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23 Unmissable Things To Do On New Zealand’s North Island

schooner sailing bay of islands

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New Zealand’s North Island, also known as Te Ika-a-Māui and Te Waipounamu, is where you’ll find the country’s capital city, Wellington, as well as some of the country’s most beautiful nature sites.

It’s the largest of the two islands, and so you can expect to find an incredible of amount of things to do on New Zealand’s North Island.

We have visited the North Island of New Zealand several times, both on a short family getaways and on a longer road trip experience.

The North Island is full of adventure, stunning coastal beauty, rich Māori culture, and smelly geothermal wonders.

But if you’re not sure what to do in North Island New Zealand, then below are some of the top attractions you cannot miss!

Things to Do on New Zealand’s North Island

Whether you’re planning a road trip, a quick getaway from Wellington, or a month long backpacking expedition – don’t miss these top attractions in North Island New Zealand!

1. Go Sailing in the Bay of Islands

Sailing in the Bay of Islands

For a very scenic and relaxing experience, go sailing in the Bay of Islands. Located in the Northland Region, the Bay of Islands is close to the northern tip of the country.

This area is a world class region for sailing and a collection of over 140 islands with a coastline sporting four villages, including the charming town of Russell.

For day sails or a late afternoon cruise visit

2. Enjoy the Hot Thermal Springs in Rotorua

caroline and kaylyra swimming in hot thermal springs Rotorua

“In Rotorua all you can do here is eat, sleep, and spa,” our waiter told us one evening.

Indeed, when you visit Rotorua, the thermal experience is everywhere. It steams up from the pavements; there are geysers fields,  mud pools, fumaroles and hot springs.

This thermal activity makes itself known in every corner of the city, and is the reason for the area’s famed sulphur scent.

And one of the best thermal experiences you can have is at the world renowned Polynesian Spa, voted as a world top 10 spa.

Nearby is also the Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland with erupting geysers and the Te Puia Maroi village has the Pohutu Geyser, jumping mud pools, and live kiwi birds.

3. Go White Water Raft the Tongariro River

people whitewater rafting on the tongariro river
White water rafting in New Zealand

If you’re after a real wilderness experience, then go White Water Rafting on The Tongariro River. It’s one of New Zealand’s most famous…

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