Best things to do in New Zealand's Magical North Island
New Zealand is a land of spectacular natural contrast, rich vibrant culture and iconic local charm. For a small country, there is an unbelievable amount of beauty and nature to experience, and then appreciate. Despite the South Island being known for its plethora of natural wonders such as Milford Sound and Franz Josef Glacier, there is Mother Nature at play wherever you go! From the geothermal wonderland of Rotorua to the stunning beaches of the Bay of Islands, the North Island is certainly not without its magnificent sights.
Bay of Islands
Home to some of New Zealand’s most stunning beaches, the natural paradise of the Bay of Islands consists of 144 islands, and there is so much to do and see here, you will never want to leave!
The abundance of flourishing wildlife present in this region is breathtaking and is not only limited to the paddocks of sheep you see frolicking across the green countryside. When you cruise through the iconic ‘Hole in the Rock’ at Cape Brett, you will of course appreciate its fame and natural beauty, but you are also guaranteed to encounter playful wild dolphins swimming around your boat. On your way back, you will spot the secluded bays and beaches you will have the chance to discover the following day in your Bay of Islands free time.
It seems crazy when New Zealanders claim that visitors will discover natural wonders at every turn, but they’re not just showing off, it really is like that! Another example of the magic of New Zealand is the iconic Huka Falls, which you may have seen photos of. Huka Falls is caused as an effect of the Waikato River, which is usually 100m wide, being forced to narrow to 15m wide as it passes through hard volcanic rock. This natural phenomenon sees more than 220,000 litres of beautiful turquoise water per second barrel over an eleven-metre-high waterfall – and the result is an incredible bucket list sight for many tourists! The surrounding greenery paired with the vibrant hue of the water is bound to become a sight you will remember forever.
Tamaki Maori Village
The rich Indigenous culture and ancient traditions of the Maori people continue to flourish in New Zealand, and no where more prominently than in the Maori heartland of Rotorua. On the eight-day Northern Spotlight Guided Holiday, guests will be immersed in this unique culture when they visit the extraordinary Tamaki Maori Village in Rotorua, the most award-winning cultural attraction in New Zealand. Set in the marvellous 200-year-old ancient Tawa forest, guests will learn the poi, haka and enjoy displays of art forms. The main event however, is the Highlight Dinner. Be treated to the iconic Hangi feast, steamed underground the traditional way for a truly unique and delicious dining experience. The awards say it all, this is an essential part of any trip to New Zealand’s North Island!
Waitomo Glow Worm Caves
For another reason to marvel at how amazing Mother Earth is, be sure to visit the Waitomo Glowworm Caves. Did you know that New Zealand’s caves, grottos and native forests are the perfect haven for glow worms? The dark space filled with thousands of the glowing creatures, or arachnocampa luminosa, as they are scientifically known, can be explored by boat on an AAT Kings tour. It is a must see!
The magic of New Zealand’s versatile North Island is truly remarkable and offers something for every kind of traveller. Discover these destinations and so much more on our eight-day Northern Spotlight Guided Holiday, and be guided by a destination and cultural expert, your Travel Director. They will take you to all of the must-see sights that you’ve heard so much about, as well as the hidden gems and best kept secrets only the locals know about.
We are truly amazed at how distinctly different the two islands of New Zealand are, so if you get the chance to discover both, we couldn’t recommend it enough!