New Zealand North Island

Top things to do in New Zealand North Island

New Zealand is stunning; there is so much to see. While travelling the globe I often get asked what are the top things to do in New Zealand North Island, where to go and what to see.

The list is huge, there’s so much to see and do, from my time travelling New Zealand in 2010 for six months and spending another year here in 2013, here’s my list of top things to do in New Zealand North Island which I enjoyed. Hopefully it will give you some ideas of what you would like to do with your time in New Zealand – see below in no particular order.

Why not give Geocaching a go as you’re travelling around New Zealand, it’s good fun & free – If you’re on a road trip then make an adventure of it, like Mark & Luke’s Geocaching North New Zealand. If you really like a challenge try Apollo’s Pool.

Top things to do in New Zealand North Island

  • Rotorua – Wai-O-Tapu (active geothermal pools), Geothermal Spa, Maori Experience (Mitai or Tamki Maori Village) try a Hungi
    More information –
  • Matmata – Hobbiton (if you like the hobbits and hairy feet), enjoy an ale at the green dragon inn
    More informationhobbitontours.commy hobbiton blog post
  • Waitomo – Visit caves and see thousands of glow worms, 100m abseil & caving
    More information –, my waitomo blog post
  • Tongariro National Park – Tongariro Crossing (epic walk), Ski fields for some snowboarding at Mt Ruapehu
  • Ninety Mile Beach – Drive down Ninety Mile (actually 55 miles long), sledge down the great sand dunes (we found it great fun on an old snowboard), visit the light house at Cape Reinga and camp at Spirit’s Bay (such a beautiful spot). Ship wreck bay, at the bottom of 90 mile beach has camping, long right handed surfing wave, snorkeling, swimming, it’s a quiet spot
    More information –, Spirits Bay
Snowboarding New Zealand Dunes
Fun on the great dunes, an old snowboard works really well
  • Raglan – Great for surfing and chilling out
    More information –
  • East Coast, Opotiki to Gisborne – Tolaga bay, camp in Tokomaru Bay or Anaura bay, walk to the tip of the East Cape light house, stay in Maraehako Bay and visit the macadamia cafe. You can fish, swim, horse ride, kayak & camp
    More information – (touring guide)
  • Lake Waikaremoana – Not easy to reach, windy steep roads that often aren’t sealed, but it’s worth the trip. At this high elevation it will be cold in the evening, but the lake is worth having a dip in. Swim and there’s lots of treks
    More information –
  • Opito Bay, North Coromandel – Camping, diving, snorkeling & swimming
    More information –
  • Hikuai Gorge -15mins from Tairua, great for camping, walking, swimming & some nice water holes
    More information –
  • Hahei – Hot water beach, take a spade or hire one at any time of the year to make yourself a nice hot water bath. Only able to do this during low tide and in front of the big rock in the middle of the beach, dig your toes in until you find a warm spot
    More information –
  • Colville – Rustic area, go for camping & fishing
    More information –
  • Great Barrier Island – Go for diving, fishing, camping, snorkeling & surfing
    More information –
  • Motuihe Island – Ferry runs in the summer, restored island with walks, swimming, fishing, camping, rare birds, reptiles, kiwi and plants
    More information –
  • Goat Island – Snorkel, dive, kayak or take the glass bottom boat. Can hire things there.
    More information –
  • Kai Iwi Lakes – White sandy lakes that are blue like the tropics, and as warm as the sea. Great for camping, fishing, swimming and water sports
    More information –
  • Whananaki – camping, snorkeling, surfing, swimming, diving, fishing & walks
    More information –

Have fun, hope these top things to do in New Zealand North Island give you some ideas and have some amazing adventures.

Sunset at Whananaki