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New Zealand North Island itinerary: 2 week road trip

Heading to NZ, but not quite sure what to prioritise? There’s a heap to see and do on the North Island – it’s difficult to condense it into one holiday! This New Zealand North Island itinerary will help you plan your own road trip through the rolling greens of this part of the country.

Sunrise on Lake Rotorua, with birds zipping past. Rotorua is a must-visit destination on your New Zealand North Island itinerary.
Sunrise over Lake Rotorua. It’s okay.

For many travellers, New Zealand is a dream destination.

And why wouldn’t it be? The air is fresh, the people are friendly.

It’s stunningly beautiful and there’s a wide range of things to do there, to suit thrill seekers, nature lovers, foodies, film and history buffs… the list goes on.

One of New Zealand's famous inhabitants – a sheep, staring through a fence, surrounded by lush, green grass.
Can’t have an article about New Zealand without featuring sheep in it somewhere.

This New Zealand North Island itinerary is tried and tested, as it’s exactly what I did when I travelled through this part of the country.

I put in hours of research before visiting and also asked the advice of both Kiwi friends and others who travel there regularly.

In this itinerary you’ll find a route recommendation, leading from Auckland to Wellington.

There are suggestions for where to stop along the way and certain sights to look out for.

I’ll let you know where we stayed in each town and the activities we feel are worth spending some coin on.

I like things that are a bit off the beaten path and so have tried to suggest alternative options to many other itineraries that exist on the interwebs.

Plus, if you plan to self drive the North Island of New Zealand, this post should help you in your quest.

Disclosure: This New Zealand North Island itinerary may contain affiliate links. If you click through for additional information or make a purchase, it may result in a small commission, at no extra cost to you. See my privacy policy if you require more information. Thank you for supporting a small content creator.

The view out the side mirror of the rolling greens of NZ. You'll see plenty of sites like this as you take your North Island road trip.
The rolling greens of New Zealand’s North Island.

2 Week New Zealand North Island Road Trip Itinerary

  • Auckland 3 nights
  • Hamilton 1 night
  • Rotorua 2 nights
  • Taupo 3 nights
  • Napier 1 night
  • Martinborough 1 night
  • Wellington 3 nights

This is the exact itinerary I followed. It’s ideal if you’re taking a two week road trip in New Zealand’s North Island.

You can also use this North Island itinerary for a 7 day road trip.

I’d advise you to forgo spending a night in Hamilton, Napier and Martinborough and cut down on your time in the other, bigger towns and cities.

Street art in Wellington, featuring some of New Zealand's notable birdlife.
Some of NZ’s native fauna.

However, if you’re self-driving the North Island for two weeks, I thoroughly recommend spending at least a couple of nights in the bigger towns.

Even though the distances are short, you’ll get tired from the driving – plus some places need at least a couple of night’s stay to do them justice.

Keep in mind also, that New Zealand’s roads can be tricky to navigate.

It’s a mountainous country and many stretches of highway weave through National Parks and have many twists and turns.

As Aussies, we road trip regularly and drive on the left at home. Yet, we still found the roads difficult to tackle at times.

Something to keep in mind, for sure!

Need a set of wheels for your North Island road trip?

A white van, parked in front of Lake Taupo at sunset.
Not a bad view to take from the window of your accommodation.

Should You Stay in Hotels or a Campervan?

This is entirely up to you – we met people during our two weeks in the North Island who were doing both.

While we floated the idea of renting a campervan, we ultimately made the decision to self-drive and stay in accommodation along the way.

This is due to the fact that I’d read about hotels in Rotorua and Taupo containing their own mineral spa baths and I wanted to check them out for myself.

In addition, we made plans to glamp at some point in our trip, which would render a campervan pointless.

While this itinerary contains accommodation recommendations, if you’re hungry for van life – simply ignore them!

The eclectic wall of a cafe in Auckland, featuring framed art and pictures, next to a yellow lampshade.
Inside a funky little cafe in Auckland.

Begin Your North Island Road Trip at Auckland Airport

You’ll most probably start your North Island road trip by flying into Auckland, the biggest city in the country (but not the capital – that’s Wellington!).

The easiest way to get to the city from the airport is to catch the SkyBus. The City Express is $18 one way and $34 for a return. Noting the SkyBus service may be currently suspended due to COVID restrictions, so check before you fly.

Alternatively, you can book onto a shared airport shuttle or pick up your hire car at the airport.

There are plenty of places to buy SIM cards at the airport, at various booths.

If your flight arrives late and everything is closed, you can purchase one in the city.

However – I like to take a road trip as a chance to switch off, so we opted to forgo SIM cards.

Every hotel we stayed in had WiFi and we’d downloaded our itinerary on Google Maps, so we could access the route offline.

When we needed internet, we found WiFi in the usual suspects, such as McDonalds. Many town centres had free WiFi, too (of course ‘free’ WiFi can be notoriously dodgy. Try to connect via a VPN, to keep yourself safe online).

Native bushland in New Zeland's Tiritiri Matangi Island, featuring beautiful ferns.
Auckland’s islands are pretty special.

Things to do in Auckland

Here are some suggestions of what you can get up to during your time in the ‘City of Sails’.

Visit one of the nearby islands

Off the shore of Auckland is the Hauraki Gulf, which is home to an array of islands.

Many are accessible via ferry from Auckland and offer up a range of unique experiences.

Waiheke Island: Waiheke is the second largest island in the Hauraki Gulf and the most populated, making it an easy choice as a day trip from Auckland. Many visitors come for the food and vino, but there are other activities on offer, too. If you fancy spending more than a day exploring, there are plenty of accommodation options.


A Kererū, one of Tiritiri Matangi Island's many feathered inhabitants
You’ll see some phenomenal bird life on Tiri.

Tiritiri Matangi Island: Tiritiri is one of NZ’s predator free islands and fairly unique, in that it’s open to public access. An easy day trip is to take a ferry to the island and go on a guided tour, to learn about the unique fauna that can safely call Tiri home.

Rangitoto Island: Rangitoto is a volcanic island not far from the city at all. It’s only 600 years old and its summit offers spectacular views of Hauraki Gulf. You can kayak out to the island to watch the sunset, take a 4WD train or walk to the summit, stepping among volcanic terrain.

Great Barrier Island: This island is a little bit more far-flung from Auckland, taking around a four hour ferry trip (you can also fly, but blergh and boats are more fun anyway). There’s plenty of wildlife to see and wilderness to explore. It’s also the first island in the world to be named an International Dark Sky Sanctuary, meaning the night sky there is off the hook. It’s definitely worth spending the night on the island, so make sure you secure your accommodation in advance.

Explore other tours and sights in Auckland:


Looking out into the grassy crater of Mt Eden (Maungawhau) in Auckland.
Just hanging out right near the dome of a volcano. No dramas.

Visit Mount Eden (Maungawhau)

Auckland contains 48 volcanic cones and at 196 metres high, Maungawhau is the biggest of those you can find on the mainland of the island.

You can walk up to the summit and take in spectacular views of Auckland at the top.

Hop on a guided tour to learn more about its history as a traditional fortified Māori village.

Street art of a monkey playing around with a mobile phone, on a random street in Auckland.
Already had enough photos of the Sky Tower in this post.

Leap off the Sky Tower

New Zealand is probably the adventure-sports capital of the world. Adrenaline junkies can start their trip off on the right note, by hurling themselves off the side of the tallest tower in the city.

Those less inclined can simply journey up the top of the tower, to take in the views of the surrounding city.

One of Giapo ice cream's creations - a chocolate wonder made to look like a squid.
What an adventurous ice cream!

Try some crazy ice cream

Screaming for ice cream with a unique twist?

Get thee to Giapo, which boasts the whackiest artisan cones in surely the Southern Hemisphere.

Although the gelato speaks for itself, it’s the add-ons that make it extra special.

Order a cone with built on extras to make it resemble a giant squid, or opt for a scoop in a yorkshire pudding cone.

One iteration has a golden frame attached to its cone, making posing for that inevitable Instagram photo all the more easier.

Be warned in advance – these whacky desserts don’t come cheap, but they’re worth every dollar.

Looking across Auckland from Mount Eden (Maungawhau).
The Auckland skyline. It’s a beautiful city.

Where to Stay in Auckland


Sun-dappled views. You'll be blown away by the beauty of this small country as you follow this New Zealand North Island itinerary.
This looks like Middle Earth.

New Zealand North Island itinerary: Hamilton

An hour and a half from Auckland in good traffic, Hamilton is an idea stopover point on your journey south.

Those doing a shorter North Island road trip might want to pass through.

However, if you have the time, consider spending at least a night in this small city, to have a poke around its gardens and check out some quirky features hiding around town.

Things to do in Hamilton

Here are some suggestions of what you can get up to in Hamilton and surrounds.

A sign on a brightly coloured wall with instructions on how to do the 'Time Warp', with images. It also informs people that they're on 'Riff Raff Cam'.
Instructions on how to Time Warp in a square entirely dedicated to the Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Pay homage to Richard O’Brien at the Riff Raff Statue

Rocky Horror Picture Show actor and co-writer Richard O’Brien, who played Riff Raff in the movie, spent some time living and working in Hamilton.

To honour O’Brien, the City of Hamilton has set up a Rocky Horror themed square, a must-see for all fans of the 70’s cult classic.

The toilets are bright red, there’s quotes from the movie, a painting of giant lips, instructions on how to do the Time Warp (again and again) and a statue of Riff Raff, within the square.

So jump to the left, take a step to the right and get yourself there.

Visit Hamilton Gardens

Fan of flowers? Head to the free Hamilton Gardens.

You can explore carefully cultivated gardens from around the world (think English flower gardens and tranquil Japanese green spaces) and tour their fantasy garden collection.

Permaculture enthusiasts will delight in the more practical spaces, such as the herb garden and Te Parapara gardens.

It’s New Zealand’s only traditional Māori productive garden, which showcase traditional Māori practices.

Certainly very interesting if you’re into sustainable gardening.

The Tirau sheep heads, which looks rather sheepishly at each other. This town makes for a fun stop on your New Zealand North Island itinerary.
Some cheeky sheepies in Tirau.

Stop in the town of Tirau

Also located between Hamilton and Rotorua, this is a place well worth making at least a pit stop in.

This town has become a quirky tourist destination, due to the presence of corrugated iron creations, built to look like animals.

There’s a couple of sheepish sheep, public toilets in the shape of a dog’s head and a bunch of quirky signs around town.

Make sure you check out the Tirau Museum, a curious collection of many different antiques, run by a Tirau local.

Read more about the history of the Tirau’s corrugated iron works.

A hobbit hole from the Hobbiton film set in New Zealand's North Island.
Rosie & Sam’s house in Hobbiton, photo courtesy of Wales to Wherever.

Visit Hobbiton

This is undoubtedly one of the most popular tours in New Zealand’s North Island.

Most visitors to this part of New Zealand have one plan in mind – to head to the model town of Hobbiton, purpose-built for the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit trilogies.

The current iteration is not the one used for LOTR, having been re-built as a permanent structure in 2010 for the Hobbit films.

Hobbiton can be found near the small town of Matamata, around halfway between Hamilton and Rotorua and is located on private land.

You can book onto guided tours of the film site to check out Bagshot Row, the Party Tree, and Bilbo’s Bag End home… and of course, pose in front of them.


Check out Waitomo Caves and the glowworms

This is a real highlight of any New Zealand North Island itinerary, in my opinion.

The 30 million year old Waitomo caves are home to gorgeous glowworms, lighting up the darkness with their soft, blue light.

You can jump on guided tours, taking you down into the depths of the caves and on a boat, past the twinkling light of the glowworms.

Those looking for a more daring option can tour the Black Abyss, where you abseil and black water raft your way through the caves. Hectic.

Light blue waters of the Putaruru Blue Spring.
The Putaruru Blue Spring, one of the main water sources for the North Island.

Visit the Putaruru Blue Spring

This clear, bright blue pool is found in the middle of the North Island’s Waikato region.

How is it so blue? Well, its journey starts deep underground.

On the way up, the water absorbs particles that react with light, turning it a bright turquoise colour when it reaches the surface of the earth.

It used to be a bit of a local’s secret, but word got out. Swimming in it is now banned, to prevent degradation and preserve it for future generations.

There are two entrance points to the Te Waihou Walkway – the path that will lead you to the spring.

The Putaruru Blue Spring, a great addition to any New Zealand North Island itinerary.
More spring spam.

You can park off State Highway 28 and take the hour and a half walk to the centre point of the spring.

Alternatively, head to Leslie Road, which will get you there in 10-15 minutes.

Remember that you’ll have to circle back for your car on both legs.

Do pay attention to the signs advising you to stay on path. Please don’t wander off and tread on private land, for the sake of a stupid photo.

The Tirau toilets, which are encased in a tin shed built to look like a slightly bemused dog.
Tirau toilets. Best ever.

Where to Stay in Hamilton

close up up yellow flowers, with Lake Rotorua in the distance.
Lake Rotorua is gorgeous.

New Zealand North Island itinerary: Rotorua

Welcome to the town of Rotorua, perched on the south side of Lake Rotorua.

It’s known for its hot springs, geysers and mud pools and is an ideal place to head to if you want to learn more about Māori culture.

Definitely plan on spending at least a couple of nights in Rotorua, as there’s plenty to do here and in surrounding areas.

Things to do in Rotorua

Here’s a few ideas on how to spend your time in Rotorua.

Some of the hot springs in the centre of Rotorua.
Hanging out in the centre of Rotorua at Kuirau Park.
a denim-clad leg with painted toenails, dipping a foot into the free Kuirau Park foot pools in Rotorua.
The free foot baths.

Dip your toes in the free hot springs in town

Experience the thermal pools of Rotorua without paying a cent at the Kuirau Park foot pools.

There are spaces here where you can dangle your feet in and enjoy the relaxing sensation of the hot springs.

Unless it’s already a hot day… the temperature then starts to get scalding!

The park is quite lovely in itself, especially in spring when we visited, with all the flowers in bloom.

A path leading through Hells Gate Geothermal Reserve in New Zealand's North Island, an active thermal park.
Wandering through Hells Gate.

Or take a mud bath at Hells Gate

I’m a volcano nut, so I was gonna get all up in any geothermal activity on offer. This meant a visit to Hells Gate Geothermal Reserve was definitely on the cards.

As Rotorua’s most active thermal park, there’s certainly a lot of activity going on at Hells Gate.

Tour the paths and take in sights such as mud volcanos and a geothermal pool that apparently looks like Australia. As an Australian, I disagree.

Spraying pools at Hells Gate. Two signs in the foreground read 'Danger, stay on path' and note the temperatures are 100 degrees celcius.

Obviously, don’t wander off the path unless you want to be scalded by often above-boiling water. Doesn’t sound pleasant in the slightest.

Along with the reserve, you can head to the spa, to take a few rejuvenating moments in the springs.

I was rolling with my boyfriend, so we purchased the couples deal, where we had access to a private mud bath and hot springs area.

As it was a weekday when we visited, we had the place to ourselves.

My one bit of advice is to clean your swimmers as soon as possible and perhaps don’t use a pair you’re very fond off.

They may smell like sulphur for days.

Watching a performance at the Mitai Maori Village.
The Mitai Māori Village cultural performance.

Spend an evening at the Mitai Māori Village

As stated above, there are opportunities to learn about Māori culture in Rotorua.

Knowing embarrassingly little about New Zealand’s Indigenous people before travelling over the Tasman, I wanted to learn more.

So, I spent a rather pleasant evening at the Mitai Māori Village.

The experience started with a Hangi meal (cooked in an earth oven in the ground), followed by a Māori performance within the space.

We then went outside to see warriors paddling an ancient waka (war canoe) and took a night time tour of the natural springs within the area.

It’s a beautiful spot, the food was delicious and I came away with at least a little more knowledge about the Māori culture of the area and certainly a hunger to learn more.

Ornate building in Whakarewarewa, New Zealand's only living Māori village.
Exploring the Living Māori Village in Rotorua.

Visit Whakarewarewa

Perched on a unique geothermal landscape is Whakarewarewa, New Zealand’s only living Māori village.

Home to the Tūhourangi Ngāti Wāhiao people, head here if you wish to learn more about Māori culture and heritage.

Local residents give guided tours of the village.

Alternatively, you can have a wander around yourself.

Looking up at the giant redwoods of Whakarewarewa Forest.
Checking out the giant Redwoods in Whakarewarewa Forest.

Take a walk through Whakarewarewa Forest

This forest is over 5600 hectares big and is a delight to explore.

There’s mountain biking trails and walking tracks and a collection of California Coast Redwoods.

If you’re not terrified of heights, you can try the Redwoods Treewalk, which takes you across a series of suspension bridges, located 20 metres above ground.

If not, just take a wander along the trails and admire the foliage along the way.


Where to Stay in Rotorua


Sunset at Lake Taupo, with sunlight flickering through a tree.
Taupo is a stand out destination for any traveller in New Zealand.

New Zealand North Island itinerary: Taupo

The town of Taupo was for me, the highlight of my road trip in the North Island.

A small town, perched on the edge of the stunning Lake Taupo, there’s so much to see and do here that it’s a holiday destination in itself.

Things to do in Taupo

Here’s a bit of what you can get up in Taupo.

Maori rock carving, accessible during a kayak tour from Taupo.
One of the Maori Rock Carvings.

See the Māori Rock Carving on Lake Taupo

The Māori Rock carvings are a fantastic piece of modern art.

Carved into the cliff face by master carver Matahi Whakataka-Brightwell in the 1970s, they are best seen from kayak or boat.

We kayaked out there, but there are other less strenuous options, such as taking a gentle cruise out across the lake.


Do the Tongariru Alpine Crossing trek

This is one of the most popular hikes in NZ.

19.4 kilometres long, it takes most trampers around 6 hours to complete.

Although reputedly challenging at times, most beginner hikers should be able to complete it.

This was top of my list of things to do in Taupo – alas, I was put out by an old foot injury.

Regardless, I’m determined to return to New Zealand’s North Island and complete this trek.

Some need know info I came across in my research – you need to book a shuttle to access the path, as there are time restrictions within the carparks.

Definitely something worth taking into consideration when planning your tramp.

Read more information about Tongariru Alpine Crossing.

Exploring Craters of the Moon, a geothermal park in New Zealand.
It’s getting steamy at Craters of the Moon.

Check out Craters of the Moon

Another NZ town, another geothermal park!

Like Rotorua, Taupo is well known for its geothermal activity and you get up close to some of this spectacular landscape at Craters of the Moon.

Enjoy a 45 minute stroll around the park and take in the phenomenal geothermal activity!

A boat travels up perilously close to Huka Falls.
Daring – Huka Falls.

Get up close to Huka Falls

Huka Falls is a delight to see from dry ground.

However, if you want to go next level, jump on a speedboat tour.

It’ll take you up close to the powerful falls, thrilling you with 360° spins.

Street art in Taupo of a beautiful horse.
Taupo has some amazing street art.

Check out Taupo’s street art scene

I was blown away by the street art in Taupo.

Walking through the city, you’ll encounter fantastic murals, painted by big names within the NZ and Australian street art scene.

Much like the Wall to Wall Festival in the Aussie town of Benalla, street artists converge upon Taupo to take part in its annual Graffiato festival.

As such, Taupo is a living canvas, with colourful murals around every corner.

It’s a delight to wander through.

Taupo accommodation at sunset.
Prep yourself for some amazing sunsets.

Where to Stay in Taupo


Colourful streetscape of Napier, filled with art deco buildings.
Napier’s streetscape – plenty of art deco to see here.

New Zealand North Island itinerary: Napier

In 1931, Napier was devastated by a horrific earthquake.

260 people were killed and the town was almost wiped off the map.

Napier was rebuilt, taking inspiration from the popular Art Deco movement of the era.

The town is now full of gorgeous, colourful buildings. Walking down the street feels akin to journeying back in time, to a glamorous past.

Things to do in Napier

Here’s some of what you can get up to in this colourful little town.

Napier's very colourful amphitheatre.
Napier – colourful in the extreme.

Take a tour and learn about the art deco buildings

Here’s an opportunity to learn more about Napier’s art deco scene.

You can self-guide your way around town, or take a tour with a knowledgeable local volunteer.

You’ll uncover the history of Napier, learning about 1931 earthquake and how the townspeople were able to get back on their feet and rebuild, to make the town better than ever.

If you’re a real art deco nut, time your visit with the annual Art Deco Festival, held every February.

An ornate art deco building in Napier.
More art deco. It’s pleasant.

Go wine tasting

The Hawke’s Bay region of New Zealand is renowned for its wine.

You can either drive to wineries yourself, or jump on a tour and let someone else do all the hard work for you.

Hawke's Bay in Napier, New Zealand on a sunny day.
Looking out at Hawke’s Bay.

Get up close to some gannets

Here’s one for the birdnerds.

Within Hawke’s Bay is an area known as ‘Cape Kidnappers’, which is home to the largest colony of gannets on mainland NZ.

Tours to the colony are available from April to September and depart daily.

Where to Stay in Napier

Exterior of the beautiful Martinborough Hotel.
The very cute Martinborough Hotel.

New Zealand North Island itinerary: Martinborough

Martinborough in the Wairarapa region may prove to be a random stop off for some, but it’s a place worth making a detour to, even if you’re just stretching your legs on the journey to Wellington.

I had known about the town for awhile, being a devout follower of organic cotton undies brand Thunderpantz, who work out of the area!

We arrived to go for a glamp nearby, but ended up finding an array of interesting things to do in the area.

I thoroughly recommend squeezing this town into your New Zealand North Island itinerary.

Things to do in Martinborough

Here’s a few sights worth seeing in Martinborough.

A section of Stonehenge Aotearoa.
It’s worth heading to Martinborough for Stonehenge Aotearoa alone.

Tour through Stonehenge

Did you know there’s a henge in New Zealand?

I certainly didn’t until I drove to Martinborough and saw the sign for ‘Stonehenge Aotearoa’.

We stopped to explore and I’m so, so glad we did.

Taste test the wares at local wineries

Martinborough is yet another venerated wine region within New Zealand’s North Island.

Stop in for a bottle of plonk to take on with you to Welly.

Alternatively, book onto a tour to truly enjoy what this region of NZ has to offer.

Glamping tent at Canopy Camping, just outside of Martinborough.
Our “glampsite” for the night. Not too shabby!

Go for a glamp!

A highlight of our North Island road trip was glamping just outside of Martinborough.

It was the perfect setting to relax and unwind.

I particularly enjoyed the use of the outdoor bathtub, set right on the river’s edge.

Where to Stay in Martinborough

Wellington's amusing town sign, on the side of a mountain. Wellington is a must visit on a New Zealand North Island itinerary.
Wellington will blow you away. No, really.

New Zealand North Island itinerary: Wellington

We arrive at last at New Zealand’s fair capital – the funky city of Wellington.

Brace yourself for some good food, great art and unpredictable weather, as you wind down on the last leg of your North Island road trip.

Activate adventure in Wellington:


Things to do in Wellington

Here’s what you can get up to during your time in the NZ capital.

Wellington's cute little cable car, heading down the mountain.
Wheee! Down we go.

Take a ride on the cable car

One Wellington must-do is hitching a ride on the city’s very cute cable car. It travels back and forth between Lambton Quay, the main shopping street and the hillside suburb of Kelburn.

The views of the city from the top of the hill are really rather nice.

There’s also a regular shuttle bus in Kelburn, which will take you directly on to Zealandia.

A one way ticket on the cable car is $5 – a return will set you back $9.

Explore the Museum of Te Papa Tongarewa

This is New Zealand’s national museum and one of the most popular tourist attractions in Wellington.

The museum celebrates Māori culture, national art and natural history and holds world class exhibitions.

There’s also a gnarly taxidermy section, ideal if you’re a sick person like me who is intensely interested in this sort of thing.

Best of all, entry to the general museum is gloriously free.

Inside Wellington's Zealandia.
Although maybe don’t go on a rainy day, if you actually want to see anything.

Visit Zealandia

Zealandia is a marvel – a world-class conservation project in the form of a 255 hectare fully-fenced eco-sanctuary, within an urban setting.

The grand plan is to restore the area to its pre-human state – as much as can be done. 18 species of native wildlife have already been reintroduced into the area and are protected from introduced pests.

Apart from us humans of course, as you’re allowed to enter the park under strict conditions, to hopefully catch a glimpse of some of NZ’s unique fauna and flora.

Book a ticket by day or increase your chances of seeing Kiwis by entering the park at night.

Ferret Book Shop in Wellington's adorable sign.
I enjoy this.

Browse among the bookstores for Kiwi literature

Like Australian literature, the Kiwi book scene is both extremely good and very much underrated.

Fortunately, Wellington has a few independent bookstores shining a torch on some of the best of NZ literature.

The best place to head is probably Unity Books, located on Willis Street.

Pick up a book that you can take back as a beloved souvenir.

Street artb in grungy Wellington.
Brightly coloured art adorns much of Wellington.

Check out the urban street art

Wellington is a city with art on every corner. Think brightly coloured buildings, crocheted park benches and street art galore.

There’s even a rainbow crossing welcoming you to Cuba Street.

It’s certainly worth wandering around the city centre and taking it all in.

The Rainbow crossing on Cuba Street in Wellington.
We used to have one of these in Sydney but it got painted over because we’re not allowed to have fun.

Where to Stay in Wellington


Tui perched on some grass.
A Tui, one of New Zealand’s most beloved endemic birds.

Your complete New Zealand North Island itinerary

So there you have it – a complete itinerary, featuring some of the best places to visit in New Zealand’s North Island.

There are many, many more, but you’d need months to do the island proper justice. Let alone the South Island – blergh!

I hope this New Zealand North Island self-drive itinerary has been helpful for you in planning your trip.

Kia ora!

A mountain with odd things popped on its side to form a face.
You’ll see some odd sights during your New Zealand road trip.

Tips for Your New Zealand North Island Road Trip

Dedicate a couple of weeks to your North Island road trip, if you can. It’ll allow you to explore the island thoroughly.
Bring layers to deal with NZ’s erratic weather and decent walking shoes.
Tipping is not mandatory. You can leave a small tip if the meal is exceptional.
Do your best to book hotels in advance, as NZ is popular. Look for accomodation on Booking.com.
Compare hire car prices at Rentalcars.com.

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This New Zealand North Island itinerary is ideal for those wanting to self-drive through the island, catching some unique sights. Find out how long you should spend in each town, what to do and where to stay, to make the best of your New Zealand road trip. / #NewZealand / #NorthIsland / #RoadTrips / Best Road Trips /

Any admission prices listed are in Kiwi dollars – as in $NZD.

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  1. Excellent post, possibly within a year trip to New Zealand, so I love to know more and more about it, one of the things that most intrigued me was the cable car, because I have never climbed to any and I think it must be a very cool experience, the cable car runs through much of the city or just a stretch part of it?

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