The North Island is always overlooked by many travelers due to its unpopularity in comparison with the South Island. Hopefully through this post, you would change your mind on skipping the North Island, because it is as beautiful as the South Island. Here are the top 7 places you simply must visit if you’re here.

1. The Bay of Islands

The views from the start of the trail

A three hour drive from Auckland, with beautiful sceneries along the way, The Bay of Islands is one of New Zealand’s most spectacular tourist destination to visit all year round. Its difficult to pinpoint this place, but that’s where the adventure lies. And its super worth your time. Park your car at 178 Rawhiti Road, head towards the marking no.1 on the map and after a 30 minute hike, you will find the views below.

View of The Bay of Islands

The exact details of how to get to these beautiful views are below.

2. Craters of the Moon

Craters of the Moon- Geothermal Walk

Located in Taupo, the Craters of the Moon is a geothermal walkway with spectacular Lunar Landscapes. It feels as if the earth is breathing out hot steam. It showcases bubbling craters, steam vents and colourful soils. The entire boardwalk area is about an hour walk, which makes it friendly for kids and old alike. Its such a unique experience and seeing such things existing on our earth, just astounds the mind. At $8 per adult, and $4 per child, this is a place you definitely have to visit!

Location: 171 Karapiti Road, Taupo 3377, New Zealand

3. Huka Falls

An aerial view of the Huka Falls
Huka Falls, Wairakei 3377, New Zealand

Just a short drive away from the Geothermal Walkway, Huka Falls displays beautiful emerald-greenish waters. The powerful streams that lead to the short waterfall. Though not as spectacular as many other long waterfalls, the vibe and colour of the water are worth visiting.

Taupo 3377, New Zealand

4. Otumuheke Spa Park

The Otumuheke Spa park is located close to the Huka falls, and it’s free to enter! Put on your swimsuits and dip into the naturally warm water. The Waikato River has a portion that just spouts hot steam everywhere, and gives you the feeling of being in an actual spa.

5. Redwoods – Whakarewarewa Forest

Redwoods, Whakarewarewa, Rotorua 3074, New Zealand

This mystical forest of naturalised coastal redwood on the outskirts of Rotorua just exudes natural beauty. It really feels like you’re on a movie set, where the bad guy chases the protagonist of the show through the woods. Park along Long Mile Road and go through the entrance of the forest, and soak all that nature in. You can also do the treewalk, which costs $30-$40 per adult.

6. Polynesian Spa

Private room at the Spa

A private room at Polynesian Spa is perfect for some private time with your significant other, whilst enjoying a geothermal bathing experience and the mountainous views simultaneously. A deluxe pool package (shown in image above) costs about $40 per person.

7. Hobbiton Movie Set

Entrance to the Shire

If you’re a fan of The lord of the rings, or even Hobbiton, this is definitely something you don’t want to pass on. The Shire is just magical and beyond words. It really feels as if you stepped into another dimension, and wishing you were as small as a frodo and samuel, just so you can live in the Shire. At $80 per person, this definitely is the most expensive of this list, but we just couldn’t omit this.

Frodo’s Home
At the exit of the Shire

And that sums it. 7 amazing places that you simply cannot pass up the opportunity to visit if you are in the North Island of New Zealand.

Bonus hidden gems on the drive

Poihipi Road, Nukuhau, Taupo 3377, New Zealand

You might also enjoy: