Things to do & places to visit in North Island, New Zealand

North Island cover image

North Island #1 destination in New Zealand 2023. The average rating score is 4.52 based on 265.0k traveler reviews, of 290 attractions. Timezone: Pacific/Auckland, current date and time: Sunday, March 03, 2024, 22:53.

Top things to do (39)

Top places to visit (30 attractions) view more »

  1. 5.0 Rotorua Canopy Tours (7.234 reviews)
    - A Soaring Success!
    Sunday: 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM Adrenaline & Extreme Tours • Zipline & Aerial Adventure Parks • Nature & Wildlife Tours
    Rotorua Canopy Tours image
    My cousin and I visited Rotorua from Sydney, Australia and went on the Original Canopy Tour with guides Kaitlin and Nicky. Our group was an eclectic bunch of Kiwi locals and tourists and the half-day was filled with interesting facts, wonderful views, and some good laughs. Kaitlin and Nicky were superb guides — Kaitlin was super energetic, and kept us laughing the entire time (while also ensuring we were safe & educated on the forest’s conservation efforts). Nicky was very informative and shared some interesting stories about the bird life, including about little Timmy! They perfectly complimented each other’s style & made us feel comfortable and safe the entire time! We will definitely be back for round 2 next time we’re in NZ! See more..
  2. 5.0 Hamilton Gardens (3.513 reviews)
    - Definitely worth a visit if you’re in Hamilton.
    Spent 2-3 hours Parks • Gardens
    Hamilton Gardens image
    Explore an enchanting world of secret gardens. Transport yourself through time and to far-flung corners of the world. Meander through a lush tropical jungle, visit ancient China and indulge yourself in a Renaissance Prince's 16th century garden. Five garden collections have been created to delight the senses, with some garden concepts reaching back 4,000 years. Hamilton Gardens is a conceptual garden based in the Waikato that explores the context, history and meaning of gardens through time, and from around the world. It is internationally recognised for its unique concept and is the Waikato region's most popular tourist destination. Only five minutes drive from Hamilton's CBD, the Gardens is open 7 days a week during daylight hours and entry and parking is free. Access is off SH1, alongside Cobham Drive on the southern side of Hamilton. See more..
  3. 5.0 Mount Maunganui Summit Track (2.740 reviews)
    - Beautiful hike!
    Hiking Trails
    Mount Maunganui Summit Track image
    A great walk fairly doable until about 1/2 the way up then it becomes time for breath breaks! Take the path up and the steps back. (Our B & B hosts let us know this.) Harder to walk up steps than down. So true! I'm 72 and had no problem. It is a bit of an effort but worth it. I couldn't believe how many much younger and older than I am almost skipping up this Mount! We sat and watched a couple of parasailers take off and float beautifully down to the beach. A wonderful way to spend the morning hours in spring. See more..
  4. 5.0 Tongariro Alpine Crossing (2.196 reviews)
    - Highlight of New Zealand
    Spent More than 3 hours Hiking Trails
    Tongariro Alpine Crossing image
    Always check the website for changes that might affect your trip. See more..
  5. 5.0 Tiritiri Matangi Island (1.938 reviews)
    - Gorgeous subtropical island filled with birdsong
    Spent More than 3 hours Islands • Nature & Wildlife Areas
    Tiritiri Matangi Island image
    Tiritiri Matangi Island is a day trip by ferry from central Auckland. The 1.5 hour trip takes you past the northern beach neighborhoods and across the channel from Gulf Harbour to the island. The crew on Explore ferry Te Maki were caring and professional. Once on the island, the short, personalized tour with a knowledgeable and passionate eco- hero guide is highly recommended. Our guide Pam helped us spot endangered stitch bird, saddlebacks, whiteheads, bellbirds, robin, my personal favorite the cute wee rifleman (like a tiny green ball of fluff) and of course the iridescent Tui. She regaled is with island history and stories of birds saved from the point of extinction. Then we were free to explore the island and swim in the clear, warm waters of Hobbs Bay until it was time to return by ferry to the city. This is a chance to support important science and New Zealand’s precious and unique bird life while having a fabulous gulf island adventure. Highly recommended. See more..
  6. 5.0 Pukekura Park (1.819 reviews)
    - Beautiful Park with a must try tram ride
    Zoos • Parks • Gardens
    Pukekura Park image
    Pukekura Park covers 52ha (128 acres) right in the heart of New Plymouth, Taranaki and is one of New Zealand's premier botanical gardens. The park has an international Green Flag award and is a Garden of National Significance. With a diverse range of landscapes, the park features bush walks, formal gardens, lakes, children's play areas, a sports area and a Tea House. The park includes the Fernery and Display Houses as well as the adjacent garden estate area of Brooklands, home to the acclaimed TSB Bowl of Brooklands and Brooklands Zoo. As a popular destination for locals and visitors alike, Pukekura Park lights up over the summer as the backdrop for the annual TSB Bank Festival of Lights. The park is free to enter and can be accessed from various streets including Liardet Street, Brooklands Road, Fillis Street, Rogan Street, Kaimata Street and List Street. See more..
  7. 5.0 Spellbound (1.772 reviews)
    - Magical and authentic
    Nature & Wildlife Tours
    Spellbound image
    A 2.5 hour tour of a glowworm cave (complete with underground boat ride) and another impressive, extensive cave system. Kieran, our guide was knowledgeable and friendly. Nothing seemed to be too much trouble; he was patient and polite with everyone and seemed genuinely interested in us as people. The group was small (max 12 people) so the experience felt personal and unhurried. Compared to the more well known Waitomo caves tour this seemed very good value for money. So special to see these extraordinary creatures in their natural environment. I'd happily recommend this tour to anyone with a bit more time and interest See more..
  8. 5.0 New Plymouth Coastal Walkway (1.715 reviews)
    - Peaceful coastal walk
    Scenic Walking Areas
    New Plymouth Coastal Walkway image
    Utterly spectacular 11km long walkway along the seafront in New Plymouth, New Zealand. Walk, ride skate or scoot from Bell Block in the north to Port Taranaki to the south taking in the stunning Te Rewa Rewa Bridge, three swimming beaches, a golf club, rolling farm land, rivers and various accessways to residential and shopping areas. See more..
  9. 5.0 Sculptureum (1.660 reviews)
    - The persistent pleasure of a feast for the eyes
    Sunday: 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM Spent 2-3 hours Art Galleries • Wineries & Vineyards • Gardens
    Sculptureum image
    The Sculptureum Experience is made up of three sculpture gardens and six art galleries spanning over 1.4km of flat paths. The private collection includes over 650 works of art by local and international artists. From live rabbits to the grand Chihuly glass chandelier and everything in between, you are guaranteed to find inspiration around every corner during your visit to this immaculately kept attraction. The 14 acre award-winning vineyard overlooks the sculpture gardens with views out to Little Barrier Island. Sculptureum wines are best enjoyed with a meal at Rothko Restaurant, Freddie's Outdoor Kitchen or The Terrace Lawn Bar, or savour the experience and take a bottle home. See more..
  10. 5.0 Waitomo Adventures (1.608 reviews)
    - Exhilarating underground adventures!
    Sunday: 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM Canyoning & Rappelling Tours • Adrenaline & Extreme Tours • Sightseeing Tours • Nature & Wildlife Tours • Day Trips
    Waitomo Adventures image
    Over the course of two days my friends, family, and I completed both Haggis Honking holes and Blackwater Rafting (TTT). These caving experiences are absolutely amazing! They are both different in their own ways and definitely a must-do for anyone wanting an exhilarating caving experience. Our tour guides Joel, Harrison, and Amy were all extremely capable, supportive, and genuine. As I said to Joel at the end of our adventure, what really made it worthwhile was the way he and the others made everyone feel supported throughout the caving experiences. Keep up superb smiles and a big thank you to all! We are already planning our next adventure and very much looking forward to it. Once again thank you Waitomo Adventures! See more..
  11. 5.0 Kiwi Cave Rafting (1.406 reviews)
    - Amazing abseil and glow worms!
    River Rafting & Tubing
    Kiwi Cave Rafting image
    Great experience for both myself and my daughter. I wasnt sure I could cope with the abseils and the climbs, but Colin our expert guide helped us all the way through. His knowledge of everything inside the caves was amazing. From the flotsam that washes through the cave system to the natural fauna inside, he knew everything that there was to know! Such a great guide. It made it easier given that it was a small group so we got to spend a bit more time asking questions and viewing the glow worms. The warm drink and chocolate gave us enough energy to finish the walk back to the starting point! Purchasing and downloading the pictures was also super easy and great value. Thanks for an amazing adventure Colin and "Go the Padres!" See more..
  12. 4.5 Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa (14.2k reviews) from $9.71
    - Quick Museum Visit
    Sunday: 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM Speciality Museums
    Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa image
    Experience the whole of New Zealand in one building! Te Papa is New Zealand's bold, innovative and interactive national museum. Explore the great treasures and stories of this country, its unique natural environment, Maori culture and taonga (treasures), dynamic art heritage, and its fascinating history. Te Papa is located on Wellington's spectacular waterfront. Open 10am to 6pm every day except Christmas Day. General admission is free. See more..
  13. 4.5 Sky Tower (11.5k reviews) from $25.24
    - Great way to see beautiful Auckland!
    Sunday: 9:30 AM - 7:30 PM Spent 1-2 hours Points of Interest & Landmarks • Observation Decks & Towers
    Sky Tower image
    Auckland's SkyTower is the tallest structure in the Southern Hemisphere, this tower is more than 300 metres high. Offering stunning views, along with award winning restaurants, a gift shop and an opportunity to push your limits by walking the outside of the viewing platforms, or by jumping off from 192 metres above Auckland's CBD. Off Peak Season - (1st May - 31st Oct) 9:00am - 10:00pm daily - Last tickets sold at 9:30pm Peak Season - (1st Nov - 30th Apr) Sun - Thurs: 8:30am - 10:30pm - Last tickets sold at 10:00pm Fri & Sat: 8:30am - 11:30pm - Last tickets sold at 11:00pm See more..
  14. 4.5 Hobbiton Movie Set (10.2k reviews)
    - A must do for diehard Hobbit’s
    Sunday: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM Points of Interest & Landmarks
    Hobbiton Movie Set image
    The Hobbiton Movie Set tour is an essential stop on the itinerary for all visitors travelling through New Zealand, offering an interesting and entertaining experience incorporating the famous film set as seen in The Lord of The Rings and The Hobbit trilogies. Fall in love with the Alexander family sheep and beef farm, just as acclaimed director Sir Peter Jackson did, as you journey through the village, with the mighty Kaimai Ranges towering in the distance. Your guide will then escort you around the set, showing you the intricate detailing, pointing out the most famous locations and explaining how the movie magic was made. You will be taken around the 12 acre set; past Hobbit holes, the Mill and into the famous Green Dragon™ Inn, where you can indulge in our exclusive, specially brewed beverages to conclude your own Middle-earth™ adventure. See more..
  15. 4.5 Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland (8.684 reviews)
    - Geological wonder you cannot miss!
    Sunday: 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM Spent 2-3 hours Hot Springs & Geysers
    Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland image
    "One of the 20 Most Surreal Places in the World" Trip Advisor THOUSANDS OF YEARS IN THE MAKING, explore spectacular nature at New Zealand's most colourful natural volcanic area. Walk at your own pace - view the unique Champagne Pool, Sinter Terrace formations, Steaming Ground, Bubbling Mud, Expansive Vistas, Huge Volcanic Craters. The Lady Knox Geyser erupts daily at 10.15am. Excellent facilities at modern Visitor Centre. We are a cashless site, accepting all major credit and EFTPOS cards. See more..
  16. 4.5 Auckland Museum (6.698 reviews) from $17.67
    - Must visit!
    Sunday: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM Spent 2-3 hours Military Museums • Speciality Museums • History Museums
    Auckland Museum image
    Discover and experience Maori culture, with daily cultural shows and an internationally significant Maori and Pacific collection to explore, the Auckland Museum is a must see attraction. Housed in an Iconic building within the grounds of a tranquil park, the Auckland Museum is a place to discover and learn about New Zealand's culture and its natural history. Since 1929, the Museum has served as place of remembrance for the many Aucklanders who have sacrificed their lives in war. See more..
  17. 4.5 Wellington Cable Car (6.573 reviews)
    - Historic ride with exceptional views!
    Sunday: 8:30 AM - 7:00 PM Spent < 1 hour Historic Sites • Trams • Lookouts
    Wellington Cable Car image
    The highlight to any visit to Wellington is a trip on Wellington Cable Car. In just 5 minutes you will reach the top of the Botanic Garden where panoramic views of the city and harbour are the reward. You can also visit the Space Place Observatory here. Before you head back down make sure to visit the Cable Car Museum (free entry), which provides a history of the city's symbolic mode of transport and see the original cars and winding machinery on display. There are walking tracks that start at the top of the Cable Car if you're keen on a stroll back to the city. The Cable Cars leave every 10 minutes and evry 15 minutes before 8pm. See more..
  18. 4.5 Huka Falls tracks (6.331 reviews)
    - Spectacular views
    Spent < 1 hour Hiking Trails • Waterfalls
    Huka Falls tracks image
    Always check the website for changes that might affect your trip. See more..
  19. 4.5 Te Puia (5.788 reviews)
    - Excellent
    Sunday: 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM Spent 2-3 hours Historic Sites • Points of Interest & Landmarks • Hot Springs & Geysers
    Te Puia image
    Te Puia spans 70 hectares within the historic Te Whakarewarewa Valley, on the edge of town. We are home to the world famous Pohutu geyser, to mud pools, hot springs, to silica formations to the Kiwi bird and the national schools of wood carving, weaving, stone and bone carving. We have shared these treasures with manuhiri (visitors) for 170 years and proudly continue that legacy today. See more..
  20. 4.5 Redwoods, Whakarewarewa Forest (5.203 reviews)
    - Awesome treetop walk at night!
    Spent 1-2 hours Forests
    Redwoods, Whakarewarewa Forest image
    If you love the outdoors this area is for you! Escape into the beautiful Whakarewarewa Forest, one of Rotorua’s most spectacular natural assets. Famous for its magnificent stands of towering Californian Coastal Redwoods it is just five minutes drive from the city centre. Here you can experience some of the finest walking and mountain bike trails in the world. Not to mention taking in superb panoramic views of Rotorua City, Lake and surrounding district. Entry to the forest, tracks and Gift Shop & Visitor Centre is FREE. There is lots of parking and toilet facilities available. Gates open at 5.30am and close late. Maps and information is available at the Redwoods I-Site and Visitor Centre. Don't forget to also check out the Redwoods Treewalk. This is available at the Redwoods and provides an alternative way to experience the Redwoods both during the day and at night. It is a paid attraction see their listing for more details. See more..
  21. 4.5 Waitangi Treaty Grounds (5.196 reviews) from $37.86
    - A must do for all New Zealanders
    Sunday: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM Historic Sites • Gardens
    Waitangi Treaty Grounds image
    Waitangi Treaty Grounds welcomes you on a journey of the place where much of New Zealand’s history was shaped. An absolute must-do for all visitors to New Zealand, the award-winning Waitangi Treaty Grounds is a national treasure and tells our nation’s history of two peoples coming together under the Treaty of Waitangi, Te Tiriti o Waitangi. Enjoy an interactive full-day experience in the two contemporary museums, powerful cultural performances in Te Whare Rūnanga, insightful guided tours, traditional Māori waka (war canoe), and café all with stunning views over the Bay of Islands. Hāngi and concert evenings are scheduled during the summer months – an intimate cultural experience not to be missed. The award-winning Waitangi Treaty Grounds is a must-do for all visitors to the Bay of Islands. See more..
  22. 4.5 Mount Eden (3.921 reviews)
    - 360 degree views
    Mount Eden image
    A trip up the highest volcanic peak in mainland Auckland offers striking views of the downtown area and harbor. See more..
  23. 4.5 Wellington Botanic Garden (3.660 reviews)
    - The plants seem to be saying "thank you for being here". It's a testimony to the care that the garden staff takes.
    Wellington Botanic Garden image
    Visit Wellington Botanic Garden and enjoy its 25ha of unique landscape, protected native forest, conifers, specialised plant collections, colourful floral displays, and views over Wellington city. The garden is a Garden of National Significance by the Royal New Zealand Institute of Horticulture and is an Historic Places Trust Heritage Area. Take the Cable Car up and follow the Downhill path to the city. See more..
  24. 4.5 Auckland Zoo (3.558 reviews)
    - Best day ever !!! We will be back !
    Sunday: 9:30 AM - 5:30 PM Spent More than 3 hours Zoos
    Auckland Zoo image
    Auckland Zoo is home to the largest collection of native and exotic animals in New Zealand, set in 17 hectares of lush parkland and just minutes from central Auckland. Auckland Zoo is open every day (except Christmas Day) from 9.30am. See more..
  25. 4.5 Viaduct Harbour (3.431 reviews)
    - Auckland Old and New- Parnel or harbour!
    Marinas • Points of Interest & Landmarks
    Viaduct Harbour image
    Visit the center of Auckland sailing and the place for the finest restaurants, bars, and luxury apartments. See more..
  26. 4.5 Mount Victoria (3.026 reviews)
    - Fabulous spot for an overview of Wellington
    Mount Victoria image
    High lookout point along Wellington's Southern Walkway gives visitors a spectacular view of the city and its surroundings. See more..
  27. 4.5 ZEALANDIA Ecosanctuary (2.808 reviews)
    - See living dinosaurs and rare birds
    Sunday: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM Spent 2-3 hours Nature & Wildlife Areas
    ZEALANDIA Ecosanctuary image
    Imagine a lush forest full of rare native animals. Discover ZEALANDIA – an ecosanctuary home to over 40 rare native species and 32km of walking tracks. Explore the outdoors at your own pace or be led by a guide! Our nature experts will show you the best places to spot wildlife like kakariki, tuatara and takahe on a ZEALANDIA by Day tour. Relax at Rata cafe with delicious food made from sustainably sourced ingredients and admire the views over the lake. Browse locally designed art, jewellery, homewares, books, clothes and gifts at the store where the products you buy have purpose and help the sanctuary to operate. For something a little more adventurous, see how the sanctuary transforms after dark on a ZEALANDIA by Night tour and search for thousands of glow worms and over 150 kiwi. Experience this world-renowned conservation success that lies only minutes from Wellington’s CBD. As a not-for-profit, your visit helps us ensure the future flourishing of New Zealand’s native wildlife. See more..
  28. 4.5 Whakarewarewa - The Living Maori Village (2.798 reviews)
    - A great insight into Maori culture
    Sunday: 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM Spent 1-2 hours Historic Sites • Points of Interest & Landmarks • Hot Springs & Geysers
    Whakarewarewa - The Living Maori Village image
    With natural geothermal heat radiating from the ground, Whakarewarewa Living Māori Village is a unique cultural experience, set in a fascinating geothermal landscape, offering an authentic peek into Māori village life. Hourly guided tours give visitors a chance to learn how the geothermal resources are used in daily life, twice-daily cultural performances are filled with fun interactivity, and a network of nature trails traverse geothermal lakes, bubbling mud and explosive geysers. This will be a memorable experience for all ages. Open 8.30am – 5.00pm daily. See more..
  29. 4.5 The Legendary Black Water Rafting Co. (2.486 reviews)
    - Stellar experience with a stellar crew and stellar cave
    Sunday: 8:30 AM - 9:00 PM River Rafting & Tubing • Adrenaline & Extreme Tours
    The Legendary Black Water Rafting Co. image
    Honestly, I didn’t know much going in but Matt, Jess, and Tess were phenomenally kind and knowledgeable in explaining and supporting us on how to best go about the rafting experience. Their banter with my 72 year old mother was hilarious and they safely encouraged her to participate in all aspects of the float/walk through the cave and marvel at the glow worms. If you’re on the fence on coming out, don’t be! We loved our time here - both because of the excellent service and beautiful caves. See more..
  30. 4.5 Cathedral Cove Walk (2.420 reviews)
    - Day Trip
    Hiking Trails
    Cathedral Cove Walk image
    I highly recommend parking in the free lots and paying $5NZ for a bus ticket. It takes you round trip from the lot to the main entrance of the cove. You hike predominantly downhill for about 40 minutes before you get to the cave. Do not wear sandals. Wear comfortable shoes. If you insist on wearing sandals bring a small backpack. You absolutely will need water. You will work up a thirst on the hike up too. You have the option of taking a water taxi back if you’d like. Their office is conveniently located near the parking lot. However, be sure to check their Facebook page to see if they’re operating. When I went it was a beautiful clear day. However, it randomly began raining on my hike up hill. At the top of the hill, there is a restroom. There was also a man selling drinks and snacks. The bus arrives every fifteen minutes. If you did not purchase a ticket in the lot, but would like a ride back to the lot, you can purchase a ticket from the driver. See more..
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