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North Island

With a landscape that is rich and fertile, filled with lush forests and towering mountain peaks, the North Island is also the heart of New Zealand’s Māori culture.

The North Island is home to lively cosmopolitan cities, including the country’s capital, as well as gorgeous beaches. Discover the active geothermal wonderland at its heart, which is quite unlike anything you will have seen before.

Nowhere reflects New Zealand’s fascinating mix of European and Māori cultures more than the North Island. Māori people first arrived on the island around 1,000 years ago, before it was discovered by the Dutchman Abel Tasman and then claimed by the British Empire. This past has resulted in a fascinating combination of Māori historic sites and colonial-era architecture. 

Visit the Waitangi Treaty Grounds for a more in-depth glimpse at Māori culture and traditions. Enjoy traditional performances and dine on a hāngi meal, cooked in an earth oven.

Go dolphin spotting in the Bay of Islands, home to a large population of friendly dolphins. Take a coach tour along Ninety-Mile Beach, a stretch of sand that is officially classed as a highway.

Wander around multicultural Auckland, known to many as the “City of Sails” due to its vast harbor filled with boats. Head up to the viewing platform at the top of the Sky Tower, which looms over the city skyline at a height of 1,076 feet (328 meters).

Experience the geothermal activity of the city of Rotorua. In the surrounding volcanic area, the Pohutu Geyser erupts daily and the mud baths of Hells Gate bubble.

Drive through the landscapes that featured as backdrops in The Lord of the Rings movies and visit the Hobbiton Movie Set in Matamata. Take a boat tour into the glowworm caves of Waitomo, or stroll around the landscaped Hamilton Gardens.

Marvel at the exhibits of the Te Papa Tongarewa Museum in Wellington. Walk around the waterfront area and immerse yourself in the city’s thriving coffee shop culture.

Most flights to the North Island arrive into Auckland International Airport. Ride the extensive public bus system, which connects all major towns and cities. Visit during spring for fewer crowds, temperate weather and long, light evenings.

The North Island is an invigorating combination of cities, beaches, volcanoes and history.


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Best Lodging Options Near North Island

See all 7,528 Properties in North Island
Cordis, Auckland by Langham Hospitality Group ¥14,212
Reviewed on Jan 20, 2020
See details
 
Cordis, Auckland by Langham Hospitality Group

Cordis, Auckland by Langham Hospitality Group

83 Symonds Street, Box 2771, Auckland
     
    4.6 of 5
    5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Excellent customer service in all respects. Wonderful beds. Great sleep. Quick and delicious room service meals.

    Grand Millennium Auckland ¥14,833
    Reviewed on Jan 28, 2020
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    Grand Millennium Auckland

    Grand Millennium Auckland

    71 Mayoral Drive, Auckland
       
      4.4 of 5
      4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

      Offered us an early check in after a long flight which helped with the children’s jet lag. Enjoyed the pool also!

      Novotel Auckland Airport ¥19,092
      Reviewed on Jan 26, 2020
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      Novotel Auckland Airport

      Novotel Auckland Airport

      Ray Emery Drive, Mangere
         
        4.6 of 5
        4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

        It was a shame the resturant was shut. Booked thinking there would be a resturant on site.

        SkyCity Grand Hotel ¥15,020
        Reviewed on Jan 18, 2020
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        SkyCity Grand Hotel

        SkyCity Grand Hotel

        90 Federal Street, Auckland
           
          4.6 of 5
          5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          very good overall and quiet which is great. clean and surround with restaurant and coffee shops

          Rydges Wellington ¥10,488
          Reviewed on Jan 28, 2020
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          Rydges Wellington

          Rydges Wellington

          75 Featherston St, Wellington
             
            4.3 of 5
            4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

            car parking is limited which is disappointed but fine if you are arriving by train

            Naumi Auckland Airport ¥9,868
            Reviewed on Jan 26, 2020
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            Naumi Auckland Airport

            Naumi Auckland Airport

            153 Kirkbride Road, Mangere, Auckland
               
              4.3 of 5
              4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

              Very unique interior. Staff were great considering we checked in at 2am.

              ibis budget Auckland Airport ¥8,926
              Reviewed on Jan 26, 2020
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              ibis budget Auckland Airport

              ibis budget Auckland Airport

              2 Leonard Isitt Drive, Mangere
                 
                3.8 of 5
                3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Staff were so friendly & helpful. Breakfast was very good. Room was clean with a comfortable bed.

                Jet Park Hotel Auckland Airport ¥11,520
                Reviewed on Jan 27, 2020
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                Jet Park Hotel Auckland Airport

                Jet Park Hotel Auckland Airport

                63 Westney Road, Mangere
                   
                  4.4 of 5
                  4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Great price for a lovely clean room with comfy beds, much better option with the shuttle service they offer than staying at the airport hotels as I also spent a night at the Novotel Auckland Airport and this place was nicer and half the price. Highly recommend staying here if you have an early or ...

                  Top Activities in North Island

                  See all 1083 things to do in North Island