The North Island is the smaller of the two main islands that make up New Zealand, but it is home to both of the country’s major cities: Auckland and Wellington. Both are major stops on sightseeing tours, but the North Island has a lot more to offer to visitors than just its largest city and the capital.   Let’s explore some of the island’s amazing adventures.

Cape Reinga Lighthouse, Aupori Peninsula, North Island, New Zealand

Cape Reinga

Situated at the north-western tip of North Island where the blue waters of the Pacific Ocean meet the green ones of the Tasman Sea, the locals think of Cape Reinga as a spiritual place full of magic and wonder. A lighthouse stands silent watch, making for background-worthy vacation pictures. Spirits Bay with its clear waters and white sandy beach is an ideal spot for picnics and swimming. At its northern point visitors will find the Te Paki Reserve, a miniature desert zone with spectacular sand dunes.


Comprised of roaring geysers, steaming lakes and boiling mud, Rotorua is renowned for its scenery as well as one of the best places to experience Maori culture and art. Lots of local shops and galleries sell jade, wood and bone carvings. Rotorua is home to over ten lakes nestled among native forests suitable for biking, hiking and trout fishing. Visitors also enjoy attending the Rainbow Springs trout farm and the Agrodome farm show. Don’t leave before touring the thermal baths.

Waitomo Caves

The Waitomo Caves are one of them most popular sightseeing attractions for all New Zealand holidays. Here tourists can glide silently on a black river past ancient limes stone pillars, illuminated by thousands of glow worms. The more daring types can go “black water rafting” or try rappelling down underground waterfalls. Even those who aren’t keen on going underground can still go sightseeing since the area is abundant with limestone formations and waterfalls.


New Zealand’s capital is full of scenic, architectural and cultural marvels. It houses the Royal New Zealand Ballet Company, the National Symphony Orchestra, and four live theatre companies. Other stops that should be on every sightseer’s list include the National Art Gallery, the parliament building called The Beehive, the Te Papa National Museum, the Botanic Gardens and the Old St. Paul’s Cathedral, an impressive Gothic wooden building.

The southern part of the city houses the Kapiti Island bird Sanctuary and a number of beaches suitable for sunbathing, fishing and swimming. For impressive scenery, hike the Wairarapa Valley or the Rimutaka ranges.


Auckland has all the modern urban attractions visitors could want. It is home to many ethnic and traditional restaurants as well as world-class shopping centres and non-stop night life. However, with two harbours, beaches, extinct volcanoes and parks it also has lots of outdoor options for land and water lovers.

Bay of Islands

The Bay of Islands is a water lover’s paradise with over 100 small islands situated at the north western tip of North Island. Swim with the dolphins and hike among ancient kauri trees for unforgettable vacation pictures. While in the area, visit the national reserve of Watigangi, the birthplace of New Zealand, which is home to the Treaty House and the Maori Whare Runang–a structure with Maori carvings dating back to 1940.