Taking a road trip through the North Island of New Zealand is one of the best ways to see all the natural beauty and wildlife that the country has to offer. From Auckland, the largest city in the country, to Napier, you can drive from one end of the island to the other. In between, you can visit the stunning beaches, geothermal wonders, and natural beauty that New Zealand has to offer.
The Pacific Coast Highway is one of the most famous scenic coastal drives in New Zealand, a drive that will take you between the cities of Auckland and Napier, where you can explore some of the most beautiful beaches in the country. Along the way, you will also pass through the Coromandel Peninsula, which is home to a number of deep forests and unspoiled coastline. Among the highlights of this route are Hot Water Beach, a beautiful natural swimming hole, and Stargazers B&B, which are located along the beachfront and provides fantastic views of the Pacific Ocean. It also has secluded sandy coves, bush-clad hills, and a number of vantage points.
Away from the beach, you can visit the city of Wellington, which is home to a vibrant cultural scene and no shortage of hipster coffee. You can also take a scenic ride on the TranzAlpine train, which travels between Christchurch and Greymouth. You can also hop on a jet boat, which offers a variety of adventures.
If you want to get closer to nature, you can hike the Paparoa Track, which is a multi-day lodge-based trail. You can also take a float plane to the top of Mt. Tarawera, one of New Zealand’s largest active volcanoes. A scenic river, Buller Gorge, also passes through this area. You can also take a walk along the lake edge and visit the oldest Maori village in New Zealand, Ohinemutu.
The thermal region is located south of Rotorua and features unique geothermal attractions, such as steaming geysers, boiling mud pits, and natural hot springs. You can also visit the Wai-O-Tapu and the Craters of the Moon, which are two of New Zealand’s most active volcanoes.
You can also take a ferry to Waiheke Island, which is home to beautiful white-sand beaches and vineyards. If the open water is more yoru style, try taking a harbour cruise, which will offer you the opportunity to see fur seals, dolphins, and penguins.
If you are traveling in the spring or summer, you can enjoy the Wildfoods Festival, which is held in March in Auckland. It is also a good time to visit the region because it offers a variety of exciting local cuisines in unique towns such as Opotiki, Te Araroa, Whangara, Gisborne and more.