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New Zealand’s North Island

New Zealand’s North Island Destination Guide

Exclusively Elegant Travel Since 1988

For more information, please call our Luxury Travel Specialists on:01244 897 551

Your guide from the Luxury Travel Specialists

Welcome to the Elegant Resorts Destination Guide for New Zealand’s North Island, created to help make your choice of luxury holiday as easy as possible. Here, you will find more detailed factual information about the destination you have selected.

If you require further information, not featured on this page, please call one of our Luxury Travel Specialists.


Language English
Time Difference 12 hours
Currency New Zealand Dollar
Voltage 230V

North Island is more populated than South Island and often frequented by discerning visitors via Wellington or Auckland. The latter sprawls as far as the eye can see and has a delightfully cosmopolitan feel, alongside a fantastically bustling waterfront. Wellington, on the other hand, is a great place for culture, offering an array of spectacular theatre, music and art.

North Island also has its pick of soft, sandy beaches, the highlights of which are the dazzling scoops at the Bay of Islands – 144 pretty islets floating in a marine park. There’s a strong Māori influence here, especially in and around Rotorua – a place where you’ll also find steaming hot springs and therapeutic pools of mud. Other amazing scenery includes Huka Falls, Lake Taupo, the sweeping vineyards of Hawke’s Bay, the lunar-like landscapes of Tongario National Park and Palliser Bay, a sublime setting flanked by alpine wilderness. North Island is a natural canvas ideal for countless outdoor adventures!


New Zealand’s capital city nestles between rolling hills and a beautiful harbour. It’s a small and trendy capital, most famous for its culture, arts and heritage. There are numerous galleries, theatres and museums here, including the national museum Te Papa Tongarewa, offering fantastic interactive exhibits. Explore on foot and follow the ‘City to Sea Walk’ or the stunning Makara Peak Track. Other recreational pursuits include cycling, mountain biking and sea kayaking, or you can simply relax on the city beach, named Oriental Bay. For the best panoramic views over the city, hop on the scenic cable car and ride up to the charming, leafy Kelburn suburb.


Auckland, New Zealand’s biggest city, offers fabulous shopping for every taste, a huge assortment of places to eat and drink, vibrant nightspots and a friendly Polynesian culture. What’s more, this fabulous city is bordered by stunning beaches, islands, volcanoes and rainforest. Ascend the Sky Tower for incredible views and revolving, sky-top dining, or head to Queen Street for a touch of retail therapy. Chill out on a scenic trip to Mission Bay on Auckland’s sunny shoreline, dotted with elegant yachts and lively bars and eateries.

Bay of Islands

This sub-tropical paradise is renowned for its bewitching beauty and historical background, while the beaches and watersports opportunities are also world-class. Head underwater in search of the terrific dive sites, or stick above the waterline to look for dolphins, whales, penguins and gannets. Take a trip by sea or air to Cape Brett, promising fantastic rock formations like the ‘Hole in the Rock’ on Piercy Island. Back on land, there are coastal, riverside and rainforest walking trails, as well as interesting little towns, including Russell, Kerikeri and Opua.

Lake Taupo

Located in the middle of North Island, Lake Taupo is enormous and truly stunning, created from a volcanic eruption some 2,000 years ago. Evidence can be found at the Crater of the Moon, an incredible volcanic valley filled with hissing steam and bubbling cauldrons of mud. Similarly, there are often warm geothermal currents in Lake Taupo’s waters, making it perfect for swimming, kayaking, sailing, water skiing and parasailing. Many travellers visit for the beaches and this array of water activities, as well as world-class trout fishing. Other star attractions in the region include Huka Falls, Aratiatia Rapids and the Tongario National Park World Heritage Site.

Outdoor Adventure

Rotorua’s outdoor pursuits comprise challenging mountain biking, hiking, trout fishing and horse riding, while more thrilling activities include ziplining, zorbing and bungy jumping. In Palliser Bay, discover the great outdoors with a host of activities and adventures - such as horse-riding, walking trails or fishing. Take a helicopter flight to Cape Palliser and spot the local colony of brown fur seals, or visit striking geographical sites, including the Pinnacles.

Thermal Activity

This fascinating region is well-known as a geothermal wonderland, a place to soak in a natural hot spring or gape at gushing geysers. Location-wise, it sits within the Pacific Rim of Fire, a mass of raging volcanic activity. To truly experience your unique surroundings, head out on a 4WD tour to the edge of Mount Tarawera’s crater. Making the most of its natural assets, Rotorua City even houses a thermally-heated, open-air dining quarter called Eat Street.

Wine Trails

Hawke’s Bay is the first stop on the Classic New Zealand Wine Trail, perfect for those with an interest in wine-tasting. Aptly named the ‘Wine Country’, it is a region carpeted with award-winning wineries and restaurants, thanks to its sunny climate and perfect terroir. Reds outnumber whites, with premium Cabernet Sauvignons, Merlots and Syrahs all making a name in the wine-drinking world.

Travel Gems+

Travel Planning
Our Travel Consultants can advise on, arrange and pre-book many things to enhance your holiday. This includes everything from spa reservations and dinner reservations, to a range of special experiences available in our featured resorts that you may not know about.

Getting There+

Flight Information
For flight information, please see the New Zealand Destination Guide or call our Travel Consultants.

Travel Documentation+

Travelling With Children or Without an Adult

Children travelling without both parents should be aware that some countries require documentary evidence of parental responsibility before allowing lone parents to enter the country or, in some cases, before permitting the children to leave the country. Please contact the relevant Embassy for the county you are travelling to for further information.

Visa and Advance Passenger Information

All passengers must ensure they have a valid, acceptable passport, any required visa and any other documentation for both the final destination and any stop-off points en route. Please make sure that Advance Passenger Information is submitted in advance to travel for all destinations. Failure to hold correct documentation or submitting incorrect details with Advance Passenger Information or Visa applications may result in refusal of carriage or entry into a country. Please check with the relevant Embassy regarding visa requirements well in advance of your travel date. Charges may apply for some visas.

Passengers not travelling on a British Passport are advised to contact their relevant Foreign & Commonwealth office for individual Visa requirements.

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Health facilities, hygiene and disease risks vary worldwide and you should take health advice about your specific needs from your general practitioner or a specialist clinic as early as possible before travel. Those planning to become pregnant should discuss their travel plans with their healthcare provider to assess their risk of infection with Zika. For information about Zika, other mosquito-borne diseases (such as Dengue fever and Chikungunya), Lyme Disease (caused by tick bites), and to receive advice on mosquito bite avoidance measures, please visit Insect and tick bite avoidance. In addition, we highly recommend that you seek specialist advice from your doctor and, where recommended, obtain vaccinations or tablets for protection against, for example: Malaria, Hepatitis A, Polio and Typhoid. In some cases, treatments for Malaria should begin well in advance of travel. Travellers may also be required to show Yellow Fever Certificates on arrival in certain destinations i.e, some African countries. Please note that you are strongly advised against scuba-diving for 24 hours before travelling by air. We would also like to draw your attention to the risk of DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) and recommend that you consult with your doctor before travelling. Visit the FCDO website and select your destination country for the very latest travel advice: Foreign Travel Advice. Additional sources of information include: Public Health England, The National Travel Health And Network Centre, Foreign And Commonwealth Office and your General Practitioner or a specialised clinic.

Talk to our Asia, Australasia and Africa experts

Our dedicated Asia, Australasia and Africa experts are ready to help you design your luxury holiday to New Zealand’s North Island. Furthermore, we have many Luxury Travel Specialists who've personally visited New Zealand’s North Island and can offer you their first-hand knowledge and experience.

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