To help speed the recovery from the recent devastating earthquake in Christchurch, travel bloggers from across the globe have teamed up to remind people of New Zealand’s highlights. As part of Blog4NZ we bring you this post and encourage you to make the trek to these phenomenal islands. Tourism is one of the best ways to help the recovery effort – who’d have thought that taking the trip of a lifetime would be more beneficial than donating to charity?
Places to See in New Zealand’s North Island
It was nearly a year ago when we visited New Zealand. When we returned we wrote about some of New Zealand’s highlights and even included a New Zealand Trip: Best Of.
But hindsight sometimes allows you to see more clearly the highlights of a trip. Our time on the North Island fell into two categories – 1) the non-touristy places we saw and t2) he touristy places we visited. Both were amazing in their own ways. If you’re planning a trip to the North Island (and you should) here are some of our highlights:
Getting Off the Beaten Track
The beginning of our North Island adventure was off the beaten track for most tourists. We spent a few days on the Coromandel Peninsula then went down to Taranga/Mt. Maunganui where a friend was living. Mt. Mauganui has some wonderful walking trails and a killer fish and chips restaurant. Coromandel was amazing and our favorite spots included Hahei Beach, Cathedral Cove, and the Hot Water Beach.
And Then Back on The Beaten Track
After leaving Taranga we returned to the tourist path with a vengeance. In Rotorua we visited nearly every geothermal park such as Hells Gate, saw the museums, visited Kiwi birds, even bought jade jewelry. We were Tourists. And it was awesome. After Rotorua we returned to Auckland for a few days. One night spent at an awesome beachside holiday park and the next at the greenest bed and breakfast in Auckland (with the most fantastic breakfast food too!) Our sailing excursion got cancelled due to weather, so we saw the Sky Tower instead.
We visited New Zealand during their winter/off-season and we only had 10 days, which is why we skipped the South Island on that trip. In hindsight would I do it that way again? I think so. The North Island has some spectacular sights. And next time we’ll spend our entire trip on the South Island – it’s always good to have something to look forward to.