North Island

The North Island has a warmer climate and contains all of the country’s volcanoes and most of the thermal activity such as geysers, thermal rivers and boiling mud pools. There are many fine beaches especially up north. It is mainly a hilly island with one major chain of mountains that start from the East Cape and run down to Wellington.

The North Island is very green and lush due to its regular rainfall and volcanic soil. A journey around the North Island of New Zealand is a journey through landscape, history and time. Visit the Bay of Islands in the far north and you are at the cradle of New Zealand’s history. This idyllic harbour of islands is where wars were fought and where their founding document, the Treaty of Waitangi, was signed and where the first Parliament was formed.

Viaduct Harbour, Auckland

Viaduct Harbour, Auckland

Auckland, has the cosmopolitan vibrancy of New Zealand’s largest city where, on one hand, you have sophisticated shopping, restaurants and entertainment and, on the other, a harbour full of islands and spectacular beauty

Next is the Waikato Region which contains some of the richest dairy country in the world due to its temperate climate and volcanic soil. The area has many spectacular caves and is also home to one of the best surf breaks in the world. The Waikato’s biggest city is Hamilton, which is New Zealand’s largest inland city.

Further East is the Bay of Plenty Region which is the main area for volcanic activity.

Rotorua, North Island

Rotorua, North Island

The town of Rotorua which is one of New Zealand’s most popular tourist destination is in the centre of the most violent thermal area. There are great  beaches to the north with the most famous beach located in the town of Tauranga. Just below the Bay of Plenty is the Taupo Region which is also a volcanic zone. Most of the country’s volcanoes are situated here. The region also has the biggest lake in the country Lake Taupo and the best ski fields in the North Island are located on Mt Ruapehu the biggest volcano in New Zealand.

Head east to the Hawke’s Bay and you’re in a different world again. A landscape of rugged ranges, undulating plains and long sandy beaches, Hawke’s Bay is wine country; a place to savour world-class red wines and dine on fine artisan food.

At the bottom of the North Island is the Wellington Region which is the location for New Zealand’s capital city. The city surrounds the most spectacular harbour in New Zealand. South of Wellington is a stretch of water that separates the North Island from the South Island called the Cook Strait. This strait is one of the roughest seas in the world and occasionally one can see Whales and Dolphins from the Wellington coast but also rated as one of the most scenic ones.