12 days in North Island Itinerary

12 days in North Island Itinerary

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Route & dates

12 days in North Island Itinerary

Start: Honolulu, Oahu
Fly:  12​h
1
Auckland
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h
2
Paihia
— 2 nights
taxi + Fly:  4​h 15​min
3
Rotorua
— 3 nights
bus:  1​h
4
Taupo
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h
5
Hamilton
— 1 night
Drive + Fly:  9​h 15​min
End: Melbourne

2
nights
Auckland

Auckland ©
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.
Kids will appreciate attractions like Auckland War Memorial Museum and Piha Beach. Visiting Rangitoto Island and Mount Eden will get you outdoors. It doesn't end there: contemplate the waterfront views at Devonport and indulge your taste buds at Food & Drink.

To find other places to visit, ratings, maps, and other tourist information, read Auckland online journey builder .

Honolulu, USA to Auckland is an approximately 12-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and bus. Due to the time zone difference, you'll lose 22 hours traveling from Honolulu to Auckland. In December, Auckland is little chillier than Honolulu - with highs of 20°C and lows of 20°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 10th (Tue) to allow time to drive to Paihia.

Things to do in Auckland

Parks Nature Tours

Side Trip

Piha Beach
Find places to stay Dec 8 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Auckland War Memorial Museum ©
Auckland War Memorial Museum
Rangitoto Island ©
Rangitoto Island
Mount Eden ©
Mount Eden

2
nights
Paihia

Paihia ©
The main tourist town in the Bay of Islands area, Paihia gives visitors a good range of accommodations, a convenient town center, long sandy beaches, and interesting architecture.
Start off your visit on the 11th (Wed): surround yourself with nature on a nature and wildlife tour, take in the dramatic scenery at Haruru Falls, and then identify plant and animal life at Paihia Harbour. Here are some ideas for day two: cast your line with a fishing tour and then take a memorable tour with Tours.

For ratings, traveler tips, more things to do, and tourist information, go to the Paihia trip maker site .

Drive from Auckland to Paihia in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and flight; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 12th (Thu) early enough to travel to Rotorua.

Things to do in Paihia

Wildlife Tours Outdoors
Find places to stay Dec 10 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Paihia Harbour ©
Paihia Harbour
Nature & Wildlife Tours
Haruru Falls ©
Haruru Falls

3
nights
Rotorua

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.
On the 13th (Fri), whizz through the canopy at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, learn about winemaking at Volcanic Hills Winery, then take in the natural beauty of Te Puia, and finally take in the natural beauty of Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland. On your second day here, contemplate the long history of Buried Village of Te Wairoa, then take in the exciting artwork at New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute, and then look for all kinds of wild species at Rainbow Springs Nature Park.

For maps, reviews, and other tourist information, go to the Rotorua trip itinerary app .

Do a combination of taxi and flight from Paihia to Rotorua in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or drive. In December, plan for daily highs up to 25°C, and evening lows to 17°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 15th (Sun) so you can take a bus to Taupo.

Things to do in Rotorua

Parks Wildlife Nature
Find places to stay Dec 12 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
Zipline
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland ©
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland
Te Puia ©
Te Puia

2
nights
Taupo

Taupo ©
The resort town of Taupo lies on the banks of Lake Taupo, the largest body of water in the whole of Australasia.
Kick off your visit on the 15th (Sun): get in on the family fun at Huka Prawn Park, explore the striking landscape at Craters of the Moon, then examine the collection at Taupo Museum, and finally admire the sheer force of Huka Falls Walkway. On the 16th (Mon), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: push the limits with an extreme tour, then stroll through Kinloch Beach, then look for gifts at Huka Honey Hive, and finally admire the natural beauty at Lava Glass.

To see photos, reviews, more things to do, and tourist information, you can read our Taupo trip itinerary planning website .

Getting from Rotorua to Taupo by bus takes about an hour. Other options: drive. Finish your sightseeing early on the 17th (Tue) to allow enough time to drive to Hamilton.

Things to do in Taupo

Parks Outdoors Museums
Find places to stay Dec 15 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
Huka Falls Walkway ©
Huka Falls Walkway
Adrenaline & Extreme Tours
Kinloch Beach ©
Kinloch Beach

1
night
Hamilton

Hamilton ©
On the banks of the Waikato River lies Hamilton, a pretty, active city on North Island.
On the 17th (Tue), get to know the resident critters at Hamilton Zoo, then delve into the lush surroundings at Yarndley's Bush, and then identify plant and animal life at Otorohanga Kiwi House & Native Bird Park. Keep things going the next day: examine the collection at Waikato Museum and then take in nature's colorful creations at Hamilton Gardens.

To see more things to do, maps, traveler tips, and tourist information, refer to the Hamilton online sightseeing planner .

Drive from Taupo to Hamilton in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 18th (Wed) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Hamilton

Parks Wildlife Zoos & Aquariums

Side Trips

Otorohanga Kiwi House & Native Bird Park, Yarndley's Bush
Find places to stay Dec 17 — 18:
Highlights from your plan
Hamilton Gardens ©
Hamilton Gardens
Waikato Museum ©
Waikato Museum
Hamilton Zoo ©
Hamilton Zoo

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