The magnificent coastline, sprawling farmlands, and political history make North Island, New Zealand a must visit for any world traveler. With central tourism cities like Auckland and Wellington, North Island gives travelers a full picture of what life and adventure is like in New Zealand. Volcanic and geothermal terrains dot the landscape, which gives New Zealand its world renowned beauty. Made famous through The Lord of the Rings films, New Zealand tourism has grown exponentially this decade.
Auckland: The oldest city in New Zealand, and probably its most well known is Auckland. An urban/vacation hybrid - Auckland is the transportation hub of North Island with a city feel, but also within short driving distance of gorgeous beaches. With a Polynesian background and atmosphere, along with a perpetually sunny climate, Auckland fashions itself as a cultural mainstay, with a twist of adventure or relaxation at every turn. The first thing you’ll notice is the natural beauty of Auckland, including volcanoes, black sand beaches, and the rolling hills of wine country. The city also offers a wild nightlife scene, some favorite spots for tourists being the Wynyard Quarter or City Works Depot.
Wellington: Lonely Planet calls Wellington “the coolest little capital in the world.” Nestled in the southernmost part of North Island, Wellington offers a gourmet food experience unlike any other area in New Zealand due to its proximity to the sea. Enjoy the many museums and fine art establishments in Wellington, or chill out on the inner city beach, Oriental Bay. Wellington served as the makeshift home for the cast and crew of The Lord of the Rings trilogy, with many of its beautiful scenery being shot here. You can view the entire city from the summit of Mount Victoria, or just people watch on the ground from bustling Courtney Place.
Bay of Islands: If you love fishing and boating, you’ll want to stay in the Bay of Islands on North Island, New Zealand. A three hour drive from Auckland lands you in this picturesque area. It is also an area steeped in history as it is the first European settlement on the island. Fun fact: a 2006 study showed the Bay of Islands having the second bluest sky in the world, outside of Rio di Janeiro.
When visiting the North Island, New Zealand it is probably your smartest option to stay in a vacation rental, rather than a hotel. With hundreds of options on FlipKey alone, you’ll have a much better chance of experiencing New Zealand like a local when staying in a rental. With the privacy, space, and amenities of home, a vacation rental offers a more affordable alternative to traditional hotels. Look around at some of the properties offered on FlipKey and you’ll be sure to find a vacation rental that suits your needs on North Island.