26 days in North Island Itinerary

Created using Klarna Trips North Island itinerary planner
Make it your trip
Fly
1
Auckland
— 5 nights
Drive
2
Whangarei
— 3 nights
+2
Fly to Hamilton Airport, Taxi to Tirau, Bus to Rotorua
3
Rotorua
— 4 nights
Drive
4
Napier
— 5 nights
Drive
5
Hastings
— 3 nights
Fly
6
Wellington
— 5 nights
Fly

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Auckland — 5 nights

City of Sails

The largest and most populous city in New Zealand, Auckland combines a rich history and thriving contemporary culture in an abundance of museums, art galleries, and performance venues.
Dedicate the 15th (Thu) to wine at some of the top wineries in the area. There's much more to do: take in panoramic vistas at Sky Tower, get impressive views of Mount Eden, stroll around Auckland Domain, and step off the mainland to explore Rangitoto Island.

To see where to stay, other places to visit, maps, and other tourist information, go to the Auckland journey app.

Brisbane, Australia to Auckland is an approximately 6.5-hour flight. You'll lose 2 hours traveling from Brisbane to Auckland due to the time zone difference. While traveling from Brisbane, expect little chillier days and about the same nights in Auckland, ranging from highs of 20°C to lows of 20°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 15th (Thu) early enough to drive to Whangarei.
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Parks · Wineries · Tours · Nature
Find places to stay Dec 10 — 15:

Whangarei — 3 nights

Whangarei is the northernmost city in New Zealand and the regional capital of Northland Region. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Whangarei: Paihia (Paihia Harbour, Waitangi Treaty Grounds, &more). There's much more to do: trek along Bream Head Coast Walks, stop by Town Basin, and take in the dramatic scenery at Whangarei Falls.

To find other places to visit, reviews, and tourist information, you can read our Whangarei trip planner.

Getting from Auckland to Whangarei by car takes about 2 hours. Other options: fly; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 18th (Sun) to allow enough time to travel to Rotorua.
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Parks · Outdoors · Wildlife · Tours
Side Trip
Find places to stay Dec 15 — 18:

Rotorua — 4 nights

Sulphur City

Surrounded by lakes and featuring impressive areas of geothermal landscape, the city of Rotorua offers an otherwordly landscape and a welcoming, peaceful environment, with the culture of the native Maori people very much in the foreground.
Explore Rotorua's surroundings by going to Deciduus & Santie (in Tirau), Taupo (Huka Prawn Park, Huka Falls Walkway, &more) and Hobbiton Movie Set (in Hinuera). There's still lots to do: kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, explore the world behind art at Rotorua Museum, take in nature's colorful creations at Hamilton Gardens, and take in the natural beauty of Te Puia.

To see other places to visit, more things to do, reviews, and more tourist information, use the Rotorua road trip planning website.

Getting from Whangarei to Rotorua by combination of flight, taxi, and bus takes about 4.5 hours. Other options: drive; or do a combination of flight and bus. Expect a daytime high around 25°C in December, and nighttime lows around 17°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Thu) to allow enough time to drive to Napier.
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Parks · Outdoors · Nature · Tours
Side Trips
Find places to stay Dec 18 — 22:

Napier — 5 nights

Enjoy the atmosphere and architecture of 1930s design in Napier, one of the best-preserved Art Deco cities in the world.
Napier is known for wineries, sightseeing, and zoos & aquariums. Your trip includes some of its best attractions: awaken your taste buds at some of the top wineries in the area, stop by New Zealand Wine Centre, experience rural life at Hawke's Bay Escapes, and identify plant and animal life at Cape Kidnappers.

To find ratings, more things to do, traveler tips, and tourist information, read our Napier visit planning website.

You can drive from Rotorua to Napier in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 27th (Tue) early enough to drive to Hastings.
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Wineries · Parks · Tours · Museums
Side Trips
Find places to stay Dec 22 — 27:

Hastings — 3 nights

Hastings is a New Zealand city and is one of the two major urban areas in Hawke's Bay, on the east coast of the North Island of New Zealand. Hastings is known for nature, wineries, and theme parks. Your trip includes some of its best attractions: learn about winemaking at Craggy Range, take in the exciting artwork at Birdwoods Gallery, explore and take pictures at Te Mata Peak, and look for all kinds of wild species at Gannet Beach Adventures.

For where to stay, reviews, traveler tips, and other tourist information, use the Hastings online journey maker.

Hastings is very close to Napier. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 30th (Fri) to allow time to fly to Wellington.
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Wineries · Wildlife · Tours · Outdoors
Side Trips
Find places to stay Dec 27 — 30:

Wellington — 5 nights

Harbour Capital

Wellington, the world's southernmost capital city and New Zealand's second most populous urban area, combines the nation's rugged history and nature with its modern and cosmopolitan present.
Get out of town with these interesting Wellington side-trips: Martinborough (Poppies Martinborough & Martinborough Wine Tours) and Southward Car Museum (in Paraparaumu). The adventure continues: examine the collection at Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, get engrossed in the history at Wellington Museum, take some stellar pictures from Mount Victoria, and catch a ride on Wellington Cable Car.

For maps, reviews, photos, and tourist information, use the Wellington trip maker site.

Traveling by flight from Hastings to Wellington takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In December, daily temperatures in Wellington can reach 22°C, while at night they dip to 15°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 4th (Wed) to allow time to fly back home.
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Parks · Museums · Wineries · Tours
Side Trips
Find places to stay Dec 30 — Jan 4:

North Island travel guide

4.6
The Fish of Māui
Home to both New Zealand's capital city and its most populous one, North Island remains the more urbane and modern of the country's two main islands. With a wealth of museums and places of historical importance, the island tells the story of New Zealand's inhabitants, from the native Maoris and European settlers to the cosmopolitan and inclusive population of the modern era. Away from the industrial and cultural centers, a tour of North Island can take you through the impressive and world-renowned landscape of deep gorges, rolling rivers, enormous lakes, and areas of volcanic activity--home to an amazing biodiversity of terrestrial and marine animal and plant life. Active vacationers on North Island may appreciate the extreme sports, and don't miss a chance to relax in its hot water springs.
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Hawke's Bay Region travel guide

4.5
Hiking across the gentle hills, seeing vineyard after picturesque vineyard, before stopping in for an award-winning glass from New Zealand's self-professed "Wine Country": a holiday in Hawke's Bay Region is perhaps best enjoyed at a leisurely pace. The warm climate makes it a great place for a walking or cycling trip, while the rugged coast yields exciting opportunities to observe of one of the world's largest gannet colonies. Art Deco-decked Napier, and its popular museums and galleries, offers a charming counterpoint to the lush greenery.
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