Top Tourist Attractions in the North Island New Zealand

Top Tourist Attractions in the North Island New Zealand

The North Island's Top Tourist Attractions

Our little country packs quite a punch for its size -­ around every corner you’ll find diverse culture, unbelievable landscapes, and colorful history – so we’ve handpicked the top tourist attractions in the North Island to give you a hand planning the most unforgettable New Zealand adventure.  

Location Map

North Islands Top Tourist Attractions

Lord of the Forest - Tane Mahuta

For over 2000 years Tane Mahuta (the ‘Lord of the Forest’) has been mighty ruler of the Waipoa Forest and, with a girth of over 45 feet, is the biggest Kauri tree in New Zealand. Join local Maori on a spiritual journey of Tane’s heritage and learn the legend of his birth.

Lord of the Forest

Beautiful Bay of Islands

Known as ‘the birthplace of New Zealand’, the Bay of Islands is a unique mix of illustrious history and stunning seascapes. Embark on a voyage to the Hole in the Rock and jump in the sea with our friendly locals, the Bottlenose dolphins. Wander the colonial waterfront of Russell, the first capital of New Zealand, then pay homage at the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, where the most important document in New Zealand was signed between Maori and The Crown in 1840.

Bay of Islands

Waiheke Island

A mix of delectable vineyards, eclectic art, and golden beaches, even though Waiheke Island is an easy 35‐minute ferry ride from Auckland, you’ll feel a world away from the big city bustle. Tour the many premium wineries on the island, relax on a secluded beach or fly over the treetops on a thrilling zip‐line ride, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding paradise.

Waiheke Island

Rotorua - Geothermal Wonder

New Zealand’s geothermic wonderland, Rotorua is a hive of compelling culture and volcanic surprises. Gaze in awe as geysers burst through the clouds at Wai-O-­Tapu Thermal Park and experience Maori culture first-­hand at a cultural evening including a hangi, a traditional meal cooked underground.

Rotorua geothermal maddness

Hawkes Bay – Cape Kidnappers

Named by Captain Cook after local Maori tried to kidnap one of his crew, Cape Kidnappers is now home to the largest and most accessible gannet colony on earth. Take your pick on ways to reach these extraordinary sandstone cliffs – go country-­style on a tractor and trailer tour, adrenalin junkies may like a four-­wheel drive adventure across the sand or skim the sea on a leisurely kayak excursion.

cape kidnappers

Tongariro Crossing

Some would argue the Tongariro Crossing is the best day hikes in the world; none-the-less, it is definitely one of the top tourist attractions in the North Island. Weaving over vast volcanic land, past lava flows, emerald crater lakes and even three active volcanos, this 7-­8 hour hike is worth every drop of sweat.

Tongariro Crossing

Wellington – Te Papa (National Museum)

Perched on Wellington’s vibrant harbor, Te Papa Tongarewa (container of treasures) is one of the world’s most interactive museums. Combining state-­of‐the-­art technology with classic storytelling, Te Papa takes you on a journey of New Zealand history and culture through engaging displays like “Our Space” and “Blood, Earth, Fire: Whangai, Whenua, Ahi Ka – The Transformation of Aotearoa/New Zealand.”

First Light Travel

As New Zealanders specializing in self-­drive holidays, First Light Travel are the experts when it comes to producing a boutique itinerary just for you. If you are inspired to experience the top tourist attractions in the North Island plus more, give us call so we can help to make your New Zealand bucket list vacation a reality.

Would you like to add one of these great excursions to your dream New Zealand holiday? To receive a free, no obligation, personalised itinerary - just follow the link and answer a few brief questions.

Other Blogs you may be interested in

Elizabeth's Favourite New Zealand Places

Top Tourist Attractions in the South Island of New Zealand

Which Island is Better - the North or South Island?

Updated on the 29 November 2018 by Alex 



Alex Bayes
: 12 Oct 2016 (Last updated: 19 May 2021)

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