Six reasons why you should travel to the North Island
1. If you are looking for warmer temperatures and beaches, the North Island is for you.
If you're looking for warmer weather and accessible beaches the North Island is for you. Throughout the year, the North Island is much warmer than the South Island. North of Auckland in the Bay of Islands where you'll enjoy a sub-tropical climate that is even warm during the winter months. The Coromandel Peninsula is also famous for its many wonderful beaches.
2. If you're looking to experience New Zealand's famous geothermal activity, the North Island is for you.
The North Island is famous for its geothermal activity brought about after two tectonic plates collided millions of years ago- the Australian and the Pacific plates.
Check out the volcanoes in the Tongariro National Park; Mount Ruapehu, Tongariro and Ngauruhoe. All three mountains can be climbed in the summer months, but make sure you are well prepared as the alpine conditions can change quickly. The Tongariro Alpine Crossing is one of the world’s great day walks.
The geothermal area stretches as far as the Coromandel Peninsula were at Hot Water beach you can dig yourself a hot water pool in the sand from the underground springs.
3. If you want to experience our Maori culture, the North Island is for you.
The North Island Maori population has always been significantly larger than that of the South Island. For this reason, the north offers more opportunities to experience the Maori cultural performances as well as visiting a Marae (traditional Māori meeting place and their home) and eat a hangi (traditional Māori food cooked using heated rocks in a pit oven).
If you are keen to learn about Maori culture visit Rotorua and Waitangi. Rotorua is a hub of ‘Māoridom’ (Maori culture) with nearly 40 percent of its population identifying themselves as Māori.
Waitangi is a place of great significance for New Zealand as it was here the Treaty of Waitangi between the British Crown and the Maori tribes was agreed. It enabled the Pākehā (New Zealanders who are of European descent) and the Maori people to live together under a common set of laws.
You can also visit New Zealand's National Museum - Te Papa in New Zealand’s capital city Wellington to learn more about Maori culture.
4. If you want to experience New Zealand’s exciting cities, the North Island is for you.
If you're keen on spending some time in big cities, then the North Island is right for you. Over 70% of New Zealand's four million people lives in the North Island with over 30% of them living in Auckland, New Zealand’s biggest city.
Auckland and Wellington are two incredibly diverse harbour cities, each offering world class restaurants, arts and culture. They're distinctly New Zealand and are only a stones-throw away from beaches, hiking trails and stunning landscape.
5. If you want to experience New Zealand’s wineries and vineyards, the North Island is for you.
The Hawkes Bay is home to New Zealand’s oldest vineyards and is the second largest wine region in the country with over 80 wineries, many of which are open to the public for tastings. A number of the vineyards have award-wining restaurants where you can taste the local artisan produce matched with local wines.
As well as the Hawkes Bay the South Island has a number of excellent wine regions too, including Marlborough and Central Otago.
6. If you want to experience Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit, the North Island is for you.
The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings were filmed all over New Zealand, but there are two locations you must see if you are a fan. Just out of Matamata on the rolling hills is a farm with 39 hobbit-holes, the Hobbiton Village Movie Set built for the Hobbit trilogy. In addition, the Weta Workshop on Wellington is where much of the digital effects for the films occurred.