The North Island of New Zealand has such a lot to offer you as a traveler that it can be hard to choose where to go.
As a result of its cultural importance and history, and not to mention the sublime scenery, you will probably need help picking places out.
That’s why in the following post we have highlighted five places we think you won’t want to miss on a trip Down Under.
Rotorua is a city that is probably most famous for its natural hot springs, beautiful bubbling mud pools, explosive geysers and crystal-clear streams.
The city offers a little something for everyone – whether you are looking to learn about Maori culture, relax or be a little adventurous.
It is located in an area in the midst of freshwater lakes, mountains and forests that give you the chance to get back to nature.
You can have a fascinating time getting up close and personal, though not dangerously so, to the experience the geothermal park and its volcanic activity.
Looking for an adventure? There are some of the best mountain bike trails in the world right here in this city.
You can also participate in sports such as rafting, kayaking, swimming and horse riding. History and culture buffs should head to the steaming ground for a hangi feast or tour the authentic village that looks as it does before Europe colonised the area.
Waikato is probably most widely associated with The Hobbit. You can actually spend some time walking through an amazing lifelike hobbit-sized village and appreciate what it was like to film and live in a movie set consisting of over 44 different hobbit holes, as well as the famous Party Tree, Green Dragon Inn and the double-arched bridge.
After you have wiled the day away in the Shire, you should visit Hamilton and enjoy its restaurant and nightlife scene or visit the amazing gardens in the city or just spend the rest of the day at the beautiful black sand beaches where surfers go. This is a must-visit location in New Zealand for all holiday planners.
At just a short distance away from the Bay of Plenty Tauranga, you will find Mount Maunganui.
The Mount, as it is known, on the ocean side has a beautiful beach and is perfect for surfing, if that’s your thing.
In actual fact, it is one of the country’s finest surfing spots and in order to maintain that sterling reputation, they have had an artificial reef installed that produces perfect waves continuously to suit both beginners and more experienced surfers.
However, if you are looking to hike, there is a unique peak at the peninsula’s tip that stretches p 230-metres above the sea level.
For a national site of archeological significance, Mauao is perfect and features a large fort on the mountain peak. This town features numerous things to keep you busy, such as diving trips, dolphin tours, restaurants and cafes and big game fishing.
Beneath the lush green Waitomo hills, there is a comprehensive network of underground rivers, sinkholes and caves.
You will find glow worms native to the area there that light the way against the rock formations. The two best ways to take a tour of these is either by boat or on foot.
You can abseil or zipline deep into the network, float along on rubber tubes through the caves or even swim.
Bay of Islands
If you want something of a beach holiday with a sub-tropical climate, beautiful sites and a lot of history, head to the Bay of Islands.
This consists of 144 different islands places between Cape Brett and Purerua Peninsula and is especially known for snorkelling, surfing and fishing.
By far one of the biggest tourist attractions there is the chance to experience a wide variety of marine life in their natural habitat.
You can go whale watching or even swim with dolphins in a truly marvellous setting.
One thing that you must do, if you do very little else at the Bay of Islands is take a trip to the Waitangi Treaty Grounds.
This is the story of two groups of people coming together and there are a wide array of interactive experiences to enjoy such as the carving studio, the truly inspiring gallery of artwork, dreamy gardens and forests, an informative and interesting visitor centre, engaging guided tours and striking cultural performances by Maori natives in the traditional Meeting House, along with the Waitangi’s modern museum.
There is even the chance to experience a hangi and waka.