Destination Review – New Zealand’s North Island

Last week we reviewed the amazing South Island of New Zealand, and after such positive feedback from our fellow travel-loving bloggers, we thought it only right that we follow-up this week with a blog about the equally beautiful North Island.

Slightly smaller than the South Island, but home to approximately 75% of New Zealand’s population, the North Island is big, beautiful, and a lot busier than its neighbour, but has equal amounts of character, charm, and fabulous attractions to keep visitors of all ages amused and entertained.

Home to “The Lord of the Rings”, the North Island has all the ragged mountains, lush green rain forests, volcanic fields, and lakes that one could possibly wish for, and if you are visiting New Zealand in search of photographic opportunities, this Pacific gem will not disappoint.

If you are arriving from the South Island, your first port of call will be Wellington, a pretty harbour city with a homely feel.  Packed with all the galleries, museums, theatres, bars, and restaurants one could possibly wish for, it is a wonderful place to spend a few days recharging the batteries, before heading north.

When leaving Wellington, one can either head up the east coast towards Hastings and Napier, or follow the west coast to the historic town of Wanganui, and the impressive Mount Taranaki volcano.

Heading inland from either direction, one will arrive at Lake Taupo – the largest and one of the most impressive lakes in New Zealand.  Anyone who enjoys water-sports will appreciate the vast array of activities available on, or alongside the lake, and it is a beautiful place to spend a few days if the weather is fine.

From Lake Taupo, many travellers continue north to the beautiful, but rather smelly Spa town of Rotorua, home to 16 lakes and several Sulphuric geysers. A quaint town rich in Maori culture, Rotorua sits on one of the world’s most lively geothermal forces, and as such, one can witness skyrocketing geysers, boiling pools of mud, and red-hot springs.  Worth a visit, but only if you can put up with overwhelming smell of rotten eggs!

Moving onwards and upwards, the Bay of Islands is one of the most popular fishing, sailing and tourist destinations in the whole of New Zealand.  A collection of 150 or so islands bathing in turquoise waters, it is the perfect spot to spend a week sailing, sunning on the beach, and enjoying the beauty that surrounds you.

The last port of call would have to be the magnificent “City of Sails” – Auckland.  A beautiful city with great hotels, shopping locations, restaurants, and nightlife, Auckland is the perfect place to end your journey throughout New Zealand – although be prepared – you may not wish to leave!

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8 thoughts on “Destination Review – New Zealand’s North Island

  1. Hi there, just wanted to say thanks for stopping by my blog! Also, great post on NZ’s north island — I’ll hopefully be heading back there in a month or so and can’t wait to explore it some more!

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