New Zealand North Island offers a myriad of adventures for the family.  There is the steaming hot nature adventure with volcanoes,  hot springs, bubbling mud pools, “foamy” waterfall and a soaring geyser.  There is  an animal adventure where the kids saw the kiwi bird, farm animals, watched the demonstrations for sheep shearing and cow milking, and stayed at an animal farm.  There is also a fun adventure where we rode downhill in a Luge,  rolled downhill in a Zorb ball, and went sailing; and last but not least a cultural adventure with the Maoris.

 

Our 10-day New Zealand North Island Itinerary

We did a 10-day road trip around New Zealand North Island with 3 kids.   My youngest kid was barely a year old at that time and was just learning how to walk.  Our itinerary is detailed below.  Click on the links for more details.

 

New Zealand North Island
DAY 1: AUCKLAND

Arrive in Auckland.

DAY 2: BELMONT FARM STAY

Travel from Auckland to Tirau and stay at Belmont Farm.

 

New Zealand North Island
DAY 3: WAITOMO GLOWWORM & RUANUKI CAVE 

Discover one of the most magical caves in the world at Waitomo Glow worm Cave.  View spectacular limestone formations in Ruanuki Cave.  Overnight in Plymouth

 

Tongariro National Park
DAY 4: PLYMOUTH – TARANAKI – TONGARIRO NATIONAL PARK

Have a picnic at Egmont National Park with a scenic view of Mt Taranaki.  Overnight at Howards Lodge at the Tongariro National park.

 

Huka Falls New Zealand

DAY 5: TONGARIRO NATIONAL PARK – LAKE TAUPO – ROTORUA

Take the volcanic loop around the Tongariro National Park.  See the beautiful Lake Taupo and visit the thundering Hukafalls before heading to Rotor.


New Zealand North Island

DAY 6: ROTORUA

Witness the eruption of Lady Knox geyser. Explore the Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland and mudpool. Take the Skyline (cable-car) ride & ride downhill in the Luge. Visit the Maori Village for a traditional Maori dinner and performance.

 

New Zealand North Island
DAY 7: ROTORUA

Zorb down a hill in a ball before heading to Agrodome to tour an organic farm and see an entertaining live sheep show. Visit Rainbow Springs to see kiwis and explore beautiful native trees and streams.  Unwind and soak in the natural hot pool at the Polynesian spa.  Visit Rainbow Springs again in the evening and view wildlife and streams under an array of colourful lights.

 

Auckland, New Zealand North Island
DAY 8: AUCKLAND TOWER

If time permits, visit the Hobbiton town made famous by the Lord of the Rings movie at Matamata.  After which, drive to Auckland. Go up to the Auckland tower before sun sets and witness the Auckland city transformation from day to night.

 

New Zealand North Island

DAY 9: AUCKLAND CITY OF SAILS

Visit Bees Online to buy the famous Manuka Honey. Head to the Auckland harbour and set sail in the City of Sails.

DAY 10: AUCKLAND – HOME

Depart Auckland.



View 10-day NZ North Island map in a larger map

 

Tips on Planning this trip

Transport

There is no better way to travel around New Zealand than to drive.  Campervans is also quite common.  An alternative was to join the day tours but that was more expensive than self-drive.

There was an additional charge for renting a car from the airport, and it was cheaper for my family to take a cab to town and rent the car from town the next day.  The car was returned at the airport.

 

Attractions in New Zealand North Island

Other places considered

  • Hell’s Gate Geothermal park and mud spa (www.hellsgate.co.nz, SH30, Tikitere, Rotorua, New Zealand)
  • Tepuia Whakarewarewa Thermal Area (www.tepuia.com, Box 334, Hemo Road, Rotorua, New Zealand)
  • Lord of the Rings Hobbiton movie set tours (www.hobbitontours.com, Rings Scenic Tours Ltd, 101 Arawa Street, PO 366, Matamata, New Zealand)

 

Accommodations

It was easy to find decent accommodations for a family of 4-5 in New Zealand.  Most of it provided a kitchenette and all provided free parking. These were the places I stayed in New Zealand North Island.