9 days in North Island Itinerary

9 days in North Island Itinerary

Created using Inspirock North Island trip planner

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Route & dates

9 days in North Island Itinerary

Start: Auckland
1
Auckland
— 1 day
Ferry:  2 h 15 min
2
Coromandel
— 1 night
Drive:  1 h 15 min
3
Hot Water Beach
— 1 night
Drive:  1 h 15 min
4
Thames
— 1 night
Drive:  45 min
5
Te Aroha
— 1 night
Drive:  1 h 30 min
6
Rotorua
— 1 night
Drive:  2 h 15 min
7
Whakapapa
— 1 night
Drive:  2 h 15 min
8
Waitomo Caves
— 1 night
+2
Taxi + Fly + Taxi:  4 h 15 min
9
Paihia
— 1 night
Drive:  3 h
End: Auckland

1
day
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.
Kick off your visit on the 15th (Sun): explore the activities along Devonport, then learn about all things military at Auckland War Memorial Museum, and then take in panoramic vistas at Sky Tower.

To see ratings, maps, traveler tips, and tourist information, go to the Auckland day trip site .

If you are flying in from Australia, the closest major airports are Auckland International Airport and Hamilton International Airport. In December, daytime highs in Auckland are 20°C, while nighttime lows are 20°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 15th (Sun) so you can travel to Coromandel.

Things to do in Auckland

Museums Shopping Neighborhoods
Find places to stay Dec 15 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
SkyTower ©
SkyTower
Auckland Museum ©
Auckland Museum
Devonport ©
Devonport

1
night
Coromandel

Coromandel ©
Coromandel is a town on the Coromandel Harbour, on the western side of the Coromandel Peninsula, which is on the east coast of the North Island of New Zealand. Kick off your visit on the 16th (Mon): identify plant and animal life at Coromandel Forest Park.

To find photos, more things to do, maps, and tourist information, read our Coromandel trip itinerary planner.

Traveling by ferry from Auckland to Coromandel takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of shuttle and bus. Traveling from Auckland in December, expect nights in Coromandel to be a bit cooler, around 17°C, while days are a bit warmer, around 24°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 16th (Mon) early enough to go by car to Hot Water Beach.

Things to do in Coromandel

Nature Wildlife Parks
Find places to stay Dec 15 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
Coromandel Forest Park ©
Coromandel Forest Park

1
night
Hot Water Beach

Hot Water Beach ©
Named after the geothermal springs that supply the coast with pleasantly warm water ideal for swimming and soaking, Hot Water Beach attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists every year.
Kick off your visit on the 17th (Tue): browse the exhibits of Moko Artspace and then witness a stunning natural landmark at Hot Water Beach.

To find traveler tips, other places to visit, more things to do, and more tourist information, read our Hot Water Beach online journey planner .

Traveling by car from Coromandel to Hot Water Beach takes 1.5 hours. In December, daily temperatures in Hot Water Beach can reach 24°C, while at night they dip to 17°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 17th (Tue) to allow enough time to drive to Thames.

Things to do in Hot Water Beach

Outdoors Nature Parks
Find places to stay Dec 16 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
Hot Water Beach ©
Hot Water Beach
Moko Artspace ©
Moko Artspace

1
night
Thames

Thames ©
Thames is a town at the southwestern end of the Coromandel Peninsula in New Zealand's North Island. Kick off your visit on the 18th (Wed): view the masterpieces at Thames Society of Arts, look for gifts at Watercolor Studio Gallery, then take in nature's colorful creations at RAPAURA Watergardens, then steep yourself in history at Burke Street Wharf, and finally see the interesting displays at Thames School of Mines and Mineralogical Museum.

To see maps, more things to do, traveler tips, and tourist information, read Thames trip planning app .

Drive from Hot Water Beach to Thames in 1.5 hours. In December, daily temperatures in Thames can reach 24°C, while at night they dip to 17°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 18th (Wed) so you can go by car to Te Aroha.

Things to do in Thames

Parks Museums Shopping
Find places to stay Dec 17 — 18:
Highlights from your plan
RAPAURA Watergardens ©
RAPAURA Watergardens
Thames Society of Arts ©
Thames Society of Arts

1
night
Te Aroha

Te Aroha ©
Kick off your visit on the 19th (Thu): experience rural life at Bullswool Farm Park, trek along Waiorongomai Valley Tramping Tracks, and then don't miss a visit to Adrian Worsley Historic Creations.

To find ratings, maps, and more tourist information, go to the Te Aroha driving holiday planner .

Traveling by car from Thames to Te Aroha takes an hour. In December, daily temperatures in Te Aroha can reach 25°C, while at night they dip to 17°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 19th (Thu) to allow enough time to drive to Rotorua.

Things to do in Te Aroha

Outdoors Trails Wildlife

Side Trip

Bullswool Farm Heritage Park
Find places to stay Dec 18 — 19:
Highlights from your plan
Bullswool Farm Heritage Park ©
Bullswool Farm Heritage Park

1
night
Rotorua

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.
Kick off your visit on the 20th (Fri): take in the natural beauty of Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, then make a trip to Te Puia, then kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, and finally learn about winemaking at Volcanic Hills Winery.

To find photos, reviews, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read Rotorua trip planner .

Getting from Te Aroha to Rotorua by car takes about 1.5 hours. December in Rotorua sees daily highs of 25°C and lows of 17°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 20th (Fri) so you can travel to Whakapapa.

Things to do in Rotorua

Nature Parks Outdoors
Find places to stay Dec 19 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland ©
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland
Zipline
Te Puia ©
Te Puia

1
night
Whakapapa

Whakapapa ©
Start off your visit on the 21st (Sat): take in the dramatic scenery at Taranaki Falls, then take in the dramatic scenery at Tawhai Falls, and then trek along Tongariro Alpine Crossing.

For traveler tips, photos, where to stay, and other tourist information, you can read our Whakapapa trip itinerary planner .

You can drive from Rotorua to Whakapapa in 2.5 hours. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 21st (Sat) so you can travel to Waitomo Caves.

Things to do in Whakapapa

Parks Outdoors Trails

Side Trip

Tongariro National Park
Find places to stay Dec 20 — 21:
Highlights from your plan
Tongariro Alpine Crossing ©
Tongariro Alpine Crossing
Taranaki Falls ©
Taranaki Falls
Tawhai Falls ©
Tawhai Falls

1
night
Waitomo Caves

Head deep beneath the surface of the earth at Waitomo Caves, a village and cave system that draws both extreme sports enthusiasts and those wanting something a little more relaxed.
On the 22nd (Sun), explore the fascinating underground world of Waitomo Glowworm Caves, then Head underground at Ruakuri Cave, then get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports, and finally hike along Ruakuri Walk.

To see reviews, photos, traveler tips, and other tourist information, you can read our Waitomo Caves day trip planning app .

You can drive from Whakapapa to Waitomo Caves in 2.5 hours. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Sun) so you can travel to Paihia.

Things to do in Waitomo Caves

Outdoors Adventure Tours
Find places to stay Dec 21 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing
Waitomo Glowworm Caves ©
Waitomo Glowworm Caves
Ruakuri Walk ©
Ruakuri Walk

1
night
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.
Kick off your visit on the 23rd (Mon): fly like a bird with a parasailing or paragliding tour, then identify plant and animal life at Paihia Harbour, then take in nature's colorful creations at Waitangi Treaty Grounds, and finally steep yourself in history at KeriKeri New Zealand.

To see maps, more things to do, and other tourist information, go to the Paihia trip maker app .

Traveling by combination of flight and bus from Waitomo Caves to Paihia takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of bus and flight. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Mon) so you can go by car back home.

Things to do in Paihia

Parks Historic Sites Wildlife

Side Trip

KeriKeri New Zealand
Find places to stay Dec 22 — 23:
Highlights from your plan
Waitangi Treaty Grounds ©
Waitangi Treaty Grounds
Paihia Harbour ©
Paihia Harbour
Parasailing & Paragliding

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