to explore, because from one end to the other, the North Island embraces a diversity of natural and cultural features that visitors find simply astonishing.