North Island is one of the two islands of New Zealand. The official name of this island is Te Ika-a-Māui which was decided in 2013 by the New Zealand Geographic Board.
It makes the perfect spot for a vacation for people who want a break from crowded city life because it is a lot less in population as compared to the South Island of New Zealand.
The North Island is known as the 14th largest island in the world with an area covering 113,729 square kilometers.
The island is composed of 12 urban areas, out of which 6 are cities. These urban areas include Auckland, Tauranga, Rotorua, Hamilton, Hastings, Napier, Whangarei, New Plymouth, Gisborne, Wellington, and Whanganui. All of these urban areas and cities are extremely beautiful and worth visiting.
However, if you are on a short trip on a budget, then the following 6 trips are something that you must do on the North Island, New Zealand.
TRIP NO. 1: VISIT THE WAITOMO CAVES
Waitomo Caves is a village with a cave system and is one of the main tourist attractions on North Island. The caves are located under the green hills of the Waitomo village, which also consist of underwater rivers.
The name Waitomo is in the Maori language which translates to the water hole, such as Wai is for water and ‘tomo’ means hole. It is approximately a 3-hour drive from Auckland, a 1-hour drive from Hamilton, and a 2-hour drive from Rotorua. The main attractions of this location, apart from the beautiful rocky caves, are the glow-worms which you will be able to see during your Black Water Rafting trip on the underground rivers of the caves.
The fact that the film Hobbit was filmed at this location makes it even more attractive to tourists. You can also zip line in the dark or choose to float through the dark caves on a rubber tube. It is best if you go along with boating or walking trips, otherwise you would be too creeped out by the dark to actually enjoy the wonderful nature around you.
However, do not worry, you are not going to wander in pitch black darkness because the glow worms on the top of the cave will provide you with light.
TRIP NO. 2: VISIT THE HOBBITON MOVIE SET
The famous movie Hobbit was shot in various locations on North Island. The location is known as the Hobbiton Movie Set, which covers 12 acres of land. It is more or less like an amusement park with guided tours.
It is a 2-hour excursion filled with beautiful locations, tasty foods, and fun rides. Furthermore, it is recommended that you book your tour in advance because it is a very popular location, especially during the tourist season.
At the Hobbiton Movie Set, you will be able to see 44 of the Hobbit holes but, you will not be able to enter and explore all of them. You will also be able to visit the Party Tree, Bagshot Row, and Bilbo’s Bag End Home. Throughout the tour, you will be offered refreshments, breakfast, and also a second breakfast at “The Shires Rest Café”.
You will also be able to visit the Green Dragon™ Inn and try free samples of their drinks and beverages. You can also have dinner at the restaurants on the Hobbiton Movie Set, after which you will join your guide to head back to the main entrance.
TRIP NO. 3: EXPERIENCE REBIRTH AT THE ROTORUA HEALING WATERS
The Healing Waters of Rotorua consist of geothermal activity and are the main attraction for tourists. In an alien-like scenery, you will find a boiling hot and steamy pool of water screaming to be submerged in. These pools are of green and red colors which are fizzy like champagne.
This hot healing water naturally springs from the ground and keeps the surrounding houses warm. The residents of that area also use it for cooking and cleaning purposes.
The Rachel Spring and the Priest Spring are the most popular locations of these healing waters, where you can experience hot mineral bathing.
Many of these locations have spas and relaxation salons built on them, where everyone likes to go and wind down from the stresses of the past and coming weeks. Since this water is slightly acidic and contains a high dose of minerals, it can be used to effectively treat joint and muscle pains.
The sodium silica present in some of these healing water locations leaves your skin smooth as silk and soft as a baby. The government of New Zealand also built bathhouses covering these healing waters in the 1800s to promote good health and hygiene among the citizens.
TRIP NO. 4: CHOOSE YOUR SOURCE OF ADRENALINE AT TAUPO
Taupō, also known as ‘Take to the skies’ is the best place for tourists who love adrenaline sports. At this location, you will be able to have an adrenaline rush at every possible location, such as, on the land, under the water, or high in the sky.
Surrounded by beautiful lakes and mountains, Taupo is the best place on the North Island for adrenaline junkies. This location has the most exciting and dramatic areas for free falls and for skydiving purposes.
For the tourists who do not enjoy activities like bungee jumping or anything that involves flying in the sky, they can enjoy water sports or fun activities on the land. You can also enjoy the breathtaking views of Taupo through a ride in a helicopter or by plane. Apart from this, you can also add in a good enough workout session by hiking on the trails.
TRIP NO. 5: EXPERIENCE ELEGANT BEAUTY AT WHAKAARI/ WHITE ISLANDS
The Whakaari or White Islands is an active volcano site that is so elegant and beautiful that you will forget the hot boiling danger that it unfolds. The full name of this island is Te Puia o Whakaari in the Maori language.
It translates to ‘The Dramatic Island’ in the English language. This area is privately owned, but can be visited by tourists to experience its scenic beauty.
TRIP NO. 6: VISIT THE CATHEDRAL COVE
Visiting Cathedral Cove is a must-do when visiting the North Island, New Zealand. It is a 10-minute drive from Hot Water Beach, and it is located in Hahei.
It’s the most common tourist attraction which is accessible through a boat, kayak, or by foot. To reach Cathedral Cove on foot, you need to start walking from the top of Grange Road.
However, make sure that you are wearing the right shoes. For a more secluded experience at Cathedral Cove, it is recommended that you visit during the wintertime or during spring.
So, these were the 6 must-do trips when visiting North Island, New Zealand. Each of these trips will provide you with an extraordinary experience that will motivate you to travel further.
You can make the best out of these trips by planning ahead, booking your excursions in advance, or visiting during the winter or spring season.
Let us know what your thoughts are by leaving a comment below, safe travels!