Active volcanoes, island sanctuaries and history top the list when visiting New Zealand's North Island.
Auckland is a city unlike any other. With incredible natural wonders on the doorstep of a world class city, Auckland is the perfect short break destination
Only a short 3hour flight from Australia’s eastern coast, Auckland allows you to hike through a rainforest in the day, and discover the best of vibrant nightlife that night. Only here can you wander through grape-vines and a colourful shopping precinct in the same afternoon. Only in Auckland can you kayak to a volcano in the morning, and enjoy world class cuisine and five star accommodation that night.
Imagine an urban environment where everyone lives within half an hour of beautiful beaches, hiking trails and a dozen enchanting holiday islands. Add a sunny climate, a background rhythm of Polynesian culture and a passion for outstanding food, wine and shopping, and you’re beginning to get the picture of Auckland, New Zealand, our largest and most diverse city.
More than just a city, Auckland is a whole region full of things to see and do. Best of all, with so many experiences close by it’s easy to hop from one adventure to the next.
Celebrated as the country’s creative and culinary capital, Wellington is nestled between two of New Zealand’s finest wine regions.
Loved locally for its dining culture, accessible waterfront, city markets, walking and biking trails, and some of the best coffee and craft beer on the planet, Wellington’s compact central city is home to a vibrant street culture.
Only a short three hour flight from the east coast of Australia and with an airport just a 15 minute scenic drive from the city centre, Wellington is an ideal short break destination, as well as a must visit as part of a longer New Zealand itinerary.
Filled with museums, galleries, nature reserves and with a vibrant street culture, Wellington is an easily navigated and affordable destination.
Get your bearings and soak up the energetic vibe by taking in the panoramic views from Mount Victoria Lookout, people watching in the city’s bohemian Cuba Quarter, or relaxing with a gelato on the city’s stunning waterfront.
Film fans also won’t want to miss discovering Weta’s world famous movie-making magic with a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the imagination and artistry behind some of the world's most spectacular movies with a Weta Cave Workshop Tour.
Northland & Bay of Islands
The subtropical Northland region of New Zealand stretches upwards from Auckland to the very top of New Zealand. Take a journey along the Twin Coast Discovery Highway to the iconic Bay of Islands, as well as the Kauri Coast, the Far North, and Whangarei.
Northland is a story of two coastlines – the west coast is rugged and soulful while the east coast is relatively more sophisticated and urbane.
In the beautiful Bay of Islands you can take a boat cruise, swim with dolphins, dive, fish or just relax in the sun. Be sure to visit Waitangi Treaty Grounds, one of New Zealand's most significant historic sites.
On the west coast you’ll encounter magnificent Tane Mahuta, the biggest kauri tree in existence. Then venture north to Hokianga Harbour and Ninety-Mile Beach, areas with huge white sand dunes and laid back beach communities.
The beautiful Lake Taupo is about the size of Singapore – more of an inland sea really.
It was created nearly two thousand years ago by a volcanic eruption so big it darkened the skies in Europe and China. Visit the Craters of the Moon and you'll see evidence of the lake's fiery birth in the geysers, steaming craters and boiling mud pools. At some of Lake Taupo's beaches, swimmers and paddlers can enjoy warm, geothermal water currents.
Just north of Lake Taupo you'll find New Zealand's most visited attraction, the magnificent Huka Falls, where more than 220,000 litres of water thunder over the cliff face every second.
Taupo is a great lake for water-skiing, sailing and kayaking. The Maori rock carvings at Mine Bay, which can only be seen from the water, make for a great boat trip or kayaking excursion. The forests surrounding the lake offer hiking and mountain biking to suit all levels of experience.
But what Lake Taupo is really known for is fishing. The town of Turangi has the largest natural trout fishery in the world; this is the place to cast a line and look for the big one. Turangi also happens to provide a convenient base for exploring Tongariro National Park, whether it be walking the Tongariro Alpine Crossing (New Zealand's most popular day walk) or skiing at Whakapapa and Turoa ski fields.
Lake Taupo is centrally located in the middle of the North Island, approximately 3 1/2 hours drive from Auckland and 4 1/2 hours drive from Wellington. There's a genuinely friendly culture here and plenty of accommodation – so why not stay awhile?