Activities to Do in North Island

Visit Mount Doom in Tongariro National Park, Explore Waitomo Caves, Visit Cape Reinga, Explore the Hokianga Harbour, Visit Hobbiton, Snorkel at Poor Knights Islands, Indulge on Waiheke Island, Chase Waterfalls in Taup, Bathe in Rotorua's Healing Geothermal Waters and many more.

You're never going to be bored or run out of options of the best things to do in New Zealand North Island since there is a lot vying for your attention. You can take up water sports such as scuba diving and snorkeling at Poor Knights Islands, where marine life is bound to leave you mesmerized. Bargain your way through trinkets and knick-knacks at Rotorua Night Market that has tons of stalls situated on both sides of the street.

If you're looking for the best things to do in North Island you can brace yourself for wading through water, crawling from cavity to cavity, and squeezing through tight spots at Waitomo Caves. You can also have a hypnotic experience by seeing Huka Falls, where the water emerges from a cliff and falls into Lake Taupō. Spend your mornings dipping your toes in clear waters and your midnights dancing in trendy nightclubs on your New Zealand trip.

Here is the list of some activities to do in North Island:

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Visit Mount Doom in Tongariro National Park

Image Credit : Daniel Chen
For the ones who find solace in natural wonders, visiting Mount Doom in Tongariro National Park should be an ideal option. In Peter Jackson's film trilogy Lord of the Rings, the volcano Mount Ngauruhoe was used as Mount Doom in some scenes. This fictional volcano is approximately 4,500 feet high, and it is the site where the One Ring was forged by the Dark Lord Sauron.

You can take a hike through Mt Doom and feel like bringing the scenes of The Lord of the Rings movies to reality.

Location: Tongariro National Park, Turangi New Zealand


Explore Waitomo Caves

Get ready for a unique caving adventure by visiting Waitomo Caves, where millions of glow worms live and radiate an extremely vibrant light from their body. These caves were formed over thirty million years ago as limestone formations at the bottom of the ocean. The caves have two levels, the lower level that includes a beautiful river running through the cave chamber, and the dry upper level that includes the cave entrance.

As you enter this galaxy of living lights, you'll see stunning stalagmites and stalactite formations. You can enjoy here zip-lining, abseiling, and black water rafting adventures.

Location: 39 Waitomo Village Road, Waitomo Caves 3943 New Zealand

Walk the Pouakai Crossing

Get ready for an epic day walk on Mt. Taranaki that starts at North Egmont and finishes at Egmont National Park boundary. While winding across the lower slopes of Mt Taranaki, you'll discover a mighty waterfall, towering cliffs, and a sphagnum moss swamp.

The track is rough, wet, and muddy at places, and there are deep muds in sections across Ahukawakawa Swamp. The track is 18.5 km long, and you'll be greeted with breathtaking views throughout the journey.

Location: Egmont Road, Egmont National Park 4391 New Zealand


Visit Cape Reinga

Image Credit : Ashish Ansurkar
One of the best things to do in New Zealand North Island, is visiting Cape Reinga, which is a quiet fishing town that holds cultural significance to the Maori tribes. The rugged tip of Cape Reinga is filled with untouched beaches, endless hikes, and many more awesome natural wonders. It is home to a picturesque lighthouse, Taputaputa Bay, Te Paki Coast Track, and Te Paki Sand Dunes.

Being a sacred site, you're not permitted to eat at Cape Reinga

Location: 0484 New Zealand

Explore the Hokianga Harbour

One of the best things to do in New Zealand North Island, is exploring the Hokianga Harbour that is renowned for its coastal landscape. It houses a large number of indigenous species and is the oldest site of human settlement in New Zealand. Many artisans and artists live in Hokianga, showcasing their splendid work in the local galleries.

You can explore Hokianga by sandboarding, fishing, cycling, kayaking, swimming, walking, and horse riding

Location: 251 Hokianga Harbour Drive, Omapere


Marvel at Cathedral Cove in the Coromandel

End your search for the best things to do in North Island by marveling at Cathedral Cove that is a famous rock formation on the Coromandel Peninsula. Cathedral Cove was a film location in the movie Narnia, and since then, several films have been shot here.

Walking to Cathedral Cove is considered to be one of the best things to do in New Zealand North Island as this beautiful trail follows rocky coastlines and passes through stunning lookouts and beautiful bays.

Location:  65 Grange Rd S, Hahei 3591 New Zealand


Visit Hobbiton

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One of the most exciting things to do in New Zealand, North Island, is visiting Hobbiton, a significant location for filming The Hobbit film trilogy and The Lord of the Rings film trilogy. It is a Tolkienian tourism destination located on a family-run farm about eight kilometers west of Hinuera and ten kilometers southwest of Matamata. Indulge in a Weta Workshop to know about the first-hand work that goes on backstage to make the epic, The Lord of the Rings.

You can also spot thirty-seven Hobbit holes, the Green Dragon Pub, Mill, the famous Party Tree, and a double-arched bridge.

Location: 501 Buckland Road Matamata, Hinuera 3472 New Zealand

Price: INR 6456 per adult

Timings: 10 am- 5 pm


Snorkel at Poor Knights Islands

If you're mulling over heading out for an adventurous and thrilling experience, you must try snorkeling at Poor Knights Islands. An abundance of breathtaking scenery, marine animals, and the world's largest sea cave make Poor Knights Islands one of the best sites for snorkeling in the world.

Explore the volcanic islands, tunnels, and wall arches as you snorkel through its crystal clear water.

Location: Whangarei, North Island

Price: INR 1450 per adult


Indulge on Waiheke Island

If you're looking for one of the best things to do in North Island, you can explore the Waiheke island's trails and cool enclaves of native forest. Waiheke Island is a haven of breathtaking beaches, olive groves, and beautiful vineyards. You can lounge on the warm sand, stay in awe by its shimmering turquoise waters and towering limestone formations or grab a bite at a beach-front restaurant.

Location: Hauraki Gulf, Auckland Central, Auckland 1081 New Zealand


Chase Waterfalls in Taup

Image Credit : Aachal
Get away from the trappings of daily life and enliven your senses by chasing the beautiful waterfalls in Taup?. Huka Falls is one such thunderous waterfall where nearly a million liters of water bursts through the natural gorge. Another spectacular waterfall in Taup? is O'Tupoto Falls, where the water emerges from a cliff and falls into Lake Taup?.

The giant torrent of water in these waterfalls is a testament to the immense power of nature.

Location: North Island, New Zealand


Bathe in Rotorua's Healing Geothermal Waters

If you wish to get rid of physical ailments and stress, bathing in Rotorua's healing geothermal waters should be one of the best things to do in New Zealand, North Island. Rotorua is a hotbed of spots that offer the most authentic and best of geothermal experiences. Hells Gate Rotorua is one of the most renowned landmarks in Rotorua, filled with natural hot springs, mud pools, sulphur rocks, and the most active thermal parks in New Zealand.

You can also enjoy a serene bathing experience in the Polynesian Spa that is a geothermal bathing retreat consisting of twenty-eight mineral pools fed by two natural springs.

Location: southern shores of Lake Rotorua, New Zealand


Experience Natural Spas at Polynesian Spa

Relaxing and unwinding on Lake Rotorua's shores at Polynesian Spa is considered one of the best things to do in North Island. Polynesian Spa is New Zealand's iconic geothermal bathing retreat where you can enjoy Aix spa therapies, body wraps, facials, and massage.

Combining modern techniques with ancient healing practices, Polynesian Spa is recognized as one of the world's top ten spas.

Location: Hinemoa Street, 3010, North Island

Price: INR 1051

Timings: 9 am-10:30 pm


See Huka Falls

Feel the power of nature as you see Huka Falls giant torrent of water flowing through the rocks. Huka Falls is the largest and the most visited waterfalls on the Waikato River on New Zealand's North Island.

You can witness here the phenomenon of hydropower with more than two lakh twenty thousand liters of water per second barreling over an eleven-meter high waterfall.

Location: Taupo, New Zealand


Walk the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, Tongariro

One of the most adventurous things to do in North Island is walking the Tongariro Alpine Crossing that is a tramping track and the most popular day hike in New Zealand. It is a 19.4kilometer-long trek with steep climbs, awe-inspiring scenery, and unpredictable weather.

You'll be greeted with the dramatic contrast of steaming vents, vivid crater lakes, and ancient lava flows while trekking through the Alpine Crossing.

Location: Tongariro National Park, North Island, New Zealand

Experience Maori Culture

One of the best things to do in New Zealand North Island is experiencing Maori culture that is the cornerstone of the national identity influencing everything from customs to cuisines, and language of the people of New Zealand. Meeting M?ori people, joining in their cultural activities, and learning about their history can be the most rewarding part of a trip to New Zealand. You can visit The Bay of Islands that is home to Maori history and culture.

You can see here Maori culture shows, and get information about New Zealand history.

Location: Bay of Islands Airport, 182 Wiroa Road, Kerikeri


Cycle or Walkthrough Redwoods Forest, Rotorua

Cycling through the world-renowned Redwood Route in Rotorua is considered to be one of the best things to do in New Zealand, North Island. It has eco-suspended platforms and bridges and is dotted with Redwood trees. Regarded by many as the best treetop walk in New Zealand, cycling through Redwoods Forest gives you a chance to discover about the forest floor and surround yourself with sweeping silver ferns and native fauna.

Location: Cement Creek Road, Warburton, Victoria 3799 Australia

Price: INR 2176

Timings: 10 am- 7 pm


Try White Water Rafting

Travel through jungle-enshrouded gorges, waterfalls, and remote canyons as you enjoy white water rafting in New Zealand at Tongariro River. Starting in Tongariro National Park and flowing into Lake Taupo, the lower part of Tongariro River offers exciting Grade 3 rapids.

In two hours, you'll navigate over sixty roller coaster rapids with a professional Kiwi raft guide.

Location: State Highway 1, North Island

Price: INR 7791


Go Sailing Around the Bay of Islands

Sailing in the blue waters around the Bay of Islands is considered to be one of the best things to do in North Island. Sit on the bow of a ship with the turbulent wind blowing through your hair and the magical sound of the surf crashing against the hull.

Visitors also get the chance to see fur seals and other marine animals while sailing around the Bay of Islands.

Location: Paihia, New Zealand

Price: INR 3658


Walk Under a Natural Bridge

If you're looking for the best outdoor experience, you should walk under the Mangapohue natural bridge. It is a 17m high bridge formed by 2 ancient limestone arches created over thousands of years.

When you're at Mangapohue Natural Bridge, you can also find the twenty million-year-old fossilized oysters exposed in the limestone outcrops.

Location: Te Anga Road, Waitomo Caves New Zealand

Price: INR 2941


Visit Wineries at Hawke's Bay

One of the best things to do in New Zealand North Island is visiting wineries at Hawke's Bay that is an ultimate paradise for wine lovers. Hawke's Bay is home to excellent wine tourism culture, and regular wine and food festivals are organized here. With more than two hundred vineyards, more than seventy wineries, and thirty cellar doors, you can have guided and detailed wine tasting experiences here.

Location: East Coast of New Zealand's North Island

People Also Ask About New Zealand

  1. What are the best things to do in the North Island?

    1. Learn About New Zealand's History at Waitangi: If you're a history lover, you should definitely visit Waitangi that is a historic site where the Treaty of Waitangi was signed between the British Crown and more than five hundred Maori chiefs in 1840.

    2. Enjoy breathtaking views from Auckland's Skytower: If you're looking for one of the best things to do in North Island, you should enjoy breathtaking views from Auckland's Sky Tower that is the tallest structure in the southern hemisphere.

    3. Spot Dolphins in Tauranga:
    Fulfill your dream of witnessing the majestic dolphins in the calm and open waters of Tauranga. You can watch them from your boat or interact with these marine mammals as you snorkel and swim alongside them in the water.

    4. Go Black-Water Rafting:
    Plan a getaway riddled with adventure and oodles of fun as you go black-water rafting at the Waitomo Caves. In the darkness of these underground caves, the experienced guides will lead you on rubber tubes down underground rivers.
  2. What are the best things to do in New Zealand?

    1. Cruise Milford Sound: Cruising through Milford Sound in a boutique-style boat is considered to be one of the best things to do in North Island. You can sip drinks in the lounge area or head to the outside deck to see passing dramatic cliffs and waterfalls.

    2. Visit Hobbiton:
    If you're a movie buff, you should definitely visit Hobbiton, where the Lord of the Rings movie was filmed. The entire village was built on farmland and transformed into a film set, and now it is open to the public. 

    3. Explore the Glowworms Cave:
    Be amazed by the millions of magical glowworms as you glide silently in the Waitomo Glowworm Caves by a boat. 

    4. Marvel at Lake Tekapo:
    One of the must do things to do in New Zealand North Island is marveling at Lake Tekapo that is the second-largest parallel lake in New Zealand. You can also enjoy camping and photography sessions here.
  3. What are the best adventure activities to do on the North Island?

    1. Hike The Tongariro Crossing: Trail-blaze through unknown territories following your own inner compass at The Tongariro Crossing. It's an absolutely beautiful day hike that takes you through dramatic valleys, up mountain slopes, and incredible volcanic lakes.

    2. Go Zorbing in Rotorua: Zorbing in Rotorua is considered to be one of the best adventurous activities where you get in a large inflatable ball and gently roll down a hill like a hamster. You can ride it harnessed, or you can ride without any gear on for an added adventure.

    3. Skydive Abel Tasman:
    Fuel your adrenaline level as you enjoy skydiving over Abel Tasman National Park that has the highest jump in the world. This is the only skydiving location in the country where you can have views of islands, golden beaches, three national parks, and rivers.

    4. Paraglide Over Queenstown:
    One of the must do things in New Zealand North Island is paragliding over Queenstown while taking in the breathtaking views of the valleys and mountains.
  4. What is the North Island of New Zealand known for?

    1. Hobbiton: It is the place where the Lord of the Rings movie was filmed.

    2. Cape Reinga:
    It is a quiet fishing town that holds cultural significance to the Maori tribes.

    3. Rotorua:
    It has natural hot springs and colorful geothermal wonders.

    4. Wellington:
    This is New Zealand's hip little capital renowned for its cuisines.

    5. Tongariro National Park:
    This is New Zealand's oldest national park with best hikes and natural wonders.

    6. Hangi:
    This is a traditional M?ori meal cooked in an oven for several hours.

    7. Poor Knights Islands:
    It is the world's top diving location, home to the Rikoriko Cave.
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