New Zealand North Island Road Trip…

“Kia Ora Aotearoa”

Hello/Thank You New Zealand, Land of the Long White Cloud

New Zealand’s North Island is a true gem. A destination that proudly showcases its natural beauty with many attractions and activities to see and do along the way. Spending two weeks here may sound like an abundance of time, when in actual fact, our two-week itinerary in the North Island was filled with activities and allowed us to spend time not only in the cities but the quieter outlying areas of the North Island as well.

The North Island is an unforgettable destination where each region is so unique and different to its neighbour. Ancient rainforests, both active and dormant volcanoes, sacred mountains, tranquil rivers and glorious beaches are just some of the natural beauty you will uncover.

Be tempted by the sweetness of the kiwifruit within the region of Te Puke.

Indulge in a chilled glass of Chardonnay within the wine region of Hawke’s Bay.

Discover the natural mineral springs and geothermal parks surrounding Rotorua.

Educate yourself in Maori culture within the region of Whangarei.

Visit an active volcano on White Island, Bay of Plenty.

Relax at the largest lake in New Zealand, Lake Taupo.

Be captivated by the beauty of UNESCO Tongariro National Park and Tongariro Alpine Crossing.

New Zealand’s North Island is an ideal destination to discover by car. Long, narrow winding roads can lead to all sorts of surprises along the way. Sweet berry farms, fresh honey direct from the gate or delicious artisan cheese factories to tempt your appetite.

However, when planning a trip to the North or the South Island for that matter, remember to keep in mind the distance between destinations and plan your itinerary accordingly. Driving times need to be factored as you may face disruptions along the way!

New Zealand’s North Island has so much to offer and is not to be missed. If time does not permit, day-trips are possible from the main cities of Auckland and Wellington to enable a taste of the surrounding countryside. Though depending on the pace of your holiday, I would definitely recommend appreciating the slower paced lifestyle of the North Island at your own leisure.

Below are some helpful tips for a New Zealand North Island Road Trip.


Allow extra time: As we all know, interruptions can occur at any time. Allow time for road works, slower paced vehicles or animal crossings on country roads. Don’t be in a rush and plan accordingly.

Do your research: Ask locals for tips and valuable suggestions that may come in handy. Make sure to download appropriate mobile phone Apps, (Google Maps) and ensure navigation systems are working and up to date. Even electronic devices have their bad days!

Pick up any local maps at places of interest you may visit, they may be of assistance when internet reception in secluded country areas is low or non-existent.

Be Spontaneous: Unplanned travel can be rewarding.  Despite having a plan, allow yourself time for stops along the way. Take a back road or explore a slightly longer route. You never know what you may stumble across.

Utilise i-SITE visitor information centres: These handy official visitor information centres can be found in most main towns. Each centre employs local travel experts, so you are guaranteed helpful local knowledge in regards to accommodation, activities, transport and important travel information.

Traveling with kids: Long road trips can be demanding with children, so make sure you are prepared with adequate snacks, water, games, books, electronic devices (with enough battery life) to keep them entertained.

Save on Fuel: New Zealand fuel prices are quite expensive (in comparison to petrol prices in Australia). Though, some supermarkets offer a discount at participating service stations. So, keep an eye out on your grocery receipt, if you are eligible for the discount and save on your next fuel purchase.


Have you ever visited the North Island of New Zealand, and did you drive?


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71 thoughts on “New Zealand North Island Road Trip…

  1. Some gorgeous photos. We used to want to travel the world and felt we needed at least three lifetimes to do it. Then we realised that there’s a whole world of most of what we want to see between just Australia and NZ – without any long haul flights. NZ is an absolutely gorgeous country to visit.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Belle foto! I have been to NZ once, just for a week. it was a looooong time ago and I got sick after spending a month and a half in Australia! I spent a few days in bed at the Keri Keri hostel and went to Auckland and Russell. I wanted to go to Rotorua, but the illness took a few of my travel days. The scenery was beautiful, in fact, very similar to our British Columbia landscape, but warmer and with more sheep! Ciao, Cristina

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Cristina.
      Oh no, it’s terrible when your holidays are struck with illness. NZ is such a beautiful place indeed. Rotorua was pretty special with all its surrounding geothermal activity. You may have to plan another trip, Lol… xx

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s what I loved about NZ the most. I was hitching then, and we were picked up by a lovely bloke, who said he’d thought long and hard if he should take hitchers. He explained he’d had a bad experience with a hitcher once. We immediately thought someone must’ve pulled a knife on him – but no, seems the guy had eaten one of his sandwiches without asking! For me, this story encapsulates the slow, charming, and quaint style of life in NZ.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. New Zealand is our favourite country in the world and weve visited the North Island a couple of times. Your post brought back wonderful memories of our slow travel around the island and all the amazing places we saw and people we met.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Lovely photos! New Zealand is such a gorgeous country! I spent 6 weeks backpacking there way back in 2004…in the midst of winter! It wasn’t somewhere that had particularly been on my radar, but it surprised me no end. I loved it – your photos take me back 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. We did cover quite a bit of ground. Started off in South Island and worked our way up into North Island. We spent more time in the south than we did in the north though I seem to recall, so I’m very interested to read about your experiences of the north island. We only hired a car to travel around the far south island and then we caught buses the rest of the time. We went skiing (my first and last time skiing!), hiked one of the glaciers, swam with dolphins (oh my word that was freezing!) and saw whales. It was an action packed portion of my trip, where I did and saw things that I’d never experienced before. Amazing place, the whole country exceeded my expectations! I’d love to go back, maybe in summer next time though!!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh what an adventure. I can’t believe you went swimming and saw whales in the winter!!
        I totally agree with you it’s a place that exceeded my expectations too. And I can’t wait to go back and discover the South. But that will be in Summer too. 😊

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I know, I don’t know what we were thinking, it was so unbelievably cold!! But also an experience I will never forget. It was staggeringly beautiful in winter, so I don’t have any regrets going at that time of year but I’d love to see it in summer!


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