• Cape Reinga, Bay of Islands

North Island Holidays

North Island holidays in New Zealand allow you to enjoy some of the world’s most captivating landscapes, combined with rich Maori culture and vibrant cities. From the bubbling mud pools and gushing geysers of Rotorua, through to Auckland ‘the City of Sails’ and the capital Wellington, New Zealand’s North Island offer truly impressive sights and attractions.

Experience an idyllic combination of natural beauty and culture. Learn more about the fascinating Maori history at one of the many museums, with interactive and captivating displays. For a more hands-on experience, you can visit a traditional Maori village. Immerse yourself in demonstrations of ancient traditions, performances such as the famous Haka war dance, and savour a sumptuous hangi feast. Nature lovers will enjoy looking for dolphins and whales on a cruise around the magnificent Bay of Islands. Alternatively, simply relax as you walk barefoot along the magnificent white sandy beaches of Waiheke. For fine dining and urban adventures, don’t miss the cultural capital of Wellington, or Auckland, which are both packed with must-see sites.

Explore cosmopolitan cities on your New Zealand North Island holidays

New Zealand’s largest and most culturally diverse city, Auckland , offers a whole host of exciting things to see and do. Located between the waters of Waitemata and Manukau Harbours, you can cruise or sail or kayak around many easy to reach islands, or hike across the ice strewn plains of Tongariro National Park. Alternatively, head to the amazing limestone caves of Waitomo. You can also indulge in the incredible cuisine and enjoy the world-class wines of Hawkes Bay. For shopping, head to designer boutiques for high-end fashion, or one of the many street markets for hand-crafted items.

Whatever you’re looking for, from secluded natural gems, through to adrenaline-inducing adventure, North Island holidays have it all.

Destination Highlights
  • Explore the vibrant and cosmopolitan city of Auckland, boasting award-winning dining, hip bars and a rich culture
  • Experience the magic of the real Middle Earth with a visit to the colourful Hobbiton film set
  • Immerse yourself in indigenous Maori culture and heritage with a visit to Wellington’s Te Papa Museum
  • Hike through the awe-inspiring Tongariro National Park, through alpine meadows and cratered volcanic landscapes, scattered with emerald mineral lakes

Time Zone

GMT +13

Flight Time

24 hours

Currency

New Zealand dollar (NZD)

Visa Information

All British passport holders can visit New Zealand for up to 6 months on arrival without a visa.

Language

English

Health Information

No vaccines required - please speak to your GP for advice.

North Island (NZ) Attractions

  • Te Papa Tongarewa Museum of New Zealand

    Translated as “container of treasures”, Te Papa Tongarewa, New Zealand’s national museum, is the perfect place to immerse yourself in the country’s colonial, Maori and recent history and culture. It’s home to art exhibitions and interactive displays, which make it ideal for both adults and children. See the colossal squid and learn about its life and habitat and witness some of the award winning immersive displays and exhibits.

  • Wine Tasting

    New Zealand is known around the world for its excellent wines and spectacular scenery, making it an ideal destination for wine tasting tours. Learn how the grapes are planted, grown and harvested before trying various bottles and picking up tips from expert sommeliers. Many of the vineyards also have gourmet restaurants where you can enjoy menus featuring excellent local dishes.

  • Te Puia

    Te Puia is a geothermal park located just outside of Rotorua on New Zealand’s North Island. It’s home to beautiful landscapes featuring live geysers and boiling water pools which are still used by the resident Maori to cook their traditional dishes. You can also see New Zealand’s natural bush, which is home to the country’s national icon, the flightless kiwi bird. Learn about these endangered birds and the ways they are being protected.

  • Maori Village

    New Zealand’s Maoris have retained their original culture, with fascinating villages where you can learn more about their way of life. Learn to weave and woodwork with expert artisans or join in with a spectacular feast, featuring food cooked in pits dug into the warm earth surrounding the geothermal springs. Watch the famous Maori Haka war dance and visit their shrines and buildings.

  • Lucy, Destination Specialist

    Lucy

    Destination Specialist

    “On the Coromandel Peninsula, near Mercury Bay, you'll find the famous Hot Water Beach. At low tide this tourist 'hotspot' turns into one big spa pool where you can dig into the sand to create your own hot bath!”

  • a man smiling for the camera

    Matthew

    Destination Specialist

    “If you're exploring New Zealand by car or motorhome, take a detour on your way south and stop off at Huka Falls between Wairakei and Taupo. The area has some of the most powerful and bluest waterfalls I have ever seen.”

     

Events & Festivals

Festivals and events are wonderful to include during your North Island holiday, offering a glimpse into the country’s authentic culture and traditions.

 

  • Fireworks from Sky Tower

    On New Year’s Eve, fireworks from Auckland’s Sky Tower light up the city, as the countdown to New Year begins. This is the highest fireworks display in the Southern Hemisphere and it can be enjoyed from various vantage points around the city.

     

  • ANZAC Day

    Taking place on April 25th 2020, ANZAC Day is a day of remembrance for all New Zealanders and Australians who served and were killed in all conflicts and wars. It is a public holiday and a series of ceremonies take place, following a particular ritual in the form of a military funeral.

     

  • Waitangi Day

    Waitangi Day, the national day of New Zealand, which takes place on 6th February, commemorates the signing of New Zealand’s founding document, the Treaty of Waitangi, which took place in 1840. The official festivities are celebrated at the Waitangi National Grounds in the Bay of Islands. You’ll also find lots of other events held throughout the country to mark this important occasion.

     

  • WOMAD

    WOMAD is an annual international festival celebrating world music, art and dance across eight stages. 2020 acts include reggae icon Ziggy Marley, the Blind Boys of Alabama, and the Welsh harpist Catrin Finch & Senegalese kora player Seckou Keita.

     

  • Lantern Festival

    Celebrate the Chinese New Year at the Auckland Lantern Festival. Running from February 13th to 16th, there are hundreds of musical acts and performances, alongside traditional Chinese arts and crafts.

     

  • NZ International Comedy Festival

    NZ International Comedy Festival is held over three weeks in both Wellington and Auckland. After this, it takes to the road to bring the show to the rest of New Zealand. It features over 200 shows and 250 performers, from emerging artists, through to established household names.

     

Local Cuisine

Get a flavour of the local culture through your palate during your North Island holiday. Here are a few of our favourite foodie experiences.

 

  • Hangi feast

    Traditionally, Maori people cooked in pits under the ground known as ‘hangi,’. During your stay, you can also enjoy this unique experience. A mouth-watering feast, including meat, vegetables and stuffing, the food is wrapped and cooked for several hours for a true smoky taste of hangi cuisine.

     

  • Cooking lessons

    Add a cooking class to your New Zealand North Islands holidays experience and learn how to cook speciality food from the region’s professional chefs. From locally-caught fish, through to seasonal vegetables that grow nearby, you can cook up an appetising banquet to tantalise your taste buds.

  • Fine wines

    Wine lovers are in for a treat. It is no secret that New Zealand produces world-class wines from its swathes of beautiful wineries across the region. This is a superb destination if you’re looking to fine tune your appreciation of fine wines, from pinot noir to sauvignon blanc.

     

Our North Island (NZ) destinations

a large green field with trees in the background

North Island (NZ)

Auckland

Auckland
an island in the middle of a body of water

North Island (NZ)

Bay of Islands

Bay of Islands
a large body of water with a city in the background

North Island (NZ)

Wellington

Wellington
Sunshine at Coromandel Cliffs

North Island (NZ)

Coromandel Peninsula

Coromandel Peninsula
Rotorua

North Island (NZ)

Rotorua

Rotorua
a group of people on a rocky beach

North Island (NZ)

Taupo and Tongariro

Taupo and Tongariro
New Zealand Indulgence

North Island (NZ)

Waiheke Island

Waiheke Island
a rocky beach next to a body of water

North Island (NZ)

Napier and Hawke’s Bay

Napier and Hawke’s Bay