north island

North Island, New Zealand self touring itineraries for independant travellers including Auckland, Bay of Islands, Whitianga, The Coromandel, Rotorua, Waitomo

Beach holidays in Waiheke Island,  Ohope Beach, Whangamata and Orewa

  • 7 day North Island Northern Circle

  • 8 day North Island Beaches.


7 Day North Island Northern Circle

Not too many long drives on this week long tour in the North Island.

Day One                    Arrive Auckland

Welcome to Auckland.  This vibrant and culturally diverse city is bordered by two harbours, the Waitemata and the Manukau.  With all that water about, boating is a very popular past-time, so the city has been dubbed the “City of Sails”.  Spend the night at Chifley/Barclay Suites Auckland apartment accommodation in a very central location, a few minutes walk from the Sky Tower. View Auckland attractions.

Day Two                   Bay of Islands

Make your way north across the iconic Harbour Bridge to the spectacular Bay of Islands.  Base yourself in the bustling town of Paihia for two nights at the Edgewater Palms apartments.  The ultimate in luxury accommodation, these brand new apartments are opposite the main beach.  All have sea views and covered balconies.  Or for a peaceful getaway, try the pretty Russell Cottages in the tiny historic town of Russell across the bay. View Bay of Islands attractions, Paihia and Russell

Day Three                Bay of Islands

Take a cruise to the Hole in the Rock or swim with the dolphins.  Or spend the day travelling to the very northern most point of the country - Cape Reinga.  Take one of the tours on specially adapted coaches which travel along the sands of the famous “Ninety Mile Beach”.

Day Four                   Whitianga

Return south and bypass Auckland city.  Continue on to the Coromandel Peninsula.  This region is a haven for artists and alternative lifestylers.  It also boasts some magnificent beaches and large tracts of native forest.  Stop off at the little township of Thames before driving to your overnight base at Whitianga.  Tonight stay at the Marina Park Apartments adjacent to the marina, with the township virtually on your doorstep. View Coromandel attractions

Day Five                    Rotorua

Take the short side trip as you head south to explore Hot Water Beach, where at low tide you can dig your own hot spa pool in the sand.  A unique Kiwi experience!  Stop off for lunch at Mount Maunganui, a very popular beach on local holidays.  Then turn inland towards the cultural and geothermal centre of Rotorua.  Your accommodation for the night is located before you reach the town of Rotorua, at the northern end Lake Rotorua, at the Marama Apartments.  Nestled in an idyllic setting along a private waterway, apartments enjoy lake or canal water views.

Day Six                      Rotorua

One of the original health spas in the southern hemisphere, this region has been hosting visitors from around the world for over one hundred and fifty years.  Visit one of the historic geothermal reserves, experience the unique “Agrodome” to see the performing sheep and learn about New Zealand’s farming heritage, see the huge rainbow trout in the crystal clear streams or take a skydive.  The options are endless.  This is also the place to learn more about Maori culture with a visit to a historic village, a traditional concert and hangi (feast). View Rotorua activities

Day Seven                Waitomo/Auckland

Head west to visit the magnificent Waitomo Caves.  You can take a leisurely one hour tour and underground boat ride which features the famed glow worm grotto.  Or you can get down and dirty and take one of the adventure activities.  Try “black water rafting” which involves donning a wetsuit and floating down an underground river on a tractor tyre.  Or you can act like Indiana Jones and navigate the cave system by climbing, swimming and abseiling.  Great fun!  In the afternoon you can travel direct to Auckland International Airport for your departure or spend another night in the city at Chifley/Barclay Suites



8 Day North Island Beaches

The ultimate Kiwi North Island beaches holiday!

Day One                    Auckland

Discover Auckland Cities beaches including Mission Bay or cross the Harbour Bridge and relax and explore Devonport, a quaint seaside village with a great beach. You can alternatively catch the Devonport Ferry from the Auckland downtown terminal, make a return trip. Stay tonight at the Chifley/Barclay Suites located just a few minutes walk to the vibrant 'Viaduct Basin' entertainment and restaurant precinct. View Auckland attractions

Day Two                    Waiheke Island

Make an early start and catch a ferry from the downtown terminal for the 35 minute trip to the island of Waiheke.  Unspoiled, fresh, clean, rustic, charming, low key, sophisticated, kiwi, raw and on the upbeat, Waiheke is the gem in Auckland's crown. Take a tour of the wineries, visit artists at work in their studios or simply relax on the beach, the perfect place to unwind. Spend a night on the island or catch the late ferry back to The Chifley Suites.

Day Three                 Ohope Beach

Make your way south down the East Coast to the Bay of Plenty.  Ohope Beach, just 6km over the hill from Whakatane is a major draw card for holidaymakers, with its 11 kilometres of golden Pacific sand and safe swimming waters.  West End, long a favourite with surfers, is also one of the access points to Otarawairere Beach, one of the most picturesque beaches in the Bay of Plenty.  Spend your next two nights here at the Beachpoint Resort, just across the road from the beach. View Bay of Plenty, Ohope attractions

Day Four                   Ohope Beach

Drive into Whakatane and take a cruise out to volcanic White Island.  An unforgettable experience.  Or just have some quality Kiwi beach time, read a book, sip a cold drink and splash in the ocean.

Day Five                    Whangamata, The Coromandel

Drive back up to the Coromandel region to Whangamata with its beautiful wide sandy beach. Enjoy the hospitality of Marine Reserved Apartments tonight, just a “stones throw” from the beach. View Whangamata attractions. Alternatively stop off at Mt Maunganui on the way, a popular beach resort destination especially with locals. If you like what you see stay at The Pacific Apartments, a new high rise complex with fantastic ocean views. View Bay of Plenty, Mt Maunganui attractions

Day Six                      Orewa

Head north today for the town of Orewa, just north of the city of Auckland.  Your base for the next two nights is the unique high rise complex, The Ramada Suites Nautilus.  All apartments in this building enjoy excellent ocean views and the beach is just one block away.

Day Seven                  Orewa

If the sun is shining, make the most of your last day on a Kiwi beach.  If not, take a short trip to the Waiwera Infinity Thermal Spa Resort, just 10 minutes drive away.  Here you can indulge in many specialist spa treatments or simply wallow in the therapeutic hot waters.

Day Eight                   Depart Auckland

Time to pack away the sunscreen and bid a reluctant farewell to Kiwi beaches.  Make your way to Auckland International Airport for your onward flight. 


Exterior view from the beach


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